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How high gas prices, influence our cost of living!

Opinion by Arben Selimi 

(* contributed by the editor A.A)  

The market price of oil is $102.6 per barrel, while I am writing this article, while the retail price of oil is €1.74 (or dollar, because the €/$ exchange rate is almost 1:1). For those of us who travel to work, oil has no alternative, we have to buy it, we cannot avoid it. It’s not like e.g. a 4K UHD TV, which you buy if you can afford it, or buy a lower resolution one when you can’t afford the 4K one. We have to buy the oil because every day we have to go to work, many of us have to show up at the appointed time and we can’t leave work before doing at least eight hours a day.

When demand exceeds the supply, the price tends to rise, and conversely, when demand is low, the price tends to fall, as it happened at the time of lockdown in 2020, when a barrel of oil was sold at $13.35. While now, the highest price has reached $129.44 per barrel, this means an increase of 870%. From 2015 to 2021, the oil price has been below $75 per barrel.

*Tweet on op/ed and the main factors behind oil price surge

There was a time when we practiced a “buy local” slogan that aimed to boycott Serbian products.

Why not boycott high price oil, knowing that only the consumer price is high, not the producer price. The only reason why the price has increased is that the producers, with their current production capacities, are not managing to meet the demand in the market. And in market economies, it is the market that determines the price, i.e. supply and demand.

It is normal for the producer to transfer the production costs to the consumer, if additional costs or new costs arise, but in the case of oil, neither one nor the other is true. The oilmen were faced with a golden opportunity, in the light of the new geo-political circumstances, to raise the price of oil for no apparent reason.

In today’s digital age when people can work from home,

it is not necessary to show up physically at work, therefore we can avoid, at least partially, the purchase of oil. If employers were willing to allow us to work from home, as happened during the time of lockdown caused by covid-19, then a lot of road traffic would be reduced. With this, the demand for oil would also be reduced, which would push down its price. This would be beneficial for families both economically and environmentally, our expenses would be reduced and the emission of CO2 gases into the atmosphere would be reduced.

Although physical presence at work is irreplaceable in some occupations, there are many occupations that can be performed from home. Sending documents by e-mail, meeting on Zoom, or in similar applications, is free, so work can continue without interruption even without physical presence in the office. We already have enough experience with such a working environment so it could easily be applied in practice.

author can be reached at arben@thejournalbiz.com
contributor& editor of the opinion;arsim@thejournalbiz.com