Thursday, November 8, 2012

Set gas prices free

Do you know how to make sure a gas station is always operational and has gas on hand to serve any and all consumers who might show at all times of the day?

I don't.

Neither do the President, the Governors of New York and New Jersey, various federal, state, local executives and legislators etc.

But, there are people who do.

The NYC/NJ area is now entering the 11th day of gas shortage following Sandy.

In addition to the State of New Jersey, New York City, and Nassau and Suffolk counties have just announced that they are going to initiate a gas rationing scheme.

All so that the price on the signs outside gas stations doesn't go up.

There is nothing we can do about the fact that gas is now more scarce in this area as a result of a natural disaster.

But, the continued shortage is simply a man-made disaster.

If gas stations were allowed to charge whatever price they wanted, they would undertake whatever expense is necessary to bring in additional quantities of gas or keep their stations operational at prices consumers are willing to pay.

If station owners can recoup their expenses, they would make sure that all consumers who are willing to pay at least the marginal cost of putting a gallon of gas in their tank right here right now would be able to get it.

Sure, that might mean that in some places at some points, the price of gas may shoot up to $10/gallon. But, those spikes would be short lived.

People might protest that's a high price. Well, you're going to pay either way: Either you end up stock in line in cold, dank weather, fighting with black-marketers, living in perpetual anxiety that one day you're going to get stuck in traffic for too long and run out of gas, or, you can pay a few dollars extra for a few days.

I used to tell my students that the reason people in Somalia starved was not because they had no idea how to grow food.

Similarly, the reason people in the NYC/NJ area are going without gas, and wasting countless hours at gas stations is not because no one in this area knows how to keep gas stations operating and supplied.

It is a pity that in this day and age, we have to relive the bad old days of the 70s in, of all places, the United States of America.

1 comment:

  1. Sinan, you are expecting way too much from government officials when you talk about market dynamics solving the shortage issues concerning gas in NY and NJ. They simply do not comprehend such common sense arguments. Just like our President who sees no connection between profits and job creation, these other officials at state level do not get how free markets operate. Their economic illiteracy is stunningly real despite the high positions that they occupy.

    Sinan, we are done as a nation. This is not an over-reaction as much as it sounds like one. In two short days, we have seen so many consequences of this election already. They include (but not limited to) all sorts of lay-off notices by likes of Boeing, State of VA, etc. etc., announcements by EPA sources that we are about to be hit by all sorts of greenhouse gas regulations, indications by the Administration that an avelanche of racial quota mandates are about to be released, demands by illegals to get their payola by way of amnesty, reports by US Ambassador to S. Arabia that Obama foreign policy towards Arabs will be changing to favor them, Obama statement that he now backs UN small arms treaty, and a few more items of the sort.

    These happened in the past 2 days alone. Imagine the disaster that awaits us Sinan. By the time Obama gets done, he will accomplish what I thought no one could: nake FDR look like a moderate. Obama is succeeding in fundamentally transforming this nation.

    Sinan, on Tuesday takers carried the day. American public is largely apathetic and that is one thing this republic could not survive. We have forfeited our right to be free people because 4 out of 10 didn't vote despite all the scandals and lousy economic performance. Don't even get me going on foreign policy arena. We are living a disaster Sinan. Make no mistake about it.

    The consequences of last Tuesday will live forever - not just a long time. The GOP is divided and unprincipled. Progressives - collectivists - are united and resolute as they have been for over a hundred years. You cannot win a war under these circumstances, Sinan.
    We are done for as a great nation. What happens in 2016 is nearly inconsequential as one voter summed up for me nicely. He said "in this country, we must find a way to have everyone participate in prosperity". And he was not even a progressive Democrat. He was an independent.
    This is the mindset that is ruling the day.

    The choice is clear, Sinan. We must either perish as free people (because progressivism requires 100% participation, thus must and will squash individualists) or individualist America must get a divorce due to irreconcileable differences. There are no other solutions, and I'd be glad to lay out the philosophical argument why I am right about this if anyone reading this doubts my conclusions. Just drop me a note at:

    RIP America. It certainly was the best of times.