The Real Problem with Gas – It’s not the Price

There are reasons to be very concerned about gasoline, but the price at the pump is not one of them. Not for most people. We all complain about it. It’s almost impossible to ignore the price of gas if you drive in any populated area. You will see it posted in big numbers countless times a day. Gas is unique in that sense. There is a constant reminder. When there is a steady rise in price it seems almost relentless. But how much does the increase in price really cost us? In the big picture is it even worth giving it another thought?

The use of gas varies greatly from person to person, but let’s try to get a real perspective on things. A 50 cent rise in a gallon of gas is a pretty large hike, but what does it really mean to the average person? If you spent $25 a week when gas was at $2.50 a gallon you will spend $30 a week when it’s $3.00 a gallon. Five bucks. If you use double that amount it’s ten bucks. For the most part, unless you are poor it really isn’t worth getting worked up about at all. It’s a pack or two of smokes. A six pack. A couple happy meals. Pick your poison.

You can save a couple bucks on gas, the price of a movie ticket and snacks by skipping the next George Clooney movie. Save your family from the experience and you are way ahead of the game in more ways than one. Play some board games. Toss a ball around. You might enjoy it. Come on, you can do it!

Some people who are more than willing to spend thousands of dollars on a vacation will cancel it because of the price of gas. Using the price example from earlier, the destination that would have cost you $100 to drive to will now cost maybe $120. Is it rational for most people to make major changes in plans for 20 bucks? For the love of Pete, pack a damn lunch. Everyday you can see two gas stations within a stones throw where the more expensive station has plenty of business. But we’ll cancel a vacation over a few bucks. Instead let’s run out and buy a $5,000 television and cry about the price of gas. That’s what memories are made of! Beam me up, Scotty…

Lets face it, there is a minimum amount you are going to pay for gas regardless of all the factors at work. Barring a major positive event in the energy industry, you have seen the last of gasoline below $2 a gallon. I don’t see it happening. They got it, we need it. Why would they drop the price that far at this point in the game? Out of kindness? Maybe in your dreams, not mine. We’re over the proverbial barrel and they know it.

The answer to it all is amazingly simple. Produce our own oil until viable alternatives are available. There are already alternatives, but right now they are expensive and most people aren’t interested. The United States has an abundance of oil. It’s not all in Texas and it won’t destroy the environment getting it. Cuba can drill off our coast, but we can’t.

Conserving is not going to solve the problem. Conserving is fine to save yourself some money, but it’s not going to change the overall picture. Not with the likes of China gobbling up all the oil they can get their hands on. No matter what, conservation will only get us so far. It’s a band-aid approach. There is a demand for energy that is not going away. Society is dependent on oil. Greedy people will always take advantage of someone who is dependent. They live for it. We know what we are dealing with. Either do what needs to be done or accept the consequences. Not filling our strategic supplies is not an answer. It’s just robbing Peter to pay Paul. China is looking to stockpile their strategic supply. What do they know that we don’t?

Politicians everywhere are scrambling to make political hay out of the issue. Most of the same ones who are responsible for this mess are the ones pointing fingers. Liberal democrats and liberal rino republicans will no doubt convince a lot of people that they are doing something about it, when in fact, they are saying and doing the same things they always have. In many cases this endless cycle is no doubt calculated. It’s an emotional issue they try to use to their advantage whenever they can. If this really bothers you then you need to remember the liberals at election time. Remember their deeds, not their words. If you can somehow fathom a way to blame conservatives for the price of gas you might want to remember something. Remember the big tax cuts. If you have a family you are going to lose thousands of dollars a year by getting liberals back in charge. Their history time and time again is to raise taxes, not cut them. Cheaper gas won’t come close to making up that difference. Then you’ll have a reason to complain, but it will be too late. There are also a lot of taxes on that hight priced gasoline courtesy of our liberal politicians. You never see it when you pay for gas so you aren’t continually reminded of it. Just like you are not reminded of lower taxes and how you got them. Out of sight, out of mind. How soon we forget.

It has proven out that the wild accusations about going to war in Iraq for their oil were false, but there may be a time when we will have to go to war for oil. Not because of greed, but because of survival. If our supply of oil was cut off it would likely mean World War III. A major shortage of oil will set off a series of events that will devestate the economy. It doesn’t always take a lot to send the economy reeling. Consumer confidence or lack thereof can do it. What would a major oil shortage do? There would be a depression like no other with massive job losses and food shortages. People would die. Perhaps millions. We can’t turn back the clock on a dime. This is where we are as a society. It would be too late to decide to drill then. That’s something that needs to be set in motion long before the worse case scenario happens.

A major war will do more environmental damage in a short time than a lifetime of drilling for oil. So could a terrorist attack. It seems many people are angrier about gas prices than terrorism. We all know the price of gas is ridiculous. It’s even worse when you consider that a lot of money is made by people who hate us and would like to see our demise. But if you take inflation into consideration it’s actually been worse. Banks and pharmaceutical companies have a far bigger profit margin than oil companies. The bottom line is there are far more important things to worry about right now than the price at the pump.

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