Monday, November 14, 2005

Overheard at the Inquisition on "Price Gouging"

This is what many of us wish one of the oil company execs who showed up for his congressional spanking could have said. The fact that it needs to be said not only to liberal Democrats, but also to "conservative" Republicans, says volumes about the state of the conservative movement today.

From Reason magazine, Inherit the Windfall by Shikha Dalmia.

A sample:

"Yes, we all made record profits this past quarter. We are proud of this achievement and, indeed, in the future hope to surpass it. Our survival and success depends on producing value for our investors, most of whom are ordinary, middle-class Americans—your constituents, as a matter of fact—who invest in our stocks through their pension funds or 401K accounts. "

Very nice. Want another taste? Sample this:

"In fact, the oil industry's margins are well below those of Gannett, the largest newspaper corporation—and no doubt far, far below those of Fox News...". (...) "Besides, we already tried windfall profit taxes—along with leisure suits and polyester ties—with disastrous results. "

Alas, I believe humorous asides are lost on the parasitic free-spenders who currently infest that august body.

"In a market economy, price is set by supply and demand, not wishful thinking. The price of oil has gone up because of growing demand from emerging economies like India and China and disruptions in supply due to natural disasters in North America and political instability in Latin America and Iraq."

Please, please, don't confuse them! Reasons and evidence only cloud their judgement.

"If we could collude to raise oil prices whenever we pleased, why didn't we do so last year when prices at the pump dropped to nearly a dollar a gallon?"

Uh, Mr. Business Man, this is our inquisition. So we'll ask the pointed questions, if you don't mind.

Recently the liberal TV drama West Wing held a mock "live debate" between conservative and liberal candidates. I didn't watch it, having viewed a few episodes of West Wing and found them lacking in the realism that the show's producers obviously see as its strong point. The conservative candidate was played by the wonderful actor and uber-liberal Allan Alda. From the many reports around the blogosphere it appears that Alda's charactor did a very respectable job representing what a conservative candidate would believe, though no one seemed to think that a conservative candidate would actually utter, in public, the lines written for Alda's make-believe Republican.

Sadly, the same could be said for the above lines and our make-believe oil company executive.

Where's Howard Roark when you need him?


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