Supply and Demand Americana

 

A headline in the Jan. 22, 2014 Wall Street Journal: “Natural Gas Price Soars to High as Storm Roars.” The article states, “The cold snap is pushing natural-gas futures higher on demand expectations as well.” A snow storm is blasting the northeast. That’s a boom for investors?

American dollarIs it really the “American way” that when people need your product or service because they are cold and can’t do without it, you increase the prices knowing they can’t say ‘no?’ You’ve got them by the short hairs. You don’t have to be creative anymore about marketing or business decision-making. Now you can squeeze because people are vulnerable.

It’s no different than during the ice storm we experienced in west Kentucky in 2009. Electricity was out for weeks. Low-life “supply and demand” profiteers, also called carpetbaggers, came from outside the area with generators available their hometowns and demanded double and triple the normal price. People were cold and had no other recourse.

“You got no supply? I’m gonna demand you pay me more.” That’s a picture of immorality. It’s why Moses and the wisdom of the ages said things like this:

Diverse weights and diverse measures, they are both alike, an abomination to the Lord. Prov. 20:10.

Diverse weights are an abomination to the Lord, And dishonest scales are not good. Prov. 20:23.

You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a heavy and a light. Deut. 25:13.

It means, don’t charge one price for natural gas to one person who is warm and not as needy, and a higher price to someone who is desperate. That’s an abomination.

It’s a wakeup call to bring back decency and honor into the system we love and cherish.

Sure, I’m invested in the stock market with a pension depending on it, but I don’t care to profit from the despair and misfortune of others. There’s nothing honorable about taking more of a single mother’s money when she’s got to keep two children warm, and feed them to boot.

Twenty-first century corporate business creates the situation it loathes. They’ve moved their loyalties away from the people who work for them to people with money. Need to raise profits for investors? Hand out pink slips and make those who are left work harder to take up the slack.

It reminds me of the Egyptian slave-drivers snapping their whips over the elderly to get them to build the pyramids that I saw on The Ten Commandments. Today Charlton Heston (alias Moses) would pull out his Glock and shoot the Egyptian instead of using his bare hands.

People who are laid off lose their homes and spiral toward that awful parasite of capitalism called welfare or dependency on government or worse, they start breaking into homes or cars so they can feed and shelter their families. Maybe we ought to provide addresses of the CEO’s and investors to those who get laid off so an “eye for an eye” justice is served and innocent people don’t have to suffer loss. (Not that I subscribe to that timeless philosophy that has never worked to bring peace and harmony in the world.)

The richest country in the world has the highest rate of incarceration – I wonder if there’s a correlation?

What about these instructions that come from the ‘holy book?’ Who follows them?

To a foreigner you may charge interest, but to your brother you shall not charge interest, that the Lord your God may bless you in all to which you set your hand in the land which you are entering to possess. (Deut. 23:20)

You shall not charge interest to your brother—interest on money or food or anything that is lent out at interest. (Deut. 23:19)

If you lend money to any of my people who are poor among you, you shall not be like a moneylender to him; you shall not charge him interest. (Ex. 22:25)

I’m no Bible thumper by a longshot, especially when it comes to the Old Testament. But when the righteous rich condemn the poor and the outcast because they aren’t doing something “the Bible says.” That’s the pot calling the kettle “black.”

Yet the day of the poor will come. Not only will they soon have all the voting power, but they’ll have no money to pay for cars, homes, iPhones, X-boxes, and electronic gadgets that drive the economy and made by corporations. Still, those in power will find a way to change the voting system, as well as sell our plentiful natural gas and oil to citizens of other countries.

Of course the poor have an alternative. Sell drugs and prostitute themselves to politicians and government officials on the sly. So maybe it will all work out in the end.

Not.

A system without honor and decency will never come out a winner.

 

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