Sunday, April 13, 2008

Flying away

I think Michael is on the road. I think he's flown, and hope he lands safely and lets us know when he's arrived. A long journey. I wish him wings to carry him safely, I wish him an angel of love at his arrival. May he find joy and return to Impressions when he's arrived. I can't fill in for him. I haven't his energy.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Bitchin' and Moanin'

We all know what this sign is referring to, and we have ceased to be amazed by anything we find posted there. What can you do about it? You really want an honest answer? Read on.

First and foremost, you can do nothing about gas and diesel prices except make a choice, or a series of choices, to STAY OFF THE ROAD.. Gasoline and diesel (and the crude from which they came) are commodities bought and sold in a global market.

As such, whenever a load of fuel is bought or sold, a price is established by a bidder or broker, and the agreed-upon price becomes the baseline value of that quantity of that commodity for delivery at a given point in the future. Yes Virginia, there is a future, and oil brokers make or lose their fortunes (and those of the people they represent, buyers and sellers) on the basis of how well they can predict the future. Try doing THAT in a rollercoaster environment!

Buy today, you pay today's price, and that price is constantly in flux because the "price of oil" is not one price but a composite of many many transactions taking place simultaneously all over the world.

No single corporate entity or bigwig or faceless monster "controls" the price of oil. The most any single entity in this market system can do is to buy a commodity (or make a promise to) or sell it (or promise to), and in doing so he/she/it is in full-bore competition with other interested parties with oil to buy or sell, and that is pretty much that. Organized chaos.

Cartels are affiliations between interested parties that band together, either loosely or not, to attempt to maintain the interests of those other words, to try to ensure that they have stable markets for what they buy and sell. By "stable" we mean dependably predictable. Using the word "stable" in connection with a commodities market is oxymoronic. Stability is a relative term. And market volatility has both fact-based and emotional components to it, making "stability" a description of a wobbling spinning top hovering around on a tabletop, occasionally coming perilously close to flying off the edge. Yet the top is "stable" because it keeps spinning. If a market/top ceases spinning, it collapses. Cartels fear collapse more than anything in their world, and the bulk of their efforts go to preventing any such thing from happening, and "controlling" prices, even if that mythic dream were possible, would not "stabilize" the market system, it would destroy it.

This is what people don't get.

Anyway, discussion aside, I return to the initial question/answer, what do you do about it? Well, as the answer given above states, get off the road. You don't have to pay for what you don't buy. You don't have to buy what you don't use. You don't have to use what you can get by without.

So do some self-analysis and, this time, pay attention to what you discover. Did you drive a circuit doing shopping, for example, or did you dart from place to place all willy-nilly? You are a GASHOG. YOU, not the unfortunate vehicle toting you around. Did you have to turn around and go back the other way because you were in a hurry and forgot something? Shame! Gashog.

You might be a Gashog if you are perched atop a two-story vehicle gazing down on all of us below with all that superiority of yours, because, admit it! you don't need a Monster Truck to make a run for a pizza. Call and have the hotrod in the little car do it. You might be a Gashog if, GreenPeace treehugger you, you cruise around all over town attending protest meetings every other day to Organize when a couple phone calls would get the message across just as well. Your nifty new and trendy Prius might get good gas mileage but ask yourself the question they asked everybody in World War II...

"Is This Trip Really Necessary?"