The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

November 11, 2012

Let capitalism roam free


COVINGTON, Ind. — Editor:

From 1850 to 1889, capitalism freed mankind from cold log cabins, back-breaking work, disease without hope and travel only by horse or foot.

Starting about 1890, politicians began to interfere with that process, usually to serve their ends of the ends of cronies.

Now, after 123 years of public misunderstanding, even today’s victims blindly praise government intrusion.

As an example, let me paraphrase remarks I heard a couple of days after Hurricane Sandy:

“I realized I did not have enough gas to make it home, so I stopped at town XYZ.

After being in line for two hours, while everyone was filling up, I finally bought the last few gallons.

I had to spend the night at a motel, but, thanks to price gouging laws, I only had to pay regular price for the gas.”

Under capitalism, the gas station owner would have been free to raise prices to serve his own selfish interest, likely as much as $2 or $3 dollars per gallon.

At these prices, people would have bought only what they immediately needed, shortening lines and providing the best possible distribution of available supply.

The high prices also would have made it worth the risk for gasoline trucks headed to nearby states to go to New Jersey, quickly normalizing supplies and prices region wide.

It demonstrates how far (down) we have come to know that, in today’s world, New Jersey law had to be suspended to allow stations to buy gasoline from outside the state.

Ron Gore

Covington Ind.