As the price of gasoline has continued to rise at the pumps, the debate goes on about what is actually causing these price hikes. As usual, there are those that argue that this is just another "market" driven phenomenon, and the rising price of gasoline is the reaction of the "market" to changes in supply, or changes in demand, or both. And sure, that argument is a legitimate one particularly in a capitalistic economy, but that's not what’s bothersome; some want to go farther than that to suggest that the "markets" are comprised merely of suppliers and demanders, and nothing or no one else. This is where the problem lies; it is the suggestion that the "markets", something much more complicated than suppliers and demanders is comprised merely of suppliers and demanders. It is the reduction of "markets" into suppliers and demanders that is problematic, untrue, and preposterous.
Their argument may hold water with those who are ignorant of how markets actually work, but with those who understand that the markets are far more complicated, it will not hold any water at all, because the "markets" are not comprised of merely suppliers and demanders, they subsume actors like, middlemen, and brokers, etc., and of course when it comes to oil, speculators as well, who are neither suppliers nor demanders.
But I believe such portrayals of the "markets" are deliberate, by certain groups in order to protect all those who have a stake in keeping the price of gasoline high. It is also an attempt to cover up what's actually taking place, it is a ploy by those who have a stake in this to divert the attention from speculation to supply and demand, and it is an attempt to divert the attention from the real problem, speculation, to supply and demand. When oil inventories are at a record high, and demand is also waning, any person with common sense can figure out, the problem is not with supply and demand, but rather with something else, that is, in this case, speculation.
There are forces that have a vested interest in trying to redefine "markets" for their own gain, including politicians. They would like to convince us, that the price of oil is controlled by supply and demand, and that alone; they want us for example to never realize that Supply for example, can be manipulated and controlled by OPEC, a cartel, a non-market actor (a consortium of governmental organizations), hence in essence affect the price of oil. Yes, these forces are once again at it, trying to help us understand, what constitutes "markets". What constitutes "markets", according to them? Suppliers and demanders. They have taken it upon themselves, yes, to redefine what constitutes "markets".