Monday, September 15, 2008

Hey brother, can you spare a gallon?

I was gone for the weekend and missed the whole Ike drama. Sequestered from the tee-vee and interwebs, I kind of forget all about it. Then driving home on Sunday afternoon I see gas is at $4.29 having been at $3.49 on Friday. Took me a while to figure it out. Oh well, $4.29 for a week or whatever it takes to get the refineries back up and running. No biggie.

Then last night before going to bed I watched a bit of the blithering fools on the local Atlanta channels who fancy themselves news reporters. The first story was how awful it is that gas is up over $4 again. I was waiting for the blame Bush/Republicans for the hurricane, but it didn't materialize surprisingly enough. I suppose even the most partisan of partisan fools wouldn't fall for that stupid argument a second time.

The second story was the shortage of gas. Some gas stations had to close. Some people would be unable to get to work Monday. Oh my, what will we ever do?!?!?. No connection really made between the shortgage and increase in price of course. Why confuse the masses with any basic economic lessons of supply and demand. What they did do however is put up a phone number where viewers could call and report price gouging and Action News 5 (or 2 or 7 or 9, they are all the same of course) would go investigate.

Unreal. A shrewd businessman in the gas station world would have foreseen this. The best thing he could have done is hoard his gas on Friday, when it was $3.50 and sell it today for $5 or $6 or whatever someone is willing to pay. That's not gouging, that's supply and demand at its core. If I really need to get somewhere, I'll pay $6 a gallon. If I don't really need to go anywhere, I'll wait it out.

But in the socialist republics of the USA, and especially Fulton and Dekalb counties - where John Kerry got something like 80% of the vote - profit is a 4 letter word these days. It's better to have no gas for everyone, than have some gas for some people at a higher price.

Absolutely brilliant strategy.

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