The best line about the Atlanta gas shortage, courtesy of the usually moron magnet AJC.com message boards:
"Put an immigration agent at every gas station and the lines will disappear."
So, so, so true - at least in my neighborhood.
However, I have to quibble with the folks crying out for governor Sonny Perdue to take governmental action. First, we're all aware what happens when Sonny intervenes. But second, this would all be avoided if he hadn't stuck his seven chins in the mix in the first place.
Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue has signed an executive order activating the state's price gouging statute to protect consumers from unreasonable price increases for gasoline because of Hurricane Ike. In a statement Friday night, the governor said the hurricane "has disrupted the production of distribution of gasoline, which will have an effect on prices." But, he added, "We expect the prices that Georgians pay at the pump to be in line with the prices retailers are paying. We will not tolerate retailers taking advantage of Georgians during a time of emergency." The statute prevents retailers from selling goods or services at an unreasonable price. It does not prevent price increases that accurately reflect an increase in the cost of the goods or services to the retailer.
Try to ignore the fact statutes like this are a grotesque attack on our supposedly free market (how is it the government's responsibility to decide what a company charges is "unreasonable?"). Let's just envision a city where gas is $5.99 a gallon this week. Do you think people would be topping their tanks off as much as they are? Filling up gas cans? Causing 45 minute lines? So insistent on grabbing every last drop they can?
The problem, if prices had been allowed to meet demand, would likely be history by now. Prices would already be falling back into line because there wouldn't be this panic. However, the intrusion of government has prolonged the misery.
Shocking, I know. That never happens.