Friday, May 25, 2007

An idiot in the AG's office, and how Arizona's Congressional delegation voted on HR 1252

Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard has, infamously flaunted his ignorance regarding the economic mechanisms setting gas prices.

To quote a sample:

Gasoline retailers and their trade associations claim that gasoline stations must immediately raise their prices in response to a threatened supply disruption because they must raise enough money to pay for their next shipment of potentially higher priced fuel. They call this arbitrary and speculative behavior “replacement cost” pricing. Whatever the reason, gasoline retailers actually seemed to be competing to raise prices during the Katrina episode. I personally observed that as soon as one station posted higher prices, others in the area quickly matched it. To do otherwise, retailers told my Office, would be to risk being overrun by customers and pumped dry.

Yes, avoiding being pumped dry is what replacement-cost pricing is all about. If you could undercut another retailer and be sustainably flooded with customers--or at least get more--you would. That's the process in effect when gas prices "come down like a feather." Apparently Goddard has yet to hear of "competition".

Read the rest. It's funny in a sick way, and stands as evidence that the man doesn't have either the brains or the knowledge to be a responsible Attorney General. Ignorance-based prosecutions are as intolerable as malicious ones.

Arizona's House delegation had the opportunity earlier this week to show whether or not they, unlike Goddard, get it, and whether or not they'd vote on something either pointless or blatantly unconstitutional for the sake of political posturing. Here's how they voted on HR 1252:

Aye AZ-1 Renzi, Rick [R]
Nay AZ-2 Franks, Trent [R]
Nay AZ-3 Shadegg, John [R]
Aye AZ-4 Pastor, Edward [D]
Aye AZ-5 Mitchell, Harry [D]
Nay AZ-6 Flake, Jeff [R]
Aye AZ-7 Grijalva, Raul [D]
Aye AZ-8 Giffords, Gabrielle [D]

Flake's "Nay" is predictable, as are the ayes of Grijalva and Giffords.

I'll throw in the first dollar for a collection to send each "Aye" voter a copy of Gwartney et al's Common Sense Economics, preferably by some postal method involving a whack on the head.

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