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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/31/09

GASOLINE PRICES- countdown to rip-off

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   3 comments
Message Richard Hirschhorn

                                  GASOLINE PRICES.   10,9,8,7………countdown to rip-off!
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, The Indianapolis Five Hundred, Fireworks on the Fourth of July, Decorating the tree, The Super-bowl, the boss’s day off: All of these are cherished days on the American calendar.

Sometimes, our plans promise pleasures longer lasting: Honeymoons, a weekend alone together at the cabin, or two weeks at the beach. We are even capable of imagining seasons of happiness: The holidays, spring training, summer without teacher’s dirty looks, or crisp relief such as “Autumn in New York”.

Oil producers have a favorite time of the year too- and it’s on the way. The clock is already ticking.

For them, “the driving season” is a cherished ritual. Are you ready?

Even though we can predict with confidence that, once again, in broad daylight, the theft of hundreds of billions of dollars from motorists will re-occur this year, as in each and every year in recent memory; must we also expect the banal response from both the mainstream media and the blogosphere that we usually get? That is, the dreary after-the-fact impotent post-mortems?

Or will this be the year that we stop them in their tracks before they get over?

Or, have we already forgotten that last year they ran the price of oil up above one hundred and forty dollars a barrel?  Before we were informed that the sky was falling last September, it was the number one topic; some even had the temerity to suggest that it could cause a recession. Imagine!

Now that we have a real recession, will they have the nerve to run the racket again even though demand is clearly down? Despite the fact that it is totally obvious that there is a glut of oil, will oil interests still find a way to jack us up again?

Well, that’s not really a serious question, is it?  Of course they will. These are very bright boys and girls; and they’ve got the eggs. Who knows, maybe this year they will convince us that higher prices are good for us! Perhaps an oil rescue plan?  

Already, OPEC is doing its part. While it’s less than a year since oil prices had us by the short hairs, very little notice has been taken by official punditry of the fact that the price of oil has increased more than fifty percent in less than a month. This, while the global slowdown has intensified, and demand has continued to fall.

What will the psychology be as we watch it happen again? What pose will the mainstream media adopt this year that allows it to stand down once again? How about the alternative press, the so-called blogosphere, that network of citizen journalists; will they do the job?

Don’t hold your breath.

Soaring prices at the pump will return on schedule. In a way, it does take your breath away. You have to admire the spectacular nerve it’s going to take this year, in the face of the suffering caused by the crash, to squeeze us again.

Maybe, like good little chumps, we should just sit back, relax, and have a good time?  We could have a lottery. The “man in the street” the average “Joe” from “Main Street” could try to guess how high the price will go this year. Three dollars? Three seventy five? Four forty? Five sixty eight? Good clean fun. A diversion; a game to keep our minds off our empty pockets- something like an election.

Yet, it doesn’t have to be that way again. This is the perfect opportunity for the alternative press to earn the respect of the public. For, this is the ideal issue: almost everyone will benefit from the effort. Democrats and Republicans, Conservatives and Liberals, every color, every religion, every creed, and every individual will stand up and applaud if somebody finally comes to the rescue.

The gears that run the game are already turning.

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shopkeeper 1976-2001
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