Posts tagged ‘Last November’

Yeah, this is Going to Work

Via the New York Times:

Prime Minister Wen Jiabao
responded Wednesday to growing public anxiety about inflation by
announcing that China would freeze energy prices in the near term, even
as international crude oil futures have continued to surge....

Last November, China raised gasoline and diesel prices by almost 10
percent, partly to appease officials at state-owned refineries.
Refiners had complained that price controls were forcing them to
swallow the difference between higher prices for crude oil on the world
market and regulated consumer prices at home for refined products. So
refineries cut back production of gasoline and particularly diesel,
causing long lines at fuel stations around the country.

More on past Chinese problems from gas price caps.  Here is a picture of one such past gas line in China. 


    I got my driver's license in 1978, just in time to spend the first few months of my driving life sitting in gas lines with the family car, a result of a series of market distorting actions by the US government.

Meanwhile, I presume the French and Germans will see no problem with this approach:

The Economist says,
of the state of economics education in France and Germany, "I
desperately hope it's not really this bad." Unfortunately, I think it's
really that bad. When the 35 hour work week was proposed, I was talking
to someone in the French consulate who did economics and trade. "Aren't
you worried that this will raise employer's costs and lead to business
failures or higher unemployment?" I asked.

"That's just Anglo-saxon economics" was his rather stunning reply.  Apparently, in France, demand curves do not slope downwards.

We Only Want Deadbeats

Frequent readers of this site know that I hold an extreme position on immigration:  I advocate free and open immigration of anyone who wants to come.  I made the case for open immigration here.

So it is not surprising that I am opposed to recent efforts by our Arizona Governor and state legislature to crack down on undocumented immigrants, an effort by the way that feels more like populist pandering than deeply held belief.

But what really befuddles me about our Governor's efforts is the message she seems to be sending.  Take these two positions together:

  1. Last November, Governor Napolitano opposed the passage of Proposition 200, which was aimed at denying state services to illegal immigrants.  And, after its passage in November 2004, she did everything she could to drag her feet on its enforcement
  2. Today, Governor Napolitano is supporting a state-wide crackdown on hiring of illegal immigrants, with a proposal for substantially increased fines and penalties for businesses that hire an undocumented worker.

Taking these two positions together, our governor's position appears to be that she supports immigrants being able to freeload off of taxpayer-funded services and transfer payments, but opposes immigrants being able to work and be productive.  Maybe we can post a big sign down on the border:

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning... for government handouts, but please tell your productive workers to stay home.

Update:  The Arizona Republic, though I may bash it from time to time, has been pretty fair to me in publishing my letters to the editor.  The post above was published in their print edition on January 21, and online here (though I thought my title was much better!)