Sun, 30 Apr 2006

Go away, Elliot 2

Elliot Spitzer proposes to save us from "gouging" gas stations. The trouble is that he is interfering in markets with NO CLUE about economics. Here we have a case of the blind leading the deaf. The deaf person can see perfectly fine the automobile heading towards them, but the blind person, thinking the deaf person doesn't understand that the blind person is leading him, grasps all the harder.

The problem can be clearly seen in this quote (also here): "Spitzer said the stations increased their at-the-pump prices by 25 to 75 percent for gas already in their holding facilities." Once you've purchased something, do you really care how much it cost? If you've purchased it for use value, you only care if you are considering buying another, at which point you decide if the value you've gotten is worth the price of the new one (not the first one you bought). If you've purchased it for resale, you only care how much the next tanker will cost.

Let me repeat that, since it's central: Gasoline retailers really don't care how much they paid for gasoline. They'd like to make a profit, but even more than that, they want to stay in business. That means that no matter how much they paid, they're going to charge enough to cover the next delivery. That's why gasoline prices tend to shoot up, and drop slowly.

So, Elliot Spitzer is being purely evil when he pursues a case like this. Why? Because he is doing so not because winning the case will make NY a better place to live. He is bringing this lawsuit to pander to the base instincts of the voting public. He wants to be seen as "Having Done Something About High Gas Prices."

If Elliot were truly a leader, he would publicly refuse to enforce this law. He would take the time to educate all New Yorkers of the foolishness of a law like this. If that be political suicide, better to die an honorable death. "I regret that I have but one political career to give to my country." is a sentiment that more politicians should express.

I encourage you to vote against Elliot Spitzer in the New York State Governor's race.

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