When did we go wrong? I think it started probably about 40 to 50 years ago with the domination and monopoly of education by public education bureaucrats and teacher unions more interested in their own job security, and mass indoctrination, than in eduction. Which has resulted in the dumbing down of society to the point people do not comprehend basic economics and have a contrived fear and hatred of business and capitalism.
I don't know about you, but my economic situation continues to get better every year, and I am way ahead of where my parents were at at this point in their lives, which was way ahead of where their parents were at, etc. Life is good, and keeps getting better. If it's not for you maybe you should be looking inward, and not look to blame others for your situation.
I think its funny that anyone would think that a business like an oil company would invent reasons to reduce production levels of their main product at a time when the prices for that product is at all time highs. Any business would be at maximum production during those times, if at all possible. Problems that cause a reduction in production reflect inefficient management more than anything else, but not manipulation of the market. That is silly and shows a fundamental misunderstanding of basic business.
Gas prices at the pump are set by the station management, based on their estimate of how much it will cost them to refill the tank the next time they place an order, balanced against how much the competition across teh street or across town is charging. It's called market pricing, it's how the free market system works. If the station charges too much his price will be undercut by his competitors. If he charges too little he won't be able to refill the tank when it's empty. He also has to pay for all the business and environmental regulations, payroll and associated costs, insurance and taxes, etc. ANd he has to make enough to make it all worth his while to do so, or he goes out of business, then you have one less competitor out there, and one less supplier for you.
Quit seeing evil in everything, it's just people trying to make a living. The same as you.