Flammable Markets

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.


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16 thoughts on “Flammable Markets

  1. “Flammable” is actually a made up word, as is “non-flammable.” It was back in the 30’s at Oklahoma State, where one course of study included the subject of putting out oil rig fires. They found “inflammable” a confusing word, so they invented the others, and it caught on.

    There’s your useless trivia of the day. How do I know? My father is a graduate, and he worked his way through school in the fire department there.

  2. Last I checked Phil, liberal socialists in the US were not granted sole ownership of the natural resources in this country and the word “right” involved a voice in everything, including values that you don’t agree with. But that’s the liberal socialist crazy value system that used to be pro-freedom and has turned into the bullying, threatening method of operation they stand for today.

    You desire a progressive govt takeover. God help you (if you’re even able to humble yourself). Your insane desire that 300 million US citizens give up everything to fulfill your Marxist ideals doesn’t mean your children and grandchildren wouldn’t appreciate having the choices within a majority of free US citizens to decide what is best for them and the USA.

    Your bend-over-for-govt-takeover values are truly a lack of values and principle. Are you too lazy to keep up with what it takes to be a free citizen of the greatest country every formed by free people? Have you been too laze to educate yourself on the history of socialism in the world? Here’s a clue… It has never worked and has only been regrettable 100% of the time.

    My guess is both are true and you are also too arrogant and stubborn to acknowledge and/or point out the amazing success of socialist govts all over the world.

    Wake up and quit trying to lead innocent people to their demise to the edge and over the socialist, marxist cliff.

    How kooky is that?

    1. Ron, you need to stop responding to the voices in your head. They’ll lead you astray…

      I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more disconnected response to a post in my life. That is some Prime USDA Black Angus WINGNUT you got there, Ron.

    2. Ron, I know it’s a hard concept to grasp, but “liberal socialists,” “progressives,” and “marxists” are not all the same thing.

  3. “Why do Americans think they have a Constitutional Right to cheap gasoline?”

    Excellent question. I have another:

    Why do Americans think they have a Constitutional Right to cheap birth control?

      1. I think I am quite on topic.

        When the beloved Obama is in charge it’s “market forces” that cause high gas prices. When Bush was, it was him lining the pockets of the Billionaire oil profiteers.

        1. Please point to a post where I blamed Bush for high gas prices. Good luck with that.

          Now you can STFU and stay on topic or find your comments “terminated with extreme prejudice.”

    1. Completely different issues, james. But given that insurance without birth control included costs more than insurance with birth control included, I wonder why some Americans feel it is their right to force insurance companies and employers to pay more for insurance just to satisfy religious principles of the few. Can you answer that, given that you pose as a member of the so-called fiscally conservative party?

    2. “[Why do Americans think they have a Constitutional Right to cheap birth control?]

      Excellent question. I have another:”

      Why do you continue to visit Blogging Blue, and waste everyone’s time?

      1. A better restatement of my earlier comment:

        Zuma, quoting James Booth: “[Why do Americans think they have a Constitutional Right to cheap birth control?]

        [Another stupid, off-topic question from James Booth in furtherance of some stupid, off-topic wingnut point. Well, here’s a question for James]:”

        Why do you continue to visit Blogging Blue, and waste everyone’s time?

  4. I seem to remember the left-wing media holding George Bush, Dick Cheney and their billionaire oil buddies personally responsible when gas prices sky rocketed during the Bush years.

    Democrat politicians and their media lap dogs were outraged.

    There was the non-stop stream of heart wrenching stories about people being forced to choose between feeding their starving families or buying gasoline.

    And let’s not forget about the one’s where poor old grandma had to choose between her medicine, that her very life depended on or filling up her car.

    And it was all due to the undisputed fact that Bush was taking care of his evil friends in the oil business.

    And now that The Chosen One (Obama) is running things and gas prices have gone up even higher than they were during the Bush years, and how do they spin it?

    The Obama media lap dogs are now trying to convince us that high gas prices are kind of a blessing in disquise, providing us with much needed jobs and even saving thousands of lives a month to boot.

    Yup..no liberal media bias. None whatsoever.


    1. You need to find some nonbiased sources, but you also need to learn to compare apples to apples, and not apples to sewing machines.

    2. Let me make something abundantly clear to you and your ilk who like to hang out here: I am not anyone else but me. You want to react to what I write, fine. But don’t go mistaking me for some whole other person. You want to hold me accountable? Hold me accountable for what I say and do and not for what some random schmuck did four years ago.

      That said, blaming Bush and Obama for high gas prices is wrong as a direct function but may be right from as an indirect function. Bush’s unforced war of error in Iraq had a strong negative impact on gas prices, it is believed. The oil markets are extremely jittery considering the source of a bulk of their raw material is in a region that is highly unstable. So wars and conflicts and saber-rattling about the region can cause speculative behavior to drive prices up.

      Same with Obama. Saber-rattling on Iran may, in a small way, be responsible (along with strong demand from India and China) for the speculative bubble that is growing in oil markets. This will help drive prices up. But Obama (and the other saber-rattlers) account for a small part of any rise in prices. And their behavior is significantly less harmful than what Bush did by invading Iraq for no good reason.

      It’s not about blaming one side of the other, it’s about being correct in your evaluation. Something both sides need to learn.

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