Sat
Jul 8 2006
09:50 am
price gouging
46% (41 votes)
supply and demand
36% (32 votes)
declining value of the U.S. Dollar
19% (17 votes)
Total votes: 90
Factchecker's picture

I think mostly a combination

I think mostly a combination of (B) & Andy's (D).  The oil companies are still dicks.  Why is there a subsidizing money pipeline from your tax dollars, as controlled by the GOP, directly to their wallets?  Can't they earn their own money in the "free" (ahem) market?  See Exxonmobil's profit statements for an answer to that.  If it's for investing in our future, again see the same profit statements.  The question remains.  Remember W's 2000 slogan, "It's your money!".  This fall is a good time to ask this of candidates and to look at the public debt that has expoded since the GOP took over. 

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Never has the left been so right.

WhitesCreek's picture

It's all about demand. The

It's all about demand. The only way to solve the Middle east problem is to eliminate the high price of oil by reducing consumption in a big way. OK, a huge way. If we used the same amount per capita that Europeans do, the price would plummet.

Tess's picture

Differences in us and them

Mainly, Europe has a network of rail systems, which allows Europeans to not be as dependant on oil.  If the price of oil sky rockets, we are going to be in deep trouble.

Volunteer Silver's picture

B & C

I think the answer is a combination of B & C. While the image of greedy oil company people deliberately keeping prices high is a temporary emotional relief to our frustrations, the proposed "solutions" aimed at punishing them is misguided. The very idea of price gouging to economists is dubious. Ever try telling an astronaut that the moon is made of blue cheese and they will laugh at you.

Cars and paved roads are seen as progress over horses and dirt roads. The interstate is seen as progess over trains. Surely the progressives didn't suggest that these were foolproof systems. After all, they were created by humans who are at best imperfect. Horses and dirt on the other hand were not created by humans. Yet they are seen as "wild" or substandard. I think at the very least we need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. There is one benefit to high gas prices and that is it motivates us to do things differently or to seek out solutions. There have been developments in fuel cell technology, hydrogen, etc... The biggest obstacles are bringing them up to the level of being efficient and cost effective and these take time.

Then there is the issue of inflation. What causes inflation? According to the media elites(namely corporate media), CEOs and merchants cause inflation. Higher prices causes people to buy and consume less. Ever hear of a CEO whose goal was to decrease sales by a certain amount? The board of directors would vote for someone else. Let's face it, while gasoline prices are high compared to the past(my grandfather could have bought a gallon for 23 cents), they are cheap compared to the prices of say houses or clothing. The government itself is most responsible for the higher prices. It pays sugar cane growers to NOT grow more sugar cane and dairy farmers to NOT produce more milk thus reducing supply. When the demand is the same or increased and the supply is lower, prices go up. So much for price gouging. Add on top of that, the dollar itself has loss about 95% of its value since the Federal Reserve started operating in 1913. Simply put, a dollar in 1913 has the purchasing power of a nickel. Or a product that cost $1 in 1913 would be about $20 today. If you and I were to print money out of thin air, we would still have to work doing hard labor in a federal pen for counterfeiting. Yet the Fed does it daily and it is deemed to be a socially responsible organization.

Likewise, as with energy efficiency, there has also been developments in the area of currency. More than 50 communities issue their own currencies such as the Itacha Hours. On a national level, the Liberty Dollar has been issued for almost eight years now. These also take time to the point where enough people are aware of them to make the breakthrough. Over the coming years, these currencies are going to become crucial as the U.S. dollar edges towards zero.

jgh59's picture

Another Theory

The price of gas is high for the same reason the price of raw materials (like steel and copper) are at an all time high - the commodity markets. Someone has to pay for all that speculation. Four years ago copper was $1.50/lb and they were paying producers not produce to save money on energy. Today it is $4.00/lb because some speculated that it might go up in price - someone(s) with a lot of money.

That's why the price jumps $.15 when someone farts in Iran. It's like people doubling up on a craps table because there's a first time female shooter, part legend, part superstition.

Factchecker's picture

Whenever I think about metal

Whenever I think about metal prices these days, I think of an article I recently read that said that 1/3 of the copper on the planet is in buildings or other man-use, 1/3 is in landfills, and the other third is in the ground.  If true, that scares the crap out of me.  Don't know if it is, but I read it on the internets, so it must be. Undecided

Re oil prices, many of you probably saw this, which is a vote for (a).

 

clarkstooksbury's picture

How is it possible

How is it possible that people living around Knoxville -- where every third vehicle is a gigantic gas-guzzling four-wheel-drive, driven from the exurbs -- would not attribute rising gas prices to supply-and-demand?

Andy Axel's picture

(D)

Spot markets spooked about the future price of oil if USA invades Iran; continuing USA intervention perceived to be destabilizing factor, driving price up.

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