Thu, 29 May 2008

"Something Must Be Done"

Eleanor Gibson, Norwood, is quoted in the local free weekly (North Country This Week) as saying about gasoline prices "Something needs to be done, an investigation into this -- it's ridiculous."

Did she complain about low oil company profits when gasoline prices dropped? Probably not. So why does she think she has the right to complain when gasoline prices have gone up? Arguing for your own interests over those of other people is called "selfish".

I always have to wonder quite what people think can be done when they say "Something needs to be done"? Do they think that Congress can repeal the law of supply and demand? One might as well try to repeal the law of gravitation. There are very concrete causes for the increase in gasoline prices. It comes down to having to pay more than anybody else wants to pay.

I suspect that people think that Congress and the President run the economy, and can turn prices up, or down, as they wish. They should be careful what they wish for. Our current health care mess was caused by wage and price controls during WWII. Wages were limited, so to attract the best employees, employers bought them free health care. After the war was over, employees took free health care for granted. Health care was still affordable then, because most people paid for it out of pocket. Now that very few people have to pay their own medical bills, they don't care how much health care costs, so they don't care to economize, and the medical industry is happy to oblige their spendthrift ways. Everybody complains about how the insurance companies don't want to pay for anything. If people were paying their own money, they wouldn't want to pay for anything, and the medical industry would find itself needing to keep the cost of health care low.

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