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Boycott Shell and Exxon to Lower Gas Prices

What it is and what you should do about it

There is a perennial email going around saying we should lower gasoline prices by boycotting the two leading gas companies, Shell and Exxon. I even saw it put into a beautifully and emotionally moving Power Point presentation. A problem is, that email preys on ignorance and has a secondary agenda.

I believe we can and should have lower gas prices. I believe we can do something about it. However, what we can do about it is not what the email suggested. If we followed the boycott route, something very real would happen, but not the lowering of gas prices.

If I may have your indulgence and fortitude, I'd like to explain three topics based on the Boycott Exxon premise.

1. The real result of boycotting the two largest gas companies.
2. The real nature of the email suggesting we boycott Shell and Exxon.
3. The real way to lower gas prices.

1. The real result of boycotting the two largest gas companies.

The effect of that boycott would be zero. It would not lower gas prices, or if it did, that lowering would only be minimal to appease a small group, and it would be temporary. The lowering would be either non-existent or minimal and temporary. The reason I know that is based on experience, knowledge of economics and knowledge of business.

Experience:

I've seen that exact same argument in email form many times over many years, only this time it was presented in an attractive Power Point format. That argument and email has never worked. It has never been effective. And putting it in a pretty format is not going to make a difference (except the one noted in item #2 below).

Economics:

Two things guide product prices: capitalism and government. In the United States we have a combination of both. Unfortunately.

  1. Capitalism has always given us the best product at the lowest price possible.
  2. Socialist government has always tried to control the price of a product and make us pay higher taxes in its place. Because we don't equate higher taxes with lower gas prices, we believe the government is our friend and gives us lower prices. Therefore we're all the more willing to pay more money in high taxes. But as I said, we would pay more money in taxes for the privilege of low gas prices than what we would pay if we just bought gas at a higher price.

Business:

Exxon and Shell sell gas and oil across the United States and the world. They sell to airlines, busses and taxies. They sell to the military. Gas prices across the United States are in the low $3.00 range (or high $2.00). In California they are in the high $3s and low $4s. A few people in California who boycott two oil companies will have absolutely no effect except to hurt consumer.

If we're going to lower gas prices in California, we've got to abandon the nonsense of boycotting Exxon and Shell and focus our attention on action that will actually lower prices permanently.

One other thing, the boycott email contains a glaring logic error. It implied gas prices should not be this high because we have more gas now than we had when gas prices were $0.29 in 1970. That argument would be effective if we were still living in 1970. The world has changed since then. Duh! Our money is devalued. Gas demand in the United States and across the world has skyrocketed. The cost of living has gone up. It is impossible to use that argument to justify anything.

2. The real nature of the email suggesting we boycott Shell and Exxon.

If we cannot affect the price of gasoline by boycotting Shell and Exxon, then why do we have that email saying we should do it? There are two reasons why: Ignorance and Political agenda.

Ignorance:

My toddler brother wanted mother to buy him some ice cream from the ice cream truck. She said she couldn't because she didn't have enough money at the time. So the boy wanted her to go to the store and get some money. You see, he had seen mom shopping before. When she checked out and paid for the groceries, the clerk gave her change. All he saw was the clerk giving mom some money. So he reasoned if she went to the store, the clerk would give them money and he could have his ice cream.

That's cute, but that level of ignorance is the same as that applied in the email saying we should boycott Shell and Exxon. It is devoid of correct knowledge about how economics work and how businesses work.

Political Agenda:

Here is what is really going on. When you read that email, did you get angry at Big Oil? Did you get angry at Big Business, such as the Pharmaceutical companies? You did? Good! Because that is exactly the true intention of that email. The author knows we cannot lower prices by that boycott. That was not his true intention. His intention is to get you and keep you infuriated by showing you how big business exploits you and that your true friend is big government.

The only real way to lower gas prices like that is if the government mandates it. That email is designed to get you so upset about Big Oil that you would welcome the intrusion of big government to save your butt. Incidentally, you also need big government to save you from unfairly high drug prices, medical costs, transportation, and whatever else goes on.

Government does not create money. Business creates money. Government can only get money by taking it away from people who have it, that is, by taxing it. Government only gets money from taxes. If government controls product prices, it must give the controlled company a subsidy in order for that company to stay in business (as they do when they pay farmers not to farm). But taxes also pay for the bureaucracy needed to run government and collect taxes. Therefore, you pay more in taxes (you have to) than you would pay if you simply paid higher gas prices.

So who is trying to get us 1) to distrust big business and 2) to trust big government? There is only one group of people that stupid (duped) or that evil, and those are the socialists who control the Democrat party.

The socialists' mantra is that the government must own all the power and all the money, and the socialists must own the government.

That email you received and passed on is nothing more than trying to get dupes to fall for their deceptive agenda by playing on your ignorance and emotions by infuriating you against big business, in this case, Shell and Exxon. It follows that, when your own efforts fail (as they are bound to fail) then you must turn to big government for help against evil big business.

3. The real way to lower gas prices.

We can do things to lower gas prices, but every step involves confronting, opposing and eliminating the socialist agenda. Here are the steps.

  1. Demand a removal of taxes from our gasoline. That is, both federal and state taxes. That will immediately reduce the gas by $0.62 per gallon without affecting Shell or Exxon. Instead of boycotting those companies, we ought to inundate Sacramento and Washington with demands to stop taxation of gasoline.
  2. Increase supply. Build new refineries in the U.S. (the last one built was in 1979). Open Anwar in Alaska for oil drilling. Drill offshore. Search and drill in the United States.

    The only way to do that is to confront, rebuke, oppose and reject the Democrat position on those actions. Every Democrat argument against those actions are easily answered and disproved. Those arguments are simply lies designed to increase our frustration and dependence of big government to solve our problems.

  3. Increase competition. Remove restrictions and laws designed to reduce and hamper competition among oil companies. Do you think that will adversely affect the air and ground? It doesn't have to and there's no reason to think it will. The government can still regulate cleanliness and safety.

Competition is good. Capitalism is good. Capitalism has brought about greater health, prosperity, and longevity than this world has ever known under any other system.

Conclusion

Although I've pointed out the Democrat's culpability, that does not pardon the Republicans. The Democrat party is 100% under control of the socialists. They are no longer the party they were many years ago. But the Republicans are not quite that far gone. They are about 50% ignorant of socialism and economics. That means, if we give the Republicans a pass, then it's only a matter of time until they become another socialist party. We've got to stop them both.

Does that mean we should become Libertarians? I have no great fondness for Libertarians. In my opinion (ONLY) I think they are unrealistic on several of their core doctrines. So I don't endorse them.

What do I endorse? I don't care what party you're in because that is not where our salvation lies. To save our butts, we've got to save ourselves. We ourselves must take responsibility for doing what we can. We must learn what's going on in politics. We must learn the fundamentals of economics. We must learn the deception of socialists and how they are manipulating us in so many ways.

And above all, we must take steps to oppose socialism and promote capitalism every day, every time, every email, every vote, every census, every issue. We must contact our government's elected officials and demand on each issue that we follow the path which is right for America and made us great, that of capitalism.

When we ourselves accept and take on responsible for who we are, what we know and what we do (that is called "conservatism") then we can take reasonable and knowledgable steps to keep our country free and capitalist.

 

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