Or perhaps inflammable markets… I can never remember. But I have a question:
Why do Americans think they have a Constitutional Right to cheap gasoline?
I mean seriously… Why is it that whenever the effects of free-market forces are actually felt by individual Americans (especially, it seems, conservatives), the whining becomes a fever pitch? These so-called free marketeers gin up all kinds of bizarre excuses as to why prices are high: too much regulation, too much exporting, too little production. I know this is shocking, but the price of gasoline is largely driven by the price of oil. It’s not taxes, or government being “in the way” that causes price fluctuation, but the market price of the raw material.
And the price of oil is driven by a global free-market system.
Oil is part of a global market. If you “drill baby drill” in the United States, there is no guarantee that the oil will stay in the United States. It will enter the global marketplace and be sold to the highest bidder. The fundamental fact of the oil market is that demand is growing. Supplies are growing too, but the market is volatile. Prices vary due to the political factors that interrupt supply-like wars and revolution in the Middle East and by rapid increases in consumption, especially in Asia. Speculation also has an impact on the volatility of gasoline prices.
Americans need to take some personal responsibility and adjust their car buying and travel habits to accomodate the the well-understood volatility of energy markets. Failing that, they’ll simply have to live with the consequences.