We all know that anti-gouging laws cause shortages. Other problems are also caused when the government complicates problems by trying to “help.”
New York State is not the kind of place that would permit oil companies to sell gasoline in a hurricane-ravaged emergency zone. Instead, they insist on bringing it in and giving it away. “Fuel is on the way” promised Governor Andrew Cuomo to hurting New York residents. “The good news is it’s going to be free.”
Except that free gas that no one can get really doesn’t help.
People rushed out to get the free fuel and found just another car line to nowhere. After promising free gas would be available, it didn’t show up at the eight “free” gas stations set up by the military. “At least 1,000 drivers queued up at one site — the Freeport Armory in Long Island — only to be told the gasoline would not arrive for at least eight hours more, one driver said.” Also, each vehicle was limited to ten gallons.
Then, after lines had already formed, they were told they were supposed to stay away until later. Those who had already arrived could stay in line, but the rest needed to wait:
“National Guard Col. Richard Goldenberg said Saturday afternoon that people who were already at the distribution sites would not be turned away. But he says the priority would be giving gas to law enforcement agents, firefighters, EMTs and other emergency responders. That included gas for their personal vehicles, if necessary, so they could get to work.”
That was mid-morning Saturday.
It is understandable that First Responders needed to be given gasoline. But it does show how the government takes care of its own first. All people are equal, but some are more equal than others. In fact, by Saturday evening the story had changed:
“In New York, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo had to quickly alter a plan to have the military deliver free fuel after residents swarmed the first such depot in Queens. The fuel that the military is providing is now being used exclusively for emergency responders.”
So what started as a promise that the government was going to give people free gas (or at least ten gallons of it for those who would stay in line), has turned into a promise that the government is going to give itself free gas—including gas for the personal vehicles of those who are tii important to walk to work.
The whole situation shows how crazy the government becomes when it insists on “helping” and “protecting” people from the private markets.
When the government first promised to provide ten gallons of free gasoline, then why did they not allow all the other stations to set higher prices? That way people with money wouldn’t take up space in line at the free stations blocking people who couldn’t afford the price of gas. Each person would make his own choice as to whether to get fee gas or pay for it—to stand in line for hours or shell out money. If they had done so, maybe they could have afforded to give away some gas and provide for emergency vehicles.
Also, why was it so hard to get the gasoline to the stations in a quick manner? If an oil company saw a market for its product would it be so slow to take advantage of it? But that’s the difference. An oil company can offer bonuses and other incentives to get people to produce results. The government doesn’t like to operate in that world.
This is at least partially why a failed president like Obama has any chance of being elected when it shouldn’t even be close. There is a mentality among some Americans so that, even though they know they and their neighbors are miserable from need of gas, it is preferable to be miserable and stand in line to get a little gas rather than allow a slight increase in the profits of an oil companies.
Better that the government profit from tax supported goodies, rather than a private company. That mentality will destroy America.