Saturday, September 13, 2008

Price Gouging - Why Are Gas Prices So High?

I found a great post on the current gas price situation via iGoogle. The short story:
There are two ways to ration a short supply of a commodity. You allow the market to price it accordingly, and those who really need it will buy it, or you let the government come in and set the price. As a small government supporter, I favor the former. We're still dealing with the fallout of Nixon's wage and price controls from 40 years ago.

Anyway, that's what happened. Bulk storage facilities were acting to minimize the price of fuel and got caught short when the supply was interrupted. Barring major damage from Ike, supplies should be flowing again in a couple of days, and prices will resume their freefall.
Folks, I remember price controls - it wasn't pretty. The disruption it caused to our economy lasted far beyond the immediate time of the controls. It made jobs hard to get, and caused shortages in basic, price-controlled commodities. It was like a short sentence to live in a Soviet world.

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