Driving past the local gas station today, I see that gas prices jumped seven cents overnight.
Hmm. Could it be a reaction to the possible military strikes against Syria? Could it be that there is an oil crisis looming? Of course not. Check the calendar. There's a long weekend coming up.
Now, I can hear the "supply and demand" argument from the economists, and I will be the first to admit, I'm no economist. But, I have always felt that, when it comes to gas prices, something about that argument does not compute.
If the prices are going up in anticipation of an increase in gas consumption this weekend, then why don't the prices drop next Tuesday? Maybe they will, this time. If they do, you're welcome.
Don't count on it. Not so quickly, anyway. Oh sure, prices will eventually drop. And every gas station, from every company, will drop within an hour of each other.
It amazes me that the federal Competition Bureau would have the cojones to charge
CEOs of three companies with chocolate bar price fixing, and yet accept what has been happening in the gas industry to be completely above board.
The price of gas is the biggest legal scam ever.
First off, if it has anything to do with the cost of manufacturing, why can the price jump overnight? The gas that's already in the underground pump has been there for a week.
Second, having every single gas company change prices at the exact same time, to the exact same amount, every single time they change prices is the essence of price fixing.
The only difference may be that those in charge at the federal Competition Bureau probably get to write off all their gas charges. They likely can't write off their Mars bars.
And another thing, why is it that we, as a society, accept without question the fact that gas companies can charge not only an outrageous price for gas, but effectively, a non-existent price for gas? Think about it. Until there is a way to cut a penny into 10 equal legal-tender parts, there is no possible way to buy exactly one litre of gas. How is that even acceptable? We complain now that stores will charge $1.10 for something that registers as $1.08. What if stores were to start charging $1.25.5 for a chocolate bar? Would we stand for it? Unlikely. Heads would roll. Charges would be laid. Chocolate bar companies would cave to the powers that be, and drop the half-cent.
Somehow, though, gas companies get away with all that, and more.
Why? Because they can. Why? Because we need them at least as much as they need us.
Now, excuse me while I fill up. I have a road trip to take this weekend.
. Terry Farrell is the editor of the Abbotsford Times.
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