Where Are the Gasoline Lines?

How come gas prices are soaring, yet we do not see the gas lines remininscent of the two gas crises of the 1970’s? They claim production is down, so when does odd & even rationing start???

If production is down, it hasn’t shown in the form of shortages yet. Perhaps the production, distribution and pricing models are now so finely tuned that the producers know exactly how much a given price increase will decrease demand ?

The gasoline isn’t in short supply, it’s just expensive. There are many factors involved in this, of which I don’t feel qualified to detail.

But I haven’t yet seen a gas station that’s been out of gas.

There’s still plenty of gas, we’re just paying more for it. In this case the price is driven up by price fixing, as opposed to greater demand than supply. This isn’t capitalism, it’s monopoly.

There were price caps on gasoline in the 1970s. So, when OPEC cut back on production, there was more demand for gasoline than there was supply (at a given price, at least). Without price caps, gasoline would have been allocated to those willing to pay the higher prices. Since there were price caps, gas was allocated instead to those willing to wait in lines.

Today there are no price caps. There have also been no substantial cutbacks in crude oil supplies. Rather, we have a shortage of refiner capacity (which is a US, not world phenomenon, BTW). Add in seasonally high demands (peaking on Memorial Day) and the price of gasoline creeps up. Prediction: there won’t be any gasoline rationing this year.

As for electricity, that’s an entirely different market…