"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Let 'Em Freeze In the Queue

I see that the esteemed governor of the great state of Wisconsin, the Great Jim Doyle, wants to impose an excise tax of 2.5 percent on oil (and, presumably, refined products) sold in and/or for Wisconsin consumers, with an added constraint that the tax not be passed along in prices. This is because profits are enormous, and why shouldn't the evil oil companies pay for Wisconsin roads?

Wow. Forget whether the state accountants would be able to sort out the myriad influences on gasoline prices. Forget whether, analogously, the oil companies ought to get a subsidy when profits are low in the endless boom-bust cycle that is the oil market. Focus instead on the implications of this nostrum for Wisconsin drivers: If market conditions (relative demand and supply elasticities) otherwise would yield an increase in prices, then the no-passthrough requirement is a form of price control regulation of the gasoline market, with all of the problems and absurdities attendant upon it. Spot shortages and gasoline lines. Rerouting of supplies away from Wisconsin; not a bad idea, as I don't live there, and what better justice could there be for the Marxist sophisticates in Madison? Etc. Such destructive silliness is what federalism is for, and the entertainment value alone would be worth the agony of listening to Doyle's excuses.

5 comments:

Hunter Baker said...

This is what I refer to as the "wishing makes it so" school of liberal public policy. Can't pass it on my rear! It ALWAYS gets passed on. Price takes everything into account idiots.

Mike D'Virgilio said...

Liberalism is a very sad excuse for a philosophy of governance and how to order society. Liberals have been "wishing" for so long and been getting zero or negative results that results are no longer the issue. Who cares if oil companies actually pass the price on. We showed 'em that we punished the big bad oil companies. It really does get tiresome after a while.

Tom Van Dyke said...

I notice Doyle beat the Republican incumbent 45% to 41% in 2003, mostly because the Losertarian candidate took 11%.

Nice going, guys.

Michael Simpson said...

How would that "not pass it on" work, anyway? Would there be price controls?

Evanston said...

Gents, this is, after all, Wisconsin. Cousin of Michigan and Minnesota, and home of the Packers (whose fans mirror the general population of enthusiastic but blindly unperceptive buffoons). Almost Canadians.
Rife with Losertarians and dimocrats who understand nothing about economics. Now, Doyle (as a former independent lawyer) surely understands the notion of passing on costs, he's just tossing red meat to the masses.
Oh sorry, is anyone reading this from Wisconsin? Never mind...