Here’s something to think about . . .

Gas prices are the single largest influence on the well-being of a nation’s economy. (That’s because increases in gas prices make virtually everything more expensive—your daily commute, your plane tickets, the price of shipping on all goods, etc.)

The well-being of an economy is among the largest influences on whether or not the citizens of the United States vote for an incumbent president. (If times are bad, they vote for a new leader; if times are good, they vote for the current leader—regardless of what influence, if any, the president had on the good or bad times.)

I ran across an article—Oil prices skid sharply downwards—on the BBC news’s website. What’s most fascinating is a little graph that appears in the article’s sidebar, showing the progression of gas prices up and down from the beginning of this year up until now.

Take a look.

Notice how it goes up and up and up and up (trendwise, there were a lot of little up and down jiggles in the line) until, hm, the beginning of November—and then a steady nose-dive that continues to this day.

Members of OPEC—the people who control the world’s oil prices—strongly dislike President Bush because he is perceived as anti-Arab (and virtually all nations in OPEC are Arab nations). High oil prices, by hurting the economic well-being of the United States, would help John Kerry (being the challenger).

Do I detect an attempt to swing the election?

This is just some food for thought . . . I have no evidence to back up my assertion, but I have no reason to disbelieve it either. How else would you explain the upward spiral of oil and gas prices throughout the entirety of 2004 which bucked the standard seasonal up-and-down trends and the supply/demand curves (Econ. 103), followed by a precipitous and unexplained drop in prices that began—literally—when we all woke up on the morning of November 3?

The gas station that I frequent in Merrifield, Virginia, was at roughly $2.12 on November 2. It was about $2.08 on November 3, and has dropped to about $2.00 in the weeks since.

That’s just a little too convenient for me to chalk it up to coincidence, especially considering that there have been no significant changes in the supply or demand for oil and gas. Look at the chart on the BBC article, and tell me if you don’t detect the same uncanny pattern.