A clever plan
On Wednesday here in Ohio, gas prices rose from an average of $3.09 across the state, to a staggering average of $3.49. Forty cents in one day! While this would seem to throw stupidity in the face of their little problem, it wasn't the end of their plan. While the state (and country) cried foul for two days and threatened to cancel all their travel plans, the oil companies sat back and waited. On Friday, they lowered the prices to an (Ohio) average of $3.19. Why would they do this when they need to make that huge profit they were aspiring to?
By lowering the prices, they tricked the general public into only thinking about the price reduction of thirty cents, and not the price increase of ten cents. (Does anyone remember that gas prices were under $2.00 a gallon just two years ago?) And with the Memorial Day weekend being the second most travelled holiday of the entire year, the big oil companies could be on target to have their best Memorial Day numbers ever if no one cancelled their plans. And guess what? On talk radio this morning, they reported that AAA released another report showing an actual increase in holiday travelers this year. An increase.
It would be easy to just write off the increased travel numbers by saying we are selfish Americans who don't care about anything but ourselves. I think a more accurate description is that we are ignorant Americans who are easily tricked into paying more and feeling good about it. And the oil companies are sitting back laughing at us as they count their money.