Saturday, August 20, 2005

And the screw-job continues at the pump…

I’ve been getting some interesting feedback from folks about the continual price gouging of gasoline, so I figured I’d give a few more thoughts on the subject.

Yes, I said it… PRICE GOUGING… because that’s what it is. We are getting SCREWED at the pumps, and it’s not just Americans. It’s anyone in the Western world that has a vehicle that runs on petroleum. There is no other way to say it. We are getting fleeced. We are getting ROBBED at the pumps!

And people, I know that they’re convenient, but IT IS NOT the fault of the gas stations for the prices, so knock off the crap and stop stealing their gasoline! These guys don’t work for the oil industry. They’re middlemen. They really don’t have a choice about the prices they put up there. There are gas stations that are already ending the self-serve system, or requiring you to pre-pay before you fill up, and that’s ALL because of the idiots who pump-and-peel. So thanks guys, you’re making ALL of our lives miserable just because you wanna steal from the small merchant. You are not hurting the gas companies at all when you pull that crap, so knock it off!

Second… sorry guys, but the oil companies are NOT a monopoly! They may act like a monopoly, but they are, by their very nature, NOT a monopoly. You can accuse them of collusion. You can accuse them of price-fixing. You can accuse them of price gouging. You can even accuse them of creating a VIRTUAL monopoly, but you cannot call them a monopoly! A monopoly means ONE company.

Now there WAS something that happened that DID save us from even WORSE gas problems. We stopped China from buying one of our oil companies! That was a good move, because we’re right now competing with China for the oil. They’re the second biggest oil pigs in the world, with us at the top trough and India pulling a close third. If China would have been allowed to buy one of our oil companies, then all of the oil that company produced that currently goes to us would be going straight to Asia! That would have ensured higher prices AND gas shortages. So thank you to the people who raised a stink about China!

Bush Junior’s energy policy was a good start, but it fell short in WAY too many places! While the price of oil and gasoline spiked, the Imperium was quick to point out that the energy policy would do NOTHING to stop the gouging from happening. That’s bad PR for the Imperium!

Then to make matters worse, you have a federal energy agency telling people to, quote, "get used to it" in regards to higher gas prices.

Hey Dumbass, that is THE WORST thing to tell a pissed-off populace! We’re pissed off about gas prices. We’re angry! This crap is HURTING us, and it is hurting the economy! You remember the economy, don’t you Dumbass? THAT is what is supposed to be going up, up, up… NOT our gas prices!

I’ll give you two instances where such STUPID remarks get you in trouble…

1) Leona Helmsley, the so-called "Queen of Mean", once said that "Only the little people pay taxes ". She got convicted of tax fraud and sent to Club Fed for a few years.

2) Marie Antoinette supposedly said "let them eat cake" in regards to the poor suffering in France. Historians now claim that she never even made that comment, but it was too late to save her life. The people revolted and she got her head cut off!

So go ahead, Dumbass, tell the American people to "get used" to being RAPED at the pumps. Tell them that they will have to endure increased financial hardships just to get to and from work. See how they react to it! See how they will look at an Imperium that spends FIVE WEEKS chilling in Crawford while they get screwed by the oil companies day in and day out. It may be the cold hard truth, but that’s not something that the American public needs to hear.

And make no mistake, this PRICE GOUGING is hurting the economy! We’re already seeing the effects of it right now! Wal-Mart is losing money. The airlines are losing money. The automakers are losing money. The service industries will have to raise their rates to make up the difference. The delivery services are ALREADY adding the difference to their bills.

Is there something that can be done? You bet your ass there is something that the Imperium can do! The Secretary of the Interior can compel the Environmental Protection Agency to scrap the current regulations regarding gasoline refineries and come up with JUST ONE refining system for the whole country. ONE! Not fifty, not twenty-five, not five, not two… ONE! Ensure that the gas pumped in California is the SAME blend and mixture as being pumped in Maine. That way the price and the supply of oil can be stabilized across the country. If you have a refinery in Texas that goes out, you can have the other refineries make up the difference.

That’s one thing that the Imperium can do. You want to know what else can be done? Tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to stabilize the prices. If Venezuela is cutting back and OPEC is at maximum, then we need to stop the bleed. At the very least stop trying to top off the reserve. If we’re being told not to top off our tanks, then the SPR should do the same!

These aren’t IMMEDIATE steps to bring down prices, but the news of these things happening would certainly go a long ways to stabilizing the speculation panic that’s out there right now. But the worst thing that can be done is to simply sit back and let Bush Junior play Nero, fiddling away in Crawford while our economy burns. THAT is what’s happening right now

If there is ANY lesson that Bush Junior should have learned from his daddy, it’s not to ignore the economy.

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