Gas Prices: Some Good News, but Will the Mainstream Television ‘News’ Report It?

Gas Prices
Gas Prices
Courtesy of Jax House (Flickr CC0)

Someone Tell Republicans and the Media that Gas Prices are Dropping

Gas prices are dropping across America, but will you hear about it at the beginning of your nightly television news broadcast? Millionaire news anchors refuse to focus on how hard President Biden is working for our nation’s people. Republicans attempted to use the ludicrous price of gas to influence voters in the 2022 midterm elections. It worked to some degree, although the fault falls squarely on the CEOs of the major oil companies, not on Democrats. There is a reason this situation has been referred to as “Greedflation,” not inflation.

At its highest, a barrel of crude oil reached an average of more than $120 per barrel. Last week, the price was lowered to about $76 per barrel. This is lower than the price at the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine in February of 2022.

I Remember a Similar Situation When I Was in My Twenties

Let’s go back to 1973. In response to America’s support for Israel in the Yom Kippur War, OPEC placed an embargo on oil sales to the United States. Panic ensued, and a form of rationing began as prices nearly doubled. No gas was sold on Mondays. License plate numbers that ended in an odd number lined up to fill their tanks on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays: and even numbers on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. (My memory may not be exact, but these are the basics of what happened.)

Once Corporations Increase Prices, They Never Return to Normal

The interesting part of this story is that after the crisis ended, the increase in the price of a gallon did not. Over the next couple of months, the food industry claimed a similar shortage in sugar and coffee. Once again, as the shortage subsided, the increase in prices remained. Today, Americans no longer buy a “one-pound can of coffee.” The price has remained but they can only contain 12 ounces. The same is true for a pound of bacon and a half gallon of ice cream. Same elevated price, but just 12 ounces in the containers. My box of tea no longer contains 20 teabags, there are 18 although the price has risen 20-25 percent depending on the brand.

Greedflation is Corporate Greed

President Biden could not be blamed for the increase in gas prices, and cannot be credited for the decrease. Corporations are the villains and prove that America is now a plutocracy: ruled by the super-rich. They are in complete control over congress, the Court, and therefore 331 million Americans.

The Super-Rich and the Working Class Are Engaged in a Conflict

Let’s stop pretending: the enemy is among us. The battle line is between the super-rich and the working class and this fact is undeniable. They care about money, not about the American people.

A Few Reasonable Questions

First, why does big oil continue to receive tax subsidies? Their profits are outrageous, their refineries are out of date, and not a single new refinery has been built in more than 35 years. Although they have received dozens of new permits to drill in formerly restricted areas, they have not used those permits with the sole purpose of keeping gas prices unnecessarily high.

Every major corporation, including those which supply our necessities of life, raised their prices, and decreased quantities, claiming “shortages.” We know this is a lie. Why do Republicans refuse to raise the minimum wage? In our metropolitan areas, a wage of $25 an hour is necessary to sustain a simple lifestyle in 2022.

And why are our 788 billionaires and 22.3 million millionaires not paying their fair share of taxes? Trump gave permanent tax breaks to the super-rich and largest corporations, but raised taxes on the middle class.

“Profit before people” must cease to be our nation’s motto. The quality of life for most Americans is rated the lowest in all of the world’s developed nations. Is this your “American dream?”

Vote wisely, not for a political party.

By James Turnage, Author of “DOING THE RIGHT THING FOR GOD AND COUNTRY”

Sources:

Daily Kos: Gas prices are down, oil production is up, and Russia’s threat to energy markets is evaporating
Market Place: How an oil shortage in the 1970s shaped today’s economic policy

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Jax House‘s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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