David Rodeback's Blog

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Life Among the Mormons, and Other Stuff

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Friday, October 13, 2006
Twinkies, Anyone?

I never buy Twinkies. I don't like them. But I did today -- as a political statement.

I was out and about on errands this morning, preparing to leave town for a few days. I kept the radio tuned to KSL, where I heard talk show host Doug Wright carrying on about a boycott he proposed for today, which apparently has caught the attention of some prominent folks in Utah politics and elsewhere. He started promoting this two or three weeks ago as something to do on Friday the 13th. (Happy Friday the 13th to you, by the way.)

Here's the idea: If we need gasoline, we buy it yesterday or tomorrow, not today. Just for good measure, we don't buy anything at a convenience store today, either. This one-day decline in business at gas stations everywhere supposedly will catch the evil, money-grubbing oil companies' attention and move them to lower their prices.

Here's the problem: We all end up using just about the same amount of gasoline, anyway. We just fill up a day earlier or later. No gas station, convenience store, refinery, or oil company will go out of business in just a day, especially when business is unusually good the day before and the day after.

How about this instead: If you personally think gas prices are too high, then use less gas -- generally, not just on one day. You'll save money, yes, but you'll also do the rest of us a favor. The same gasoline supply, combined with lower demand, will lower the price, as retailers compete for scarcer customers. Don't give me this one-day boycott twaddle.

As for me, I listened to Wright get more and more exercised about it all, and I heard him call it something like "The Twinkie Rebellion." (I don't care for Twinkies.) I knew what I had to do.

I stopped at the local gas station and convenience store, filled up my gas tank, and bought Twinkies for the entire family. Was that wrong?

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