“Supply and demand” is not the impetus behind outrageous gas prices in America. The impetus comes from hearsay and rumors of war and conflict — despite the fact that no oil-rich country has ever refused to sell oil to the United States, even countries that are vehemently anti-American — and from a government kowtowing to unscrupulous oil executives.

Case in point: Has anyone ever wondered why the Bush administration muddled up Kuwait’s kind offer of oil for Hurricane Katrina victims? Let’s just say it’s pretty hard to justify skyrocketing gas prices with $400 million of free oil sitting around — not that it matters with cars getting a whopping average 21 miles per gallon (EPA 2006).

Another incredulity regarding the supply and demand fallacy is the belief that using less gas or going hybrid will cut gas consumption and in turn create lower gas prices. This theory simply ignores the human condition that has generated profits since the dawn of oligopoly: No decent, law-abiding, patriotic oil exec is going to sit back and watch his profits shrink simply because cars are using less gas. If cars are using less gas, then downsizing will justify higher prices due to limited production — or some such bunk. If Americans think $4 per gallon (3.8 liters) is a lot to pay, wait until their cars get twice the mileage!

joe rankin

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