For a couple of weeks now, Bob McCormick, host of KNX's "Money 101" radio talk show, has been going on and on about conspiracy theories that gas prices were being artificially lowered by the oil companies in order to influence the election. He said that the claim was the companies were forgoing profits in hopes that they'd get more $$$ later with Republicans still in power. Although he didn't exactly endorse the idea, he left me with the strong impression that he agreed with this theory. But I kind of laughed and blew it off as more wishful thinking than reality.
And then I was pumping gas at Costco this morning and overheard someone at the next pump asking the attendant, "Do you know why gas prices are suddenly going up again." And the guy on the other side of my pump and I simultaneously replied "The election's over!" Apparently, I am a nutcase conspiracy theorist after all.
So I emptied my purse and found my three latest Costco gas receipts. On October 26, I paid $2.26 a gallon there. By the day before the election, November 6, it was down to $2.18 a gallon. And today? Only three days post-election, it was all the way back up to $2.28 per gallon. Hmmm....
Maybe there is something to this. Wish someone would do a real audit instead of just compiling anecdotal experiences. Also, is price manipulation in order to influence elections just good old fashioned capitalism? Or is it illegal? With major commodities like oil, I'm thinking that laissez-faire capitalism is not the right answer. So if this is legal, it shouldn't be. And if there really was an attempt to influence the election this way, I'd like to find out.