Thursday, June 19, 2008

First They Come For Your Refineries...

Rep. Maurice Hinchey, a Dumbocrat from NY said: "We (the government) should own the refineries. Then we can control how much gets out into the market."

First of all, refinery capacity is only part of the gas price problem, most if it is the price of oil before it reaches the refinery.

Now THERE's an idea! Government control over the supply of goods is always a great plan and leads to stable prices and plenty for everyone! Oops, wait.. No, the opposite is true.

Just as I told Eleanor today about an article discussing price freezes on certain food items in Mexico, such controls always lead to shortages.

Are you old enough to remember the gas lines in the Carter era? If we were to nationalize the refineries, it would make those lines look like the express lane at the grocery store.

Imagine the social tinkering that would go on if government owned the refineries! In the face of inevitable shortages, they would have the power to decide what areas got more gas and what areas got less. They'd have the power to punish certain regions who used more than their "fair share" of gas according to some arbitrary formula. They'd punish people for having SUV's, etc.

Nationalizing refineries will only lead to shortages and then nationalizing of other things to compensate for the failure of that program.