It’s the end of another crazy year and there are a couple of stories floating around the wire that show how crazy it is.
The first two, combined, are just silly. The third makes me sad, mostly becasue the first two are the big reason why the third is going on.
BIG GAS — This story (click) says that American car buyers are, once again, going for larger gasoline-hungry cars.
Don’t we ever learn? The price of gasoline is $3 a gallon now, and as the economy improves and world demand increases, that will only rise because, even if we were drilling like crazy in this country, there’s no way we can pump enough in this country to meet the demand. World prices are set world-wide, and world-wide demand is going to be huge.
And yet, people want big cars because, by God, it is their right as Americans to have big cars. Like that idiot Sarah Palin defending her s’mores from an evil federal government, no damn government is going to tell me what to buy!
Which brings us to HIGHER PRICES COMING.
This story (click) says the already high price of gasoline will get to $5 a gallon by 2012.
No, not because Obama won’t let them drill offshore.
No, not because of those weenie environmentalists and their precious polar bears.
Because the rest of the world wants oil to drive its reviving economy and is bidding the price up. Even if they did drill more oil in this country, the oil companies wouldn’t let you buy it cheaper. They’d sell it to you for the world price because — pay attention now — they make more money that way.
Those companies don’t give a rat’s patoot whether you can afford it or not. They’re not grateful that you lobbied to get them the right to drill in ANWAR. When it comes to money, American oil companies consider patriotism a quaint affectation.
Anyone want to bet that the first people to complain when gasoline hits $5 a gallon are the folks buying gas hogs now? “How were we to know?” they will wail.
NOW THE PATHOS — We are at war in the Middle East because it is where oil comes from. If we had any brains, we’d cut back on using oil, but the American mind doesn’t work that way. We’re America, we’re entitled. Which is why our army is over there, to defend our access to cheap oil, even if we have to spend $100 billion a year to get it.
Sadly, because we have an all-volunteer Army, nobody in American has any skin in this war game except the soldiers and their families. The rest of us are blissfully free from wartime rationing, wartime taxes, wartime shortages or wartime anything else. The wars barely make the papers.
But the families (click!) of the soldiers – more than a million and counting — are taking a heavy toll, protecting your gasoline. Sadly, because the American consumer defines freedom as having never to worry about where his gasoline comes from, they pay no attention to the suffering of these families while they buy gas hogs that get 18 mpg.
That’s beyond pathos. It ought to be a crime.