First of all, there’s nothing “free” about this market: the world runs on oil. There’s no other alternative. We all have to use it, like it or not. Even if you bike to work. Even if you have a wood stove. Unless you’re a hermit that lives like Jeremiah Johnson, you’re as much a part of the oil economy as everyone else, and you need oil.
Oil companies also control every aspect of their product’s production and distribution, from the drilling to the refining to the price at the gas station. There’s little room for the “free hand of the market” to work in a commodity monopoly.
So if you’re pissed off about the price of gasoline, there’s really very little you can do about it.
Oil companies are the only businesses that ever get criticized for making money. When they were losing money, like they did when the price of oil was low, nobody cared. But now that they are making money, everybody freaks. I don't get it. Energy is the most heavily regulated industry in the country. The very people who stir up populism against the oil industry also happen to be the very people who push for more regulation of it. They also are the very people who have prevented a refinery from being built in the last 25 years. They also are the very people who have successfully prevented increased oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska, and the Rockies. They also are the very people who oppose nuclear power plants. Not only that, but they also are the very people, who believing in man made global warming, actually cheer high gas prices because they think it might lead to less demand. Then they turn around and stir up populist rabble against the oil companies. To make matters worse, the common man buys that nonsense.
Think about what the blogger is saying in her post. "Oil companies also control every aspect of their product’s production and distribution, from the drilling to the refining to the price at the gas station." So in other words, oil companies spend millions of dollars drilling for oil, and operating refineries that convert it into gasoline. Since they invest the money and take the risk, should they not receive a profit?
Government spends nothing. Government takes no risk. Yet government gets 38 cents for every gallon of gas sold by oil companies.
She also says "First of all, there’s nothing “free” about this market: the world runs on oil. There’s no other alternative." First of all, that is not true. There wasn't any oil in the 18th century and people still survived. But I will go along with her and agree that the free world would not enjoy the standard of living that we have today if not for oil. You might say that oil is the fuel of a free society. Knowing that, why do we hate the people who deliver this precious commodity? What if they just decided to stop supplying this need? What would we do then?
Over the last ten years, the economies of China and India have blossomed. The United States has also prospered. As a result, demand for oil and gasoline has increased tremendously. Like I said earlier though, our government has not allowed the oil companies to do anything to support the supply side of this equation.
Gas is much higher than it was last year and yet Memorial Day travel actually increased. Still some of us expect prices to go down. There is no such thing as a business that lowers the cost when supply is low and demand is high. There never has been.
We are living in the most prosperous time that this country has ever seen. I don't like high gas prices anymore than the next guy, but before I ever start complaining, I will probably begin cutting back on things like that super cable package and eating out a couple of times a week.
People stop bitching. If you don't want to pay high gas prices, drive less or buy a small car. Get over it.