In an earlier post, "Desperately Seeking A Clue," I related my frustration that people claiming the Bush administration (or its nefarious cronies) is manipulating gas prices for electoral purposes. It is just so beyond foolish that it makes me despair for the republic in general.
Driving to Houston, I caught some of the controversy in the Missouri Senate race. Auditor Claire McCaskill - that's Auditor Claire McCaskill, the Democrat in the race, expressly made the claim that the prices are being manipulated. No, she went further. She is apparently on record many times claiming that it's obvious, that all sane people know it, and that the prices will go back up again after the election.
For completely different reasons, the prices will likely go back up sometime. When there is a quick rise, as there was during the past year, market corrections go into effect. People change their behavior and planning. The price was bound to drop. When it drops so rapidly, expect a counter-correction in the other direction. Weather, production, overcorrection, and a dozen other factors have gone into the price drop. It won't last forever.
But how is it that an auditor - I am sorry to keep bringing this up but this woman is an auditor, and she wants to be in the US Senate, and many polls say she's leading - cannot do back-of-a-napkin calculations?
Americans use about 9 gallons of gasoline per week per capita. There are 300,000,000 of us. That 2.7B gallons a week. The price has dropped almost a dollar a gallon. But lets be kind and call it fifty cents. That's $1.3B per week that somebody, somewhere, would be losing if they were trying to drop the price intentionally to manipulate the market. Does anyone in their wildest dreams think that those greedy, scheming oil executives have instituted a plan to quietly make a collective campaign contribution of over a billion dollars a week to the Republicans because they are just so sure they're going to make it all back so nicely? And quickly?
Add in the number of people they would have to persuade or trick into going along with this, none of whom can turn out to be a closet Democrat who will blow the lid off the story, and all of whom would be liable to prosecution and some very serious jail time, and it becomes head-poundingly obvious that this just is just nuts. This is why you need village idiots, to explain things that are so simple that only educated and intelligent people could possibly screw them up.
Auditor. She's a flippin' auditor. And she might become one of the 100 Senators passing legislation that profoundly affects the economy.