Even after 150 years of this roller coaster, we’re still far from implementing a better system to price this essential commodity.
An easy answer, and one often brought up in casual conversation, is some type of price control. The government would say oil prices can’t go below $50 or above $100, or some such number. Oil companies would have a guaranteed minimum price, and consumers would have a guaranteed maximum price. Everyone wins.
Wow! Just wow! Not only has that sort of thinking been shown to be a disaster in numerous countries around the globe for hundreds of years but President Nixon even tried it here in 1971 and it was a huge failure. Just think for a few seconds will you? To let that sort of thinking actually get to the verbalization stage shows a profound ignorance of reality.
The article eventually is skeptical of the idea but then goes on to only slightly obfuscate the fundamental flaw in their thinking and arrive at a conclusion that is equally ignorant:
A better alternative, experts say, is to encourage long term, stable policies that focus on both increasing supply and shrinking demand.
On the supply side, encouraging greater access to resources and a stable tax policy that gives breaks for oil production is what the oil industry is looking for.
On the demand side, stricter fuel efficiency standards, better urban planning, alternative fuels and a big tax on gasoline would help cut use.
“We’ve never had a real, long-term strategy to address the energy problem,” said Bruce Vincent, vice chairman of the Independent Petroleum Association of American, an industry trade group. “We need to have a comprehensive strategy that works for America.”
More government intervention when you just got through coming to the realization that government price fixing probably wouldn’t work? They almost get it but not quite.
Now there is a government policy that would optimize supply and prices. And it would do that optimization in real time and completely without political favoritism. It’s a Free Market. But apparently they are too ignorant to have heard of it.