How to and how not to address the problem of high gas prices

March 5, 2011

I will not for one second think to claim that the high prices of gas aren’t caused by the oil cartel known, in English, as OPEC. As fuel prices increase, people have less money to afford other goods and services, like their basic daily living expenses–needs. This is of course a serious issue that must be addressed. However, it is being addressed in the wrong way.

Socialists wish to further regulate the market, burdening every gas reseller, including local family owned gas stations that have no choice but to purchase their gasoline from large oil companies. Even if prices were controlled at every point in the well-to-tank process, a true natural market wouldn’t exist.

In the free market, regulations happen naturally: when a new product is put on to the market, the price fluctuates until its resting point, the point at which consumers and producers can agree that the transaction wouldn’t be a loss for either of them. “Hank, I’ll buy that propane tank from ya for three charcoal grills.” In a controlled market, prices are arbitrarily fixed, and in most cases, this price is unnatural–either the consumer or the producer is suffering a loss. Sometimes, however, the need to make the transaction outweighs the loss that one faces–motorists are suffering huge losses when buying gasoline, but they do not stop buying it because they have no choice.

Today people are scrambling to find ways to address and solve the problem: gas prices are just way too high! Scientists are trying to find alternative forms of energy–a good idea, except that a “zero emissions” vehicle still does emit. It takes some form of energy to produce electricity, for example. In most places, electricity is produced with coal, a rather unclean process. Furthermore, batteries are very harmful for the environment. Battery production would increase drastically if the alternative source of energy happened to be electricity. But put all that aside. Maybe a clean, environmentally friendly way to produce energy to power cars can be found and used. That would be a great solution to the current problem of high gasoline prices: people stop buying gas, and oil companies are forced to lower their prices.

There is a much quicker way that Americans can combat high gas prices: the free market. There are vast stores of oil right in the United states–that was the main reason that Alaska, for example,  was purchased from Russia. The United States government, who must not have the interests of its citizens in mind, will not let local, American oil companies fully take advantage of this great natural resource because it wishes to keep the oil stored up, “just in case.” “Let’s let Americans get extorted hardcore by OPEC, and let’s go blow up brown people so that Americans don’t get extorted quite as badly, so that one day, when those in-the-moment thinkers run out of oil, we can pay them back!!!” Let’s use our own oil so that there is healthy competition in the market place, and then foreign oil companies will have no choice but to sell us oil at lower prices. Seems like a six year old could come up with this idea, right? U.S. government, let’s play “Are You Smarter Than a First Grader!”

Unfortunately for Americans, we must do what Washington all mighty tells us to do, so using our own oil is not an option unless you want men with guns to come shut you down. So some creative people have come up with this amazing magic bullet: No Gas Day. Sorry creative people, you’re not quite David Blaine yet… keep practicing. So what is No Gas Day? It is a day where everyone who’s mad about high gas prices, and has nothing better to do with their lives, buys a shit ton of gas the day before or after No Gas Day so that on No Gas Day, they can really show the Gas companies who’s in control! Wanna play Are You Smarter Than a First Grader? Obviously No Gas Day isn’t a good idea: people will do what they need to do, and those who want to protest will just schedule their lives, or their trip to the gas station, around their day of protest.

If anything should be done, other than the obvious things–letting the free market work like its supposed too, finding alternative forms of energy, etc, people should start using less gas. Yeah, I guess I know I’m trying to tell the same people who spend ten minutes finding a parking spot two rows closer to the door to get out of the car and walk somewhere, but hey, maybe I like to hear myself talk. Plenty of places sell bicycles and running shoes, so let’s all stop using so much gas and start burning off those calories from the diet that we’re not really on.



February 18, 2008

This blog is designed for me to blog about messages of liberty. I will be posting articles that I have written along with my personal comments and beliefs.
Of course, I am a libertarian and my message will be for freedom.