Thursday, March 20, 2008

Red October's come early this year.

People's Law Commissioner Steve Carter of Indiana has ordered the evil bourgeoise oil companies and their running dog lackeys at three petrol stations to return moneys that they took from the good proletariat of Hendricks County. It seems that these exploiters of the people cleverly entered into voluntary agreements with the honest proles, and then... here's where the exploitation happens, so watch closely... delivered the agreed-upon amount of goods at the agreed-upon price!

Such acts of capitalism cannot be allowed to stand, even if between consenting adults. The bourgeoise pigs have been ordered to refund money to anyone who shows up with a receipt and a sob story.

The People's Law Commissioner encourages you to use this handy online finking form to report any petrol station near you that you suspect of practicing capitalism. Do it for the People! Viva la Revolucion! Down the Bourgeoise!

21 comments:

Jeff said...

That's pretty much what I was thinking this morning when I heard it on the tv. If the sign says $4.09 and you drive in and pay $4.09 when the sign down the street says $3.39 or so, who's fault is it but your own? Seems like a perfect time to let the $$ do the talking and drive right on by.

There was one station that joined in the 9-11 price hikes that I never went back to. They're closed now or I still wouldn't be going back. Not claiming I had anything to do with them going out of business, but just that I was pissed enough that they thought to take advantage of us that I was NEVER GOING BACK.

Don Gwinn said...

Those sons of bitches with their large, clear signs advertising the price of the product . . . . and did you see the quote from that one comrade who said she was going to buy gas, but when the price went up, she decided not to buy it?

That's fine for her, but what about all the people who decided to buy it? Who feels their pain, huh?

aczarnowski said...

I reacted the same way to gov price limits in my area. But then I realized they are in place to protect the little guy from the mega-franchise on the other corner which can run below cost for months if needed. Here, the price is limited by "you can't sell it for less than you paid for it."

That's probably not what's going on here since everybody is up in arms about how expensive it was. Paying too much is their own damn fault. But protecting the little guy a bit ain't a bad thing either...

DirtCrashr said...

So, Indiana ISM like California!? :-) Do they have an ammo-ban yet? We can send you some condors, their "potential habitat" is limitless and so far there's no law against below-market "species dumping."

Tam said...

No, this is pretty much a freak law in a state where a lifetime carry permit is $75 with no training requirement allows you to pack heat in bars.

We're a long way from California, and not just geographically. As a matter of fact, I've spent my adult life in Georgia and Tennessee, and Indiana has better gun laws in almost every way.

José Giganté said...

FTA

"The owner of the station at 5201 E. U.S. 36 said he raised his prices because of the competition."

Perhaps I missed this in my capitalism for dummies book but how is it that competition actually raises the price of anything? I know that scarcity and higher demand will, but competition, hmmm...

Perhaps these noble Capitalists aren't so gd noble after all and they got together to put the screws to John Q. Public. I'm all for free market, but there are just some real douchbags out there.

Still, you're an idiot to pay that much for gas if indeed a few blocks away its 70 cents cheaper. Now if you had the only three stations in town...

Tam said...

So, if you buy something, the government should be able to decide what you may ask for it when you resell it?

Anonymous said...

"The owner of the station at 5201 E. U.S. 36 said he raised his prices because of the competition."


If I were running a gas station, and the competitor's outrageously high prices drove so many people into my station that my supplies were in danger of running out entirely before the next scheduled delivery, you bet your bippies I'd raise my prices.

There's more than one price-related way to drive a competitor out of business...

José Giganté said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
José Giganté said...

Absolutism never works Tam. (irony definitely intended)

The our amendments are proof of that, there are restrictions on all of them, even the most honored of them like the 1st and 2nd. Saying government shouldn't protect its constituents from time to time is pretty ballsy, even for you.

How about monopolies? A purely capitalist system would embrace them, yet they are universally reviled (unless you have one).

This example is perhaps a simple case of dummies doing dumb things and whining about it afterward, but perhaps it isn't? I don't know that area nor how many gas stations are there, maybe these three stations are the only ones within a radius that prohibits patrons from economically driving down the street to the competition.

As for "anonymous" don't make me laugh!

(edited for grammar)

Billy Beck said...

"How about monopolies? A purely capitalist system would embrace them,..."

Bullshit.

perlhaqr said...

Jose: Google Maps shows two gas stations within 2500 feet of the first listed location in the linked article, neither of which are the second two stations listed in the article.

The second location appears to be right next door to another gas station.

The third location listed is in a slightly less prolific area, having no other stations within a 2500 foot or 1 mile radius, but there are 31 other stations within 5 miles.

The people who paid the high price without looking for another station should be charged an oxygen use tax.

Gregg said...

Jose,
Just how do you maintain a monopoly without using force? You have to assimilate or eliminate all competitors to have a monopoly. This has typically been done either with gov't supplied force (i.e. laws, IOW crooked politicians), gov't bribed force (i.e. crooked cops, and/or judges) or privately hired muscle (which required slightly less crooked cops/judges etc...)

Without prohibitive government regulation, capitalism breeds competition. Any monopoly will eventually become bloated and unable to compete over the long haul with the small new companies. It's a function of overhead.

DirtCrashr said...

Drat, and you guys can just drive from state to state without even making a left turn.

aczarnowski said...

Tam, I hear ya too. If I want to sell for a loss that's my own stupid business.

I'm conflicted.

Root for the underdog or level the field so the steamrollers don't have to work as hard?

Tam said...

I think it boils down to a simple question: Whoever owns an item has the right to set his price for it. If the government can arbitrarily set price, what does that say about who really owns stuff?

Rob K said...

It's sadder than you think. That's my home town. There's 8 or 9 gas stations in town. In 1987 when President Regan spoke in the courthouse there, the press called it the most conservative town in America because it was 87% registered Republican, the highest % of any town in America. You'd think you wouldn't have this sort of stupidity in a place like that...

I'm really embarrassed.

M said...

To report excessive prices, contact the Indiana Attorney General Hotline at 1-866-241-9753.

Quick! Somebody call them up and tell them about the sales, property, and income taxes!

John Stephens said...

Dunno how things are nowadays, but back during my brief career in the Oil Business (retail division), the profit margin for gasoline was essentially zero. You made your store's money on beer and cigarettes, the fuel was just bait. The price at the pump was set not according to what you paid for this lot, but what you thought you'd have to pay for the next one. The fellow in the story might have thought that the other store managers knew something he didn't, and the price of gas was about to skyrocket (entirely possible in these uncertain times).

Tam said...

I know that there was a week in my most recent time at the Vast Petroleum Conspiracy where, over a three day period, the gas we sold (on consignment, mind you) cost us $.02/gal to sell.

Feanaro said...

The our amendments are proof of that, there are restrictions on all of them

Congress could pass restrictions on breathing right here and now but that wouldn't make them right. The fact that a law exists doesn't instantly justify it.

How about monopolies?

Yes, I'd like to know more about them. Specifically, how they always seem to be the free market's problem when most are government created. Feudalism was, at the nuts and bolts level, a large scale system of monopoly grants. This persisted even into the American colonies, where a company could be granted exclusive "rights" to produce all the steel in New York. Or import all the tea, which lead to a minor ruckus. These were not created by the free market. Neither were the AT&T or USPS monopolies(the latter still in force for "non-urgent" mail and hampering "urgent" mail carriers with dunderhead rules).