I can’t assign this to The Great Stupid files, but it’s still astoundingly stupid.
Ren Gladu, owner of Ren’s Mobile Gas Station in the college town of Amherst, Massachusetts (Hampshire College, Amherst and UMass are nearby), announced that he will stop selling gas to protest high gas prices.
“I don’t want to be part of it anymore,” Ren Gladu, owner of Ren’s Mobile, told the Daily Hampshire Gazette. “This is the biggest ripoff that ever has happened to people in my lifetime.”
Gradu decided he would not charge customers any higher than $4.75 earlier this month, and when ExxonMobil increased the price per gallon by 20 cents for two consecutive days, Gradu put up signs that read “Out of Gas.”
“Dealing with Mobil, they don’t think through their pricing policies anymore,” Gradu stated. “I’ve served their product, but I refuse to do it anymore, because they’re only getting richer.”
Mobil hasn’t thought through its pricing policies? Won’t one of those well-educated college students drop by and explain supply and demand to this poor guy? They might also try to explain that he needs to stop listening to people like Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez as they try to spin their party out of its self-inflicted inflation disaster.
Ethics Alarms hold that most protests are self-defeating, illogical and unethical, but Gradu’s is special. It’s pure grandstanding without any useful protest value at all. Even when some nut set himself on fire to protest the Vietnam war or China’s abuse of Tibet, a lot of people would think, “Wow, he really deeply cares about this issue!” A protest like this makes one think, “Wow, what an idiot!”
- His “protest” only inconveniences his customers, who still have to buy gas. Now they’ll have to drive farther to buy it, using more gas, and costing them more money.
- It is highly dubious that oil companies are profiting from raising prices. Inflation affects their costs too, and if high prices reduce sales, they’ll lose money.
- Meanwhile, with less competition thank to his protest, other gas station operators can raise their prices to meet the increased demand.
- His protest might make sense using the “if everybody does it, then the oil companies might do something” theory. That. however, only is a possibility when the first protest has some positive effect, and this one can’t and won’t. It’s like me deciding not to drive in order to protest high gas prices. My protest wouldn’t have a tiny, incremental effect that could be magnified if more and more people did it. Like Ren’s bone-headed move, it wouldn’t have any impact at all. The chances of enough people emulating a grandstanding protest accomplishing nothing are zip, so the “but if everybody does it!” fantasy is delusional.
Ren Gradu’s protest can’t appropriately be attributed to The Great Stupid, because it has nothing to do with the progressive insanity that began descending over the land in the Obama years and became pathological in 2020 with the George Floyd riots and the nation’s self-inflicted wounds in response too the pandemic. No, his is just good, old fashioned stupidity, the result of bad schools, incompetent mass media, and the diminishing critical thinking skills of the American public.