Saturday, August 25, 2007

Cleaning House! - Part 1


I have been going through a lot of old stuff that I have saved on the computer over the years and I thought, Hey! I'll Share!

This is an email that was sent as a retort to those emails that get circulated every once in a while about "Don't Buy Gas On Thursday". I thought that it was not only informative, but also one of the funnier emails that I have ever read . . . . and thus saved it. I actually received this from Vincent Antonelli back in September of 2002. Reprinted here without permission. . . . .Sue Me!

The original email:
Whoever started this has a good point. This plan makes more sense than
the "don't buy gas on a certain day" plan that was going around last year.
By now you're probably thinking gasoline priced at about $1.49 is cheap.
Me too! As it is now $1.58 for regular unleaded. Now that the oil
companies and the OPEC nations have conditioned us to think that the cost
of a gallon of gas is CHEAP at less than $1.50, we need to try an
aggressive response. With the price of gasoline going up more each day, we
consumers need to take action. The only way we are going to see the price of gas come down! is if we don't buy it. But, that's not really a practical option since we all have come to rely on our cars. But we CAN have an impact on gas prices if we
all act together. Here's the idea - For the rest of this year, don't purchase gasoline from the two biggest companies (which now are one), EXXON and MOBIL. If they are not selling, they should be inclined to reduce their prices - and if they reduce their prices the other companies will too. But to have an impact, we need to
reach literally millions of users. But it IS...doable!
I am sending this note to 25 people. If each of you send it to at least 10
more ...and those 10 send it to at least 10 more ... and so on, by the time the message reaches the sixth generation, we will have reached over one million consumers. Acting together we can make a difference. If this makes sense to you, please pass this message on by copying and pasting into a new message (or, if you must, simply forward it to at least 10 more E-mail addresses!
PLEASE HOLD OUT AND NOT BUY FROM EXXON OR MOBIL STATIONS UNTIL THEY LOWER
THEIR PRICES TO AT LEAST $1.29 AND KEEP THEM DOWN. IF THEY SUBSEQUENTLY
RAISE THEIR PRICES, QUIT BUYING FROM THEM AGAIN. THIS CAN REALLY WORK!!

And Vinnie's response:

Opec Shmopec.

I still favor the proposal that all recipients of the e-mail contribute one
shiny nickel to send Ms. Doyle back to school - or just pay her to stop using her computer altogether. An economics class or a logic course would suffice. (By the way, all contributions should be sent to me, and I will do my best to forward the funds to the appropriate people.) Personally, I think she probably owns a lot of stock in Texaco, and is just trying to boost her 401k. Either that or she's seen too many of those commercials that have the ending "if business were that simple, you wouldn't need (insert company name here)..."

Let's go to the videotape for the play-by-play:

1. "This plan makes more sense than the "don't buy gas on a certain day" plan that was going around last year" Actually, it doesn't. It's just as dumb.

2. "The only way we are going to see the price of gas come down! is if we don't buy it. But, that's not really a practical option since we all have come to rely on our cars." This part's right on, but this is where the sanity ends. She should have
just ended the e-mail right here. But noooooooo...

3. "If they are not selling, they should be inclined to reduce their prices - and if they reduce their prices the other companies will too." Um, no. There is no reason that the favored companies would reduce prices. They would in fact, raise prices as their realtively low supply was cut by excess demand. They might as well charge you double while they knew you were boycotting Exxon and Mobil! Why suppose that a company with low market share will reduce prices to attract business when they are making an acceptable profit? Why attract less profitable business? If low market share leads to low prices, why aren't apple computers $1.29 (more on this at the end!)

If Ms. Doyle was right, the logical question would be: why aren't the companies who are positioned third, fourth, and lower right now lowering their prices to $1.29? Answer: because they can make more money by charging you $1.58! Because that is how much people are willing to pay! Assume her proposal made sense - if we held out long enough, wouldn't Exxon and Mobil eventually go out of business, and then gas would be free?

So right now, instead of paying Mobil $1.58, I'm supposed to go to Texaco, who is also charging $1.58. And in return, both Mobil and Texaco will turn around and charge $1.29? Texaco would, in theory, run low of supply, and have to buy more readily produced gas... from Exxon and Mobil!! (who now have too much on hand and would sell it to Texaco, at a profit of course!) If OPEC is charging the oil companies $0.35 for the barrel of crude, and it costs $1 to transport, refine, market and distribute it to the public (including the cost of those guys in Jersey who are required to pump your gas for you), I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for the price to go down to $1.29!

Multiple choice: if Exxon and Mobil went out of business tomorrow, how much would gas cost?
A. $1.09
B. $1.29
C. $1.58
D. None of the above

Answer: D. It would be higher than $1.58, but I'm running low on my lunch
break by now

4. "PLEASE HOLD OUT AND NOT BUY FROM EXXON OR MOBIL STATIONS UNTIL THEY LOWER THEIR PRICES TO AT LEAST $1.29 AND KEEP THEM DOWN."

My favorite part.

Katherine must have a pretty cushy job at the road commission if she can afford to throw away $1.29 for gas. What's so magical about $1.29? Why stop at $1.29? How 'bout $1.09? How 'bout just $0.29? Why pay for gas at all?

I think gas should only cost me $0.05. I think every hard working American ought to have the right to affordable gas (healthcare too!), shouldn't they? Why can't the government just pass a law that we all are entitled to nickel gas!! With just one more generation of e-mails, we CAN get some movement on a new constitutional amendment!!

5. And what kind of nutcase would send out her address and telephone # to a
million people?? Does she not get enough sales calls and junk mail? I have some extra I could send her.

But what the hell, I love an adventure, so I'm game. But when we're all done fixing the gas prices, here are a list of items I'd like to also be able to buy for less than market value. Please feel free to send this note back to whoever sent it to you. Each of you should add one item you'd like to not have to pay for (I get the first five since it's my idea), and Katherine can get the next round of boycotts started:

Boycott: Until:
Mercedes cars BMW lowers the price of a 740i to $129.
Citibank Home mortage rates run at an APR of 1.29%
JVC and Panasonic That big screen Sony TV I like is just $1.29
United Airlines The Hawaiian vacation I'd like to go on is $12.90
Keebler cookies They can fit 129 chocolate chips in those damn yummy
toll-house cookies

7 Comments:

At 12:02 PM, Blogger Queen of Dysfunction said...

You are my new hero.

I swear that these chain e-mails and urban legend forwards yank my chain to such an irrational degree that they make me want to rip heads off.

 
At 12:48 PM, Blogger Wyatt Earp said...

The toll house cookies comment was a laugh riot!

 
At 2:29 PM, Blogger skywriter said...

A box of .45 acp for the price of Pez Candy refills.

 
At 4:42 PM, Blogger grimjack said...

I always loved the "don't buy gas on Tuesday" one. Even though I got a C- in MicroEconomics, I always wondered why the effect of everyone stocking up on Monday or filling empty tanks on Wednesday wouldn't negate the impact of not buying gas on Tuesday. Perhaps cause it would.

My personal dream is a reduction in beer prices. I should pay a pro-rated amount based on what I can drink. If you are going to nurse a beer and take up space for 2 hours, you should be charged accordingly. If you going to down half a case in 2 hours, there should be a volume discount.

 
At 4:42 PM, Blogger RT said...

ADD kicked in and I jumped to the comments to write absolutely nothing. :)

 
At 12:42 AM, Blogger Wyatt Earp said...

Scully - Mmm . . . Pez!

 
At 8:12 AM, Anonymous vincent_antonelli said...

I'm just wondering how torqued this crazy wench is now that the price of gas has almost doubled in the last five years. I'd make out with the arabian pump jockey for $1.58 gas. Ok, I wouldn't. but $1.58 is lookin pretty damn good these days

 

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