Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Krauthammer, Clippers

Charles Krauthammer does a great job in his column today addressing some of the issues behind the recent spike in gas prices. K's theory is, he says, the same one he pushed forward 10 years ago when people were panicking as gas hit $1.50 per gallon. It's supply and demand, stupid. He cites the SUV boom as increasing demand, along with the industrialization of China and India. Supply, of course, is down because of some worldwide crises (didn't we start one in Iraq?) and the damage to the Gulf refineries because of the hurricane. He also blasts Bush for his "investigation." (Funny, how all the conservative columnists are now turning on Bush. It seems to me even Michelle Malkin was taking some shots at Bush's immigration policies yesterday. All I can say is, what took you all so long to turn on this flim-flam man?) There was also an interesting cartoon depicting an American trying to pay an Arab at the pump for his gas. He had these little tiny dollar bills that were supposed to represent the falling price of the American dollar - which, of course, would also contribute to the gas spike. At least I live on a bus route.

On a lighter note, congrats to the Clippers, who had advanced to the second round of the playoffs. (Or as they used to be called in the old Gil Thorpe comic strip - the play-downs.) It's been a long-time coming - since the mid-1970s in fact, since the Clips, as the Buffalo Braves won a playoff series. I was less than 10 at the time and don't barely remember it. Guess who they will get to play next? Likely, the Lakers - their current crosstown rivals. As for the Lakers, I think ole' Phil Jackson is finally proving once-and-for-all that he doesn't get enough credit for his nine, count them, nine, NBA titles as a coach. Everyone says he had great players. But, the fact is, none of those great players, not Jordan, Pippen, Shaq, or Kobe won any, count them, any, titles without Dr. Phil on the sidelines. Of his great players, only Dennis Rodman won a pair of titles with Detroit - and that about sums up the NBA!




Stan Langerhaus said...

I agree somewhat with those people who say that the price of gas is merely supply and demand. However, I remember back in 2000 when Enron was gouging the hell out of California for natural gas and you may recall that many commentators and economists were making the same rationalizations. They ate a lot of crow once it was found out that Enron was really pumping up the price.

So I would not rely too much on opinions that state this is only supply and demand at work.

Ralph said...

Right. Are gas companies subject to the same regulations as natural gas vendors? Or, can they charge, whatever the market will bear? I guess my thoughts are, that as a conservative, Bush should be supporting the "whatever the market will bear" theorey of free enterprise.


Stan Langerhaus said...

I do not know all of the ins and outs of public utilities (especially as it goes in CA), but natural gas providers are generaly limited to what the state allows as a tariff (or price) for the public utility. I do not think that gasoline providers are required to go through any state PUC before the rates are changed.