Thursday, April 13, 2006

Interesting Concept

I just received an email forward from one of my friends who always forwards everything she gets to everyone she knows. Usually, I read them and delete them, but this one included an interesting concept (in addition to the standard "look what we can do" portion).

Gas prices are going up this summer. We've all heard it, we all dread it, and there's very little we can do to reduce the amount of gas we need (without paying out the wazoo in lack of convenience). So, this particular forward suggests that everyone stop buying anything affiliated with one gas brand in particular. You can continue to buy from other sellers (and thereby continue on your merry way), but if no one buys from this one company, then they will be forced to reduce their prices (theoretically). Once their prices start to drop, theoretically, the others will follow suit. We're supposed to continue with this boycott until the prices are back around $1.30.

My issues with the idea are the following:

  1. It seems to choose one company as the "losing" company without any particular reason behind it. I mean, if the originator chose this oil company because of unfair practices or pollution or whatever, then it would make a little sense, but the company was chosen, seemingly at random (at least, they didn't share their reasoning).
  2. While I'm not a big fan of the prices now, and while I'm sure the oil companies could take losses for several years without really feeling it, the price of a barrel of oil has almost doubled in the past year or so...the prices have done approximately the same. Gas prices have not quadrupled while oil has only doubled. They are passing on to their consumers an increase in price which is mostly proportional to the increase in their costs. So, while I don't like paying almost $3/gallon, I don't think it's "unfair," per se....I think it's capitalism....and I'm not really one to knock that.

But it's still an interesting idea. So, if you'd like to participate, then boycott all Exxon/Mobil products until gas prices reach $1.30 (or whatever is acceptable to you). This doesn't really affect me one way or the other since VNB and I have Shell gas cards which give us a discount if we buy from Shell (so we buy from them pretty exclusively)....but maybe it does you. And it's an interesting concept.

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