Help, I’m on a fixed income now!

Posted: Monday, May 14, 2007 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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“FORTY SIX DOLLARS AND FIFTY SIX CENTS!”
 
That’s what it cost to fill-up yesterday and it made me so angry that I wanted to lash out at somebody.
 Linda was in the car but…it was Mother’s Day.
There was the young girl working at the Canton convenience store (where the crime took place) who obviously had been hearing the grumblings from gas-gouged customers all day. She looked ready to scream “IT’S NOT MY FAULT, DAMMIT” and burst into tears if I’d have said a word so I bit my tongue as she gave me $3.44 change for my fifty and I schlumped out the door.
So who can we yell at? (To whom can we yell?)
Apparently OPEC isn’t even the big villain this time. The head honcho from Shell Oil, on one of the Sunday TV news shows, said it’s simply the law of supply and demand.
He said there is plenty of oil in the world to meet our needs now and in the future but environmental regulations prevents the big companies from going after it.
In the meantime, their profits from our pockets have soared to ridiculous levels and unless we say yes to their demands to go out and find more oil, prices will continue to go up. What I don’t understand is where is the incentive to go looking for oil if they can continue rolling in record profits without ever having to dig another well?
 
Now, I’ve never been one to hate rich people. I think most of those who do probably wish they were.
But I do have a problem with how some folks are making their millions.
If you offer goods or a service in a competitive market and do well through ingenuity, hard work and integrity.. well, more power to you. We’ll drive by your mansions and drool.
But if you’re living high because you were in a position to take advantage of people  by jabbing them at the gas pump, doctor’s office, garage, nursing home, lending institution or some such operation…shame on you.
 
This is nothing new in America. Most of the early industrialists from Getty and Rockefeller to Carnegie achieved richest man in the world status because they absolutely controlled the marketplace… be it oil, railroads or steel..leaving consumers no choice but to pay whatever price the big wigs felt like charging.
Anti-monopoly laws were eventually passed but the spirit of greed that drove those men has never gone far away.
 
I hear there is supposed to be a nationwide gas price protest on Tuesday. Boycott the pumps for a day.
It’s not going to work, of course. Besides I just filled up.
Obviously, complaining to our elected representatives in Washington does nothing.
Somebody said to me the other day, well, why don’t you buy one of those hybrid cars that run on gas “and” electricity and get such great mileage?
 
Have you seen how much those little underpowered things cost…if you can find one?
The auto makers say the price is so high because of the law of supply and demand.
Where have I heard that before?

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