Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gas Prices

I've heard some rumbling lately about rising gas prices and after having experienced such intense price fluctuations in the past year I'm left wondering how it is people can still think that high gas prices are the result of secret price fixing on the part of evil oil companies.

It's rather humorous that all the chatter about evil oil companies and their greedy corporate profits disappeared as prices plummeted, but have now emerged again as prices are again rising. If corporate greed is to blame when prices go up, than what the hell is to blame when prices go down, as they did by nearly $3.00 a gallon last fall?


Anonymous rose said...

From newspaper in June 1930:

"Resolution introduced by Congressman Sabath to form a committee to investigate whether “the tremendous professional shortselling of stock on the various exchanges was responsible for the November, 1929, and present 'crashes,' and to what extent it is responsible for the depression of business.” Will also look into taxing short sales or outlawing them completely."

So you've got your average citizen who hasn't a clue about stock and oil markets. You've got politicians that can exploit that ignorance by pointing fingers at convenient targets (speculators, oil companies, bankers etc). And then you've got supposedly educated people in the media who are supposed to cut through the non-sense for people. I can't blame ignorant people, or self-interested politicians for spreading the myths about big oil. You've gotta blame the media for going along w/ it. The question is, are they seriously economically uneducated, or are they simply trying to help populist democrats?

9:42 AM  
Blogger McMc said...

If you're asking about journalists, my answer would be generally uneducated. Journalism majors in college (at UConn at least) were asked to be double majors, because it's good to have some expertise in something other than just writing. The vast majority of students I was with did communications and I wouldn't be surprised if that was the trend around the country.

What happens after school is that journalists try to work their way up. You take what you can get and you go where a paper will put you because the opportunity alone is needed. When an opening arises higher up, say as a sports writer, economy writer, education writer, there's no time to search for the specialists so you promote from within. You could have someone who wants to be a sportswriter writing about economics and they'd essentially be learning on the fly about everything they cover.

1:28 PM  

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