Tuesday, April 11, 2006

News gets me steamed—again

I was watching Good Morning America again this morning. I honestly don't know why I bother, except that it's no bother, really—it's just what comes on when the local news is over, and the ABC affiliate has some of the least objectionable newsdroids in town.


The GMA report was about rising gasoline prices, and how they're expected to keep rising from now until the prohibitive cost of transportation forces Barbara Walters off the Manhattan party circuit.

There I fumed while they belabored the obvious. Does anybody who drives not know what's happening to gas prices? Maybe the GMA anchors were caught unaware. My guess is they haven't needed to pump their own gas for a while.

What we all want to know, of course, is why? With oil company profits setting records, how do they get away with raising prices so much? The answer, says the GMA economics spokeshead, is simply supply and demand. If you think about it too hard, you'll get caught up in a tautology. (Hey, look it up. I had to.) How can they charge so much? Because they can.

Although I'm no economist, I know enough to appreciate how morally foul the concept of supply and demand is. For one thing, it's the engine that drives price gouging. Charging what the market will bear is not in itself a justification of anything, nor is it an adequate answer to the question, How do they get away with it?

But it was enough to satisfy Charlie Gibson.


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