Small town ignorance and conspiracy
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14-09-2015, 06:38 AM
Small town ignorance and conspiracy
I live in a small town in Connecticut at present and follow a Facebook page for the town to keep up with current events. Every few weeks some moron posts about gas prices in town relative to those outside of town and demands that the stations in town be boycotted. It gets rather annoying when so many parrot such ignorance without trying to even begin to understand why the disparity in gas prices exist. Instead, they shout "price gouging" and "boycott" at the top of their lungs.

I very much believe that it is due in no small way to the fact that an Iraqi family owns one of the 5 gas stations in town. I think residents assume that there is a racket among the gas stations to inflate prices (as a matter of fact, they have explicitly said this). And I think they probably believe the Iraqi family orchestrates it (they have not explicitly said this).

They seriously believe that the 5 stations in town (who are about $0.40 higher than stations along different corridors):
1) all conspire to keep prices over inflated, making roughly 3X the profit from a gallon of gas than the average station
2) this racket has avoided detection by the authorities for years despite what they think is obvious
3) they believe it is price gouging and that this too has gone unidentified by the authorities for years (never mind the police station in town and the fact that there are local politicians)
4) they believe that while the station owners are smart and greedy enough to over inflate prices, not one of them has ever caught on to sell their gasoline cheaper than the other 4 so as to get all of the business in town (not to mention the incentive for them to turn in the other 4 to the authorities in the hopes of eliminating the competition)

The gasoline industry in some ways works very much like any other. Distribution prices are not the same for every area (so some corridors have cheaper gas and others have more expensive gas) and the more gasoline a station or area buys, the cheaper they get it for and the cheaper they sell it for.

So, small towns off of the beaten path of major highways and interstates, are more expensive. Small towns that don't sell at the same volume as more populous areas, are more expensive. And with all of the talk of "boycott" and the exclamations that "I'll never buy gas in town!!! I will drive 15 miles north to get it cheaper," it is actually a self-fulfilling prophecy that gasoline prices remain higher in town, because more people are taking their money out of town to buy gas (which would also be lost revenue in taxes for the town too).

The ignorance Facepalm annoys me. The coupling of ignorance to conspiracy, while utterly unsurprising, is doubly annoying Facepalm

Breakdown of the cost of every gallon of gas (on average in the US).
Assume a gallon costs $2.50
10% of that cost is from taxes
11% is where stores make their money, but also spend money on advertising and this is where they pay employees and operating costs
13% for refining
66% is the cost of crude

So, on average, the station above will make ~$0.25 per gallon of gas in profit to cover employee pay and operating costs (national average is ~$0.22 profit per gallon).

A nifty app to check gas prices in your area is:

The neat thing is that you can also pull up maps to see the prices by location and corridor. Note that some corridors are cheaper, and others more expensive. But of course, this falls on deaf ears in my small town. All of those more expensive places, are just price gouging, and they have all apparently been getting away with it for years despite it being so obvious Dodgy
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14-09-2015, 06:47 AM
RE: Small town ignorance and conspiracy
1. They're probably right -- there probably IS collusion between these stations to keep the prices as high as possible.
It's called "Making a profit". Businesses aren't non-profit organizations. They HAVE to make profit, or go under. The area I live in has similar gas pricing strategy -- they all look at the Admiral station- and charge one cent more. They've been doing it for years.

2. I laugh at people who drive 6000 lbs behemoths -- who have the unmitigated gall to complain about gas prices. Has not one of these pinheads heard of "supply and demand"?.
Sorry you H3 drivers -- 13 mpg isn't great gas mileage.


I'm a double atheist. I don't believe in your god or your politician.
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14-09-2015, 07:10 AM
RE: Small town ignorance and conspiracy
reads H3 and immediately thinks fusion Hobo

Dang Gwynnies! Yeah, that's all I've got; well, besides the point that the fight against ignorance never has unemployment issues.

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