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Old 06-22-2009, 09:06 AM
 
6,046 posts, read 7,124,307 times
Reputation: 1860
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnesthesiaMD View Post
Only if the majority of people WANT that choice.
why wouldn't someone want a choice? I like being able to pump my gas and get out of there. I don't want some scrubby gas station attendants hands all over my car...not to mention, I don't want to wait either. I just want to pump and be done with it. (It's cheaper to pump yourself in NY than have the guy do it anyway).

 
Old 06-22-2009, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Home
1,479 posts, read 1,836,928 times
Reputation: 589
Quote:
Originally Posted by elflord1973 View Post
How do you define "what it is worth", if not by what the market will pay ?
What people pay is a speculative worth, not actual.

It is why it could not be maintained at $140 a month. AAMOF, that price actually started the next development of both alternative fuels AND hybrid fuel machines both being designed to appeal more for the mainstream that the previous prototypes ever did.

Quote:
Supply and demand.
No, that is not supply and demand. That is speculative purchasing, different than producing a commodity. These guys literally bought the stuff as an investment, not as a substance to be used, artifically driving up the prices. Prices that soon crumbled and dropped back down to their original.

This trading of such a substance generates artificial highs which do not do us any good.

Having dairy go up, raw, 466% in a year or two just because people started buying cows is silly.

Quote:
Please review this post:

http://www.city-data.com/forum/9386631-post180.html

and learn how to spell "cite" while you're at it ...
1, I disagree with your grocery example, and 2, don't start me looking for spelling errors on your post. You know it is pointless and makes you seem like you are scrounging at nothing to somehow prove yourself as correct..

Comparing the price of Apples to Gasoline is not a strait deal and certainly not in the manner you described.

Quote:
There is a reason they can't arbitrarily jack up prices. Ultimately they are constrained by supply and demand even though they can temporarily make little grabs here and there. Sometimes transition in regulation etc creates a small window for gaming, but it doesn't trump the laws of economics.
Yes, they do. If the prices went to $10 a gallon, what would 90% of the american people who are forced to drive to work DO? Would they simply stop working?

I know they would start using more efficient cars, even the $4 a gallon price spurred the increase of Hybrid and Electric car development, but when you build a society de[pendent on that kind of utility, something a person cannot make on their own, you cannot start comparing it to free market economics.

Quote:
That would make your post a response to the title of the thread. Doing is as a followup to a quoted post creates the impression that it's a response to the post quoted.
That was why I put several blank lines between it and started talking about something different. It is how things are done online. You can change the subject you are talking about by placing a break, like this:





Between what you are talking about (exaggerated). People have been doing that for a LONG time.

Don't think people talk about you or your opst all the time, even when you are quoted in the beginning.
 
Old 06-22-2009, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Home
1,479 posts, read 1,836,928 times
Reputation: 589
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdawg8181 View Post
why wouldn't someone want a choice?
If you had to pay the same amount to do it yourself, or an extra $1 a filling (give or take)?

You know that NY is not that far away, if you want to fill your car yourself, you are welcome to go there, or PA.....

Quote:
I like being able to pump my gas and get out of there. I don't want some scrubby gas station attendants hands all over my car...not to mention, I don't want to wait either.
I seriously do not know where you guys are going to get gas. 90% of the places I have been to, the most you wait is 30 seconds for a guy to come over. You make it seem like you sit there for 5 minutes waiting for a guy.

You know what? Go somewhere ELSE.

Quote:
I just want to pump and be done with it. (It's cheaper to pump yourself in NY than have the guy do it anyway).
??

That makes no sense. You did not validate your statement here. Yes, they CHARGE YOU MORE for full service, but that does not mean that they are doing that because they need that money to support the guy who would do it.

They guy is still there, and still needs to be paid, yet most NYers do not use the full service. I would bet there are not enough paying extra for his time there to cover his expense of woking there.

They CAN charge extra for this, so they DO, whether they need it or not. Saying that NJ would lower its gas prices on self serve simply cannot be proven.





But again, why is everyone so hung up about this? Such an anal retentive little subject and we have argued it for two pages. We have even gotten people complaining about SPELLING.

This should be locked now. It isn't going anywhere anymore!
 
Old 06-22-2009, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Montgomery County, PA
2,771 posts, read 3,689,312 times
Reputation: 594
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninjahedge View Post
What people pay is a speculative worth, not actual.
And what determines speculative worth if not forward-looking expectations of supply and demand ?

I don't agree with your thesis about speculation driving oil prices, but this would be another topic in its own right.

To your question about whether people would stop driving if price went to $10/gallon -- supply and demand may or may not be perfectly elastic. I agree with you that they wouldn't immediately curtail their use. Building an infrastructure that would permit people to use less gas takes time.

This area has potential for careful regulation, but if they get this wrong, you create a potential for a California energy crisis. Price controls would be catastrophic, but giving consumers access to the same sort of hedging that airlines use is more promising.

About the grocery example -- I agree that the analogy is imperfect, but it wasn't my example (I was responding to someone else). However, my point was quite valid -- labor (and other) costs are a factor in prices. When these prices go up, prices ultimately go up. The fact that the relationship between production cost and prices is not as simple as some (especially those with no understanding of economics or finance) might expect does not mean that it does not exist.
 
Old 06-22-2009, 08:58 PM
 
Location: NJ
11,653 posts, read 20,878,139 times
Reputation: 4436
wow - 6 pages arguing over....gas pumping. just wow. you people need to count your lucky stars your life is such that THIS is an issue for you.
 
Old 06-22-2009, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Montgomery County, PA
2,771 posts, read 3,689,312 times
Reputation: 594
Quote:
Originally Posted by tahiti View Post
wow - 6 pages arguing over....gas pumping. just wow. you people need to count your lucky stars your life is such that THIS is an issue for you.
This is about much more than gas pumping.

It's about whether or not it is reasonable to have your purchasing decisions imposed on you by a 51% majority.

Not only is it an issue for me, it is an issue for everyone who pays federal or state taxes.

It also happens to be an issue that is before congress right now.
 
Old 06-22-2009, 09:15 PM
 
Location: NJ
11,653 posts, read 20,878,139 times
Reputation: 4436
Quote:
Originally Posted by elflord1973 View Post
This is about much more than gas pumping.

It's about whether or not it is reasonable to have your purchasing decisions imposed on you by a 51% majority.

Not only is it an issue for me, it is an issue for everyone who pays federal or state taxes.

It also happens to be an issue that is before congress right now.
 
Old 06-22-2009, 09:32 PM
 
Location: Northern NJ/Amagansett, NY
4,082 posts, read 4,630,789 times
Reputation: 2845
Quote:
Originally Posted by elflord1973 View Post
Then it seems to me that you are opposed to free markets.

There are two scenarios where the voluntary, bilaterally informed free market transactions run into substantial problems. In these cases, there are good cases to be made for regulation, intervention, or government run services.

neighborhood effects : third parties are economically impacted by the transaction) and

natural monopolies
: duplication of infrastructure introduces substantial inefficiency.

In the examples you offer:

(1) the firemen: there is widespread agreement that this is a "natural monopoly". If it wasn't a natural monopoly, it still wouldn't be run on a fees to service model; people would buy insurance to avoid being at risk of paying 50k.

(2) the cardiologist and emergency care: many believe that this falls under one or both of the above categories, though this is a contentious and contested claim.

I think it would be difficult to make a compelling case for "natural monopoly" or "neighborhood effect" in the case of gas prices.
Really? Is it really THAT much different than the Cardiologist?
I am certainly not an economist, but I like reading about macroeconomics, and it seems to me that there is lot of fancy footwork that goes on in the field. It seems to me that economists can justify just about anything that fits their model. I'm not saying that they dont believe what they are saying. They probably do. A year ago, a lot of economist were arguing that an economy based on debt is a good thing, and they would give a whole list of plausible reasons why. I dont think they are quite as vocal these days, but it did make me realize that common sense is a lot more valuable than theory. Anyone with any common sense could have seen the current collapse coming a mile away, but these economists were convinced that their Keynesian model would work out in the end. Of course, even John Maynard Keynes would argue against raising taxes during a recession, but thats a different thread. Why am I going off on this tangent? There seems to be one central theme in economics, and that is "Whats good for business is good for America." I disagree with this sentiment. Economists call for free markets, EXCEPT when it impedes the business sector, kind of like your 2 exceptions above. Economists also like to imply that in a free market society, people's compensation is commensurate with their contribution to society. This is also a bunch of BS. Why? Because not everyone is afforded a free market. When the CEO of a widget company is earning 20X, 50X, 100X the salary of a transplant surgeon, how can we possibly believe we are paid according to our contribution to society? In fact, many people who are helping to discover cures for some of society's diseases are paid little more than a plumber, and as long as we brought up firemen, lets talk about how poorly firemen are compensated for all they do for society. They risk horrible painful deaths, just to save us. So if you want to say that I'm against free markets, thats fine, but the way I see it many people dont have the luxury of free markets. Why should the business sector keep getting a pass? So forgive me if I dont shed a tear for the gas stations.

or...

Give the free market to everybody. Then I will be making so much dough I wont care about paying extra for full service gas.


(For those who cant tell, I'm not really asking for free market capitalism in medicine. I'm just making a point.)
 
Old 06-22-2009, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Montgomery County, PA
2,771 posts, read 3,689,312 times
Reputation: 594
Quote:
Originally Posted by tahiti View Post
I don't follow, it appears we're not understanding each other.

When discussing economics, it is often instructive to look at simple or small examples. For example, the economist Frederic Bastiat wrote

Parable of the broken window - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Suffice it to say, this was not really an essay about broken windows.

Likewise, if you read the essay "the tragedy of the commons", and concluded that it wasn't relevant to you, because you didn't own any grazing animals, you missed the point.

In conclusion, serious discussion of economics does not always involve content that is obviously "important". What I don't understand is, whether you're smirking at the entire discipline of economics, or whether you're smirking at the notion that a discussion about pumping gas has wider implications.
 
Old 06-22-2009, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Montgomery County, PA
2,771 posts, read 3,689,312 times
Reputation: 594
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnesthesiaMD View Post
Really? Is it really THAT much different than the Cardiologist?
Yes.

First, there are some who argue that health insurance is a natural monopoly. There are many countries with health care systems that are essentially based on this premise.

There are no countries with any kind of market system, where "single payer gas" is considered useful.

Second, if emergency health care is to be provided to recipients before the recipient of care can show that he is entitled to receive it, this has a beneficial effect on third parties (who can show up and also receive care, though they are not party to any agreement). This is "neighborhood effect".

I don't see how me not using pump service imposes a cost on you -- is there a neighborhood effect somewhere, and if so, what is it ?


Quote:
Anyone with any common sense could have seen the current collapse coming a mile away, but these economists were convinced that their Keynesian model would work out in the end.
Paul Krugman, a self-described "neo-Keynesian", called the housing bubble a few years in advance, and argued that Greenspan was trying to produce a housing bubble to avoid a double dip recession in around 2002.

So I don't think this is a fair characterization. I would blame the politicians and not the economists.

Quote:
Economists call for free markets, EXCEPT when it impedes the business sector, kind of like your 2 exceptions above.
There are several applications of those exceptions that would not be welcomed by business or hard line free market people. These include education (neighborhood effects), cap and trade (neighborhood effects), universal health care (natural monopoly), government run telecom sector (natural monopoly)

Quote:
Economists also like to imply that in a free market society, people's compensation is commensurate with their contribution to society.
I like to think of it as commensurate with what they are paid, according to bilaterally informed, voluntary agreements.

Their actions may have other benefits for society (again, positive neighborhood effects) that don't lend themselves to financial compensation under such agreements. For example, that transplant surgeon can't impose fees on everyone who benefits as a result of him saving the life of patient (X). Even if he saves the life of widget company CEO, resulting in record profits for widget company, the shareholders aren't required to give him a bit of their dividend.
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