Political Rhetoric, Gas Prices

Today, I noticed a picture on facebook that one of my friends posted, a sign from Jan 2009 of the gas prices when President Obama took office.

Flawed Gas Price Joke
A joke that a station is using. Clearly, they don’t understand historical prices or economics.

The first flaw to this, is that it’s very selective. The height of Oil prices and gas prices of George W. Bush’s term came in June 2008 at $4.11/gallon (national average). This is higher than today’s national average of $3.72/gallon

The second flaw of this is that Oil is a growth commodity, meaning that it is linked with construction and transportation (commerce). In June 2008, the Real Estate boom was finishing off and China was looking at massive growth. Not so much come Fall 2008.

This argument is a play on a gross misunderstanding of economics and inflation that results in many Americans accidentally rooting for another recession <- That’s  how fuel prices will drop. Most of the major world economies follow a model of Keynesian economics which specifies that inflation leads to growth by encouraging investment; hence as an economy approves, inflation increases, demand for oil increases and therefore price at the pump increases.

Here’s a joke. If every American is out of a job and sits on the couch, they won’t be driving, gas prices will finally bottom out!

I’m not sure which I despise more about politics, realizing how uninformed my friends and other voters are, or seeing campaigns running on that stupidity.

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