27 September 2005

And so it begins...

The Socialist Commonwealth of New Jersey (maybe it's a Worker's Republic?) has filed lawsuits against three oil companies and several gas companies for price gouging. Never fear comrades, even if the lawsuits fail, the state will have had the desired effect of scaring companies away from raising prices during the next shortage. Prices will remain low, and the shortage will be worse that it otherwise would be, but hey, you might be one of the few lucky ones to get gas the next time.

22 September 2005

Can the state buy me a dog?

Well, I should have known this was inevitable. Government evacuation plans are now going to have to include getting pets out of harm's way! That's right, the state is going to confiscate taxpayer money to make sure poor Fifi doesn't drown in the class 4 hurricane bearing down on its smelly behind. Isn't this a wonderful quote from the Humane Society: "We cannot rely on individual acts of compassion." No, of course not, better call in the National Guard instead.

Here's a thought. If you own a pet that you're willing to risk your life for, then shouldn't you be responsible enough to own a cage and some food so you can bring your pet along with you when you need to evacuate? I could tell the same old story about how the expansion of the socialist welfare/warfare state destroys personal responsibility, but it always seems to fall on deaf ears. Or are people not listening because they're too busy looking for another handout from the government?

14 September 2005

I Smell A Rat

Of course it is due to the fact that once again, government isn't doing its job. And I thought the Department of Homeland Security was useless! Based on the numbers in this story, the New Dehli government has spent $896,280 for absolutely nothing in return. What are the chances that the people they stole this money from in the first place could really use that extra cash?

08 September 2005

Michael Moore is a big fat idiot

Maybe I'm being a bit harsh on old Mikey, who is apparently thinking of making the events surrounding Katrina into a movie. Not being a politician has allowed Mr. Moore to be a little more blunt than your typical Democrat (wasn't this guy independent at one point?) when it comes to politicizing Katrina, even though Hillary seems to be giving him a run for his money. You see, the debacle of a response by the feds isn't due to the fact that once again government has proven itself to be ineffective, but is really just another blunder by the Bush administration. So a challenge to all the Democrats out there - tell me how things would have been different with Kerry as president. We'd still have a useless Department of Homeland Security, and FEMA would still be headed by an incompetent crony friend of some politician. Just like in the doomsday scenario the Democrats predicted would happen if Bush got re-elected, the public is being spun. When in fact we all know nothing changes when the presidency changes hands between the Republicrats. And it never will.

05 September 2005

Happy Capital Day

Most governments in the west set aside a special holiday dedicated to labor, that wonderful "class" whose interests would be imposed on us all in some sort of Socialist Utopia. So on this holiday, sit back and think of how great your life would be had labor groups succeeded in fulfilling their vision. Just imagine that queue you would face at the supermarket for the goods the socialists actually got around to producing (of course you couldn't shop until tomorrow, as it would be illegal to work today). Think of how low the quality of life in the west would be as incentives to innovate would be destroyed, buried under piles of labor legislation. Attempting to do anything yourself would be outlawed by the state, as free will and liberty would have to be curtailed in order to keep people in line with the official goals of the "people." As bad our statist situation is, just be thankful as things could be a lot worse.

Another wonderful oil and gas story. I would love to see the questions these pollsters actually asked, but I can't locate the actual poll yet. I wonder if 49% of Canadians would agree with this statement:

Oil and gas resources should be nationalized, creating another bureaucratic mess that is unable to respond to consumer needs in times of crisis, wasting millions (or even billions) of taxpayer dollars through favors handed out to political friends, and, with the removal of the profit motive driving behavior under private control, creating market inefficiencies that would ensure that prices are higher than they would be were these industries to remain under private ownership.

02 September 2005

Don't worry, we know the price of that

Look out! Evil capitalists are profiteering again. Supply and demand concerns are irrelevant if you're the state, you can just set the price for any good you want. Particularly when it's an important good like oil or gas. In times of short supply, such as in the aftermath of a hurricane through an area that sees a lot of petroleum refining, prices rise.

While I expect bad economic reasoning from Jack Layton and the rest of the NDP, even supposed free-marketers like Liberal Dan McTeague are getting into the act. When prices react quickly to market shocks, is this a sign of efficiency or anti-competitve behavior? I'll take the former, I'll leave the statists to defend the latter.

01 September 2005

We love shortages...

Must get into the habit of blogging more. Who knew that a dissertation wouldn't write itself? Anyway, here's the old standard about "price-gouging". In the aftermath of a natural disaster, many goods become much more scarce than usual. As the result of a decrease in supply, the natural price of a good rises. Thus the natural state of the world should be temporary increases in prices, insuring that these scarce goods go to those who value them most.

Well basic laws of economics are no match for looters, armed mobs, or even the President. As a result, we hear harsh warnings from politicians that price-gouging will not be tolerated as the clean up from Katrina proceeds. That's right, it's our good friend the price ceiling. How does this affect the chain of events?

Supply decreases through an occurance of nature, in this case a hurricane, leading to a temporary shortage until the price can fully adjust. Instead of allowing the price to rise naturally to the equilibrium level, laws against price-gouging forbid producers to sell above a certain price. As a result, all the producers who were willing to sell at a price between the price ceiling and the natural equilibrium price are forced out of the market. State intervention leads to a decrease in the quantity supplied of these goods, and the adverse effects of the shortage are made worse as a result. People in the areas affected by Katrina have been hit hard enough, don't let politicians and bad economics make their lives even worse.