Urbin Report

Friday, December 05, 2003

Sacrifice, Price-Controls, and Statism vs. Self-Interest , Profit-Seeking, and Freedom

by Thomas Sowell

During the gasoline shortage that began in 1979, motorists were often waiting in long lines of cars at filling stations -- sometimes for hours -- in hopes of reaching the pump before the gas ran out. The ways that Ted Kennedy and Ronald Reagan proposed to deal with this situation speaks volumes about the difference between the left and the right.

Senator Kennedy said: "We must adopt a system of gasoline rationing without delay," in "a way that demands a fair sacrifice from all Americans."

Ronald Reagan said that we must get rid of price controls on petroleum, so that there won't be a shortage in the first place. One of his first acts after becoming president was to end federal price controls. Lines at filling stations disappeared.

Despite angry outcries from liberals that gas prices would skyrocket as Big Oil "gouged" the public, in reality prices came down within months and continued falling for years. More taxes were piled onto gasoline by the government but the real cost of the gas itself hit a new low by 1993.
Whenever a liberal starts calling for government to "be compassionate" I immediately have a vision of a gun being shoved into my face.

Progress in the real world is the movement toward a society where free persons deal with each other on the principle of consent. The false conception of progress that is pushed by the left is nothing more than a reversion to the state on nature where the self-annointed "leaders" deal with their presumed subjects as though they were dumb animals, which is by coercive force. This new style of barbarism is in the present day justified through the use of fraudulent ideologies such as socialism/communism and environmentalism.

Liberals are in my own personal view nothing more than home-grown savages and I'm not sorry to say that someday we will be compelled to deal with them as such.

-- Les