THE NON-OIL CRISIS, OR WHY I HATE THE NEWS
The only thing that irritates me more than watching non-news stories on The News, is watching the same friggin' ones year after year. Summer's coming, so I am looking forward to my favorite non-story: Rising gas prices before holiday weekends. I can see it now- those stupid video packages with the slow dissolves of the rotating gas pump price displays rising ever higher and higher, the creepy music, the "Cha-ching" sound effects, and the dopey blonde predicting the end of mankind as we know it, backdropped by a Texaco sign and a Hummer. This is actually a triple non-story- first, because its not interesting or surprising- it is periodic, predictable, and makes total economic sense. Second, its temporary, and barely has any effect- as I will demonstrate. Third, because gas is ridiculously cheap, as I will also demonstrate.
Prices are set, universally and historically, by supply and demand. Low supply, high demand, high prices and vice versa. Period. Most liberals and newscasters don’t believe this. They think prices are set by the Fairy Price Princess who exists only to insure that everyone has everything they ever want and therefore should make everything affordable to everyone. That’s why they are shocked every time they see the law of supply and demand in practice. And they report it, over and over and over. Who sets prices? Whoever owns the stuff for sale. In this case, ridiculously wealthy oil sheiks. Know how they got that way? By understanding the law of supply and demand. When they know the demand is going to be higher, holiday weekends, they cut back the supplies sent ot the U.S., driving the prices up. Yes, that's right, they do it on purpose, to make money. Is it fair? Not an issue. Until we start tapping our own fuel sources (BTW, for a first-hand look at the devastating effects of oil drilling in the Alaskan Wild Refuge- click here http://www.anwr.org/gallery/pages/17-Caribou_no_impact.htm ) we don’t have a choice but to pay the price that the guys who own the stuff set. And the guys who own the oil like being ridiculously wealthy, so they cut the supply before every holiday weekend. And we are shocked and bewildered every time, and look for answers, solutions, and anything besides the truth.
Secondly, the price raising phenomenon is temporary, the prices always go down. Or we would be paying $1000 a gallon by now. The sheiks know we wouldn’t, so they always put the prices back down, and always will. If you listen to the newscasters, they never report this, its always the end of the world or a horrific new world of elevated gas prices. When was the last time you heard the news story “Gas prices return to normal after holiday weekend, as they do every Goddamn year!”
While I am fully aware of the broader economic impact of rising oil prices, rising automobile fuel prices have barley any effect on an individual’s pocket. To illustrate- say you are traveling for the holiday weekend. Lets make it a big trip- 300 miles each way, 600 miles total. The average car gets about 20 MPG. So you need 30 gallons of gas. How much does the gas increase before holidays- $.20 a gallon? Ok so at $2.00 a gallon (pre-holiday rates) you would have paid $60. At the new, end of the world capitalistic pig gauged price of $2.20 you now will pay $66. A one time fee of...
Two sodas at a rest stop. A glass of wine at dinner. Nuts from the mini bar. Kids admission to “Al’s Wild World of Wood” in Barstow. A six-pack- of water. This is a news story? Who’s gonna skip a vacation because of $6? No one. Unless they watch the news.