Monday, April 12, 2004

The Cost of A Gallon Of Gas

When war strikes, all economies (including that of the aggressor) are stressed. There is hardly a time in modern-day capitalism that a nation has had a boom economy during wartime.

We are fighting our current war over the control of oil fields in Southern Iraq. (In case you haven't figured it out yet: Iraq has never been a terrorist threat.) There are a lot of oil fields in Iraq. Control of those fields means lots of money for the economy of the nation that controls them! Any decent person would surmise that our acquisition of more oil will drive down the price here in America, because American businessmen will control it.

Sadly, with gas prices reaching $1.90 a gallon (still the cheapest in the Western world), and Reagan-era deregulation in full swing, we are paying higher prices for gasoline than we have ever paid before, and we are funding this immoral war for its acquisition with our tax dollars.

I learned today that the highest gas prices are in San Diego and Southern California. There is something eerily satisfying about gas prices being highest in the part of the country that is the most right-wing and proffers the strongest support for the current American president and the rise of fundamentalism in America. Hell, Orange County makes Texas look liberal!

Back to deregulation! Deregulation promised us that more competition would drive prices down, and deregulation industries would mean more companies providing the deregulated commodity or service. Sadly, this has never happened. Every deregulated industry has conglomerated and prices have gone through the roof!

Industry is always regulated. What Reagan and his followers have done is taken regulation away from the government, who had successfully used regulation to protect consumers, and given that regulatory power to the industry leaders, whose only interest is raising profits and increasing the salaries of those sitting at the top of the management chain and their friends (often former presidents and senators) sitting on the boards of directors.

What this means is that deregulation has been a total failure, but we continue electing officials who promote deregulation.

It is not illogical to think that American control of the oil in Iraq (which control is funded by our taxes) will help drive down the cost of gas. It is incorrect to think this, because the deregulated energy industry will continue to raise the cost while lying to us that the problem is taxes.

So, we have sent our children to die and kill and Iraq. We are paying a fortune to acquire oil that will be processed into gasoline and sold back to us at ridiculously inflated prices.

In closing, I offer once again the fact that the fundamentalists currently controlling the federal administration are oil men. They have every intention of using patriotism, homophobia, racism, abortion, and new-fangled christianity to scare people into voting for them. Please don't vote for them!