From a friend, I received this forward yesterday morning:
Subject: No gas on May 15
NO GAS…On May 15th 2007
Don’t pump gas on MAY 15th
In April 1997, there was a “gas out” conducted nationwide in protest of gas prices. Gasoline prices dropped 30 cents a gallon overnight.
On May 15th 2007, all internet users are to not go to a gas station in protest of high gas prices. Gas is now over $3.00 a gallon in most places.
There are 73,000,000+ American members currently on the internet network, and the average car takes about 30 to 50 dollars to fill up.
If all users did not go to the pump on the 15th, it would take $2,292,000,000.00 (that’s almost 3 BILLION) out of the oil companies pockets for just one day, so please do not go to the gas station on May 15th and lets try to put a dent in the Middle Eastern oil industry for at least one day.
If you agree (which I can’t see why you wouldn’t) resend this to all your contact list. With it saying, ”Don’t pump gas on May 15th”
The idiocy in this message is rampant. You cannot drop the price of gas by $0.30 by having some small % of drivers effectively defer their purchases a day. Drivers do not even make up the whole gasoline market! And that’s a 10% move in price per a gallon! Also the concept of “protesting gas prices” is akin to “protesting gravity.” These things aren’t set to gouge you, they are set to balance supply and demand for people who need gas even more than you do.
Then we get to the math. There are 78 million “internet network members” and it costs $30-50 to fill up a tank so that it would cost $2.3bn (since when is $2.3bn close to $3bn????) to the “Middle Eastern oil industry”. Except that the avg consumer fills up their tank about every other week, or 1 in 14 days. So if everyone who was likely to fill up their tank on May15th were to not fill up their tank on May 15th, ceteris paribas, there would be a ~$165 million impact. But what would this impact really entail? It’s likely that the majority of the people who didn’t buy gas on May 15th would have to buy it at some point, right? Or else how are the going to get to their job as Chief Pastry Engineer at Au Bon Pain? So say that 90% of that gas is deferred until at most two weeks in the future. Now we are down to a $16.5 million impact.
Who would this hurt? The “Middle Eastern oil industry”? Probably not, whoever that is. The most likely people hurt would be retail gas locations which are frequently run by individual entrepreneurs. These storefronts are are the dominant source of gasoline for consumers. Say there are 150,000 retail gas station in the US. On May 15th, they would have a normal business day except they would lose some small percentage of their normal volume despite having the same overhead costs. This volume would be mostly recouped later in the next two weeks. They would lose money. About $120 each. Way to stick it to the man…the middleman.
Recommendation: In order to combat the FUD of anti-market practitioners, we urge all Americans and all patriots to fill up your tank on May 15th. In fact, fill up all your tanks, your lawnmower, your scooter, your jetski, your gas power snow blower, everything that consumes gasoline should be topped off on May 15th. Let’s see how high we get these prices to go. Make May 15th national gas day. For every person you forward this post to, Microsoft’s Bill Gates will pay you $245 in naira.