Drivers are greedy too!

If you haven't noticed, oil and gas prices have dropped significantly from their September highs. If you've been listening to oil companies (or environmentalists), you might wonder: "How is that possible?"

How is it possible that with so many gas-hungry cars and car-hungry drivers, the price could actually go down? Why would drivers actually reduce their consumption of gas enough to lower prices? The short answer: they're greedy.

That's right. Greed has actually caused people to reduce their consumption of gasoline. It sounds absurd, but think about it. With so many people bidding up the price of gasoline to such dizzying heights, anyone who sees fit to reduce their consumption of gas, will see dramatic reductions in their monthly outlays for gas. And the slightest whiff of conservation brings swift price reductions from those in the oil industry. Stingy conservationists with cars are trying to cause surpluses in inventory - and it's working.

Well why didn't this happen earlier? Good question. The answer: it did. Any time enough people lower their consumption too much, producers, fearful of over-supply (and not being able to sell existing inventories in time for the next shipment) quickly lower their prices to a point where they actually lose money. Think of overstocked stores on the day after Christmas. Think of the $10 barrels of oil of yesteryear. Of course most consumers don't go that far. They lower consumption just enough to save "the right amount" of money - but not low enough that they can't get to where they really need to go. Not getting to where you need to go is bad - for everyone. People try to avoid it when others don't force them into such a scenario. You don't always realize they're reducing their consumption of oil because the demand for oil isn't always the same - and the supply of it varies too. "Not low enough that they can't get to where they really need to go" means something different every day.

The end result is that the environment benefits because car drivers are greedy.

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Where do you get such great

Where do you get such great ideas?

He's got the goods on Russ

He's got the goods on Russ Roberts.

Somehow, I think you misuse

Somehow, I think you misuse the important word 'greedy'. I also resent being called greedy for having to turn down my thermostat because I can't afford to pay my electric bill, or for having to take the bus because the price of gasoline has shot through the roof. Maybe, you are inventing a nonstandard use of the word 'greedy'. Then what will we call people who truly are digusting greedy pigs? Perhaps, digusting greedy pig will have to do.

What is YOUR definition of

What is YOUR definition of greedy?