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I just saw this via Alex Tabarrok:

The Hill: Six House Democrats, led by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), want to set up a “Reasonable Profits Board” to control gas profits.

The Democrats, worried about higher gas prices, want to set up a board that would apply a “windfall profit tax” as high as 100 percent on the sale of oil and gas, according to their legislation.

…The Gas Price Spike Act, H.R. 3784, would apply a windfall tax on the sale of oil and gas that ranges from 50 percent to 100 percent on all surplus earnings exceeding “a reasonable profit.” It would set up a Reasonable Profits Board made up of three presidential nominees that will serve three-year terms.

And here directly from the proposed bill:

(4) REASONABLE PROFIT.—The term ‘reasonable profit’ means the amount determined by the Reasonable Profits Board to be a reasonable profit on the sale.

Addendum: Here is Bryan Caplan’s classic, Atlas Shrugged and Public Choice: The Obvious Parallels and here is the Atlas Shrugged app.

I’ll keep my cool, I swear. So how about private corporations set up a reasonable tax board, and how about us fleeced and raped taxpayers set up a reasonable government expenditures board? And let’s make the decisions of these boards binding. If you do not support this, Mr. Kucinich, can you explain why?

UPDATE: And by the way you economic and moral imbecile, there is an easier and more ethical way to “control” the excess profits of the oil and gas industry, but I think you had to not be smoking dope during your intro econ class in order to appreciate what that might be. It’s so idiotically obvious that I won’t even give a piece of candy to those who posit the correct observation. And no, I did not wake up on the wrong side of the bed today. Being charitable and thoughtful in an intellectual setting does not require that I sympathize with someone who wants to tear the clothes off my back. Sorry to those of you who think otherwise. Mr. Kucinich and his gang of thugs are the ones who are uncivil, and don’t let the fact that they wear nice clothes and have gloriously appointed hovels offices deceive you.

UPDATE #2: I am sure there is no worry about these guys, right? I cannot wait for the profits board to get a hold of ’em. Oh wait, they already do. My bad.

UPDATE #3: Via Mark Perry, the state forces preschoolers to purchase cafeteria chicken nuggets, despite moms packing turkey sandwich, banana, chips and juice. Give me a break.  What’s the point in even wringing my hands about this?

5 Responses to “Mr. Hamilton, Boy Were You Ever Wrong”

  1. Speedmaster says:

    I’m nearly speechless. We truly live in Orwellian times. If there is such a thing as a criminal level of ignorance, this is it.

  2. Harry says:

    The first thing taught is the gap between perfect competition prices and monopolistic/oligopolistic prices. This is to lay the foundation for the role of the commissar to determine “fair” profit margins for companies with statistically significant pockets to plunder, that is, any company with more than fifty employees.

  3. Jason B says:

    How can they possibly get away with a definition for reasonable profit being whatever we deem to be reasonable profit? There is not even an attempt to legislate by the ‘rule of law’ here. It’s impossible to consistently apply legislation if the legislation is defined as whatever the opinion of the board is at the time.

    What does he think is going to happen when they put a limit on profits? Is he completely historically and economically illiterate? He lived through the 1970’s oil shortage. This is almost comical if I wasn’t so upset with the story. He’s concerned with high gas prices and concludes we should limit oil company profits. Essentially putting a limit on supply and in the process driving up the price of oil. Oops. Next step price controls…

  4. Harry says:

    Good point, Jason. Dennis Kucinich was perhaps in pre-school, being taught to be a good Young Pioneer when we got wage and price controls, which followed the Viet Nam war (paid with inflation) and the abandoning of Bretton Woods. Hey, wage and price controls worked, right?

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