OK, I cannot believe that people are seriously thinking that gasoline prices have been manipulated by W. and his party. There are so many problems with this I don’t know where to start….
OK, how about George W’s enemies controlling most of the oil in the world? I doubt that Chavez, Putin, Iran, etc. really want to help him out. This supposed manipulation also assumes that the companies can simply change the price of their product without any consequences at all. If they did collude and price oil below what it should be, there should be widespread shortages, people would line up at the pumps for the great price. Incidentally, this would be a far greater problem than what the oil companies were dragged before the senate for. If they artificially raised prices, it would suck, but there sould at least be gas to buy. If they conspired to lower prices below what they should be, we would quickly run out if gas, and that’s not good…
People that actually believe this have a rather twisted view of how prices are determined and how the economy works in general. Sure, companies are always looking to charge as much as they can, but no one can control what that is going to be. That’s right, not dubya, not exxon/Mobil, not a single person or entity can pick a price that gas should sell for. If they set it too high, no one will buy it, if they set it too low, everyone will buy it and they will run out. The price is constantly adjusted by looking at what people are willing to pay vs. how much supply there is. Pretty simple, and completely out of the hands of any group or politician. Isn’t the free market great?