Market forces at work here

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 14, 2006

We have heard a lot in the last few years about market forces and how they set

prices for goods, including gasoline.

It seems that these forces alone are responsible for the fluctuation in gasoline prices, and no person or persons have anything to do with it.


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From this consumer’s standpoint, that is a bunch of bull designed to make it appear that the sellers are innocent.

You can see &uot;market forces&uot; at work right here in Suffolk. Just drive down

North Main Street, West Constance Road and Holland Road and note the range of prices you see. Gasoline prices along these routes run from a low of $2.07 to $2.27.

You would think that station charging $2.27 would not be selling very much gasoline when it can be bought in the next block for $2.07, with a 3-cent discount per gallon with a credit card or shopping card.

This station has always been the most expensive in town since I moved here eight years ago. It makes one wonder what they are selling

there, given the highest gasoline price in Suffolk.

I suppose they give toasters or other appliances free with each fillup.

The &uot;market forces&uot; are surely at work here. Its called competition, and individual dealers setting the price-per-gallon that they think they can get.

In addition, the gasoline distributors and retailers have cultivated a notion that premium-grade gasoline, at 20 cents higher per gallon, will do wonders for a car’s engine. That is simply not true. Automobile engineers and manufactures tell us that only high performance engines are designed to use premium-grade gasoline. There are only a small percentage of cars manufactured that require higher-octane gasoline.

At 20 cents per gallon higher price over unleaded regular, most people could make a good percentage of their car payment if they bought the lower grade.

N. Macon Sanford