Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Just a Reminder: Gasoline is not a public service

First, we want cheap gasoline. Then we want clean gasoline. Then we want people (other people?) to stop using so much gasoline. Then we want incentives to slow the use of gasoline. Then we even think tax increases or price increases would cut demand and help turn down the heat on the planet. Then we want to be sure that if gas is going to cost more that the increases come from us (people power) or government (political power) and not from the greedy owners of the oil companies (capitalist American power). Somehow make US rich, not THEM. Give it back to US. Let US reap the rewards of our own addictions.... Huh?

Let's remind ourselves of one thing: gasoline is not a public service. You might be addicted to it, but it is not owed to you. No one owes you any oil or gasoline. There is no public oil company in the United States. And the government is just hanging on for the ride. They're not in control of those big oil companies. They're not even in control of any little oil companies. All they've got is a few hundred million barrels of the stuff stored somewhere, maybe, on a good day.

So if you want oil and gas revenues to serve the people, meaning all of the people, make the oil companies subservient to the state. In other words, damn it, nationalize the oil companies.

It doesn't seem to me that you can have it both ways. You can't have all this rampant capitalism and mercurial "market forces" AND think that these companies are doing all of this work FOR YOU.

Big oil, little oil, they do it for themselves, for them and their kin, their stockholders, and it's all legal. Okay, most of it, most of it is legal. That is the system you got.

If you want the vagaries of "supply and demand," you got it. Oil is the world's biggest and baddest soap opera. Is that any way to run a planet? As it is, we're running the planet you know where -- into the ground. Why do people pay $100 for jeans and $40,000 for cars? Because they are willing to pay $100 for jeans and $40,000 for cars. They're addicted to those things, or they see the value in those things.

Well, just because it has been so cheap (even compared to those old biblical staples, bread and bottled water), and just because it has been sold (prices boldly displayed) and a million street corners in this world, doesn't mean that a gallon of gas is any different. It's still just a private product offered for sale, priced at what the market will bear. So pony up, and line their pockets, drastically reduce your need for the stuff. And take the oil out of the hands of the capitalists, all of them, not just the really ambitious ones who are filthy rich, but all of them.

1 Comments:

At 5/24/2007 12:34 PM, Anonymous chaz b. said...

yeah, this talk of price-gouging seems schizophrenic to me, COs driven to profit then slapped down for being good at it (after the fact). spoiled brats --- COs AND consumers.

 

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