by Locker Room contributor
Recalling the gas lines that panicked drivers last fall after Hurricane Ike disrupted fuel supplies along the East Coast, state lawmakers are considering a proposal that allow the governor to ration gas in similar situations.
Senate Bill 811 also would allow the governor to freeze fuel prices in the event of an emergency or market disruption. The Council of State would have to approve a price freeze to make it effective.
And why were there gas lines and stations out of gas in NC after Hurricane Ike but not after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita? Because Ike happened after the state decided to outlaw “price gouging” ? i.e., forbid prices to reflect a temporary greater scarcity. It’s the stupid law that caused shortages by interfering with market pricing. Better to have gasoline at high prices than no gas available at a “great” price.
No one forces you to buy gasoline. When prices spike because of a disaster-driven temporary supply disruption, it causes people to ration their gasoline purchases voluntarily according to their needs. Get that, legislators? People ration voluntarily; the government doesn’t have to force it on them unilaterally.
No one forces you to buy gasoline, but the state forces retailers to supply gasoline at pre-disaster prices ? that means that people aren’t given the higher prices than cause them to ration voluntarily, so they consume as usual (or worse, since they expect shortages, they hoard, which exhausts supplies even quicker) until there is no gasoline left.
What’s the idiotic solution to this problem caused by idiotic legislation? Even more idiotic legislation ? have the government force rationing after having the government force consumption-as-usual.
It’s the fallacy of the old lady who swallowed the fly: making a much bigger mistake in an attempt to solve the problems artificially generated by the first stupid mistake.