To the Editor:
We really have to hand it to our senator Amy Klobuchar. Through her keen powers of observation she noticed gasoline prices had climbed into the $4 range – last spring. This August she finally discovered the cause: All the refiners were shutting down operations to do maintenance at the same time, thus creating a shortage. She’s pretty sharp. They’ve only been doing that twice a year for about the last twenty years. What she didn’t discover is they’re required to do that. Federal government regulation dictates refineries switch from winter to summer blend and back on certain dates. Her solution to this problem, created solely by government regulation: More government regulation. One wonders if that might not have yet further unforeseen consequences .
She also discovered that when these government created shortages occur, traders bid up the price. Shocking. Supply and demand at work. Her solution: Surprise! More government regulation. This time her approach is not entirely novel. This has been tried before. Does anyone remember the lines at gas stations during the Jimmy Carter price controls?