Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Reason the Market Doesn't Work partially because we never even pretend to let it.

A service station that offered discounted gas to senior citizens and people supporting youth sports has been ordered by the state to raise its prices.

Center City BP owner Raj Bhandari has been offering senior citizens a 2 cent per gallon price break and discount cards that let sports boosters pay 3 cents less per gallon.

But the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection says those deals violate Wisconsin's Unfair Sales Act, which requires stations to sell gas for about 9.2 percent more than the wholesale price.

I'm no Ayn Rand, understand, so my faith in markets has more to do with a lack of a viable alternative given my tremendous distrust in government than a belief in the goodness of selfish humans. Still, it's idiotic to pretend that the United States is a capitalistic society when, in reality, we are only some awful Socialistic hybrid, something akin to what Hilaire Belloc called the Servile State.

Naturally we'll need the government to step in to reduce the price of gas because the market obviously can't solve the problem. This is a standard ploy, and one people will always fall for since most regulations are hidden. Try to keep this one firmly in mind next time a Congress-critter tries to introduce legislation to solve a problem which the market was prevented from addressing in the first place.

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