The southeast US is being hit twice with fuel disruptions.

The first event was by a pipeline leak of the Colonial Pipeline in Alabama (here). People panicked as a result of hyped-up media coverage. People filled up as a way to hoard gasoline in their vehicles and hopefully have enough until supplies returned. Luckily, there were no price gouging laws because that would have discouraged suppliers from coming in from unconventional sources to provide more fuel. Slowly, supply is returning.

However, the end is in sight. Woodring said gas is already coming in and the shortage will end soon.

“We got it this morning, but only half a tank. We usually get 7,000 to 10,000 gallons when we’re out and we got 3,000. So that’s what happens,” Woodring said. “It is pumping in right now, but it still has to fill up.”

 

The second event is Hurricane Matthew. It is about to hit the state of Florida and travel up the coast. Any existing price gouging laws will limit supply.

These laws are intended to protect sellers from taking advantage of consumers. But more often they exacerbate shortages by forcing sellers to sell gasoline at prices that are below what it would actually cost to obtain additional supplies.

Although many of these laws allow prices to increase to reflect higher costs, stations and fuel suppliers are often unsure of how their relevant costs might be interpreted by enforcement agencies.

As a result, they frequently choose to keep selling until supplies run out rather than increasing their price.

So how would things be better if gasoline prices had risen to, say, $3.50 a gallon last month? First, many of you would have bought a little less gasoline and drove a little less by combining trips, postponing unnecessary driving, or sharing rides. The higher the price, the more you save by using less. This would ensure gasoline is still available at the station for those who really need it.

Second, higher prices in areas impacted by the supply disruption would encourage even greater efforts by suppliers to bring in additional supplies from surrounding areas. Relocating fuel from other regions can be quite costly, and less fuel will flow in if this additional cost cannot be recouped when the gas is sold.

Third, if prices were high enough to significantly reduce usage and increase supply imports, stations would be much less likely to actually run out of gas. “Panic buying” and consumer stockpiling can occur if consumers believe they may not be able to purchase when they need to.

In the supply/demand calculus, price gouging laws limit supply and increase demand.

Here.

I’d like to see Trump flip the question back to Hillary skillfully. The real issue is the tax code. Does it need to be reformed or not? If Trump took deductions, it was because the tax code provided for them. Once the deductions are there in the tax code, he pretty much has to take them and would be a fool not to take them. If it looks wrong, what’s really wrong is the tax code. So, is Hillary proposing to take away this deduction? Is Trump? Presumably, the deduction is there because it’s good policy. Will either candidate defend the policy and, if not, promise to change it? I don’t see what else matters here. And I suspect the candidates don’t even disagree about that.

Yes, these are the questions that need to be asked, not more gotcha b.s.

Yes, he would be a fool not to take deductions. Do you not try to minimize your tax burden?

And this is yet another issue that does not get debated this election cycle.

Via Instanpundit.

Seems the media enjoys exploiting the gaffes made by Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson.

But they buried or forgot the missteps made by Trump and Clinton.

I’ve dug them up. Here’s a reminder: Donald Trump’s ignorance about America’s Nuclear Triad? Or Hillary Clinton’s assertion that Libya represented American “smart power at its best.” These are policy questions, not gotcha questions that Johnson was asked. Or even George W. Bush’s inability to name the leaders of at-the-time four current world hot spots: Chechnya, Taiwan, India and Pakistan.

Here is Matt Welch on media hypocrisy on the issue:

I have no problem saying the Libertarian Party nominee screwed up in this or any other interview. But if there’s anything more obnoxious than cheerleaders for Donald “bomb-the-sh—out-of-ISIS” Trump mocking Johnson for foreign-policy ignorance, it’s supporters and enablers of Hillary Clinton rolling their eyes theatrically at a presidential candidate who was against the Iraq and Libyan wars in real time, who wants to pardon rather than imprison Edward Snowden, and who comports himself with occasionally awkward humility rather than with the polished and delusional omniscience that we’ve unfortunately come to demand in our presidential candidates.

So the media like the polished bull$hi% rather than substantive policy.

Here is Emma Ashford on contrasting their foreign policy:

A more restrained approach to foreign policy would see the United States involved in fewer unnecessary conflicts around the world, and a much stronger emphasis on diplomacy and other non-military solutions to global problems. In contrast to Clinton’s liberal interventionist approach, it would avoid getting bogged down in civil wars like Libya and Syria. In contrast to Trump’s curiously aggressive isolationism, a restrained foreign policy sees trade as a positive, security-enhancing factor.

 

Project Belle  is a website that allows licensed cosmetologists to schedule appointments with prospective clients. Instead of going to a salon, customers can have hairstylists or makeup artists come directly to their homes or businesses (Source).

The connect professionals for haircuts and styling, yoga, makeup, manicures, personal training, beauty & health.

Looks like it serves the Nashville, TN area.

 

From Don Lavoie’s excellent 1985 volume National Economic Planning: What Is Left?:

Clip:

The government does not play the role of agent for the social will but simply joins in the self-serving struggles of the private sphere.  The public sector interferes with the operation of the private sphere, making war with the private decision-making order, while the competing participants from the private sector respond and attempt to circumvent such interference, to engage in defensive maneuvers, to try to grab state power for themselves and use it against their competitors.

An open letter to Trump economic advisor Peter Navarro here.

Clip:

This claim is untrue.  Nothing at all in economic theory says that it’s abnormal for a country to run trade deficits for over a decade, or even for over a century.  Nothing in economic theory implies that years, decades, or even centuries of unbroken annual trade deficits are evidence of ‘unfair’ trade practices by foreigners or of self-destructive economic policies at home.

If investment opportunities available in the United States this year are especially attractive relative to opportunities elsewhere, the U.S. will run a trade deficit this year as global investors use some of their dollars, not to buy American exports but, instead, to invest in America.  If next year the U.S. economy again offers especially attractive investment opportunities, America will run a trade deficit again next year.  Ditto for two years from now if the relative attractiveness of American investment opportunities continues for that year.  For an innovation-filled economy, such as that of the U.S., in a world in which the size of the capital stock can grow, there is no natural limit to the number of attractive investment opportunities that arise each year.  Nor is there a natural limit to the number of consecutive years that a country can, or will, continue to remain a disproportionately attractive destination for investment funds.

 

The hypocrisy is so rich. “Elected officials” grilling Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf.

These are the same people who created the country’s $20 trillion debt, cannot get an honest accounting of the department’s finances, have 70% of the budget on automatic pilot because of entitlement programs, say the military is financially depleted yet the Us spends as much as the next nine countries combined on military spending, implemented Obamacare which made health insurance and medical service levels worse then they already were.

The Wells Fargo issue is a case of fraud. Laws and procedures are already on the books to deal with it.

Hey you gutless wonders in Washington, learn to manage your own affairs. Get your own house in order and stop trying to run the lives and businesses of the people.

Here.