The Gasoline Situation

Again, most of this comes from the Oil Drum. First is the picture of where the price of gasoline comes from,

gas_costs.jpg
Source: EIA

As can be seen the biggest component to gasoline prices is the price of oil. One thing that I’d like to know is, for every $1 increase in the price of oil, what is the increase in the price of gasoline (all else held constant).

The other two pictures deal with gasoline stocks and production (respectively).

gas_stock0427.gif

gasprod0427.gif

So what do we see, both gasoline stocks are low, and production are low. Why are these things low? In part because of the switch over to ethanol from MTBE.

As Heading Out (the author of the Oil Drum post) notes, the current discourse about investigating the oil industry, windfall profit taxes, and so forth are all pretty much nonsense and will do damn little to help the situation. In fact, I’d argue that things like the windfall profits tax would make it worse.

Walter Williams gave an example of the problem here. The example in a nutshell is as follows:

  1. There is a disaster in Pittsburgh.
  2. Prof. Williams loads up a U-haul with bottled water bought at $2/bottle.
  3. He drives to Pittsburgh and sells the water for $20/bottle.

Now politicians who deplore Prof. Williams profitting off of the misery of others invoke a windfall profits law taking $18/bottle from Prof. Williams.

Now suppose there is a disaster in Baltimore the following year. Would Prof. Williams load up his truck with water again? Nope. Would the people in Baltimore get the water they need? Probably not since it would be up to FEMA and local emergency response agencies and we all know what kind of job those guys do. So people go thirsty in Baltimore because Prof. Williams would rationally expect to have profits he earns taken from him by the government.

If we do the same thing with oil, say charging a 100% tax on every barrel for the difference of the price less $40 what would happen? Well oil companies would have no incentive to increase production or perhaps they’d send it overseas and sell it in another market. In short, such a tax would if anything reduce production here in the U.S. or at least prevent it from rising. Higher prices tend to increase the supply. This is why supply curves in economics have an upwards slope with respect to price. The higher the price, the more supplied. Artificial take away some of that price and you get less.

Investigating the oil industry wont likely have a downward impact on prices if the problems really and truly are the reduce oil production here in the U.S., Nigeria, etc. and increased world demand in places like China and India, and transportation/distribution issues stemming from the switch from MTBE to ethanol. Further, it will divert our attention away from the real problems and looking for solutions that might actually help in the longer term. For example, more refineries and competition there might help. Coming up with a uniform nationwide blend for gasoline could also help. Investing in oil pruduction as well could help. Right now we seem to be approaching our limit in terms of producing oil. And of course, looking for alternative fuels. The high price of oil and gasoline make alternatives relatively more attractive. If we think oil prices are going to remain high for the foreseeable future then research and development into such alternatives also becomes more attractive.

Now I disagree with the implication by Heading Out that something other than the market place is needed for alternative sources of energy.

I learned in the last Energy Crisis that to expect energy companies to invest in new ideas when they are getting buried in money using the old ones is not really fruitful.

I agree that ExxonMobil right now has little incentive to look for an alternative to oil/gasoline. However, ExxonMobil is not the begining and end of market. There are other firms out there that can look for alternatives. In fact, the huge profits that the oil industry are currently enjoying are the incentive. Come up with something that is at least as costly as gasoline is now with the potential to be cheaper (or even hold costs at a constant level) in the future and you could find yourself taking away some of those profits from ExxonMobil.

The bottom line, in my view, is that many in this country are heading in the wrong direction about who is to blame for high gasoline prices and what to do about it.

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business, , , , , ,
Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.

Comments

  1. legion says:

    I saw examples like the one of Prof Williams back during the hurricane debacle, and I must say, they’re crap. There are two major logical holes in the ‘water to Pittsburgh’ saw. First, the assumption that our friendly neighborhood capitalist is the _only_ source of water, implying that if he isn’t allowed to make as much profit as humanly possible, there won’t _be_ any supply. Second, the assumption that everyone in Pittsburgh is _capable_ of paying $20 per bottle of water – If Prof W is allowed to set the market rate at $20, he might find enough buyers that can afford it to make his trip worthwhile, but there may be plenty of people without $20 to their name that are no better off than if there was no supply to begin with. These people have only two choices: Loot or die.

    While philosophies like Prof Williams’ might make a twisted kind of sense in an econ textbook, they are murferous when applied to real life.

  2. Alan says:

    Just to be clear, the people making all the money are the ones who own the rights to the crude. It gets pumped out of the ground at a cost of ~$20 per barrel, and sold for ~$70 per barrel.

    A windfall profits tax will not make things worse as long as there is an allowance for the development of new sources of crude that cost more to produce.

  3. Steve Verdon says:

    legion,

    You are only partially right. Of course, the $20/bottle is silly in that competition will drive the price down. If I’m making $18/bottle profit, then somebody can come in and undercut me and sell for $19.50/bottle and still make a profit. This is what happens when you have free entry/exit in a market and there are lots of entrants/potential entrants.

    And yeah, if you can’t pay for the bottle of water you go without unless there is some sort of charitible activity going on. Those things do indeed take place and will also limit Williams ability to charge sky high prices.

    So your objections basically underscore the point Prof. Williams is making: Windfall profit taxes are just dumb ideas and a waste of time.

  4. Steve Verdon says:

    Just to be clear, the people making all the money are the ones who own the rights to the crude. It gets pumped out of the ground at a cost of ~$20 per barrel, and sold for ~$70 per barrel.

    Why isn’t there a windfall tax on houses then? The guy next to me who bought 12 years earlier is reaping a huge windfall if he sells now? What about stock prices? How come the people who bought Microsoft aren’t subject to a windfall profits tax?

    This kind of thing is what can lead to long term problems. You don’t think the possibility of high oil prices don’t enter into the calculus for business planning by oil companies? They also take risks and sometimes it pays off, other times it doesn’t. At worst the expectation is that they break even, but they hope to turn a profit.

    This whole idea that we can tax away the rewards to risk taking will only result in people not taking risks lest they actually payoff big and they don’t get the benefit. It is the inverse of allowing people to get tax benefits to risky ventures that go bad, in this case you get too much risk taking.

  5. Alan says:

    Steve,

    You don’t think the oil companies calculated in the risk of a windfall profits tax when they made their production investments? Even with the tax, they will still profit handsomely.

    The oil companies will take as much money from us as they can get. Why shouldn’t we work together to pay them as little as possible, while still getting the oil we want.

  6. Dave Schuler says:

    Why isn�t there a windfall tax on houses then?

    Uh, because the profits on the sale of a house are taxed way before the house is sold. Heard of a real estate tax? Unless you’re proposing that we start taxing prospective profits (as we do prospective amounts realized by the sale of a house), the comment isn’t relevant.

  7. deb says:

    One thing that I�d like to know is, for every $1 increase in the price of oil, what is the increase in the price of gasoline (all else held constant).

    I agree that that’s the $64 billion question. Here’s a graph suggesting that the oil industry’s profit margin has been creeping up of late.

    http://www.conocophillips.com/newsroom/other_resources/energyanswers/gasoline.htm

    It doesn’t look very extreme, but if you take out your ruler the difference between a barrel of crude and barrel of gasoline has been on the rise.

    Another way to look at it would be to look at the increase in the cost of a barrel of crude over a certain time period and then compare it to the price of a gallon of gas over the same time period. There are 42 gallons/barrel. This is tricky, though, since only some of that barrel of crude (about 24 gallons I think) gets made into petrol – the rest gets converted into some of the other 3000 petroleum based products we like to consume.

  8. McGehee says:

    One thing that I’d like to know is, for every $1 increase in the price of oil, what is the increase in the price of gasoline (all else held constant).

    Of course, all else doesn’t hold constant…

  9. Herb says:

    Steve:

    If a disaster occured in Pittsburg and some guy drove his truck full of bottled water there, his cost per bottle was $2.00 and he sold it for $ 20.00 per bottle, that’s would be classified as “Price Gouging” anywhere. I would bet you that if some guy tried that and some unfortunate in Pittsburg could not afford to pay the $ 20.00, the price gouger would most likely be shot on the spot.

    And again Steve, if you read the piece titled “Economy up satisfaction down” right above your article, you would see that 80% of the workforce is made up of rank and file workers and they have had their spending power go down.

    Whether you agree or disagree or like it or not Steve. The automobile is a “Necessity” in to days society. Let me ask you Steve if you had an automobile that you depended on to take you to and from work, go to the grocery store or travel to any number of places that are necessary for you to provide for your family, and you could not afford the gasoline while the oil companies were making Billions, What would you do?

    I would bet you would be as pissed as most everyone else in the country.

    I am PO’d because the price of gasoline is based on what some futures trader (Gambler) THINKS the availability of oil will be down the road. It absolutely makes no sense at all for gasoline to be prices on what some gambler thinks the supply “Might Be”

    The elimination of The system of pricing and the curtailment of these gamblers is vital to everything we have in this country.

    Steve: Gasoline and Oil are a NECESSITY and that is that

    And, you can take all of your charts, graphs, economics theory’s, and the “Oil Drum and put them you know where. I am still not buying the same old song and dance propaganda put out by Big Oil and its supporters

  10. Steve Verdon says:

    If a disaster occured in Pittsburg and some guy drove his truck full of bottled water there, his cost per bottle was $2.00 and he sold it for $ 20.00 per bottle, thatâ??s would be classified as â??Price Gougingâ?? anywhere. I would bet you that if some guy tried that and some unfortunate in Pittsburg could not afford to pay the $ 20.00, the price gouger would most likely be shot on the spot.

    So you advocate vigilantism and outright theft? Have I got that right? Gee, that sure would do wonders to get more water into disaster stricken Pittsburgh. Come to think of it…wasn’t that part of the problem in New Orleans?

    And again Steve, if you read the piece titled â??Economy up satisfaction downâ?? right above your article, you would see that 80% of the workforce is made up of rank and file workers and they have had their spending power go down.

    Yeah, by $2/week. You really think that is all that noticable? Sure it isn’t good news, but the idea that this justifies some sort of unstated action against oil companies boggles the mind.

    Whether you agree or disagree or like it or not Steve. The automobile is a â??Necessityâ?? in to days society. Let me ask you Steve if you had an automobile that you depended on to take you to and from work, go to the grocery store or travel to any number of places that are necessary for you to provide for your family, and you could not afford the gasoline while the oil companies were making Billions, What would you do?

    Take the bus, take the train, look into carpooling–all of which my employer promote rather vigorously.

    I would bet you would be as pissed as most everyone else in the country.

    No, not really, but then again I have a more than decent understanding of the market.

    I am POâ??d because the price of gasoline is based on what some futures trader (Gambler) THINKS the availability of oil will be down the road. It absolutely makes no sense at all for gasoline to be prices on what some gambler thinks the supply â??Might Beâ??

    So what do you think it should be priced on? What you think it should be? Strikes me as actually even more ridiculous. Futures traders and speculators actually fulfill a useful purpose. By bidding up the price in the future, people want to buy and hold now, so that if the short supply does materialize we’ll have full tanks to try and get us through the short period. If they are wrong, they lose money, lots of it.

    The elimination of The system of pricing and the curtailment of these gamblers is vital to everything we have in this country.

    No, it would be the elimination of everything vital to this country. We live in a country with a market economy which demonstrates freedom like very little else. A market economy is where people are allowed to voluntarily enter into transactions. Anything else requires compulsion and leads to authoritarianism, IMO.

    Steve: Gasoline and Oil are a NECESSITY and that is that

    Yeah, and messing with the pricing system will lead to shortages, rationing, lines, and so forth. Which is better Herb, having to wait 1, 2 or more hours for a few gallons of gasoline and maybe even having none at all, or having to pay the actual price for gasoline?

    And, you can take all of your charts, graphs, economics theoryâ??s, and the â??Oil Drum and put them you know where. I am still not buying the same old song and dance propaganda put out by Big Oil and its supporters

    I don’t work for big oil.
    The oil drum doesn’t work for big oil.
    The Energy Information Administration is a government entity.

    I don’t see any big oil here Herb.

  11. Bithead says:

    The answer to your question as regards the cost of crude vs the cost of gas…

    They do not run together.

    Historical example, (And let’s limit this to the US for this purpose…)

    The cost of crude oil for each gallon of gas went up from about 35 cents per gallon in 1999 to $1.59 per gallon in 2005.

    By my admittedly rough math, about a 450% cost increae per gallon.

    Yet, at- the- pump prices went up in the same period only about 160%.

  12. Dave Schuler says:

    Gasoline and Oil are a NECESSITY and that is that

    I’m not sure what you’re getting at here, Herb. The experience of the last century is that government is really, really terrible at maximizing the production of necessities. Ever heard of the enormous famines in the Ukraine and China?

    If the objective is producing more gas and oil, what that experience suggests to us is that far and away the most effective way to produce the most of it at the least cost is to allow entrepeneurship and market forces to do it for us. It’s not the best way to ensure that everybody gets the same amount of whatever is produced at the same price. Government is pretty good at that.

    My own thought is to understand clearly what makes entrepeneurship and market forces operate and get government the hell out of the way of that. And ameliorate the distribution issues at the back end.

    Now if your point is that businesses are wary of competition and use government to avoid it where possible I agree with that. That’s why we need to understand when we’re subsidizing businesses and avoid it when possible.

  13. Dave Schuler says:

    Yeah, by $2/week. You really think that is all that noticable?

    Actually, Steve, I think that for some people $2 a week is the difference between a candy bar or a beer during the week or none at all–just barely squeaking by or getting by with a little grace. That’s why I don’t think it’s unreasonable to give a hand to people who are in that situation. But not to people who aren’t in that situation.

  14. Herb says:

    Well Steve:

    Here again, you refresh everyone with your total support of the Big Oil Companies and support everything that hurts the little guy who has to work for a living. I have come to the conclusion that you have never had to “just scrape by”, nor have you ever had to “go fishing in the couch” for a few cents to buy a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk. I guess you have never “been there or done that”.

    You totally support a “Market Economy” Supply and Demand” and all the “economic theory’s” that totally lacks consideration those who have to scrape by by the skin of their teeth just go get by shows with your every article and comment.

    I know that I will get some rhetoric from you that all your words, and “decent Understanding of the Market” to show everyone here that you have a “silver Spoon intellect” and absoloutly no understanding of the people who work, die and make this country great for people who show them little or no consideration for their sweat

    But one thing I am really sure of Steve, You may have a very good education, a very good job and may make a hell of a lot of money, But you don’t know a damn thing about people and the troubles and hardships they endure just to get by in your “market place society”. In other words Steve, you just don’t have a clue about the vast majority of people who work their rear ends off so that a few can rip them off and make a hell of a lot of money from the sweat off the peoples backs.

    And Steve, I know you have never had to “park your automobile” 3 out of every 4 weeks because you could not afford the gasoline while big oil made record high profit in the Billions.
    Well Steve my friend, I HAVE and I have “Been there and Done That” many times in my lifetime of raising 6 very good, law abiding, considerate, and hard working children.

  15. Roger says:

    Herb, how can you make so much sense on some issues and be so blind as not to be able to read when it comes to others (i.e., the little shrub persona)? At any rate, I agree with you 100% again on this one. Well stated, too.

  16. Roger says:

    Sorry Herb, I confused you with McGehee on the too blind to read part of my comment. Sincere apologies.

  17. RJN says:

    Herb it is hard to read your words and conclusions. The very people you speak about, and from, are the very people who gain a decent life because of the market economy.

    Oil products are getting more expensive because of increasing consumption – think India and China – and because of all the boneheaded so called “greens” who have conned Congress into making our energy policy insane.

  18. Roger says:

    But the record oil company profits don’t compute, RJN. You also fail to mention things like the 1 mil plus reduction in oil production from Iraq from pre-war. And the “market economy”
    is not designed to help the little guy, either. It relies on little guys’ sweat to make profits for the big guy. Sure, a rising ship helps everyone to some degree, but it’s also true that a lot of people must by definition stay underwater to push the ship up with their bent backs. There’s nothing wrong with taking a few of the life preservers away from those on the deck to help out those in the water.

  19. Dave Schuler says:

    And the �market economy�
    is not designed to help the little guy, either.

    No, it’s designed to produce goods and services efficiently. That does help the little guy.

    However, the proper way to help the little guy is at the back end. Not by controlling markets. As I said in an earlier comment in this thread, we’ve got a century’s worth of experience under our belts in that area.

  20. Herb says:

    RJN”

    From you comment, i have no doubt that it is difficult for you to “read my words and conclusions”. You have apparently never “Been There and Done That” and until you experience the common difficulties of life, you never will.

    I truly hope you never have any of the problems most Americans endure on an everyday basis, but you seem to have a problem of not understanding of having consideration for those who do and that indeed is sad.

    The “market Based Society” also does not consider or understand the efforts and the hard work the average working person has in aiding those who are making one hell of a lot of money to make this so called “Market Based Society” work.

    Do you think that for one minute that Exxon Mobile or BP of Chevron gives a tinkers damn about those who cannot afford their products and have to scrimp and save and do without because of their lust for high profits, If you do, then you are a very foolish man and totally lack the experience of life that a majority of Americans endure.

    And, sure we all suffer the effects of the wacko environmentalist, but have you ever seen or heard of a Major Oil Company with all their money and political clout do anything about it. The answer is NO.

    I hear about the high profits from the drug companies and there to their lust is for higher and higher profits. BUT, at least the drug companies have assistance programs to provide needed drugs to those who cannot afford the high prices.

    Have you ever seen or heard of an Oil company having such programs, The answer again is NO.

    And by the way RJN, what have you done to help reduce the high cost of gasoline, contact you Congressman, Contact you State Senators, Write an e-mail to any of the big oil companies. I bet not.

    Here is a conclusion that I hope is not to difficult for you to understand, There are many many Americans in this country that have a great deal of difficulty coping with the high cost of a life necessity, gasoline, and are making many sacrifices in other areas of their lifestyle that is making life very hard for them.

  21. RJN says:

    Last things first: Herb, dear fellow, I have increased the insulation above the ceiling of my house. I have bought new window treatments (the beautiful wife did) in the two rooms of my house that have the most windows. These treatments serve as insulators when closed.

    We have gotten into the habit of making fewer trips to town to save gas. I can afford gas, but we still make fewer trips to save gas. Price is, and always has been, the best way to control supply.

    One more thing about price; the cost of gasoline adjusted for inflation, is about the same as it was in 1968. I bought a new 1968 Ford Galaxy 500 w/ vinyl top for $3350.00 when gas was selling for $.35-39/gal. That car would cost seven times as much today. Thirty seven cents/gal. then would be equivalent to $2.59/gal. today. Not far off, and the cars get better mileage today, and the government did not, then, mandate ten, or more, different fuel mixes to screw up distribution.

    The worst thing a person can do is write a congressman unless it is to tell them to get the hell out of the way.

    Herb, if you have had hard times and succeeded in raising six great kids be content. We love you for it. Don’t advocate destroying the economy that made it possible. All the managed economies of the twentieth century ended up in destruction and with tens of millions killed by their own governments in the bargain.

  22. RJN says:

    Roger: It is such BS to say things like “the market economy isn’t designed to help the little guy”. The free market economy is the only system that can produce enough surplus to have something to give to the the little guy. By the way; the little guy gets littler from schemes like AFDC.

    Large profits today lead to more supply tomorrow unless Congress mucks up the works.

  23. RJN says:

    One more thing: Most of the stock in these “greedy” oil companies is probably owned by “greedy” public sector pension funds. The gov’t types don’t get enough with their bloated salaries and medical benefits, so they need “greedy” oil profits.

  24. Roger says:

    No, it’s not BS, RJN. No little guy, no highly compensated CEO.

  25. Herb says:

    RJN:

    It’s just to sad that you choose to cite figures that uphold the outrageous prices from the big oil companies. I guess you are OK paying these high prices while showing little or no compassion for your fellow man. The oil companies love guys like you that justify their greed with such nonsense. I am supprised that you didn’t tell us all about the price of gasoline in Europe. I am sure that, with support like yours big oil can continue to rape the people for a while longer. Your knowledge of our :market economy” really impresses me with the exception of your total lack of consideration for others.

    And RJN, your patronizing words to me about raising my children were at best a demonstration of the lack of consideration you apparently have for others and at worst, totally uncalled for. I definitely was not impressed with you words of consolation. However I will brag a bit and tell you that every one of my children are very compassionate and considerate of everyone they come into contact with. Perhaps you, if possible, could learn a thing or two from them. Obviously you were not taught that as a child while you were being raised.

    While I do somewhat agree with you about writing your Congressman, bare in mind that he/she has no idea or thought of your concerns and thoughts if you don’t let them know. If no one ever wrote to let them know their feelings, they would run amok like they have been doing. Have you noticed that this gasoline price issue is the number one issue talked about by many many Senators and Congressman. Have you ever given any thought of why it is the number one issue coming from their mouths.

    And FYI, My wife and I have not always had hard times. Like most Hard working Americans, We have also had our good times, but I have always remembered the bad times to help me more considerate of others who were experiencing their bad times and to be very thankful of the good times we experienced.

    Greed is a cancer on our society and helps no one except the greedy, but just as bad is the person who makes excuses and upholds the actions of the greedy.

  26. RJN says:

    I am about to give up on you Herb. You are the one who began the six kid dialogue. If the brats turn out to be as whiny as you are I will be moved to take back my patronizing words.

    Roger: If you want to take away the movie stars money, or Bill Gates money go ahead, be a thief. Meanwhile, stop calling me a little guy. Economics is more about truth than fairness.

    By the way, if the world was fair we would all still be amoebas or something such. It is the unfairly superior of all the gene packages that has brought us to these gifts of body and mind that we have.

  27. RJN says:

    One more thing: Energy has something in common with medical care and medicinal drugs. These are things we really need and because of that it is pretty dumb to punish the people who deliver them to us.

    People are successful because they do things, or produce things, that other people want and will pay for. If we punish success we are punishing ourselves..

  28. Herb says:

    RJN:

    That’s OK RJN, I now definitely know where you come from and it is not a world that I would care to share and who only think of themselves and care nothing of those who worked their rear ends off, suffered and died to make this country great. You seem to be one who is filled with selfishness and greed at the expense of others. I really pity you and your kind. Everyone has witnessed those who have taken advantage of others sweat in order to full fill their lust for the almighty dollar and we have all seen them live,and die without any sorrow from anyone except those who were paid in cash to express grief. And, what a hollow grief it was.

    It also is sad that your gene package dictated you to be so shallow as to not show any form of compassion to those less fortunate and only show your praise and adoration to those who prey on those who have difficult times during their lives. Your kind will destroy this country with your selfish lust for money and self importance.

    You also forget where the “gene Package” that is so superior, came from and above all you also have no appreciation for the “gifts of body and mind that were given you. You sadly have mis- directed all these gifts into pure selfishness with high praise for those who are just like you

    The world goes on in spite of those like you.

  29. Roger says:

    RJN, it’s not about punishing anybody or breaking rich people or bringing down corps. It’s about seeking a reasonable balance between social darwinism and humanity. You seem to take everything to extremes in order to defend privilege, earned or not. Why?

    There’s nothing wrong with a progressive taxcode, for one example. The wealthy receive more from society and it’s only right that they contribute more in return, and so on. That’s not to advocate pauperizing them, which is where you want to take the idea immediately, but it is to seek a bit more equity for the working stiff. Herb is onto something in discussing your outlook. You seem very sympathetic re the interests of the obscenely wealthy, but can give a damn for the workers that make their wealth possible.

    What economics has to do with truth I must admit I do not know. I agree, however, it involves matters of fairness, which is what Herb and I have been arguing.

  30. RJN says:

    Okay, this is a gag; right? Your thoughts, misapplied though they are, are too clearly stated to have come from a fool. The words say foolish things, and make foolish claims, but they are not foolishly arranged, or presented. What do I do?

    I think I am too dumb for this work. I think I am too old, and too weary from a lifetime of toil, to carry on with you Herb. Goodnight.

    First though, let me admit a flaw in my gene package presentation. The concept is not flawed, but I did not make it very clear that we all are here because our ancestors were, on the average, more fit. Those who survived had attributes for human life that were, again on the average, superior.

  31. RJN says:

    Roger: Screaming at people, threatening to take away their profits and break up their companies is punishing them. That is your idea, not mine.

    I believe in America. I believe in the fairness of a progressive tax code for income if the top rate is less than 37 percent, and the top rate starts at $4 million or so/ annum. No sweat. I think the inheritance tax should be about the same for a top rate that begins at $50 million or so with no tax at $1.5 million or so.

    If we take too much from the private sector and give it to politicians they do worse than waste it.

  32. Roger says:

    RJN, did you read what I said? Yet, there you are off on that extreme sky-is-falling rant again. What gives?

    After your initial para you seem relatively reasoned, though.