Wednesday, November 7, 2012

No sign of Adam Smith during Sandy

Peter Foster:
... Both the Democratic governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, and the Republican governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, leaped into Sandy’s wake to assure their constituents that under no circumstances would they allow markets to work. The most immediate and obvious result of their interventions was four-hour lineups at gas stations.
... Governor Cuomo managed not merely to disrupt markets but to cause outright panic with the kind of initiative more associated with the likes of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez. He promised consumers 10 gallons of free gasoline ...
Mr. Christie, ... imposed gas rationing over the weekend, allowing gas purchases on alternate days based on whether your licence plate is odd or even. He had already invoked collectivist solidarity by suggesting that “During emergencies, New Jerseyans should look out for each other ... Thus he suggested little or no ... grasp of Adam Smith’s two-centuries-old insight about the butcher, the brewer, the baker and the gasoline retailer: that they serve us best by serving themselves.
The biggest culprit? Public ignorance of  free market principles:
In the marketplace of what passes for political ideas, a primitive sense of “fairness,” condemnation of greed and selfishness, a belief that higher prices will advantage “the rich” (because only they can afford the pricier goods), and a seemingly immutable faith that government force is the answer will beat out Economics 101 every time.
Is there a chance that we'll see our school system begin to teach free market basics any time soon?  Nah, they're too busy flogging "social justice".

No comments: