well, maybe not stupid...but incredibly naive:
72 percent of Canadians want the federal government to regulate gas prices.
A cap on gas prices would only cause shortages Michael Campbell Vancouver Sun
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Okay, put up your hand if you're one of the 72 percent of Canadians who, according to an Ipsos Reid poll released earlier this week, want the federal government to regulate gasoline price. Come on, put your hand up. What's the use of having a really dumb idea if you won't own up to it.
"Gee, Fred, I don't like paying an extra $50 a month for gas. Why doesn't Stephen Harper just say gasoline can't cost more than 90 cents a litre? That oughta fix it."
You bet it would, but why stop there? Sharply rising house prices have prevented a lot of people from buying homes, so why not legislate against price rises in real estate? Health care costs are going through the roof which ends up costing taxpayers a lot more than the average $50 per month cost of rising gas prices. Why not limit the increases in health-care costs and start with rolling back the recent raises in pay for doctors and nurses?
Hey, this is fun. You name the price rise you don't like and the government will just step in and stop it. After all, that formula worked so well for the former Soviet Union.
I love the fact that this poll comes hot on the heels of a Leger Marketing poll that suggests that about two-thirds of Canadians are concerned about man- made global warming. And we think some of our politicians are full of it.
We really care about global warming, but we're opposed to higher gas prices that encourage individuals to cut their consumption thereby reducing the production of greenhouse gases. Actually our attitudes about rising gas prices and global warming have one major thing in common. In each case the majority of people are not going to change their driving habits. In fact, 72 per cent of Canadians think that the government should step in to make sure they don't have to. Stick that in your One Tonne Challenge.
Of course we're paying more at the pump and oil companies are enjoying the profits that arise from higher oil prices, but we all are benefiting as government revenues swell thanks to skyrocketing tax revenues and increased employment in the industry. I wonder where the public sector workers think the B.C. government got much of the billion dollars it doled out in bonuses in the recent wage settlements. I wonder how many of us appreciate that virtually all of the employment in alternative energy fields would not be taking place if not for the surge in energy prices.
Let's also remember that oil company and retail profits on gasoline are far smaller than the tax burden on gasoline. The Canadian Petroleum Products Institute, as printed in the Fraser Institute's Tax Facts 14, estimates that the government's take at the pump is three times more than the amount the oil companies get for refining, distribution, administration, taxes and their profits. The three levels of governments' take is estimated to be 600 per cent greater than the retailer's margin.
It's important to understand that prices are up because demand is outstripping supply and if government artificially keeps prices low the result, as we've seen chronicled so often in the past, is that significant shortages will ensure. Shortages will not be alleviated by restricting the profit incentive, especially when a huge chunk of that profit is already taxed away.
If we want to encourage less development, less employment, lower government revenues and the continued failure to develop needed refinery capacity to turn oil into gasoline, history has shown legislating artificially lower prices is an effective method. But then again the average motorist would save about $50 per month in gas -- at least until it runs out.
This is an extremely scarey thought, that so many people want the gov't to step in. It would be an economic disaster, gasoline would have to be rationed because there wouldn't be enough to go around, causing people to starve and drift into poverty. It's hard to believe that so many people are completely ignorant of such a basic economic principle as supply and demand.
7th December 2003
Does Canada produce all of it's oil at home? Otherwise regulating a price might be a bit difficult as the government probably has to pay the difference between the set price and the actual market price to whoever they import from.
We produce most of our own oil. But it'll never happen in Canada, it would split the country in half, Alberta would certainly seperate if this happens. It's happened before and people lost their homes and their livelihoods because of it, there's no way thay'd let it happen again, no matter what the majority in the east wants.
7th December 2003
In such matters it really shouldn't matter what the majority thinks but rather what's the best for a country's economy. Sometimes a restriction will be better for economy as it's reduces the power of monopolys. But unless the price for oil in Canada is much higher than in the rest of the world there is no monopolistic behaviour and regulations are probably not necessary.
Quetron's alt account
10th December 2005
Artificially low prices are insane. Its like biting the hand that feeds you - driving the price down, fucking up the profit margin, will only make the shortage WORSE.
I pretend I'm cooler than AzH
3rd September 2005
^canada can support itself completly on its own oil. its the #1 country that gives oil to america. why shouldnt they do it.
why shouldn't they do what? regulate gas prices? economic disaster for one.
Government regulation is how the world should work. I say go government!
I'm sure stalin and hitler would have agreed.
Along with many other Americans, Europeans, and Canadians. I'm sure Hitler and Stalin both agree that chocolate taste good.