Well… it’s that time again. Gas prices appear to be going up.
It’s unfortunate we have to keep having some of the same conversations regarding the same issues year after year, but that’s the way it is. So before reading further, pour yourself a tall bourbon and relax… this should be fun.
How to tell if you’re a “speculator”. My apologies to Jeff Foxworthy…
If you bought a mutual fund in your IRA with the idea that it would go up in value before you retire… then you are a speculator.
If you purchased a specific stock, like Apple, with the idea that the value would increase… then you’re a speculator.
If you bought a house in, say, 2006 with the idea that prices would definitely go up… then you’re a speculator.
If you are thinking about buying gold because you’re a little worried about inflation… then you’re a speculator.
If you paid for an expensive education for your kid with the hope that he would make a lot of money some day… the you’re a speculator.
If you are a farmer who is hoping to sell his crops for more than it cost to raise them… you’re a speculator.
If you make anything, from knitting a sweater to building a skyscraper, with the intent of selling it… then you’re a speculator.
And, if you’re an airline who buys “options” on gas for fear that the price will go up and you would have to increase your fares… then you’re a speculator.
We all “speculate”. I would offer that speculation is imperative for any market system to work correctly. By prices going up it deters use of that product or service which leaves it available to those who are willing to pay for it because they really need it. Simple.
I also find it bizarre that there are people out there relying on your ignorance to perpetuate an “us” vs. “them” scenario for their own political gain… wait… no… I don’t. The tactic is always to depend on the public’s ignorance rather than to explain… particularly when your explanation would lose you votes.
The Left wants you to hate the Evil Speculators and blame them for the price of gas going up. (Well, you’re part of the speculation problem because you keep buying gas/and want to fly places/and want cheap food at the grocery store etc… but that aside) When was the last time anybody felt sorry for speculators when they lose their asses when the prices fall? (We’ll leave the “short” discussion for later.)
The correct answer is when they buy a house. Or they’re a carmaker. Or a bank.
Apparently the only speculators we want to bail out are those people who bought houses thinking the value would continue to sky-rocket and they could sell a few years later for huge profits. Or those who have huge union membership, or those who run wall street and make up the majority of a president’s administration…
So… these people need a bail out and are not at all Evil.
The rest of us speculators (as pointed out at the beginning of this post) are terrible people and must be punished. Set aside the catastrophic damage to an otherwise efficient free-market system.
The reason gas is going up is because the reliability of the world oil supply is being threatened. It is also because there is little being done to increase the future supply of oil. And finally, the dollar is being destroyed by running the printing presses at full speed.
So why so much attention on only Evil Speculators?
The focus appears to be on those who risk their money on buying options to purchase oil/gas in the future. The speculators are companies (and some individuals) that are either protecting their interests by buying options so they can have access to oil in the future at a price similar to what it is now. By doing this the price goes up at the pump.
There are many people out there taking risks with their money, from the stock market to fast food franchises to handy men. Some of them make a lot of money… do you hate them? If you’re on the Left then yes, you do, because all services should be “free” or at least you should decide how much they deserve to make. For the rest of us, no we do not hate them. We learn from them and attempt to understand the process so we may repeat it to our benefit.
So where’s my bailout for bad decision-making?
Beware… just like in your 401k, the prices can go down! Unlike your 401k, these options will expire and stand a very good chance of becoming worthless. These speculators stand to lose their shorts… and often do.
Let me ask you, why do we never hear about this side of the deal? (except in housing… and the banks… and the car companies… and the airlines… who all get bail outs because the government can take your money from you and give it to them. And, there’s nothing you can do about it.)
This is because the Left depends on you being mad at someone in order for you to vote their way. And their favorite “us” vs. “them” is “the rich” versus the rest of us who don’t consider ourselves rich… It’s pretty much all they have as they don’t want to explain Socialism to you because you’d puke.
So next time you hear how bad “Speculators” are, substitute;
because that’s what they mean.
And that’s why I drink my liquor straight.