Give me a break!

A few days ago I posted about basic economic principles and how they work in the gas prices we pay. Tonight on 20/20 John Stossel, who for my money is the best TV journalist in the MSM (it’s amazing that he still has a job), broached the same subject. His report, which is in the video window of this page, is a succinct and realistic explanation of gas prices and how the issue is demagogued constantly by politicians and badly covered by his fellow journalists. Definitely recommended viewing.

6 thoughts on “Give me a break!”

  1. Sir: I cannot give you a break. You don’t know anything about economics because you obviously have not read any of my award-winning books on the subject. I was a nobody before I participated in the 1978 dialogue with Fidel Castro, but look at me now: I am a genius on the topic of economics.

  2. What IS surprising after checking out the user feedback on the website to the articles is the number of people who think with their emotions and not their heads. There are a handful of posters here and there who rationalized and understood the article but the vast majority are in complete denial or they just didn’t understand it (don’t know which is more dangerous since after all these are VOTERS). Most have a very strong sense of God-given entitlement to low gas prices and “safe” gas guzzling trucks and SUVs.
    As a nation, we may be in trouble.

  3. I read a similiar article regarding price gauging after a disaster such as hurricane. Same concept, let the market control it. Is it morally correct?

  4. You have to read the post I made about economics. But the short answer is that morality doesn’t play into it. Either you have a market economy or you don’t. From an economic standpoint there is no such thing as price gouging. If a resource is scarce one should expect a higher price. If you institute price controls (setting the price arbitrarily below the market price) you create a situation of rationing and scarcity. If the hurrican hits and the price of gas goes to $15 a gallon in the immediate aftermath, who will buy it? Only the people that really need it, i.e. the ones that are really on empty (and they’ll probably only buy a little) and the people that need it the most and can afford to pay it. That’s as equitable soultion as there is. I saw this with generators after andrew. A $400 generator was being sold on a street corner for $4000. Who is going to buy it? Only someone with enough money and enough desire. a few days later as supplies began to arrive the guy selling the $4000 generator would be lucky to sell it for what he bought it for. The market corrects itself. We don’t need government setting prices and interfering with market, it’s a disaster every time.

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