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(Cagle Post)   Typical government intervention caused the gas shortages after the hurricane this month   (cagle.com) divider line 32
    More: Interesting, public sector, random numbers, price controls, disaster areas  
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786 clicks; posted to Politics » on 13 Nov 2012 at 11:07 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-13 10:48:15 AM
You want to see people lose their minds and start widespread panic and hoarding? Let them know that a storm is on the way and that the things they need to live their lives are about to become ten times more expensive.
 
2012-11-13 11:11:05 AM
In Praise of Price Gouging:
Had gas stations been allowed to raise their prices to reflect the increased demand for gasoline, only those most in need of gasoline would have purchased gas.

ronpaul
 
2012-11-13 11:11:56 AM
HURRR muh economics 101!

Nevermind that there was already plenty of incentive for the few companies large enough to have the capacity to send gas to the most economically important part of the country. But no, if we let "market forces" decide, magically, mom and pop will be able to gas up the ol' tanker and provide freedom petro to all the needy.
 
2012-11-13 11:14:02 AM
If you can't afford to not freeze to death, you shouldn't have been born in the first place. Take some prenatal personal responsibility, people.
 
2012-11-13 11:15:29 AM
Had gas stations been allowed to raise their prices to reflect the increased demand for gasoline, only those most in need of gasoline would have purchased gas.

So there wouldn't have been a drop more gas, but it would have been distributed to those who had the most available cash.

Another brilliant analysis from RON PAUL.
 
2012-11-13 11:15:43 AM
Saw Ron Paul, closed link.
 
2012-11-13 11:15:47 AM
This is a good way of doing things. As long as rampant crime and unnecessary deaths is also ok with you.
 
2012-11-13 11:16:32 AM
So people who can't afford gas, but will potentially die without it aren't going to riot or steal or anything, right? Because people just don't do that. They die quietly, and in an orderly fashion.
 
2012-11-13 11:18:36 AM

Philip Francis Queeg: Had gas stations been allowed to raise their prices to reflect the increased demand for gasoline, only those most in need of gasoline would have purchased gas.

So there wouldn't have been a drop more gas, but it would have been distributed to those who had the most available cash.

Another brilliant analysis from RON PAUL.


And those most in need necessarily are the ones with the most cash.
 
2012-11-13 11:20:50 AM
You can have price controls and a shortage, or not. Either way, if it's a limited resource, then not everyone will have as much as they could possibly use. No amount of hand-wringing is going to change that.
 
2012-11-13 11:20:51 AM

propasaurus: In Praise of Price Gouging:
Had gas stations been allowed to raise their prices to reflect the increased demand for gasoline, only those most in need of gasoline would have purchased gas.

ronpaul


Haha hes talking as if there's people buying up gasoline and using it to run dozens of inflatable bouncy castles 24/7.
 
2012-11-13 11:22:04 AM

propasaurus: Philip Francis Queeg: Had gas stations been allowed to raise their prices to reflect the increased demand for gasoline, only those most in need of gasoline would have purchased gas.

So there wouldn't have been a drop more gas, but it would have been distributed to those who had the most available cash.

Another brilliant analysis from RON PAUL.

And those most in need necessarily are the ones with the most cash.


Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the wealthy outweigh the needs of the few or the one.
 
2012-11-13 11:23:35 AM
Libertarianism: Because poor people deserve to die.
 
2012-11-13 11:33:51 AM
Well I think clearly the solution here is to let the free market rationally decide to just not have a goddamn natural disaster in the first place. Duh-hoy.
 
2012-11-13 11:36:52 AM

propasaurus: In Praise of Price Gouging:
Had gas stations been allowed to raise their prices to reflect the increased demand for gasoline, only those most in need of gasoline would have purchased gas.

ronpaul


Having enough purchasing power to trade for != need.

Another market-fetishist policy proposal failure.
 
2012-11-13 11:37:52 AM
In a disaster like this, where demand skyrockets, some people won't be able to get some things because (a) the cost has gone up or (b) there are shortages caused by price controls. Take your pick.
 
2012-11-13 12:15:49 PM
The free market also decided that a beej in that alley over there was worth a few gallons (of gasoline, you sick farks!). The free market also decided that flood insurance was really hard you guys, so we'll let the Feds handle that. The free market would require poor people to pay the same $20/gal to fill their generators as rich folks to have a spare can to fill their 2nd generator.

Perhaps the free market is inadequate for dealing with disaster circumstances that affect millions of people at the same time.
 
2012-11-13 12:34:14 PM
If anybody has any hope that Ron Paul is not totally batshiat crazy, they need to see this article.

I mean, HOLY F*CK! Does he not understand that capitalism is a "survival of the fittest" game, where people get screwed over on a daily basis?
 
2012-11-13 12:38:19 PM

jigger: In a disaster like this, where demand skyrockets, some people won't be able to get some things because (a) the cost has gone up or (b) there are shortages caused by price controls. Take your pick.


Getting to the gas station first is apt to be a better indicator of need than having the most money on hand so ill go with b.
 
2012-11-13 12:39:27 PM

SineSwiper: If anybody has any hope that Ron Paul is not totally batshiat crazy, they need to see this article.

I mean, HOLY F*CK! Does he not understand that capitalism is a "survival of the fittest" game, where people get screwed over on a daily basis?


Of course he does. To farks like him, that's a feature.

To sane people, it's evidence that capitalism is, much as George Washington famously observed about government, "a dangerous servant and a fearful master".
 
2012-11-13 12:59:04 PM
Yes because how much you can afford to pay for gas should dictate your survival.

Someone tell Paul that only those who really NEED to be President can afford to spend enough to get elected.
 
2012-11-13 01:07:13 PM
Where exactly did the logistics of getting gas from outside the region to the customer's gas can/tank the weakest?

Were fuel trucks not able to deliver because roads were blocked?

I understand that gas stations lacked electricity from the grid to run the pumps so that people could have gas to run their generators at home....but then why didn't people bring generators and some gas to those gas stations without electricity, use the generator to run the pumps, use the subsequent pumped gas to run the generator, and distribute/sell the rest as normal? Were people doing this and the news just didn't report it? If so, it must be that the trucks couldn't make it there to deliver to keep up with demand caused by running all the generators...
 
2012-11-13 01:22:09 PM

jigger: In a disaster like this, where demand skyrockets, some people won't be able to get some things because (a) the cost has gone up or (b) there are shortages caused by price controls. Take your pick.


Agreed. Those are the two options. I think the only question the author is answering is which option will lead to a faster recovery of the supply chain. He's clearly saying that (a) allowing prices to increase to reflect regional demand, has a larger profit incentive and therefore I guess gas companies reroute trucks to where they'll make more money, the region that wants the gas more. I understand partly what people are saying about riots and such, but if the government takes option (b) and sets gas to say, $2 a gallon, that will actually disincentivize tanker trucks from delivering in the region. I don't know how gas is transacted/contracted between gasoline wholesaler, trucker, and gas station owner but the author may have a valid point.
 
2012-11-13 01:53:46 PM
Had gas stations been allowed to raise their prices to reflect the increased demand for gasoline, only those most in need of gasoline would have purchased gas.

If you can't afford it, you don't need it. Ask poor people with cancer.
 
2012-11-13 01:59:14 PM

oldass31: Where exactly did the logistics of getting gas from outside the region to the customer's gas can/tank the weakest?

Were fuel trucks not able to deliver because roads were blocked?

I understand that gas stations lacked electricity from the grid to run the pumps so that people could have gas to run their generators at home....but then why didn't people bring generators and some gas to those gas stations without electricity, use the generator to run the pumps, use the subsequent pumped gas to run the generator, and distribute/sell the rest as normal? Were people doing this and the news just didn't report it? If so, it must be that the trucks couldn't make it there to deliver to keep up with demand caused by running all the generators...


As a cost savings measure most gas stations did not have the ability to attach generators to their pumps. So for want of a transfer switch they sat there and looked at the gas in the ground. And since there wasn't an expectation of an extended outage (ie. more than two weeks) most didn't decide to get an electrician in and correct this shortcomming of their physical plant.

By Wednesday the gas tankers were on the road. One cut me off and nearly ran over two other cars while I was heading over to my parents to check on them.

But come up with your own facts. That's much more fun.
 
2012-11-13 02:12:22 PM

oldass31: Where exactly did the logistics of getting gas from outside the region to the customer's gas can/tank the weakest?

Were fuel trucks not able to deliver because roads were blocked?

I understand that gas stations lacked electricity from the grid to run the pumps so that people could have gas to run their generators at home....but then why didn't people bring generators and some gas to those gas stations without electricity, use the generator to run the pumps, use the subsequent pumped gas to run the generator, and distribute/sell the rest as normal? Were people doing this and the news just didn't report it? If so, it must be that the trucks couldn't make it there to deliver to keep up with demand caused by running all the generators...


Unless you are set up to do so beforehand, you generally can't just plug a generator in and make stuff work. And you assume people have generators sufficiently large to run the gas pumps (which is far from certain) that are small enough to take out to a gas station and aren't wired into their homes. I wouldn't be surprised if some stations aren't making sure they have a better backup power supply after this, though.
 
2012-11-13 02:19:56 PM

MadHatter500: oldass31: Where exactly did the logistics of getting gas from outside the region to the customer's gas can/tank the weakest?

Were fuel trucks not able to deliver because roads were blocked?

I understand that gas stations lacked electricity from the grid to run the pumps so that people could have gas to run their generators at home....but then why didn't people bring generators and some gas to those gas stations without electricity, use the generator to run the pumps, use the subsequent pumped gas to run the generator, and distribute/sell the rest as normal? Were people doing this and the news just didn't report it? If so, it must be that the trucks couldn't make it there to deliver to keep up with demand caused by running all the generators...

As a cost savings measure most gas stations did not have the ability to attach generators to their pumps. So for want of a transfer switch they sat there and looked at the gas in the ground. And since there wasn't an expectation of an extended outage (ie. more than two weeks) most didn't decide to get an electrician in and correct this shortcomming of their physical plant.

By Wednesday the gas tankers were on the road. One cut me off and nearly ran over two other cars while I was heading over to my parents to check on them.

But come up with your own facts. That's much more fun.



Hey, I'm not coming up with my own facts!?! I'm just trying to learn the details about what's going on and what more could be done so that I can help more people next time there is a crisis, not so that you could feel welcome to take a dump on me. Go find your self-esteem boost somewhere else.
 
2012-11-13 03:16:25 PM

oldass31: jigger: In a disaster like this, where demand skyrockets, some people won't be able to get some things because (a) the cost has gone up or (b) there are shortages caused by price controls. Take your pick.

Agreed. Those are the two options. I think the only question the author is answering is which option will lead to a faster recovery of the supply chain. He's clearly saying that (a) allowing prices to increase to reflect regional demand, has a larger profit incentive and therefore I guess gas companies reroute trucks to where they'll make more money, the region that wants the gas more. I understand partly what people are saying about riots and such, but if the government takes option (b) and sets gas to say, $2 a gallon, that will actually disincentivize tanker trucks from delivering in the region. I don't know how gas is transacted/contracted between gasoline wholesaler, trucker, and gas station owner but the author may have a valid point.


No, he's not 'clearly' saying allow prices to rise to reflect regional demand. He's literally arguing in favor of price gouging. Prices rising to reflect regional demand might mean they'd go up from $3 to $6. Not $20 or more. That's predatory price gouging, not 'market forces'. And you think, if the government had set prices at lower than market rate that those tankers would, what? sit at the depot rather than sell? Maybe they'd drive those tanker to Florida instead?
I'd like to see that. An oil company saying 'we're not going to meet the demand for fuel in storm ravaged areas because we'd be making a few bucks less if we did. Instead, we're going to sell it to folks who don't need it to literally live because they've got cash in hand.'
 
2012-11-13 03:18:14 PM
Disincentivize.
That's such a retarded pseudo-Libertarian buzzword.
 
2012-11-13 06:22:12 PM

propasaurus: oldass31: jigger: In a disaster like this, where demand skyrockets, some people won't be able to get some things because (a) the cost has gone up or (b) there are shortages caused by price controls. Take your pick.

Agreed. Those are the two options. I think the only question the author is answering is which option will lead to a faster recovery of the supply chain. He's clearly saying that (a) allowing prices to increase to reflect regional demand, has a larger profit incentive and therefore I guess gas companies reroute trucks to where they'll make more money, the region that wants the gas more. I understand partly what people are saying about riots and such, but if the government takes option (b) and sets gas to say, $2 a gallon, that will actually disincentivize tanker trucks from delivering in the region. I don't know how gas is transacted/contracted between gasoline wholesaler, trucker, and gas station owner but the author may have a valid point.

No, he's not 'clearly' saying allow prices to rise to reflect regional demand. He's literally arguing in favor of price gouging. Prices rising to reflect regional demand might mean they'd go up from $3 to $6. Not $20 or more. That's predatory price gouging, not 'market forces'.


I agree, I would definitely call $20 per gallon as predatory price-gouging. Can you show me what gas stations were charging $20 a gallon? Just because some Craigslist scumbags were ASKING for $20 per gallon doesn't mean anything. A quick search shows me a New Jersey gas station was caught committing the crime of 'price-gouging' by charging $5.50 per gallon. You just said that an increase of 100% ($3 up to $6.00) might be reflecting regional demand and might not be dramatic enough to call it 'price-gouging'. Well, NJ and NY law defines price-gouging as a 10% increase or more during a state of emergency. Does increasing gas from $3.00 to $3.31 sound like "price-gouging" to you, even during an emergency?

And you think, if the government had set prices at lower than market rate that those tankers would, what? sit at the depot rather than sell? Maybe they'd drive those tanker to Florida instead?
I'd like to see that. An oil company saying 'we're not going to meet the demand for fuel in storm ravaged areas because we'd be making a few bucks less if we did. Instead, we're going to sell it to folks who don't need it to literally live because they've got cash in hand.'


Have you seen what an oil company is capable of? Yes, I think the answer is yes, depending on factors like additional shipping costs, what price the government sets it to in the disaster area, what the market rate is in the surrounding 'non-disaster' areas are, current inventory levels compared to max capacity at the depot, how quickly they project things will go back to normal... Yes, they will quickly crunch a cost-benefit analysis and either allow the gasoline to build up in their reserve tanks, or deliver the gas to where ever they think will make the most money.

A typical tanker truck holds between 6,000 to 9,000 gallons. Let's make it easy at 8000 gal. If the government sets the price in the disaster zone to $3.50 per gal, and right outside the legally declared disaster zone it's selling for $4.00. That's a $4000.00 difference! Typical tanker truck with a full load gets 5.5 mpg. Let's say the $4.00 gas station is 1000 additional round-trip-miles away from the depot. Driver can make a round trip in 2 days. That's, I don't know, $200 of driver wages plus 180 gallons of gas for $720 or $920 all together. So yeah, the oil company could very well send their drivers 500 mile radius further and net $3080 more for the effort.

They're OIL companies, not charities! Their profit margins are thin and they don't give a shiat if people are dying. When have they ever cared? They've had governments overthrown to protect their bottom line FFS. If they're going to lose money on the deal, they won't deliver unless they think they can get some good PR out of it or something else that makes it worthwhile. 

They may not stop sending shipments altogether, but they will definitely divert some shipments away from the disaster area if they stand to profit.
 
2012-11-13 07:25:19 PM
Interestingly the most recent edition of the podcast Econtalk takes on this very topic. Basically comes out in praise of price gouging too but does so with a convincing argument. Also talks about the morality of price gouging from the starting point of John Locke's writings. (Short story, there are limits to what you should gouge. See also Munger's talk on euvoluntary transactions).
 
2012-11-13 11:10:38 PM

dywed88: oldass31: Where exactly did the logistics of getting gas from outside the region to the customer's gas can/tank the weakest?

Were fuel trucks not able to deliver because roads were blocked?

I understand that gas stations lacked electricity from the grid to run the pumps so that people could have gas to run their generators at home....but then why didn't people bring generators and some gas to those gas stations without electricity, use the generator to run the pumps, use the subsequent pumped gas to run the generator, and distribute/sell the rest as normal? Were people doing this and the news just didn't report it? If so, it must be that the trucks couldn't make it there to deliver to keep up with demand caused by running all the generators...

Unless you are set up to do so beforehand, you generally can't just plug a generator in and make stuff work. And you assume people have generators sufficiently large to run the gas pumps (which is far from certain) that are small enough to take out to a gas station and aren't wired into their homes. I wouldn't be surprised if some stations aren't making sure they have a better backup power supply after this, though.


You guys certainly can't be serious. You guys honestly think that a reasonably-sized home generator can't power a gas pump and a register?

/Light dat shiat
//Smoke dat shiat
///PASS DAT SHIAT!
 
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