Saturday, November 22, 2008

Consumers Are Screwing Big Oil

Remember the incessant investigations into Big Oil over the past year and a half? Remember those? To much fanfare, during the days of $4/gallon gas, Senator Gasbag and his cohorts would march Big Oil CEOs before CSPAN Cameras and want to know why there was price gouging going on. It was the talk of the papers. Then, to much less fanfare, in a small blurb on page A-12, the results of the investigation would show no gouging on the part of the Oil Companies. But, Senator Gasbag made you feel good, didn't he? He really cares about you, and why these monsters in Big Oil are arbitrarily setting prices high, so that you can suffer and they can jet off to the ski chalet.

Last May, I posted this, reminding everyone that it's simply an issue of supply and demand. Now that demand for oil has dropped, so has the price. Didn't Senator Gasbag know this? Of course, he did. But he could count on the ignorant populists who live and die eaten up with class envy to swallow it whole.

From the Ayn Rand Institute:

"Because sellers must gain the voluntary consent of buyers, and because the market allows freedom of competition, oil and gasoline prices are set, not by the whim of companies, but by economic factors such as supply and demand.
If oil companies could set prices at will, surely they would have charged higher prices in the 1990s, when gasoline was under one dollar a gallon!"

Senator Gasbag, how can you allow consumers to screw Big Oil with these low prices?