I recently subscribed to ARI’s mailing list for letters to the editor. With due permission, I’ll be posting them periodically, as I like these quick, focused hits. Here’s the most recent one:
Once again politicians are denouncing oil companies for their record profits and accusing them of “gouging” consumers. Lost in the general outcry is the fact that the oil companies made their profits by productive work. They didn’t just happen to be at the right place at the right time. They risked their money and invested tens of billions of dollars over decades in prospecting, drilling, transporting, stocking and refining oil. They created a huge infrastructure to produce and distribute gasoline. They dealt with their customers by voluntary means. They exchanged value for value (i.e., gasoline for money). No gasoline buyer was forced to contribute to the oil companies’ profits.
Politicians, in contrast, produced nothing but environmental regulations that crippled the ability of oil companies to drill, transport and refine oil in this country. Moreover, in the last 30 years our politicians have forced us to pay in gas taxes more than twice the amount made in profits by the maligned oil industry.
If the American people want to stop the gouging responsible for high gasoline prices, it is the politicians–not the producers–that they must rein in.
Ayn Rand Institute
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