But the ultimate truth is that whatever you think about oil prices, the premise of the last paragraph is misleading; that is, whatever is moving the price of oil, it's not just good old supply and demand. The price of oil is the single most globally political number that exists. OPEC is a classic oligarchy and has a very simple and well defined interest; if you can't think of what it is just consider what the GDP of Middle Eastern countries would be without oil exports. On the other hand the "OPIC" (the Obvious Petroleum Importing Countries) are hardly without the resources to strong-arm prices when the need arises. Additionally, in the United States at least, government regulation relating to environmental, safety, and revenue concerns is significant and certainly has an impact not only on the supply of oil, but also on the cost of getting it out of the ground. And finally, campaign promises wouldn't be made about the price of oil if it weren't important in the upcoming elections. In fact, the price of oil has been important in American politics for quite a while now, certainly since the shortages of the mid-70s.
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But, again, I think economics will always ultimately trump politics (the laws of economics don't change, but positions taken by politicians often do). However, perhaps broader and more effective political steps can be taken to help change economic conditions. For example, an all-out effort to replace fossil fuels will probably pay off in the long run, although how the political will to accomplish this can be mustered is anybody's guess. Then, there is the Soprano solution, suggested by a different kind of Trump: simply invade certain Middle Eastern countries and take the oil… That would get the price down once we made the initial investment of a few trillion dollars to finance a war or two. Oh yeah, we did that already. It hasn't worked so well.
Although, I hear Tripoli is quite beautiful in the autumn.
Adam Levin is Chairman and cofounder of Credit.com and Identity Theft 911. His experience as former director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs gives him unique insight into consumer privacy, legislation and financial advocacy. He is a nationally recognized expert on identity theft and credit.