Friday, April 21, 2006

Gas Prices High? Gas the Rich!

Oil approaches record high prices - the Saudis game the system to inflate prices
arbitrarily, the Bush administration has strong ties to the Saudi royal family, we were
supposed to pay for this imperialistic war with Iraqi oil...

Multi-national oil companies are making record profits!

US refineries are making record profits!

Oil and refining company C-level executives are receiving record compensation!

What's difficult to understand about this? While not one company, these organizations
operate monopolistically. We all suffer some direct loss of money from higher prices at the
pump; we can choose to drive less to some extent, but commutes are generally
non-discretionary. We will soon start to suffer regressively from higher
consumer-good/service costs, fewer new jobs, layoffs, etc. The already-wealthy will continue
to be wealthy through this, but the middle and lower classes will be increasingly harmed.

The Gods of growth and short-term economic (and political) profits must not be honored! The very essence of the United States depends on a diverse, free, and prosperous middle class. The religious right, in particular, has been gamed by one flavor of politician - the politicians have pampered this minority and pandered to them by convincing them that they are the majority, when in-fact they have more in common with the other political party in terms of self-interest and economic survival. How can a rust belt resident whose hard-won middle class job has been tossed away by a government working only for the interests of big-money, big-medicine, and big-oil?

Oil and gasoline get sold as a commodity, but in fact this market is gamed like a Vegas sports board. No surprise that consumer pricing rises and falls nationally. It's time to regulate this industry as a utility, for the good of us all, not the good of a few.