Thursday, August 25, 2005

Hawaii to cap gas prices at the pump

Yeah, it sounds like a great idea. Show those greedy little people at the oil companies who's boss. Cap the gas price.

But it's not.

On the short term, of course it looks great. It eases the pain at the pump. But that's it. It only eases the pain in one area. It also forces oil companies to set their prices. If an oil company doesn't like what is in front of them, they don't have to supply it. No one said they had to play by the new rules. Then the pump runs dry. End result in the long term is shortages and long waiting lines.

Besides, other commodities will still go up in price. Hawaii has always had to pay top premium for what they consume. Some of that is due to their remoteness and the expense of importing; some of that is due to companies taking advantage of the situation. It's a frustrating reality. I can understand their wanting to take control but focusing on one problem without taking into account overall matters won't benefit anyone.

You can't put a lid on a portion of the free market and expect all else to remain the same.

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