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Posted: 8/23/2005 2:59:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2005 3:01:37 PM EDT by Old_Painless]
This subject was raised in a thread that my friend SteyrAUG started, and I didn't want to hijack his thread, so here we are.

It is often stated by some on the board that, "The Federal government ought to DO something about the high price of gasoline."

My question is: Where did we get the idea that the Federal Government ought to have anything at all to do with the price of a commodity?

In the past, even school children knew that the federal government had "limited" powers and duties. Among these was the provision and maintenance of a standing Army and Navy to protect our country, to maintain a currency, to maintain a postal service, to protect the borders, etc. We could probably list all the things the Founding Fathers thought were reasonable for the Federal Government to do. It does some well, some not so well.

But nowhere do we see the Founding Fathers saying that the Federal Government ought to "control prices" if the comsumers don't like how much things cost.

Where did we get this idea?

One poster made reference to Communism, where the government does indeed control prices. But I do not believe that those that propose that the Federal Government (FG) control oil prices are Communists.

I believe that they are poorly educated.

They have been educated in a school system (control more and more by, guess who {the FG}) that teaches such foolish stuff.

When people see gasoline prices climbing higher and higher, they think, "Somebody ought to do something. The FG ought to do something about this!"

But, in this wonderful country, we have a system called Capitalism and the free market. The "Consumer" should ultimately control the price of gasoline (and everything else) by their buying habits. If the price of any product gets too high, they should buy less of it. If they do this, the price will fall.

It is called "The Law of Supply and Demand". And it's not a "suggestion", it's the LAW.

What has happened to our wonderful country that the citizens should be so screwed up about the role of the Federal Government in society?

How has this happened?

Link Posted: 8/23/2005 3:15:58 PM EDT
I think a lot of the" Government must DO something".......comes form the nanny state mentallity.................I saw a thing on TV................and the talking head said something to the effect "That American have not changed their driving habits ,even with the high price of gas"................so as long as we as a group keep using gas.we will pay and pay and pay.....................So we in effect cut our own throats..................I don't expect government to "Do" anything about it , but I do expect the government to run this country with the best intent for "American"...................how ever they can do that is a bigger question for sure!!.........We as in "My Family"..do not go for ride anymore we go for walks or stay home......we are down to 1 veheical.......we only drive for work,groceries and so on but living in a small town it is 6 miles to the grocery store !! ...We do what we can and we have cut out gas down to about 50 bucks every 2 weeks...................We will see what happens
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 3:17:43 PM EDT
If we're lucky, the government will do nothing about high gas prices. If we're really lucky, it'll get rid of pollution standards and additive requirements.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 3:18:57 PM EDT
Okay, so I didn't read your whole post.

I just want to say, remember folks, Carter tried to set controls on gas and look what happened there.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 3:20:36 PM EDT
sure the government should/could do something.


they could drop the tax on each gallon.

Link Posted: 8/23/2005 3:21:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By raven:
If we're lucky, the government will do nothing about high gas prices. If we're really lucky, it'll get rid of pollution standards and additive requirements.



Indeed! AND federal gasoline taxes!
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 3:24:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 3:26:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MK4Mod0:
I think a lot of the" Government must DO something".......comes form the nanny state mentallity...



Indeed it does.

And the Founding Fathers would roll over in their graves if they saw how many citizens actually expect the Big Nanny to "take care of them".

Our country was founded and expanded by men that only wanted freedom to "take care of themselves". They sure didn't need a Big Gooberment to do it for them.

Link Posted: 8/23/2005 3:44:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2005 3:45:27 PM EDT by GotGuns]

Originally Posted By sherrick13:
Gasoline COULD be $1.50 a gallon or less. If the .gov would just get the hell out of the way.



Did you not pay attention to what was said? It is simple economics. We as country have not changed our driving habits despite the $1.20 price hike that has occured recently. Even if the .gov dropped the tax, then that just means the gas company can charge even more and all of the money goes straight to their pockets, rather than education, welfare, roads, armed forces, etc.

The ONLY way we are going to get gas prices to go down is to make it beneficial to those that control prices. If you charge 10 bucks a gallon and sell 2 gallons, you are more than happy to sell it for 5 bucks if you sell 10 gallons. However if you charge 10 bucks a gallon and still sell 10 gallons, then guess what you are going to keep charging.

You want to save money?
Stop driving like you are in Nascar.
Don't drive your F-250 superduty if you can take something that gets 3x the mileage.
Grab a ride with a friend(or coworker).
Buy more groceries so you don't have to go so often.
Make your lazy ass kids ride a bike to their friend's house.
Now make your lazy ass ride a bike if reasonable.
And for the love of all that is holy, don't be a dumbass and drive 200 feet to your mailbox and back.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 3:49:56 PM EDT
The oil companies are making billions of dollars with this gas price scam. Mark my word, in four or five years, there will be investigations and revelations just like with Enron, World Com and others. It is a BS scam and the reason they are getting away with it is because they are being succesful (apparently) in making everyone believe the WOT and China have something to do with it. If that were true, the price would be high and the oil companies would be sucking hind tit just like the airlines. The price of oil and gas is sooo high because the oil companies have their boys in the white house. What do you think those secret meetings Cheney had with the oil companies were all about? How they could help the American consumer? What a joke. The govt. is here to protect the citizenry and right now it is turning a blind eye to one of the biggest butt hoggings ever perpetrated against a people. There are currently millions of Americans who are having their standard of living significantly reduced because the money they used to spend on shoes and food is going into their gas tank. If refineries are the bottleneck, the govt. should build refineries. Look at what Nixon did during the Arab oil embargo: He lowered the speed limit to 55, he asked us to turn our thermostats down, etc. At least he fucking did something besides hiding out at San Clemente and clearing brush . BTW: I voted for Bush twice, but his inaction on energy and illegal immigration (not to mention his WMD fuck up) are turning me against him and his band of evil do-nothingers.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 3:55:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2005 4:49:14 PM EDT by HoustonHusker]
Absolutely correct.

Great post!

HH

ETA: I want it understood my comments were directed to O_P, not the person above this post.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 3:58:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sandguard:
The oil companies are making billions of dollars with this gas price scam. Mark my word, in four or five years, there will be investigations and revelations just like with Enron, World Com and others. It is a BS scam and the reason they are getting away with it is because they are being succesful (apparently) in making everyone believe the WOT and China have something to do with it. If that were true, the price would be high and the oil companies would be sucking hind tit just like the airlines. The price of oil and gas is sooo high because the oil companies have their boys in the white house. What do you think those secret meetings Cheney had with the oil companies were all about? How they could help the American consumer? What a joke. The govt. is here to protect the citizenry and right now it is turning a blind eye to one of the biggest butt hoggings ever perpetrated against a people. There are currently millions of Americans who are having their standard of living significantly reduced because the money they used to spend on shoes and food is going into their gas tank. If refineries are the bottleneck, the govt. should build refineries. Look at what Nixon did during the Arab oil embargo: He lowered the speed limit to 55, he asked us to turn our thermostats down, etc. At least he fucking did something besides hiding out at San Clemente and clearing brush . BTW: I voted for Bush twice, but his inaction on energy and illegal immigration (not to mention his WMD fuck up) are turning me against him and his band of evil do-nothingers.



You sir, are clueless.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:00:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By arfreak74:
sure the government should/could do something.


they could drop the tax on each gallon.




Not correct - reducing the cost (not the price) would encourage more consumption and drive the price (not the cost) higher. The demand for energy exceeds the supply.

G
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:02:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SWO_daddy:

Originally Posted By Sandguard:
Blah, blah, blah.



You sir, are clueless.



Ain't it the truth.

He just proves my original point.

Look at some of his quotes:

"The govt. is here to protect the citizenry ...."

"the govt. should build refineries..."

How have we raised a generation of people that are so uneducated on how the this country should work?
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:06:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2005 4:06:39 PM EDT by kingfish]
Buying gas isnt like buying apples. There are only a handful of suppliers who fix their prices. As for supply and demand, I always laugh when I hear that. This isnt like something I can go without buying----I drive to work, I drive to do my errands. I'm not going to quit working in order to save money on gas. That cracks me up, people talking about supply and demand with fuel like it's oreo cookies or some shit. Yea, in the middle of the cold winter, I think i'll cut my gas use. Yea, and freeze. The govt needs to step in to bust up monopolys or price fixing, such as seen now.

By the way, latest profits from oil companys are 36% higher this quarter than they were last quarter. Anyone have a business that sees RECORD profits almost every quarter for the last couple years?

Also, there is no economical explanation for gas rising 30 cents in 4 days like it did in my area. Drudge Report says something like 1 penny per day overall
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:11:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2005 4:14:12 PM EDT by GotGuns]

Originally Posted By Sandguard:
The oil companies are making billions of dollars with this gas price scam. Mark my word, in four or five years, there will be investigations and revelations just like with Enron, World Com and others. It is a BS scam and the reason they are getting away with it is because they are being succesful (apparently) in making everyone believe the WOT and China have something to do with it. If that were true, the price would be high and the oil companies would be sucking hind tit just like the airlines. The price of oil and gas is sooo high because the oil companies have their boys in the white house. What do you think those secret meetings Cheney had with the oil companies were all about? How they could help the American consumer? What a joke. The govt. is here to protect the citizenry and right now it is turning a blind eye to one of the biggest butt hoggings ever perpetrated against a people. There are currently millions of Americans who are having their standard of living significantly reduced because the money they used to spend on shoes and food is going into their gas tank. If refineries are the bottleneck, the govt. should build refineries. Look at what Nixon did during the Arab oil embargo: He lowered the speed limit to 55, he asked us to turn our thermostats down, etc. At least he fucking did something besides hiding out at San Clemente and clearing brush . BTW: I voted for Bush twice, but his inaction on energy and illegal immigration (not to mention his WMD fuck up) are turning me against him and his band of evil do-nothingers.



How is this anything like Enron? They sell gas for whatever price they want to sell gas. What is the government going to investigate.

<Federal Investigator>Gee, hmm, Shell Oil sold increased the price of gas by $1.00 and made and extra eleventy bajillion dollars last year because of it. Wait...wait...that's illegal!!! They aren't allowed to dictate the price of their own product, especially to increase product. What do they think this is, free enterprise? ...oh wait, yeah it is. Oh well, I guess I'll just drive myself home in my 8 mpg Expedition. Sure I'm driving by myself and I could probably drive something much smaller and fuel efficient. Oh well, it makes me feel big and I can smoke that minivan next to me when the light turns green.</Federal Investigator>

What did YOU drive to work today?
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:12:54 PM EDT
that free market stuff only works in free markets ... not ones loaded up with oligopoly and collusion

Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:16:04 PM EDT
I've asked this before, and never really got a response.

What if the US were to team up with several other industrialized nations, and form the "Organization of Petroleum Purchasing Countries"? We'd bid out for oil to OPEC, as well as non-OPEC outfits like the Russians, and name our own prices backed with huge purchasing power.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:18:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2005 4:22:33 PM EDT by glock23carry]

Originally Posted By mr_camera_man:
I've asked this before, and never really got a response.

What if the US were to team up with several other industrialized nations, and form the "Organization of Petroleum Purchasing Countries"? We'd bid out for oil to OPEC, as well as non-OPEC outfits like the Russians, and name our own prices backed with huge purchasing power.



I hope you don't vote nor have children.

G
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:18:45 PM EDT
can't have it both ways. If you reject gummint from imposing CAFE stds for mpg on vehicles and scream "get out of my life!" don't go whining about the gummint doing something to bring gas prices down.

I think the free market will decide things. Consumers will demand more fuel efficient vehicles on their own. Happened after the first embargo in 1973, is happening now.

If you have a truck or SUV that sucks gas you bought without govt interference, the same govt shouldn't interfere on your "right" to fill it up at 99 cents a gallon.

FWIW, I have a gas sucking truck !
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:19:10 PM EDT
part of the problem with the price of gas is actually fed involvement. the EPA mandates different gases for different regions and different times of the year. that is what creates the artiificial shortage. they further mandate different equipmwent for newer refineries which makes the oil cos unwilling to build new ones.

on top of this is state regs and taxes and NIMBY is very common when dealing with locating a refinery.

truth is if you listen to the pundits supplies are pretty good. there is no shortage but the prices have spiked on speculation about china, terrorism, iraq,military needs, possible colder winters,etc......
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:20:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By kingfish:
Buying gas isnt like buying apples.



Sure it is.

Don't like the price of apples? Quit buying them or buy less.

Don't like the price of gasoline?

Do the same.


There are only a handful of suppliers who fix their prices.


"Price fixing", i.e., working with competators to "set" the price of gasoline is illegal and aggressively prosecuted.

Prices are set by what the consumer is willing to pay for the product.

You and I are the "consumers". We set the price.


As for supply and demand, I always laugh when I hear that. This isnt like something I can go without buying----I drive to work, I drive to do my errands. I'm not going to quit working in order to save money on gas.


No, but you can buy less. You can buy a more gas effecient car. You can car pool to save gas costs. You can get a job closer to where you live. You can take the bus or other public transporataion. You can walk or ride a bike. There are many things you can do to cut back on gas usage.


That cracks me up, people talking about supply and demand with fuel like it's oreo cookies or some shit.


Yep, just like oreos. If the price of oreos gets too high, I will look for a substitute.


Yea, in the middle of the cold winter, I think i'll cut my gas use. Yea, and freeze.


Who says you need to use petroleum for heating?

Get a fireplace. That's what I do.

If you use oil, use less. Lower the thermostat. Insulate your home better. Wear a sweater. There are dozens of things you can do.

But instead, many cry, "Why doesn't the Gooberment do something?


The govt needs to step in to bust up monopolys or price fixing, such as seen now.


Monopolies and price fixing are already illegal and aggressively prosecuted.


By the way, latest profits from oil companys are 36% higher this quarter than they were last quarter. Anyone have a business that sees RECORD profits almost every quarter for the last couple years?


You think this is true? Then buy some oil stock and get rich. Then you won't have to worry about the high cost of gas.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:21:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By glock23carry:

Originally Posted By mr_camera_man:
I've asked this before, and never really got a response.

What if the US were to team up with several other industrialized nations, and form the "Organization of Petroleum Purchasing Countries"? We'd bid out for oil to OPEC, as well as non-OPEC outfits like the Russians, and name our own prices backed with huge purchasing power.



I hope you don't vote or have children.

G



Thanks for that most constructive and detailed opinion. The ideal is to reduce dependance on foreign oil... whether it's with domestic drilling or nuclear power, and to increase domestic refining capacity. This was just a wild idea that almost possibly might help in the short term until that happens.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:24:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2005 4:25:27 PM EDT by John_Wayne777]
What the government CAN do to effect gas prices:

1. Reduce the insane tax on every gallon of gas
2. Stop allowing the BS environmental claims of wackjobs who WANT to tank the US economy to block exploration of and exploitation of domestic oil resources.

Those are things government CAN and SHOULD do about gas prices.

O_P is right: Government is not supposed to fix everything. But the stupidity of the .gov has helped produce the situation we are in. By using some common sense and backing off of the usual .gov silliness, gas prices can come down a bit. Government should only fix the problems government created in this situation.

No more.

Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:25:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GotGuns:
Even if the .gov dropped the tax, then that just means the gas company can charge even more and all of the money goes straight to their pockets, rather than education, welfare, roads



WOOP! WOOP!
Lefty Alert! Lefty Alert!
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:26:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By mr_camera_man:

Originally Posted By glock23carry:

Originally Posted By mr_camera_man:
I've asked this before, and never really got a response.

What if the US were to team up with several other industrialized nations, and form the "Organization of Petroleum Purchasing Countries"? We'd bid out for oil to OPEC, as well as non-OPEC outfits like the Russians, and name our own prices backed with huge purchasing power.



I hope you don't vote or have children.

G



Thanks for that most constructive and detailed opinion. The ideal is to reduce dependance on foreign oil... whether it's with domestic drilling or nuclear power, and to increase domestic refining capacity. This was just a wild idea that almost possibly might help in the short term until that happens.



OK, I apologize. But the premise that we can form a cartel of buyers ignores the fundamental fact that demand far exceeds supply. An individual can decide to purchase or not purchase gasoline, apples, XM193 or other goods and services. How would you propose a cartel of buying nations do that? Nationalize the energy industry in the G8?

G
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:27:01 PM EDT
A retailer pays a fixed price for fuel when the tank when it is filled.

A retailer pays a fixed price for coffee when it is delivered.

Does his price on coffee change every day?

Isn't coffee a commodity?
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:27:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2005 4:30:53 PM EDT by raven]

Originally Posted By kingfish:
Buying gas isnt like buying apples. There are only a handful of suppliers who fix their prices. As for supply and demand, I always laugh when I hear that. This isnt like something I can go without buying----I drive to work, I drive to do my errands. I'm not going to quit working in order to save money on gas. That cracks me up, people talking about supply and demand with fuel like it's oreo cookies or some shit. Yea, in the middle of the cold winter, I think i'll cut my gas use. Yea, and freeze. The govt needs to step in to bust up monopolys or price fixing, such as seen now.

By the way, latest profits from oil companys are 36% higher this quarter than they were last quarter. Anyone have a business that sees RECORD profits almost every quarter for the last couple years?



A couple of things. You think that the idea of prices being dictated by supply and demand is a farce and that suppliers fix the prices. This is incorrect. Prices are not set by producers but on open-call trading floors. In other words, the market. In the mid 80's and late 1990's, oil prices were quite low and oil companies were hurting. If producers set the prices, why did they set them so low then? Because they like losing money?

As for demand, you're right in noticing that some things you're going to keep buying even if the price rises. Things like gasoline and toilet paper. Whereas, if the price of Oreos or movie tickets quadruples in a week, you wont be eating Oreos or going to movies anytime soon. You can live without it.

But believe me, raise the price of gasoline and demand for it will go down. You might pass on going fishing, maybe you'll car pool or take public transportation to work. Maybe put off little errands until you can get them all done in one trip instead of 5 or 6 seperate trips, make sure the tires are fully inflated and the car's tuned to maximize fuel efficiency when you do drive.

Of course producer profits have increased. The cost of extracting oil for them is the same if the market price is $15 a bbl or $65 a bbl. So what? Like all commodity producers, some years are good when prices are high, other years are bad when prices are low. Do you get outraged when farmers and ranchers make big profits when the prices of beef and grain is high? Why then do you resent oil companies when they have good years?
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:28:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By mr_camera_man:
I've asked this before, and never really got a response.

What if the US were to team up with several other industrialized nations, and form the "Organization of Petroleum Purchasing Countries"? We'd bid out for oil to OPEC, as well as non-OPEC outfits like the Russians, and name our own prices backed with huge purchasing power.



Okay, let's look at that.

We and several other countries get together and tell OPEC, "From now on, we will only give you $10 a barrel for your oil."

They say, "Nope, we won't sell it for that".

What do we do then? Hold our breath till we turn blue?

Once again, "Supply and demand".

Some country will give them $15 a barrel. So, they sell it to them.

If we are willing to then match the $15 a barrel, China will say, "We will pay $20", so they sell it to them.

That's simply how the market works. Prices are set by what the consumers are willing to pay.

But we still see uneducated folks thinking that there are a small group of Oil Executives sitting in a gold lined room somewhere "setting" the price of oil. The idea is simply idiocy.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:29:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2005 4:30:16 PM EDT by glock23carry]

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:
What the government CAN do to effect gas prices:

1. Reduce the insane tax on every gallon of gas



Bzzt! Wrong again. This would change the cost, not the price. Taxes are a cost passed on to consumers.

G
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:29:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:31:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2005 4:33:36 PM EDT by GodBlessTexas]
The real reason gas is high:
US oil companies have shut down over 51 refineries in the last 15 years, severely limiting refining capacity.


“As observed over the last few years and as projected well into the future, the most critical
factor facing the refining industry on the West Coast is the surplus refining capacity, and the
surplus gasoline production capacity. The same situation exists for the entire U.S. refining
industry. Supply significantly exceeds demand year-round. This results in very poor refinery
margins, and very poor refinery financial results. Significant events need to occur to assist
in reducing supplies and/or increasing the demand for gasoline.”

Internal Texaco document, March 7, 1996





“A senior energy analyst at the recent API (American Petroleum Institute) convention
warned that if the U.S. petroleum industry doesn’t reduce its refining capacity, it will never
see any substantial increase in refining margins…However, refining utilization has been
rising, sustaining high levels of operations, thereby keeping prices low.”

Internal Chevron document, November 30, 1995



wyden.senate.gov/leg_issues/reports/wyden_oil_report.pdf

I don't necessarily like Wyden, but if what he says is true, then at least part of the responsibility for the high cost of gasoline rests on the shoulders of the oil companies. And say what you want about keeping the government out of commodities pricing (I agree), it cannot be ignored that the high cost of fuel is detrimental to the overall economy, which is a bad thing.

Question: What is it when Enron shut down power plants to drive up the price of energy?
Answer: Market manipulation, and the government doesn't like it.

Question: What is it when the energy companies in the US start shutting down refineries to raise the price of gas?
Answer: Market manipulation.

Remember the Alamo, and God Bless Texas...
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:33:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By glock23carry:

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:
What the government CAN do to effect gas prices:

1. Reduce the insane tax on every gallon of gas



Bzzt! Wrong again. This would change the cost, not the price. Taxes are a cost passed on to consumers.

G



Yes. Taxes are a cost passed on to consumers.

They are a factor in the ammount of money we pay for every gallon.

THAT is the point.

Keep your buzzer to yourself, sir....
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:33:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2005 4:38:32 PM EDT by sherrick13]
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:34:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GodBlessTexas:
And say what you want about keeping the government out of commodities pricing (I agree), it cannot be ignored that the high cost of fuel is detrimental to the overall economy, which is a bad thing.




We are in agreement about keeping the government out of commodities pricing.

But, it seems that neither of us knows how to "fix" this other problem of high gas prices.

One thing I do know.......the Federal Government sticking its nose in the problem isn't the solution.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:34:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sandguard:
The oil companies are making billions of dollars with this gas price scam. Mark my word, in four or five years, there will be investigations and revelations just like with Enron, World Com and others. It is a BS scam and the reason they are getting away with it is because they are being succesful (apparently) in making everyone believe the WOT and China have something to do with it. If that were true, the price would be high and the oil companies would be sucking hind tit just like the airlines. The price of oil and gas is sooo high because the oil companies have their boys in the white house. What do you think those secret meetings Cheney had with the oil companies were all about? How they could help the American consumer? What a joke. The govt. is here to protect the citizenry and right now it is turning a blind eye to one of the biggest butt hoggings ever perpetrated against a people. There are currently millions of Americans who are having their standard of living significantly reduced because the money they used to spend on shoes and food is going into their gas tank. If refineries are the bottleneck, the govt. should build refineries. Look at what Nixon did during the Arab oil embargo: He lowered the speed limit to 55, he asked us to turn our thermostats down, etc. At least he fucking did something besides hiding out at San Clemente and clearing brush . BTW: I voted for Bush twice, but his inaction on energy and illegal immigration (not to mention his WMD fuck up) are turning me against him and his band of evil do-nothingers.



The ignorance and lack of principles which OP speaks of is CLEARLY demonstrated by the above post.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:34:38 PM EDT
Pay attention man, there is a difference between cost and price.

G
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:36:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2005 4:50:30 PM EDT by Dave_A]

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
This subject was raised in a thread that my friend SteyrAUG started, and I didn't want to hijack his thread, so here we are.

It is often stated by some on the board that, "The Federal government ought to DO something about the high price of gasoline."

My question is: Where did we get the idea that the Federal Government ought to have anything at all to do with the price of a commodity?

In the past, even school children knew that the federal government had "limited" powers and duties. Among these was the provision and maintenance of a standing Army and Navy to protect our country, to maintain a currency, to maintain a postal service, to protect the borders, etc. We could probably list all the things the Founding Fathers thought were reasonable for the Federal Government to do. It does some well, some not so well.

But nowhere do we see the Founding Fathers saying that the Federal Government ought to "control prices" if the comsumers don't like how much things cost.

Where did we get this idea?

One poster made reference to Communism, where the government does indeed control prices. But I do not believe that those that propose that the Federal Government (FG) control oil prices are Communists.

I believe that they are poorly educated.

They have been educated in a school system (control more and more by, guess who {the FG}) that teaches such foolish stuff.

When people see gasoline prices climbing higher and higher, they think, "Somebody ought to do something. The FG ought to do something about this!"

But, in this wonderful country, we have a system called Capitalism and the free market. The "Consumer" should ultimately control the price of gasoline (and everything else) by their buying habits. If the price of any product gets too high, they should buy less of it. If they do this, the price will fall.

It is called "The Law of Supply and Demand". And it's not a "suggestion", it's the LAW.

What has happened to our wonderful country that the citizens should be so screwed up about the role of the Federal Government in society?

How has this happened?




Proper role?

There are several constitutionally valid approaches to the price of gasoline:

None are very feasible or probable, and I am not advocating any, but they are CONSTITUTIONAL in theory:

1) Eliminate, reduce, or modify (eg make it self-adjusting so that when gas goes up the tax goes down) the Federal gas tax

2) Have the Navy blockade OPEC member nations (eg 'If you won't let the price of oil float, you won't sell any).... It would seriously fuck the price of oil in the short-run, but it would break them before it would break us, we'd probably have to do #3 too...

3) Release oil from the strategic petroleum reserve...

4) Take over a major oil-producing country, and actually take the oil

5) Allow drilling for oil everywhere in US territory that oil may be found

6) Remove EPA designer-gas requirements...

ETA 7) Offer tax incentives & remove regulatory barriers for companies who build new oil refineries (some of the trouble is due to the fact that oil demand has gone up, but refining capacity is the same)....
+++++++++++++++

Note that all of the above is theoretical, I don't advocate any theory in perticular, but all are CONSTITUTIONAL....
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:36:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By akethan:
Isn't coffee a commodity?



It sure is.

And Starbucks is finding that people are getting tired of paying $4 a cup for thier coffee.

Supply and demand.

The price of high-end coffee is getting too high, so people are switching to lower priced coffee.

Works every time.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:37:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
We are in agreement about keeping the government out of commodities pricing.

But, it seems that neither of us knows how to "fix" this other problem of high gas prices.

One thing I do know.......the Federal Government sticking its nose in the problem isn't the solution.



Other than removing the stupidity that they installed, I agree.

Personally, I think that somewhere somebody is getting rich off of all of this.

But I don't think it is Dick Cheney.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:39:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2005 4:40:19 PM EDT by JoeWang]

Originally Posted By kill-9:

Originally Posted By GotGuns:
Even if the .gov dropped the tax, then that just means the gas company can charge even more and all of the money goes straight to their pockets, rather than education, welfare, roads



WOOP! WOOP!
Lefty Alert! Lefty Alert!



[Nelson]Ha ha![/Nelson]

Soooo busted my little pinko friend. Gotta be a lot faster than the quote monkeys around here.


Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:39:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

Originally Posted By GodBlessTexas:
And say what you want about keeping the government out of commodities pricing (I agree), it cannot be ignored that the high cost of fuel is detrimental to the overall economy, which is a bad thing.




We are in agreement about keeping the government out of commodities pricing.

But, it seems that neither of us knows how to "fix" this other problem of high gas prices.

One thing I do know.......the Federal Government sticking its nose in the problem isn't the solution.



The federal government regularly orders power plants to produce full output, especially during an energy crisis like the rolling blackouts in California.

But still, the price of gas is never going to go down below $2/gallon until refining capacity increases to previous levels (we're down over 800,000 barrels of daily refining capacity from 1990-2000). And then we have to deal with issues of instability in the nations with the largest amounts of oil.

Remember the Alamo, and God Bless Texas...
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:40:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:

Personally, I think that somewhere somebody is getting rich off of all of this.

But I don't think it is Dick Cheney.



You are certainly correct.

The folks "getting rich" are the Arabs.

Why?

Because they own most of the land that has the oil under it.

Now, what we do about that problem is the subject for another thread.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:40:53 PM EDT
OK, I'll try this one more time.

A gallon of gas costs a distributor, let's say $1.50. There is a tax of, let's say, $.50 per gallon. So the price (what you pay at the pump) is $2.00. The gas station owner sells all the gas he can every day for that price.

Now remove the $.50 per gallon. Everyone rushes out to "take advantage" of the lower price. Now there is less gas for everyone.

Please, please, tell me what happens to the price of something when it is scarce? Does it stay fixed? Does it go down? Are Ferraris and Porsches more expensive than Camrys?

G
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:42:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
We are in agreement about keeping the government out of commodities pricing.

But, it seems that neither of us knows how to "fix" this other problem of high gas prices.

One thing I do know.......the Federal Government sticking its nose in the problem isn't the solution.



Other than removing the stupidity that they installed, I agree.

Personally, I think that somewhere somebody is getting rich off of all of this.

But I don't think it is Dick Cheney.



Have you been tracking the oil company stocks? Seriously, their output regionally are generally down, and their profits are all up. The lack of refining capacity has increased their profit margins, and they like it that way.

I used to work at ConocoPhillips and Enron

Remember the Alamo, and God Bless Texas...
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:43:19 PM EDT
This is just my fancy pants way of saying "tag" but I have a short story to relate.

There were a lot of things I never really considered in my life. They weren't too hard to fathom or beneath me or above me, I just never thought about them. Why? Who knows. I was busy thinking about other things I guess.

So some people say "The .gov should do something about XXX" (in this case, the price of gasoline) - because they never thought about it any more than what the talking heads on the idiot box told them to think. They often equate the high price of oil with the government as if the government had something to do with it*. And I'm not casting aspersions, because I really never gave it much thought - or understood the process by which what is essentially the lifeblood of a nation goes from the ground to our gasoline tanks... Or the pricing thereof.

I have since learned the error of my ways - thanks to Old_Painless and others. I was but an Arfcom n00b when I said something about the .gov stepping in to "help" with regards to oil prices. I was thoroughly and utterly upbraided and sent to my room.

Go easy on the first timers saying the government should step in. They might be OK guys.

* Last summer I even had a guy pumping gas into his big truck turn to me and say (he was a caricature of a human, very strange man) "I tawt we invated Eye-Rack fer dat cheep oyle - What gives?" no joke.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:43:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

... Where did we get the idea that the Federal Government ought to have anything at all to do with the price of a commodity?



... We?

... You mean they, right?
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:45:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By akethan:
A retailer pays a fixed price for fuel when the tank when it is filled.

A retailer pays a fixed price for coffee when it is delivered.

Does his price on coffee change every day?

Isn't coffee a commodity?



Different commodities have different volatilities in price swings. Many commodities often have quite stable price trends.

Futhermore, agricultural products are a renewable resource...and in the case of necessity...coffee is not NEARLY as much of a necessity as energy. It has a much more elastic demand.

People can back off of their consumption of coffee a lot easier than they can of their consumption of BTU's.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:46:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GodBlessTexas:

The federal government regularly orders power plants to produce full output, especially during an energy crisis like the rolling blackouts in California.




We are, as usual, in basic agreement.

But let's look at the government involvement in the "rolling blackouts" in Kali.

Has this really "helped" the problem?

Nope.

The problem is that the tree-hugging enviornmentalist wackos in Kali have stopped drilling of oil off their coast and severely restricted production of both petroleum and nuclear energy.

Solution: Let the market correct the problem. If the people of Kalifornia have enough blackouts, they will get fed up and vote out the idiots and replace them with people that will encourage energy production.

Supply and demand. Free market. Capitalism.

These things work wonders, if they are allowed to work freely.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:48:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GodBlessTexas:

The federal government regularly orders power plants to produce full output, especially during an energy crisis like the rolling blackouts in California.



That's because electric power is a federally regulated monopoly (a 'public industry').

In return for near-no competition, the govt gets to tell them how to do business (public service board, etc)....
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 4:48:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:

Personally, I think that somewhere somebody is getting rich off of all of this.

But I don't think it is Dick Cheney.



You are certainly correct.

The folks "getting rich" are the Arabs.

Why?

Because they own most of the land that has the oil under it.

Now, what we do about that problem is the subject for another thread.



Last August, ConocoPhillips traded at $35.64/share. Today it's $63.21 (52 week high was just over $66 a week or so ago) per share.

ExxonMobil: $44, now $59.07

Chevron: $46.21 now $60.34

I think the oil companies are doing pretty well on all of this.

Remember the Alamo, and God Bless Texas...
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