Gasoline Delivery: Inside the Black Box
By Bryan Caplan
Yesterday I had two lucky breaks at the gas station. First, they cut the price while I pulling up to the pump. Second, a delivery man was refilling the station’s tanks, which gave me a chance to ask him some long-standing questions.
Q: Do you fill up the whole station using that one hose?
A: Actually, there are two hoses. One puts the gas in. The other sucks air out.
Q: How many stations can you fill up with one tanker car?
A: Just one.
Q: How many stations do you fill up every day?
A: Five or six.
Q: Where do you get the gas?
A: There’s a depot in Fairfax. [Who woulda’ thunk it?]
I wished I’d asked the deliveryman and the gas station employee (who looked like he might be the owner) if anyone expressed anger at them when the price of gas spiked. But I wasn’t even sure how to ask the question without sounding like I was angry. My best guess: “I teach economics, so I know you’re not to blame for higher gas prices. But did anyone else get mad at you when gas jumped up to $4/gallon?”