Thursday, May 22, 2008

Can't-Win Theater 

Here is an example of "Can't-Win Theater" -- oil executives testifying in Congress about high fuel prices. The oil executives know they are going to get beaten down. The Congressmen know they are going to do the beating. It is every bit as staged as professional wrestling.

This drama is targeted to "Joe Six-Pack" who has been complaining about prices at the gas pump. It is a cynical attempt to portray Congress as doing something about the high cost of gas when there is nothing Congress can do -- nor the oil executives, for that matter. In other words, it is the lowest form of publicity and a waste of everyone's time.

If Congressmen were trying to be responsible, they would have asked the oil executives to explain the pricing mechanisms that go into the cost of gasoline and macro-economic demand for oil that is driving commodity speculation. But no, that would have been too difficult for "Joe Six-Pack" to understand and besides, "Joe Six-Pack" just wants cheap gas. Don't bother him with the details. That, of course, is pandering to constituents and assuming they are too stupid to understand.

So, we have these "feel-good" dramas that prove nothing and change nothing, and everyone goes home until the next act.


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