Thursday, July 10, 2008

LOWER gas prices?

Like many others, I have a Facebook account. It's almost a shameful secret. On Facebook, users can create "groups" (it needs quotes because these don't really involve any actual interaction among those involved). Many of these champion various causes, such as global warming, the return of facial hair to political candidates, being the largest group on Facebook, various political candidates (both real and fictional), or helping the creator of the group with some sort of ill-defined psychology project s/he thought would be the easiest way out of doing something loosely based on actual research.

I was recently invited to join a group called "15,000,000 for lower gas prices." The way I figure it, the group envisions the following scenario:

Halliburton rolls out of bed and gets onto Facebook. There's an invitation to the group, which arouses a certain level of curiosity. Halliburton says, "15,000,000? They can't be serious...there's gotta be like fifty or sixty people, max, who want lower gas prices." The group hasn't met the 15 million goal, of course, but the numbers are allegedly nearing two million members.
Halliburton, of course, is shocked and has to text BP. "bp chk out fbook--i snt u a link" BP gets on Facebook, sees the group, and immediately calls Halliburton. "Really, there's that many people who wanna pay less for gas? We should totally lower gas prices! It'd be awesome!"

Of course, things won't play out that way because we live in a world of supply and demand. There are two ways to lower prices: increase supply or reduce demand. Most people can't really go find and refine oil (especially with the laws we have restricting oil refineries), so that's pretty much out. That leaves two choices: suck it up and pay or suck it up and use less gas. The thing that gets me about this odd Facebook group is that it suggests no solution. At least the people advocating a one-day strike or fueling only at certain stations are positing solutions, even if they are completely useless and uninformed solutions.

Oh, well. I suppose inaction means nobody's doing anything stupid that will have a negative impact.

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