Member Rara Avis
Reb, you had me until you said: "Merely because supply logistics are challenged doesn't change the cost structure -- it merely effects availability..."
Working in an industry where shipping is a major portion of the price, I have seen logistical challenges drive up costs across the board.
With the major import/export coastal port in the country down and out and all incoming shipments being re-routed, you can only expect an increase in price from that arena. If you, as a shipper, are diverted hundreds of miles out of your contracted route, you are rightly going to charge extra. Your customer is, in turn, going to charge extra and so on down the line until it eventually comes out of the bottom-line consumer's pocket (with a few markups thrown in along the way down, of course).
That being said, I argee. If priecs would have held for even a week or so, I would have been less inclined to stare down a scrunched up nose at the big, bad oil-mongers. The fact that prices started hiking as soon as Katrina made landfall just upsets my stomach.
I can understand raising prices when your product is costing more. What I can't accept, is raising prices because you know your next shipment is going to cost more; the gas all these gasoline shops had in the ground already didn't cost them a cent more to pump, but that didn't stop them from hiking up prices. It's legal, sure, but there's a certain degree of greedy immorality there that...yeah, grrr.