To listen to the vannies talk about gas, you'd think they had to sell their children into white slavery, sacrifice their weekly mead ration, and till soil with their bare hands from dawn to dusk just to make ends meet.
Yes, it is more expensive than it used to be and yes, it will keep getting more expensive.
This is not to say that I am wholly at peace with the ballooning prices, I feel the pinch too when a vehicle that once took less than a $20 to fill now takes more than $40. But I console myself with the knowledge that I only have to fill up once a month and that my relatively modest monthly van fee has not increased.
Which brings me to a conversation I was recently hoodwinked into. While exchanging pleasantries with this person, s/he said that they don't understand why the oil companies are getting such a bum rap lately.
"Wha...???," I thought as my brain seized with disbelief.
The person doing the talking has a spouse who works for (surprise!) an oil company. This being Texas, especially Houston, Texas, I can think of at least four people I know that make their living working for big oil.
But what really wound me up was the following misguided statement:
"I just don't understand why there is so much criticism of oil companies. Why aren't they allowed to make their profits just like any other business in a Capitalist system? No one ever criticizes the fashion industry for charging exorbitant prices for their products."
Well, to my knowledge the turbines of our economic engine aren't powered by last season's Prada handbags or outmoded Louboutins.
No, people need access to affordable heating and transportation. No one needs a $300,000 watch. Any anyone who would lump these pursuits into the same category is criminally stupid. And an asshole.