THE BLOG
01/17/2013 04:22 pm ET Updated May 26, 2015

Why Does the Price of Gas Change Every Day?

Why does the price of gas change every day, but other prices don't? Does this bother anyone else? Wouldn't it be weird if you walked into the grocery store and asked how much are eggs today and they said "$93." And you said:"Hey, they were $4 yesterday." And the guy says: "Yeah, but there is some war where the chickens are, so it costs more to get eggs to the market." The war story is one you can't fight. It doesn't even feel polite to question it. So hand over those eggs. I just won't pay rent.

We're told the reason for the daily unstable price of gas is because of the war. There is a war going on over where the oil is. Or two. Or three wars that we happen to be running.

But there's a lot more than just oil in the Middle East. There's also couscous. Have you tried to buy couscous in the Middle East? They have the price outside the cafes with the same flip cards like the dollars and cents for gas. And it changes every day. Sometimes it's so high, there are odd and even cous cous days. It's not like in the seventies when you could eat miles of couscous for pennies. Remember the couscous embargo?

But if the price of gas fluctuates this much every day it suddenly has me worried for the oil companies. I fear their situation is a lot worse then they've let on with this sort of noble and brave act they have of refusing to pay any corporate income tax on the billions of dollars in profits they make every day.

For example: how difficult must this oil business be? Is the equipment that bad that they don't even know if it's going to work the next day? That could affect the price of gas. If someone backs into their oil pump does it fall over and break for a week? That could affect the price. Maybe they need to get a full time handyman over there.

I think there are some very complex questions that need to be asked by an economic expert: for example: 1) Every day does oil come out of the pump? 2) About the same amount of oil? 3) And every day do the ships that move the oil around the world move about the same amount over the same distance? They do? Then charge the same $%&#! price every day.

Have you been in Los Angeles in the summer? It's hot. You know how much soda would cost if the oil companies ran the soda business? Well, hard to say, because it would be a different a price every day. It might be $23 dollars for a can of soda in August. Why? Well, there's a war going on where they make the soda.

It occurs to me that if anyone has a reason to change their pricing based on availability of their product it should be the water company. Because when it doesn't rain, there really isn't any water. Drought, over use, not falling from the sky, that really means less water. And water is much more essential to life than oil, right? So water really is more valuable when there is less of it. So why don't they change the price daily? You know why? Because police would show up at their office and say, "What the hell's the matter with you, have you lost your mind? You're under arrest."

But to be fair price fluctuations do happen in business. You know where else you hear about this? Prostitutes. That's right. You want Cheryl? Well, today she's $200 more. Why? Well there was a war on prostitutes. So there are less of them. And some guy backed into one who fell over and she doesn't work either. That's why Cheryl's more valuable today.

I'm not actually sure this argument works when applied to prostitutes.

But soda, eggs. Definitely. And oil. Even though the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports our own domestic oil production makes 43 percent of the oil we use. We still get 57 percent of our imported oil from our global partners, including Canada (20 percent) and Central/South America/Caribbean (17 percent) and rely less on the Middle East now than in our entire importing history (20 percent). And the International Energy Agency predicts the U.S. will become the leading oil producer in the world in five years, surpassing Saudi Arabia as the leading oil producer by 2017. You may want to read that sentence again.

But fortunately the oil companies aren't letting these facts get in the way of a good story. Why? The war story is just too good business. So look at the bright side. Who needs to buy a book and waste all that time reading a good story when you can just buy this one instead? Think of the time you'll save.

Now don't get me wrong. There are precious things in the world. I'm not saying differently. Gold, or course. Silver. Precious metals. These prices fluctuate daily. And for good reasons. Gold is very hard to get out of the ground. It's very limited on the Earth. And limited things are highly valued.

Like the truth.

That's precious. And it's hard to come by. How much is the truth worth today? Well, there's a war going on where the truth is. I'm told there's a lot less of it.

And those who have it are being paid not to give it away anyway.

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