RANT: Price “gouging” in a disaster; what nonsense

Two Newark Gas Stations Accused of Price Gouging – Newark, NJ Patch



What nonsense.

There’s no such thing as “gouging”.

The marketplace always clears willing buyers and sellers.

By allowing “gouging”, the marketplace to sort who really needs gas from who REALLY REALLY needs it.

Plus, the “marketplace” has a memory. If someone “screws” me, when times normalize, then I will NEVER patronize that place again.

Gas in North Jersey should be much more expensive than gas in South Jersey. To satisfy the “extra” demand from New Yorkers, who need it more!

Maybe gas up there would float to 20$/gallon. Then the north jersey people will drive down to Central Jersey. And the price in central Jersey floats up to $10 a gallon.

And Central Jersey ites drive south for their gas.

Also the “greedy” oil companies say “I want to sell my gas for 20$/gallon”. First thing you know there’s more gas in North Jersey than they can sell.

I’m an injineer; not an economist. Them ekkynomists have all sorts of fancy names for it. I call it “common sense”. 

Of course, then we have no need for politicians and bureaucrats to “implement rationing”. Just the King’s “weights and measures” guy. We don’t even need him. The gas station that delivers a short gallon will be found out by the marketplace. Which will administer its own brand of “rough justice”.

(The buyer with his five gallon can sees that the pump says “five” but his can ain’t full. And maybe the buyer will administer some “rough justice”. Joined by everyone waiting behind him. Then, when the cops break up the fight, and non one saw anything, they can arrest the seller for fraud.)

Basically, if the gooferment prevents force or fraud, then it should allow the “invisible hand” of the marketplace to “set” the price. The marketplace will efficiently and relentlessly punish the “gougers”!


MONEY: Health care a la WalMart


April 15, 2009
Thank Goodness for Wal-Mart
Posted by Lew Rockwell at April 15, 2009 12:35 PM

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I kept my COBRA going, but at $538/month, it became unsustainable. I let it lapse four months ago. Last month, I couldn’t refill my high-blood pressure medications and I took my last thyroid pill on Saturday. I didn’t know what I was to do. Kaiser wouldn’t even let me PAY for my medications as I wasn’t a member now.

I remembered Wal-Mart had these walk-in clinics. In desperation and fearing the worst, I went on Easter Sunday. The clinic was spotless, the doctor was a retired UCD Medical Center Professor who just wanted to keep his hand in and see patients, there wasn’t any wait, the cost was only $59, and my prescriptions were only $9 each for a 100 days supply. Total with Wal-Mart: $86. With my Kaiser, I would have paid a $25 copay for the doctor visit and three $25 copays for each medication. Total with Kaiser: $100, but AFTER I paid $538/month to remain a member. Before Wal-Mart, my blood pressure was 123/186, today it is back down to 84/124.

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Great lesson to the “universal health care” advocates!

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POLITICAL: A minor oversight? Hogs at the public trough


Postmaster’s pay to be probed
Raises, bonuses mount while service struggles
Jim McElhatton (Contact)
Monday, February 23, 2009

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Congress will hold a hearing next month into why Postmaster General John E. Potter has gotten a nearly 40 percent pay raise since 2006 and was awarded a six-figure incentive bonus last year, even as the U.S. Postal Service faces a multibillion-dollar shortfall that threatens a day of mail delivery.

Postmaster General John E. Potter received a compensation package totaling more than $800,000 for fiscal 2008.

“Last year, the Postal Service took a loss of nearly $3 billion and recommended that the public take austere cuts in service to allow it to operate, including cutting a day of mail delivery and raising the price of stamps,” Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, Massachusetts Democrat, said Friday.

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Didn’t Congress and the President limit executive compensation of all those who took Federal bailout money?

Guess they just forgot this political, and all, political hacks.

What about Amtrak?

It’s all a giant joke!

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RANT: O versus L? The typical false choice.


Are you with Obama or Rush?
1/29/09 8:00 PM EST
Updated: 1/30/09 4:37 AM EST

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Politico has learned that tomorrow Americans United for Change, a liberal group, will begin airing radio ads in three states Obama won — Ohio, Pennsylvania and Nevada — with a tough question aimed at the GOP senators there: Will you side with Obama or Rush Limbaugh?

“Every Republican member of the House chose to take Rush Limbaugh’s advice,” says the narrator after playing the conservative talk radio giant’s declaration that he hopes Obama “fails.”

“Every Republican voted with Limbaugh — and against creating 4 million new American jobs. We can understand why a extreme partisan like Rush Limbaugh wants President Obama’s Jobs program to fail — but the members of Congress elected to represent the citizens in their districts? That’s another matter. Now the Obama plan goes to the Senate, and the question is: Will our Senator”—here the ad is tailored by state to name George Voinovich in Ohio, Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania, and John Ensign in Nevada—”side with Rush Limbaugh too?”

Asked to respond, Limbaugh had a message for his party.

“Senate Republicans need to understand this is not about me,” he wrote in an email. “It is about them, about intimidating them, especially after the show of unity in House. It is about the 2010 and 2012 elections. This is an opportunity for Republicans to redefine themselves after a few years of wandering aimlessly looking for a ‘brand’ and identity.”

*** and ***

Senate Republicans acknowledge that they’ll lose some of their members on the first vote.

“We’re in a little different spot than the House in that we have a handful of Republicans who have all but committed to supporting the package,” said a Senate GOP aide.

The aide declined to say who, but speculation on both sides of the aisle is centered on a group of northeasterners — Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, Sen. Judd Gregg (NH) and Specter.

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Everyone should be real clear. The “stimulus” bill is not about stimulus, jobs, or benefits for the “folks”.

It’s about socialism, pork spending, and making future voters for the democratic party.

Rahm told you that a crisis is a terrible thing to waste.

We’ve been hustled before — the Bush pre-rebate, the TARP, and now this!

And, the ad offers a false choice — O versus L?

I’m with neither.

The Republican Party NOW, when it’s out of power wants to “brand” itself as the party of smaller gooferment again. Where were they for eight years? We have the TSA, deficits, and out of control spending. All caused by a President who wouldn’t veto anything.

And, O wants to remake America on the basis of he “won” an election. Hey, guess what, more folks didn’t vote than voted. So you were elected by 28% to 24%. That should tell you that your plurality is very small.

More than half the Americans know they are getting screwed no matter which “side” won.

Not that there is much difference between EITHER “side”!

In this case, I am against the “gooferment enlargement” package.

You want to restart the economy. Shrink gooferment — Nuke the TSA, Kill whole gooferment department and agencies, stop the psuedo drug war, pardon all non-violent drug offenders, and return to normal. Cut the corporate tax to ZERO forever. It’s a sham; only real people pay taxes. Corporate taxes hide how much the gooferment is stealing from us.


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PRODUCTIVITY: Leaders empower their people


Tuesday, December 09, 2008
The Best Email of the Day Award

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…Goes to Peter Clayton, producer/host of Total Picture Radio. It needs no further commentary from me as it eloquently speaks for itself. Good on ‘ya Peter.

“Capital goes where it’s welcome and stays where it’s well treated.” Walter B. Wriston

Dear Dave,

When “The Citi Never Sleeps” ad campaign was first launched in 1978, Walter Wriston was running the place, and the motto had real meaning. Wriston was highly regarded, as was the institution he lead. Citibank / Citicorp was a cherished brand by its employees and a respected competitor in the financial services industry. Citibank had a unique, authentic, brand identity

*** and ***

According to David, “82% of shareholder value is intangible.” According to John, one-third of all shareholder value is attributed to “brand.
“So here’s an idea I’d like your help with: If we could find 24,000 Citibank employees willing to donate $10 each into a fund to “keep the trains running,” it might give the employees of this beleaguered institution something to be proud of, and smile about. I bet through Twitter, LinkedIn, Xing, and Facebook we could mobilize enough Citibankers to take up the cause. Next year, the Holiday Trains at Citigroup Center exhibit could be “In memory of Walter B. Wriston.” The fund could be set-up as an old-fashioned “Christmas Savings Account.”
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Dave always finds the great challenging ideas. Worth every nickel of my free RSS subscription.
It is clear that the current crop of “leaders” isn’t worth the power to blow them over. Poof! They’re gone. Gone; absconding with the salary, bonus, options, perks, and benefits. (I laffed at the Ford guy taking a $1/year! If the Congress MYOBed and Ford had to do Chapter 11, he could wave “bye” to his stock and options.)
It’s sad that “leaders” are so dishonest.
The time of large corporations is so OVER!
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POLITICAL: Make work, and infrastructure, is just inflation spending!


Friday, October 17, 2008

Use public works to put the public to work

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Anyone who thinks we can balance the federal budget and dig ourselves out of the financial quagmire is just fooling themselves. We can’t, and Paul Krugman explains why today:

{Extraneous Deleted}

On the other hand, there’s a lot the federal government can do for the economy. It can provide extended benefits to the unemployed, which will both help distressed families cope and put money in the hands of people likely to spend it. It can provide emergency aid to state and local governments, so that they aren’t forced into steep spending cuts that both degrade public services and destroy jobs. It can buy up mortgages (but not at face value, as John McCain has proposed) and restructure the terms to help families stay in their homes.

And this is also a good time to engage in some serious infrastructure spending, which the country badly needs in any case. The usual argument against public works as economic stimulus is that they take too long: by the time you get around to repairing that bridge and upgrading that rail line, the slump is over and the stimulus isn’t needed. Well, that argument has no force now, since the chances that this slump will be over anytime soon are virtually nil. So let’s get those projects rolling.

*** and ***


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Posted by Hank Kalet at 5:38 PM

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fjohn said…

Can’t you see the utter absurdity of the gooferment printing more money to spend on make work projects? They are counterfeiters! See that’s why they want you confused about what is money. (And have done a superb job of dumbing down the entire population!)

Forget the “dollar”. It’s meaningless. It’s not a store of value, unit of account, or useful intermediary.

Lets pretend that a gallon of gas is a unit of money. How can the gooferment just print gallons of gass? It can certainly print more receits for gallons of gas, but someone is going to get screwed when they can’t redeem their receit for the gallon it represents.

So too, regardless of what you think a dollar represents, somebody in this “printing press” money gets screwed.

Let’s have a guessing game?

Senior citizens on fixed income as prices rise! Very good.

Anyone who holds an “old dollar” as the new ones get printed. Excellent!

Any one who has to buy something. You get the prize!

Who wins? (If there are losers, there has to be winners!)

Politicians who get to spend these counterfiet dollars first.

Unions, especially gooferment ones, who have contracts tied to the minimum wage or inflation escaators.

Those who hold commodities and land. (The gooferment can’t print more of those.)

So, now maybe, just maybe, you will see this as the fraud, the theft, the cheating of the poor, that it really is.

How fortunate we have the gooferment to save us all.

{Shaking my head in disbelief. How can smart people be soooo blind!}


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LIBERTY: Who does own the gas station? Or, anything else for that matter.


Government Gouging by Aaron Bilger

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Unfortunately, the free market price system is currently being forbidden in Georgia and several other states. Politicians have enacted anti-“gouging” laws to punish sellers of gasoline who request too high a price. Whether such politicians are well-meaning but economically ignorant, or know the consequences but are cynically manipulating public distaste for higher prices despite this is up for debate, but the results are the same. Ethically, the results are detestable. Gas station operators are told in effect that they are not free; they must sell their product as an altruistic service to others rather than serving their own individual interests. Legislating an exact price ceiling (a maximum price at which gas could be sold) would be bad enough, but to compound the issue, an exact price is not given in anti-gouging laws. A supplier cannot even know if they may be violating the law, and must be constantly fearful of someone accusing them of charging “too much.” In Atlanta for now, the de facto result is gas station operators being afraid to price gasoline above $4–4.29/gallon. Asking a half-dozen local operators who ran out of gas as to why they do not raise prices resulted in the same general response; as one put it, “I cannot raise my price. It would be a crime.”

*** and ***

The culprit behind the gas shortages this time is individual state governments rather than federal government, but the solution is the same now as it was then – for politicians to stop their harmful efforts to control prices. End anti-gouging laws, end the shortage.

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