How to Get Extorted in Arizona

Simply, go to a gas station. You can experience getting robbed without the threat of violence.

Now, I believe truly in the free market and the law of supply and demand. I don’t believe government should be involved in economics / pricing but for situations were there is a monopoly. For example, most of our utilities are price controlled because we’re all aware what will happen if our natural gas, water, and electric costs were priced by the one provider in our area. But, what happens when it is an entire industry that needs price control???

Earlier this week I watched gas jump 70 cents in one day when reports of Hurricane Ian’s approach to the Florida coast dominated news broadcasts.

There were blurbs from the retailers in our area that there were shortages from the Russian invasion of Ukraine; demand is up; refineries can’t keep up with production needs; and the approach of Hurricane Ian. All of those excuses are outright lies.

Note: President Biden specifically warned gas retailers not to use Ian as an excuse to price gouge.

Let’s review the simple economics of retail gas pricing. All of the following numbers are fake, they are simply demonstrative. If I’m a retailer and I buy my supply today for $3.00, I set a selling price at $x.xx Now, if I buy my supply next week at $4.00, I would need to increase my selling price to $y.yy but if I’m still using the supply I purchased at $3.00, I’m making profit on top of profit because I just raised prices on gas I bought at a cheaper rate. Now, let’s say it goes to $5.00, I would need to increase my selling price to $z.zz

Now, why is it when the purchase price of supply begins to drop, let’s say down to $4.25, the retailer is still charging the price at the $5.00 purchase level? Why is it the retailer bumps prices the instant some calamity is expected when the gas they are selling was purchased at a lower cost? Why is it that gas can shoot up 70 cents per day but only drops 2 cents to 5 cents at a time?

We’re a captured audience. We need gas to survive in terms of our ability to commute to work or to acquire our own “supplies”, mainly food and clothing. As such, we are essentially at the mercy, of which there is none, of the gas retailers. There is no sense trying to get Arizona government involved because they are all big business supporters. So, we’re going to have to take it into our own hands to punch these retailers in the face.

When you have to get gas, try to limit your purchase to gas. Don’t go inside and buy coffee, sodas, snacks, etc. Force the retail profits to plummet and make sure you communicate with the retailer that you are fighting back. I’m not sure if they are going to care. I’m note sure if it is going to make much of a difference. But, at least we won’t be sitting there taking it.

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