By Mack Samples|
As the price of a gallon of gasoline continues to climb, we are starting to read all of the old myths again about what's causing it. The volatile situation in the Middle East is
always an easy one to drag out. But that one is pretty tired. There has always been, and always will be, a volatile situation in the Middle East for as long as you and I live. Then, in recent years we started hearing about the fact that China, India, and other developing countries are using more oil. Sometime soon, the experts keep telling us, all of this growth in the emerging markets will cause a shortage. Finally, let us not forget the old standard, we MIGHT have a bad hurricane season and disrupt the supply of oil. All of these reasons that are fed to the American public are nothing but lame excuses used
by market speculators to line their pockets.
The free market is supposed to be controlled by supply and demand. For most of America's history, that has been the case. But during the past couple of decades supply and demand has had very little to do with the price of gasoline. There has not been a
shortage of gasoline since back in the 1970's when OPEC shut of the spigots.
Some of you are old enough to remember World War II. During that very trying time in America there was most certainly a shortage of gasoline. Working people had difficulty getting enough fuel to drive to work. There was little or no recreational driving. Yet, even though the shortage was real and not fabricated (as it is today), people did not have to pay ten times as much for a gallon of the liquid stuff. No one has yet explained that to me.
I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal enumerating all of the above reasons why gasoline is going to skyrocket this summer. Two days later, in the same paper, I read an article that said that for the first time in decades, America is actually exporting oil.
Just today I read that the problem is in our infrastructure. Because we don't have pipelines running in the right direction, we are told, we can't get all of that oil coming out of North Dakota to the proper refineries. Yet, the government, in its infinite wisdom, is doing everything it possibly can to discourage pipeline construction.
It's about time, by the way, that we all realize that the people who govern our lives do not give one whit about the standard of living of the American people. It's pretty obvious to me that members of Congress and the President have only one concern. That concern is to be re-elected so they can fly around in jets and enjoy all of the perks and privileges of their office.
So who really is to blame for the price of gasoline? I'll tell you who. It's the wealthy speculators, it's the United States Government (at all levels), and it's mostly you and me
for putting up with all of this crap for the past twenty-five or thirty years.
I'm just a dumb West Virginia country boy but I would bet my farm that if the American people had the grit to vote out the President and every member of the current
two legislative branches of the government, things would change for the better. I really think things would change because once politicians realized that they really could get voted out if they did not do the will of the people, they might shape up.