We frequently get email encouraging us to force lower gasoline prices by boycotting one oil company or another, usually Exxon/Mobil. The reasoning usually goes that if their sales fall, they will be forced to lower their prices. When they lower their prices, all the other oil companies will be forced to do the same to stay competitive. These emails usually come with some remark about “obscene profits” that the oil companies are making. The intent of the email is more than just to lower gas prices but also to punish Big Oil.
Unfortunately – or fortunately, depending on your point of view – that action will not yield the desired result; instead, just the opposite will happen, and maybe worse. First, I’ll tell you why boycotting Exxon/Mobil will not lower gasoline prices and what the results of a boycott would actually yield. Then I’ll tell you how to get lower gasoline prices by doing what really works. Finally I’ll tell you the true intent of the email that pretends to be looking out for you by trying to lower gas prices.
Why It Won’t Work
If everybody followed the email guidelines to boycott Exxon/Mobil, here’s what would really happen.
- Exxon/Mobil would not go out of business; instead it would simply continue its mega-oil sales to other nations and to other businesses. Exxon/Mobil is a world-wide company that not only sells gas to other countries such as China, Europe, Africa, Russia, South America, Canada and Australia, but they also sell all sorts of oil products to other businesses and airlines. Besides, remember that plastics are made of petroleum. Their market is never ending.
- If the boycott of Exxon/Mobil caused them to stop selling gasoline in the United States, then we would be buying the same amount of gas from other stations. That would cause the prices to skyrocket because of increased demand coupled with decreased supply.
- If other stations needed to get more gas to sell for the increased demand, guess where they would get it. That’s right, from Exxon/Mobil. So, everybody’s gas prices would increase but no harm would come to “Big Oil.”
- However, much harm would come to the employees, your neighbors. Exxon/Mobil is a huge employer and many gas stations use their product. Thousands of Americans would be thrown out of business, causing severe economic chaos in many families.
What Will Work
What will work to lower gas prices are supply-and-demand economics. In fact, that is the only thing that will work. Supply and Demand is the way business works and always has worked. It’s the only way the world can enjoy any sort of economic prosperity.
To lower gasoline prices, you need to lower the demand or else increase the supply, or both. Here is how you could do that:
- Reduce demand by reducing your consumption. That’s right; it’s you who control this aspect of the equation.
- Increase supply by allowing offshore drilling for oil. Other countries do that now and they are reaping a bonanza of new oil. We know where oil is right now offshore. The only reason we’re not drilling offshore now is because the liberal Democrats stopped it.
- Increase supply by allowing drilling for oil in Alaska. There is no reason why we cannot tap into the oil fields there. The only reason we don’t drill in Alaska now is because the liberal Democrats stopped it.
- Increase supply by building new refineries. The United States hasn’t built a new oil refinery for gasoline for other thirty years. The only reason we’re not building new refineries is because the liberal Democrats stopped it.
- Reduce demand by building nuclear power plants. Other nations have many nuclear power plants and they are safe; we could have them too. The only reason we’re not building new nuclear power plants is because the liberal Democrats stopped it.
What To Do Next
When I was a child, at about three years old, I would try to punish inanimate objects that had hurt or frustrated me. For example, if I bumped my head on a table, I would hit the table with my hand, to punish it for hurting me. That was when I was three years old. Now that I am older, I understand that hitting the table not only will do absolutely no good and will not accomplish the purpose I intended, but I actually could do more damage by also hurting my hand.
This childish mentality is the same level of thinking that people use when they try to get us to boycott Exxon/Mobil. It shows a complete lack of economic education, how business works. In school we learn the basics of math; we can add, subtract, divide and multiply. We learn the basics of English; we know what is a noun, a verb, and how our language works. We learn the basics of history; we know that George Washington was our first president and that we had a civil war in 1860-1865. With all of this basic education, somehow the schools omitted basic economics. And that is why we’re subject to fall for and be fooled by emails asking us to boycott Exxon/Mobil.
But just because you were ignorant once is no reason to stay ignorant forever. Every day read a little bit more and learn a little bit more about things you should know. Learning just a little more will not be difficult at all, and before you know it, by the end of the year, you’ll be much smarter than you were and less susceptible to unscrupulous people who delight in deceiving you for their own agenda. If nothing else, at lease you’ll save yourself the time and energy it takes to go through a lot of motions to accomplish something that will never happen.
Why Are They Doing It?
You’ve got to ask yourself what is the reason behind the liberal Democrats big push to stop oil production in the United States? You know they’re not just plain stupid. You know they have access to basic economic education. Yet they still persist in trying to get us to hate business that enrich the United States and gives us jobs. They persist in trying to cripple the American economy by removing our access to oil. They know better, but they do it anyway. Don’t you think there’s got to be a sinister motive here? Well, you’re right. There is.