Don't spend it all in one place
Jordanians have become commodities experts, carefully following the daily fluctuations in oil prices. So, over the past month, as oil prices have fallen precipitously, they have been waiting to see whether the government was honest about letting prices at the pump follow the oil price trends. Of course, the government has rigorously followed the world prices as they rose.
The poor souls actually believed that the government was good for its word. Humorist Ahmad Hassan Zoubi suggested a grand celebration to announce the lowering of prices, following the model of the New 7 wonders of the world. He also suggested that they invite Jennifer Lopez to sing at the ceremony, because “we have good luck with her”. He was of course referring to
It is no secret that this whole thing is a scam. The government gets the oil at deep discounts and charges the consumer full price, plus taxes, pocketing the difference. They refuse to let competitors enter the market, because they are making too much money on this. Free economy be dammed.
But not to worry. Mullah Nader promises that if world prices stay the same, prices will be dropped again next month as well. The reason, we are told, is that prices are calculated based on daily averages. We are led to assume that importers buy commodities on a daily basis, without shopping around.
So, we will go through another round of complaining, and as usual the government will profess its total honesty on the issue. There may be some posturing by the opposition, followed by the government accusing them of “having no alternatives”. Of course, if the government was totally honest it would get out of the oil business and let the private sector do the job.