It wasn’t long ago that politicians were carping about windfall profit taxes on oil companies, and gas stations were getting dinged on price gouging laws for setting a galon of gas too high.
Now the shoe is on the other foot and it’s payback time! As Peter Klein notes, drivers and their insatiable desire for cheap gas are screwing over the poor service station owners, which have to cope with $2 gasoline. It’s unconscionable. Either drivers should be sued for price gouging (with the legal proceeds going to the stations) or drivers need to get slapped with a windfall savings tax on the amount of money they’re not spending on gasoline. It’s only fair.
Oh, you think we’re joking? Well the premise of any kind of price gouging or price fixing or aggressive pricing law is premised on the idea that prices are not set by the market but by active economic actors. And we know that oil companies and gas stations would never voluntarily cut prices at the pump, ergo, there’s only one answer: consumers are forcing the price of gasoline down.
Time to throw the book at ’em.
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