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Archive for Monday, December 8, 2008

Survey: Gas prices lowest in five years

December 8, 2008

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— The average price of U.S. gasoline fell 22 cents a gallon during the past two weeks, bringing it to its lowest level in nearly five years, according to a national survey released Sunday.

The average price of regular gasoline Friday was $1.75 a gallon, oil industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said. The price of mid-grade was $1.90 a gallon and the price of premium was $2.02 a gallon.

The last time gas was cheaper was in March 2004, Lundberg said, when the national average for regular was $1.74 a gallon. The all-time high was on July 11, 2008, when the price peaked at $4.11 a gallon.

Comments

Sigmund 5 years, 4 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says… "Yes, Sigmund, risk is an essential element of human existence. But, unfortunately, those who gain the most from “taking risks” have rigged the system so that it's not they who take the hit when their gambles fail."Depends upon who "they" are. Certainly the stock and bond holders of Fannie, Freddie, AIG, Merrill, Bear Stearns, Ford, GM, Chrysler (including pension plans, IRA's, mutual funds, and individuals, speculators all) took a significant hit (40-50% of their total investment) ask anyone with a 401(k). If you mean Board of Directors and Senior Management of these companies are being bailed out, no question. But they are not the speculators just a higher paid class of worker.I think of it this way, given past performance no rational investor (speculator) would risk a penny with these morons, except the morons in government who are forcing us to risk money we have to borrow from our kids. Those that use speculation for political purposes are the only one's with the force of law necessary to fix the game and they have and everyone except them will pay the price. I suspect if you are honest you hold both parties in as much contempt as I do.BigPrune, neither.

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BigPrune 5 years, 4 months ago

The high prices were the result of a successful attempt to influence the presidential election. Obama gets elected, we the people get rewarded by getting a price drop in gas prices. Or,The oil companies know that Al Gore will be pushing some green agenda since Manhattan was supposed to be under water by his calculations already, and if the price of gas is cheap, the people won't be pushing for battery operated automobiles.Take your pick or pick a little of both.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

Yes, Sigmund, risk is an essential element of human existence. But, unfortunately, those who gain the most from "taking risks" have rigged the system so that it's not they who take the hit when their gambles fail.

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prospector 5 years, 4 months ago

Bozo writes: "I don't really understand all the factors that determine the price of gas at the pump, and I don't know anyone who does, including you."The first supportable assertion I have seen you make. Keep trying. -------------------------------------------------------------------Jonas, "simplified economics", I agree. But the "elasticity of demand" makes me think about the waistband of my boxers during Thanksgiving.

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Sigmund 5 years, 4 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says… "What freaks me out, sigmund, is that you actually think that the speculators perform a useful function."All of life involves speculation, but speculation in a financial context is the assumption of the risk of loss, in return for the uncertain possibility of a reward. Those that can assume that risk must be motivated to lend or the economy will halt. What is the central problem we are told is slowing the economy? Banks refusing to lend which is taking a risk or speculation. But what is the new freakish balloon animal you have finally contorted yourself into, is that a Bourgeois Pig?

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ese 5 years, 4 months ago

Why doesn't Bush and Cheney use that gas dial that's in the basement of Bush's Crawford house?They should be cranking it to the right like crazy jacking up the price of gas. With so few days left in his Presidency, what do either of them have to lose?

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TheStig 5 years, 4 months ago

Risk and speculation are as necessary for any successful enterprise as capital and labor. Investment takes many forms. Where labor may have the ability to produce, it also usually requires immediate salaries and wages before the enterprise produces enough of a revenue stream to pay them. Those with capital put it at risk (paying wages and buying equipment) only if they hope to get a payoff in the future. Without investors ("speculators") almost no modern enterprise is possible. The only difference between centralized economies and free market ones is in the former all capital and wealth and those speculative decisions are in the hands of the few ruling elite party officials (Pelosi, Bush, Frank, Paulson) and they make all speculative decisions. In more free market systems those resources are able to be accumulated in the hands of the middle classes whose collective investment decisions fund production. Speculators with enough money to be put at risk, like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, provide those with ideas and ability, the risk capital needed to succeed or fail. Speculators are critical in any modern economy.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

What freaks me out, sigmund, is that you actually think that the speculators perform a useful function.

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Sigmund 5 years, 4 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says… "Yea, Solomon, all it took was a total economic collapse caused by the nonsensical economic system and practices that gave us $4 gas to get a drop in oil prices."So the collapse in gas prices wasn't driven by speculators, now it is economic collapse (I'm eating bone soup today with a side of local dirt worms). But it is funny how your story changes from moment to moment.just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says… "But if you think that the current gas prices are going to last, you're deluding yourself. Despite the temporary reduction in demand, there are still billions of people, primarily in China and India, who want to drive just like we do, and an ever-dwindling supply of oil. So even without the speculative pressures of derivative “tools” being applied to the oil futures market, prices are going to go up again, probably quite dramatically."Prices go up and down in free markets and extremes are dealt with quickly. Even state control of prices and production, when and where they have been tried, have not alleviated the problem of supply and demand. Those derivatives and speculators you attempted to demonize for causing the price swing on the upside also allow them to correct. In fact as fast as prices rose they declined even more quickly! Still it is fun watching you tie yourself into knots like some grotesque balloon animal.What is creeping me out is both you and right wing nut job Bill O'reilly completely agree on this issue, evil speculators! The last time the right and the left agreed on anything was the bailout of the auto industry and before that the bailout of the banks at taxpayer expense and the thought of Barney Frank and Chris Dodd doing for the auto industry what they did for the mortgage industry is truly frightening.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

Yea, Solomon, all it took was a total economic collapse caused by the nonsensical economic system and practices that gave us $4 gas to get a drop in oil prices.But if you think that the current gas prices are going to last, you're deluding yourself. Despite the temporary reduction in demand, there are still billions of people, primarily in China and India, who want to drive just like we do, and an ever-dwindling supply of oil. So even without the speculative pressures of derivative "tools" being applied to the oil futures market, prices are going to go up again, probably quite dramatically.

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Flap Doodle 5 years, 4 months ago

bozo must have had a bowl of long-lasting snark flakes for breakfast yesterday morning.

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jonas_opines 5 years, 4 months ago

notajayhawk (Anonymous) says…"There's only one thing that sets the price of gas and it's the same thing that sets the price of every other commodity or service - the confluence of two opposing forces, what the suppliers are willing to sell it for and what the consumer is willing to pay for it (read a book sometime, you might see these two referred to as 'supply' and 'demand')."Notajayhawk has a dream. A dream of free-market economics, perfect and pristine in theory, function, and form.Rather than simple economics, we should refer to this as simplified economics. There are much more than those two forces that influence the price of goods. The next time you read one of those books, try and pay attention to the section entitled "elasticity of demand" where it says that some commodities, generally those necessary to our lives in some way, have a range of effective prices, often a rather steep range, that can be set without a significant drop in demand, due to the necessity of the commodity. Past that, I'm not going to make assertions on collusion, because, well, I'd just be making stuff up

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oldvet 5 years, 4 months ago

The smart Americans were buying up great, low-milage SUV's when the panic hit and people were doing anything to get rid of them... prospector, you're wasting your time arguing with that guy... remember, he has access to highly classified documents that no one else can get...

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labmonkey 5 years, 4 months ago

Great, now people will start buying SUV's again. Americans aren't too bright.

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Sigmund 5 years, 4 months ago

Funny, on July 28th, 2008 both bozo and merrill were predicting much higher prices, I believe their general theory was peak oil, greedy Big Oil, or some such nonsense. My how time does fly.just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says:”Still, the average U.S. price for gas is $1.11 higher than it was a year ago. And it'll be $1.11 more expensive a year from now.”I'll take that bet, I think it more likely that the national average for gas will be less than $4.00/gallon One year from now I'll make a contribution to your favorite charity of a dollar for every penny the national average of gasoline is over $4.00/gallon if you do the same for me for under $4.00/gallon. This assumes that the Obama Administration doesn't nationalize the US Oil and Gas companies. Before you bet you might want to read about the “Simon Erlich Bet.” It makes interesting reading and teaches an important economic lessons.“Ehrlich was the author of a popular book, The Population Bomb (1968), which argued that mankind was facing a demographic catastrophe with the rate of population growth quickly outstripping growth in the supply of food and resources. Simon, a libertarian, was highly skeptical of such claims.”“The face-off occurred in the pages of Social Science Quarterly, where Simon challenged Ehrlich to put his money where his mouth was. In response to Ehrlich's published claim that “If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000” - a proposition Simon regarded as too silly to bother with - Simon countered with “a public offer to stake US$10,000 … on my belief that the cost of non-government-controlled raw materials (including grain and oil) will not rise in the long run.”“Between 1980 and 1990, the world's population grew by more than 800 million, the largest increase in one decade in all of history. But by September 1990, without a single exception, the price of each of Ehrlich's selected metals had fallen, and in some cases had dropped through the floor.”http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2008/jul/28/gasoline_prices_dip_below_4/#c650849

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

You don't want an answer or a discussion, nota. You just come here to troll, and I gave you precisely the response you wanted.

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notajayhawk 5 years, 4 months ago

Good answer, boohoozo. Your typical answer, say nothing worthwhile, don't try to dispute the facts (you can't), just rant. You're a waste of skin, boohoozo. Particularly the scalp area, which covers absolutely nothing of value.Speaking of leeches, heir klowne, how much do you contribute to society? If you weren't living off the work of everyone else, boohoozo, maybe you'd have less time to whine and complain that we aren't giving you enough.Why don't you just move to one of your workers' paradises, boohoozo? Oh, wait, I remember - they don't exist anymore, since their economic system didn't work.A lot like you.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

And you're probably just as useless to the world as all the leeches who stick their grubby little hands where they aren't needed. Are you one of the leeches?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

Your as big a jerk in the evening as jaywalker is in the morning, nota.

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notajayhawk 5 years, 4 months ago

Yes, boohoozo, we all know you believe everything should be free. Nobody should make a profit, we should all share and share alike and hold hands and sing kumbaya.There's only one thing that sets the price of gas, boohoozo, and it's the same thing that sets the price of every other commodity or service - the confluence of two opposing forces, what the suppliers are willing to sell it for and what the consumer is willing to pay for it (read a book sometime, clownie, you might see these two referred to as 'supply' and 'demand'). You might want to go back to an article from Memorial Day weekend about the boats on Clinton Lake - specifically how the number hadn't dropped noticeably with the increased gas prices. That's not a necessity for farm equipment or for people to get to work, that's purely optional use. Or maybe you should look at the variance in the price of gas in different places across the country. I suppose it's just a coincidence that gas costs more where people happen to make more. The price was as high as it was for the simple reason that people were still willing to pay for it. And when they started cutting back, the price fell. Go figure. If you don't like the price of gas, don't buy it. That's what millions of other people decided to do, and that's why I paid $1.29 to fill up my tank today.Hey, boohoozo - the reason a car that used to cost $5,000 now goes for $20,000 is because someone has their grubby hands in it, too - they're called autoworkers. But I suppose that's okay, since it's just fine and dandy with you when the folks doing the gouging are the 'workers,' right?Just one of those 'grubby-handed' companies, boohoozo, just one of them - Exxon - paid the same amount in taxes as the entire bottom half of American taxpayers did in income tax. Of course, that represents 40% of their revenues, compared to the average 3% those taxpayers paid of their income. But go ahead, take away the profits of those grubby-handed oil companies, boohoozo. Except - how are you going to make up the difference? Who's going to pay for all the welfare programs in your workers' paradise, comrade klowne?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

So given that gas is just as available now as it was at a much higher price, whoever caused the price to be as high as it was was nothing but a leach on the process.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

Your assertions don't really interest me much. I don't really understand all the factors that determine the price of gas at the pump, and I don't know anyone who does, including you.But one thing is for certain. Gas was just short of $4 a gallon not very long ago at all, and now it's $1.39 and dropping-- lower than it was 4 years ago. That's about a $2.50 drop in just a few months, and there is no other possible explanation than that nearly all of that $2.50 was going to folks who contributed no more to the process of getting the oil out of the ground and into my gas tank than the ability to stick their grubby, greedy fingers into one or more of the intermediate transactions along the way.

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prospector 5 years, 4 months ago

"You can cite all the sources you like, but if they fail to support your assertion, then your assertion remains unsupported."I have re-read this discussion. Please show me an "unsupported assertion" that I have made. I pointed out several of yours.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

You can cite all the sources you like, but if they fail to support your assertion, then your assertion remains unsupported. That doesn't make you a liar. It just means you've made a poor argument.

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prospector 5 years, 4 months ago

So Bozo, did I take this statement by you, “You have yet to address that, other than to just make unsupported and irrelevant assertions.” wrong? I did attributed valid sources for my assertions. Is not "make unsupported" the same as "you make things up":? If I tell someone they are making things up, I am calling them a liar.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

"You stated I made thinks up. Is that the same as calling me a liar?"I said neither.

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prospector 5 years, 4 months ago

"You have yet to address that, other than to just make unsupported and irrelevant assertions."You stated I made thinks up. Is that the same as calling me a liar?

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gdsacco 5 years, 4 months ago

"The overall expenses of getting the oil out of the ground and into your gas tank have almost certainly not dropped that significantly— which means that to get prices up to $4 a gallon required extreme price-gouging and profiteering somewhere along the line."Wow. You need some books, dude.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

I understand the economics quite well. The price of oil was driven up by speculation, and the speculators made a tidy profit for quite a while there. The collapsing economy, and the decrease in oil demand, took the wind out of their speculative sales, and the prices dropped accordingly.When did I call you a liar?

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autie 5 years, 4 months ago

I don't care...as long as it stays this way. $1.59 this morning locally. I thought this day would never come again...any thoughts on how long this will last before it spirals back up out of control?

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prospector 5 years, 4 months ago

So you don't even understand simple economics. If I start talking about fungible commodities, the value of the dollar, or the gross national product, I am afraid you will just glaze over and just call me a liar again.. Keep your bridge, they eventually fall down.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

So, there's been a drop of 5% in consumption, and that explains a 75% drop in prices.If that explanation works for you, I've got a bridge for sale-- bargain price.

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Tom Shewmon 5 years, 4 months ago

Saudis get oil out of the ground for under $2.00 per barrel. That country filthy rich. Who watched "60 Minutes" last night?

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prospector 5 years, 4 months ago

You are the one making unsupported and irrelevant assertions. I supported my claims using the US Government published stats. In my world, that trumps "it hasn't dropped that much” and "almost certainly not dropped that significanty"? And my favorite "...profiteering somewhere along the line". Support that or shut up, sweet cheeks. HASo if you make a widget, do you sell that for the cost of materials? How long will you stay in business?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

My point is that it didn't cost $90 a barrel more in June to get crude oil out of the ground and shipped to a refinery than it does today. You have yet to address that, other than to just make unsupported and irrelevant assertions.

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prospector 5 years, 4 months ago

"The overall expenses of getting the oil out of the ground and into your gas tank have almost certainly not dropped that significantly— which means that to get prices up to $4 a gallon required extreme price-gouging and profiteering somewhere along the line."This is wrong---------------------------------------------“While gasoline consumption has dropped some in the past few months, it hasn't dropped that much”This is wrong------------------------------------------------------------- ”…their actual expenses almost certainly have not dropped by more than half.”This is wrong, if you are speaking of the cost of getting the oil out of the ground. They have more than doubled.-----------------------------------------------------------------"And who owns the stock is largely irrelevant in this matter."Bozo's point, large multi-national corporations are bad. Got it.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

"I assume you mean the expense of buying oil. The record monthly Kansas Crude price was in June 2008 at $124.14. Today the Kansas price is $30.25. Bozo, it looks more like 75%."Thanks for proving my point.

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prospector 5 years, 4 months ago

Bozo writes. "While gasoline consumption has dropped some in the past few months, it hasn't dropped that much"You say not that much, the government say "dramatically", and I say historic. The largest reduction in consumption in 28 years.http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/steo/pub/contents.html"Rising prices, especially the high oil prices in the first half of 2008, and slowing global economic growth have caused oil demand growth to slow dramatically.""Total domestic petroleum consumption is projected to average 19.6 million bbl/d in 2008, down 1.1 million bbl/d, or 5.4 percent, from the 2007 average (U.S. Petroleum Products Consumption Growth). This marks the first time since 1980 that annual total petroleum consumption is expected to decline by more than 1 million bbl/d."Let's see what these numbers say tomorrow with their update.-------------------------------------------------------------------Bozo writes."...their actual expenses almost certainly have not dropped by more than half."I assume you mean the expense of buying oil. The record monthly Kansas Crude price was in June 2008 at $124.14. Today the Kansas price is $30.25. Bozo, it looks more like 75%.http://www.ncrarefinery.com/pb.htmBozo writes."So if the actual expenses of getting the oil out the ground and into your tank were the main driver of $4 a gallon gas, how can they now sell it for $1.50 or less?"Who thinks this? I don't buy it.

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Flap Doodle 5 years, 4 months ago

The price of gasoline is influenced by things other than the actual cost of production. Your strawman is falling down, bozo.

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gr 5 years, 4 months ago

Bozo, why if there is only about 10 cents worth of wheat in bread, when price per bushel of wheat goes up does bread go up a lot more? And, when the price of wheat falls, bread prices remain the same?Does supply and demand equate to "price-gouging and profiteering"?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

I don't buy it, prospector. While gasoline consumption has dropped some in the past few months, it hasn't dropped that much, and their actual expenses almost certainly have not dropped by more than half. So if the actual expenses of getting the oil out the ground and into your tank were the main driver of $4 a gallon gas, how can they now sell it for $1.50 or less?And who owns the stock is largely irrelevant in this matter.

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prospector 5 years, 4 months ago

Bozo,The overall expenses in the past few years of getting oil out of the ground has more than doubled for the domestic oil industry. Massive layoffs in a vital national industry are going on right now across the country at these low prices. Why so much distain for the stock holders of Exxon etal? The average profiteer there is a middle class pensioner fortunate that the pension manager bought stock in Exxon and Chevron instead of Ford and GM with their money. What is your problem with hard working Americans making a buck?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

The overall expenses of getting the oil out of the ground and into your gas tank have almost certainly not dropped that significantly-- which means that to get prices up to $4 a gallon required extreme price-gouging and profiteering somewhere along the line.

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