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08/25/2005 Archived Entry: "Gas shortages coming to Hawaii"

HAWAII LEGISLATES GASOLINE SHORTAGES Displaying a breathtaking ignorance of both basic economics and oft-repeated lessons of history, The State of Hawaii has capped the price of gasoline.

It seems the legislature is upset because the price of gas recently hit $2.84 a gallon. Note to lawmakers: Blogoneur Silver paid $2.89 at a highway station this morning, and I haven't been lei'd in a long, long time.

Itís the consumers of Hawaii who get screwed. Here's the short version of this lesson: If the price cap is real, meaning it mandates a price below what the free market would set, demand will go up but supply will not. There will be shortages. When and how bad is hard to say, but the outcome is certain. Limiting maximum prices creates shortages. Limiting minimum prices creates surpluses.

The fascist morons attempting to impose their will upon the free choices of millions of consumers claim that Hawaii, being small and isolated, does not have sufficient competition. But 30 seconds of Google searching turns up a page just chock full of data including a listing of refineries by State (PDF). Hawaii, with 2 refineries, looks pretty well off compared to 10 states with 1 refinery and 17 states with none. But why check facts, history, or science when you can just enforce your favorite fantasies with state violence and coercion?

Energy expert Fereidun Fesharaki sums it up: "a stupid idea."

Posted by Silver @ 04:20 PM CST
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