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Statists… Doin’ it right!

Sorry, that headline is a bit of sarcasm.

In Greece, the statists wanted to get some tax revenue, and to protect the environment. Killing two birds with one stone, they quadrupled taxes on heating oil. Smart, right? But did it work?

…the smell of wood smoke lingers everywhere at night…few residents here can afford heating oil…Overnight, the price of heating a small apartment for the winter shot up to about $1,900 from $1,300…

…the government seems to be losing money on the measure…Many Greeks…are simply not buying any heating oil this year…[the government] appears to have lost…about $190 million…in revenue…Meanwhile, many Greeks are suffering from the cold.

Closer to home, Gov. Pat Quinn of IL thinks it’s time for a $10 minimum wage.

“It’s obvious the governor feels such an increase will be good for the economy and good for workers who drive our economic growth. So many people are struggling to make ends meet earning the basic minimum wage — and these ends never get met,” the source said.

Problem is: minimum wage hikes kill jobs. Illinois’ lower-wage workers are going to suffer (not gain), if the measure passes.

Will statists ever learn that government can’t simply decree good outcomes? Probably not: they don’t want to learn it.



  1. They want to be gods.

    Comment by Paul — February 7, 2013 @ 9:47 pm - February 7, 2013

  2. A certain lib person in my life was complaining about increases in the price of gasoline. I just calmly pointed out that inflation was the inevitable result of massive debt and deficits, coupled with the energy policy under a Secretary of Energy who said explicitly that the USA should have Eurotopian level gas prices.

    Comment by V the K — February 7, 2013 @ 10:56 pm - February 7, 2013

  3. 🙂

    Comment by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) — February 7, 2013 @ 11:04 pm - February 7, 2013

  4. #2 Then there is El Presidente saying that energy prices would, necessarily, skyrocket under his plan.

    Comment by Paul — February 8, 2013 @ 3:33 am - February 8, 2013

  5. “Then there is El Presidente saying that energy prices would, necessarily, skyrocket under his plan.”

    On at least that point he can claim success.

    Comment by David — February 8, 2013 @ 7:37 am - February 8, 2013

  6. It is often quite easy for politicians to take a position on policy that ends up making the cost of daily living difficult for the average citizen because as often as not the politician is independently wealthy enough that they are more than insulated from the rising costs associated with that position.

    President Obama doesn’t care if gas is $2 a gallon or $4 a gallon because he doesn’t have to pay for it, or shift things around in his household budget to accomodate the higher cost. His wealth is such that the higher price doesn’t really make him feel any real financial pain.

    Politicans and government policy rarely takes into account the affects on the little people.

    Comment by Just Me — February 8, 2013 @ 8:46 am - February 8, 2013

  7. And now: Idiotic Obamacare Regulation to drive up the price of food. No one said liberalism would be affordable.

    Comment by V the K — February 8, 2013 @ 10:21 am - February 8, 2013

  8. Oh, wait… the left *did* say that.

    Comment by V the K — February 8, 2013 @ 10:22 am - February 8, 2013

  9. Washington State has actuaries on its payroll to in part determine the optimum price of cigarettes: the highest price that can be charged to maximize tax receipts while simultaneously being the lowest price possible to keep the most people smoking.

    Comment by Ignatius — February 8, 2013 @ 10:50 am - February 8, 2013

  10. “Problem is: minimum wage hikes kill jobs.”

    and the second problem is that minimum wage hikes contribute to rising prices. Not only do they not solve the problem, they exacerbate it—it’s a death spiral.

    Gov. Quinn, another Nobel Economics laureate!

    Comment by T — February 8, 2013 @ 11:00 am - February 8, 2013

  11. My apologies – I am too poor to be that liberal.

    (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) 😉

    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — February 8, 2013 @ 12:02 pm - February 8, 2013

  12. Gubmint has no business setting floors and cielings in the private sector. (Yes, that’s a period at the end of that sentence.)

    Comment by Richard Bell — February 8, 2013 @ 8:25 pm - February 8, 2013

  13. Statists will never learn because they are perfect and more intelligent than conservatives and people who actually work for a living.

    Comment by davinci — February 9, 2013 @ 12:00 am - February 9, 2013

  14. Joss Whedon may be a big government lib, but even he can’t stop the signal:
    “Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there’s a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They’re gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I’m asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, ten, they’ll swing back to the belief that they can make people…better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave.”

    Comment by The_Livewire — February 9, 2013 @ 11:00 pm - February 9, 2013

  15. @12: Richard, I agree with you on the condition that business is subject to the same vicissitudes of life that workers are. No bail outs, no tax breaks aimed at particular businesses, no taxpayer-backed bond financing, no regulatory exemptions for well-connected industries, no open borders, and no special ears in Congress.

    Putting a floor on wages may well worsen the job picture for entry-level and low-skill workers (read as workers with abilities on the left side of the bell curve) but if they don’t earn enough to survive, either they will get it from the government or get it from you, personally.

    The weird thing about the political debate these days (especially with regards to immigration reform) is the the pointy end of the spear is aimed directly at the “most vulnerable” and no one seems to care. For a lot of people, minimum wage work is the best they can do. Where did we get the idea that everyone is born with the ability to make it through medical school or understand quantum physics? Both sides are guilt of magical thinking.

    Comment by SoCalRobert — February 10, 2013 @ 10:49 am - February 10, 2013

  16. #15- SoCalRobert – “I agree with you on the condition”

    I confess, I do allow one gubmint intervention, “unfair trade practices” so I’m not a purist. LOL

    Comment by Richard Bell — February 10, 2013 @ 3:45 pm - February 10, 2013

  17. Minimum wage means that if they could, employers would play employees less than they already do.

    $400 / wk is way too much to pay someone performing what is most likely, a low skilled job full time. Get back to us when you can find any where in this country where a person could leave even a basic existence with out additional government aid of any type. And isn’t it a basic tenant of conservative philosophy that the government shouldn’t have to pay to support citizens?

    Comment by Kevin — February 10, 2013 @ 4:04 pm - February 10, 2013

  18. On a similar note, I was back home in Michigan not long ago; driving around the countryside, I saw acres and acres of trees that had been bulldozed to clear the land to grow corn for ethanol production.

    Yeah, environmental leftism is working out great for the environment.

    Comment by V the K — February 11, 2013 @ 9:47 am - February 11, 2013

  19. KEvin’s attempt at a rebuttal is amusing. Both for its stunning display of ignorance *and* its misunderstanding of economic reality.

    The true ‘minimum wage’ is the wage where if you dropped below it, no body would work. This is part of the reason the illegal immigrants distort the market place value. Since they are willing to work for a depressed wage, they keep the market from reflecting the true value of the service rendered.

    Of course Kevin conviently ignores (because it underminds his argument) that the government setting a minimum wage is also government interference which he pretends to understand is something opposed by conservatives.

    So Kevin amuses us with his attempt to provide a sucker’s choice. “Letting people find the true value of their labor and work to increase that value is wrong. The government has to take up the slack. So let the government interfer with the wage system.”

    KEvin wants us to believe that his government daddy isn’t intereferring by taking money from one person and giving it to another.

    Nice try Kevin. Try using actual logic next time.

    Comment by The_Livewire — February 11, 2013 @ 12:32 pm - February 11, 2013

  20. Minimum wage means that if they could, employers would play employees less than they already do.

    …AND hire more of them, lowering the unemployment rate. And isn’t it a basic tenant of leftism that unemployment is bad?

    The rest of your comment, I can’t make head nor tail of Kevin, except that I have to guess that you never heard of entry-level people, such as teenagers, living with their parents and/or with each other.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 12, 2013 @ 8:46 pm - February 12, 2013

  21. if the politicans want people to have more to spend why don’t they just cut taxes. oh that means less money for them.

    Comment by tommy651 — February 15, 2013 @ 5:31 pm - February 15, 2013

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