Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Tip of the Iceberg

Even though Mom is 75 she works, at a Valero station which gives me a little personal insight. People are really mean and curse her out because of the price, like she has anything to do with it.
Service stations feel the squeeze / Some operators walk away from their business, returning it to the company: "Today, many dealers say the oil industry bonanza of 2005 is passing them by. Their parent corporations have posted record profits -- $9.9 billion during the three months that ended in September in Exxon Mobil's case -- from prices that briefly topped $70 for a barrel of crude and $3 for a gallon of gas.

Angry motorists, convinced they're being gouged, often blame the face behind the service station counter. (Stop that, people are really rude to my mom, there is no need to call her names. Respect your elders!)

But ask dealers about their profit margins, and some insist they're making 2 cents or less per gallon. They may even be losing money selling gas.

To understand why, you have to peer into the murky mechanics of street-level gasoline pricing. Dealers compete against each other while paying a host of fees to their parent companies. Government demands its own cut, through taxes and permit fees.

And all of these affect the price you pay at the pump."
I stand at the corner and compare prices with the Rotten Robbie across the street. Currently there is a 15 cent per gallon difference on regular and 30 cents on premium. The Valero station a half a mile away also has lower prices, but it is owned by the company. Her boss has no choice in the prices he sets, they tell control everything including the type of lighting and the lock on the bathroom door. He made no money during the price gouging and he will have to close at the beginning of the year to replace the tanks, again. I know he isn't making a profit and pretty soon the tax writeoff won't be worth it.

Has anybody noticed that in the last few years our choices for everything from cable to gas, grocery stores to department stores and anything in between have been severly limited? It's sort of like reducing stock for gravy. If it is salty when you start, it will only be more salty when you finish. High prices condensed to a few companies equals much higher prices.

Or go without.

No comments:

Post a Comment