Price controls, the bad, the ugly and worse

Rent Control vs Non-Rent Control
Rent Control vs Non-Rent Control. Mountain View Voice

Free market competition has a history of creating jobs, creating new products, new opportunities and wealth. Government control of the market fails.

Thomas Sowell points out in Basic Economics IIRC, that you can’t compare the official government prices in places where the government controls prices. Instead you have to look at the blackmarket price for goods. Since the blackmarket is almost always a free market, it is much more likely to be properly indicating the correct signals.

A signal is how much a person is willing to pay for a good or service.

If somebody is staying in the same job, even though they aren’t “getting paid enough”, then the company is being signaled that they price they are paying for labor is correct. If they can’t hold personal and/or they can’t hire new personal then they are being signaled that they are not paying enough. Paying enough includes all the extras a job includes.

Maryland has a fairly high income tax. The income tax is both a state income tax, a county income tax and a city income tax. Originally there was no limit on what the county and city tax rate could be. The different counties had different rates. People made decisions on where they lived based on those rates.

In order to “help” the people from being ripped off by the county and city taxes legislation was introduced that set the maximum rate that could be charged. With fanfare it passed.

Within a very few years every county and city had exactly the same tax rate. That maximum allowed by law.

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Here we go, PLCAA be damned

Gilroy Garlic Festival day after shooting
Gilroy Garlic Festival day after shooting

California passed legislation that allows people to sue gun manufacturers, distributors, and retailers for others misusing their products.

In 2019 some asshole shot up the California garlic festival. Now that Bruen has dropped the maggots are coming out to feast on the bodies.

The lawsuit seeks damages and injunctive relief from Century Arms LLC for marketing and selling the WASR-10 military-style assault rifle the shooter used to carry out the horrific act that killed three people and injured 17 others. According to Scarlett Law Group and Brady Legal, the company was “negligent and reckless” for manufacturing and selling “a weapon of war” that can too easily be modified to fire automatically.
Why Is Century Arms LLC Liable?

The addition off Century Arms to the lawsuit was approved by Santa Clara County Superior Court after California passed laws enabling citizens to individually sue corporations and individuals doing commerce in arms.

In addition to the Scarlett Law Group suit there seems to be others that are suing Century Arms.

This is the second prong on the most recent attack on the Second Amendment. The first being to declare so many sensitive places that it is impossible to carry and the other to use lawfare to drive people and corporations engaging in the legal commerce in arms to be driven out of business via the costs of defending themselves.

The same article was published in many places
Family of California shooting victims sue gun distributor

When Gun Buybacks Go Right

The elephant in the room is that nobody is buying anything back. They never owned it in the first place and they are using your money to purchase these guns.

Since most of them are “no questions asked” they are often a place where criminals get rid of guns that have been used in murders.

Lastly, they are often complete rip offs. Some widow brings in the M1 Garand that her father carried in WWII and is given a $100 gift card to the local grocery store or Walmart.

Some of the better buy backs that have happened is when a bunch of gun guys showed up and setup outside the buy back. They were making real offers on the guns before the Government could rip the owners off. In the one case I know of, they cops just told the buyers they had to be back 100 ft from the official buyback booth.

But the folks down in Houston, TX went one step further. They told their 3D printer to start printing some sort of frame. By the time they were done they had enough “ghost guns” to get over $3000 in $50 gift cards.

More than enough to pay for their filament and time.

One of many articles about the government figuring out that they have been had.
3D-printed ghost guns won’t be accepted at next Houston buyback event, Mayor Sylvester Turner says
Google Search link: news houston gun buyback

Sensitive Places, OH version

Ohio is a freedom state. They have constitutional carry. Of course this means that the streets are running red with blood.

Oh, right, that’s Chicago and DC and other blue cities and states with “strict gun control”. It doesn’t seem to be happening in freedom states.

This year, for the first time in decades, people will be legally able to carry at the Ohio State Fair. Given that this is an unsecured area, carrying seems to be a good idea. Heck, you are awake and dressed, carrying seems like a good idea.

Unfortunately for fairgoers, this might not be actually possible. According to one pundit all the restrooms at the fair are indoors and according to this one report people are not allowed to carry indoors. This means that people that go to the Ohio State Fair and need to use the restroom might find themselves in violation of the law.

None of the claims of this pundit have been verified. They could just be talking out of their ass, still it shows the type of thing that happens when locations can be marked as off limits to people legally carrying their firearm. Another place that only criminals with guns are welcome.

Anyone bringing a firearm to the Ohio State Fair better have a strong bladder, or someone who will babysit their firearm, if they need to relieve themselves. As I recall, all bathrooms at the fair are indoors. No open-air urinals, and urinating in public is still against the law in Ohio. I have no sympathy for them.
No guns indoors, including bathrooms

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Tuesday Tunes

Dark songs tell a history. Songs of war and heroes move us.

Songs of Country, God, and Flag makes the sprit soar.

But sometimes you hear a song that reminds you of a time where men were men and women were women and the reason for being.

Here is Peggy Lee setting it on fire with Fever

Inflation is the Big Corporations Fault

You can tell that the recession of 2022 is going to be bad. The media is rolling out the narrative that inflation is caused by anything but the Democrats policies.

A couple of years ago there was a massive wildfire. The west coast of the US was burning. But when you looked at it from space there was a strange thing happening. The fires stopped at the US/Canadian border. Why?


While in the US the econazi’s screamed over anything humans did that changed a single bit of nature, the Canadian’s were practicing better (good?) forest management. The environmentalist in the US had initiated a number of policies that caused the forests of west coast to be turned into one great big tender box.

Different policies get different results.

Of course the media was screaming the leftest talking point “Climate change is causing wildfires!”

In the same way Biden’s economic policies are causing inflation. The media claims it is not because of policy but there are things that make you go “Hmmmm…”

CPI 2006 through 2022
CPI 2006 through 2022

Inflation started falling at the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020, it stabilized with a slow climb through 2020. Then in 2021 there is a sharp upward spike. Just what happened in January of 2021?

The left counters by claiming corporate greed. Corporations are pulling in huge profits in 2022, this proves they are greedy.

The first thing to understand is that companies pulling in profits doesn’t mean that there is suddenly a huge pile of money that the board of directors gets to play in. No, it means that the corporation is going to be paying out more dividends.

As an example they point to Exxon’s profits, year over year. In the 1st quarter of 2021 Exxon had a profit of $11.824B. In the first quarter of 2022 they had a profit of $20.317B. Obviously this means that the corporations are being greedy.

Except that this is a false comparison. From 2010 through 2012 profits were going up, slightly. From 2012 through 2017 it was going down. 2017 through 2019 it goes back up again. And from 2019 through 2021 it is going down. Then suddenly, in the first quarter of 2021 there is a huge spike in profits. Just what happened in January of 2021?

The short answer is there was a policy change.

The problem with judging “greed” by profits is that profits doesn’t tell you anything about the state of a business. If the gross income on a widget is $100 and the net is $0.10 nobody thinks that’s an outrageous profit. Take that same widget and sell 1,000,000 of them per month and you have a net income of $100,000.

Making $1.2Million in “profits” per year sounds a whole lot better than 10 cents per widget.

People have a difficult time conceptualizing large numbers. A Small Problem With Big Numbers is a brief description of the problems with understanding, getting a feel for, large numbers.

I spent time working for a super computer company. We dealt with very very small numbers in measuring time. Times that were so short that the lengths of wires were all carefully measured because the speed of light made a difference in processing signals correctly.

I was also doing photography. I have some very expensive studio lights.

The lights were fired remotely. When the flash on my camera went off it would trigger all of the studio lights. I was very concerned about synchronization issues. I carefully calculated the time it would take for the light to travel to the sensors, looked up the response time of the sensors and everything else. There was some serious lag involved.

I went to my mentor and asked “How can this possibly work? The lag is horrible.” He carefully pointed out that my lag was measured in nanoseconds. The shutter to my camera was open for 17 milliseconds and the flash only existed for a very short period of time. The lag would have to be nearly one million times larger in order for it to have any effect.

I had failed to grok large numbers.

When dealing with profits most corporations run on slim margins. While the over all cost to you of a good or service might be high, no one entity in the chain of creation is running at unreasonable margins.

When you sell your labor you are competing with every other person with your skillset trying to get that job. If you price yourself out of the labor market then you don’t get the job. If you are asking $100k/year and they are asking $80K/year and they can do the same job, they might get the job instead of you. Unless you bring some extra value.

If the price of a bag of oranges is noticeably higher than a different bag of oranges then you are more likely to buy the lower cost bag of oranges, IFF the quality is good enough.

If the corporations could have raised their prices in 2019 as much as they have today and still sold goods, they would have. They didn’t because their competition would have undersold them. If every seller of oranges is raising their price and nobody is undercutting that implies that people are willing to pay that price and that the seller is unable to cut their prices to get more sales.

Inflation happens when the value of money goes down. Prices go up when demand out strips supply. We are currently experiencing both. The government is injecting more money into the economy which devalues it. The supply for many goods, petroleum products in particular, is going down. Demand is exceeding the supply. Prices will go up.

As our costs go up, we in turn raise our prices to cover those costs. Which in turn raises the costs to those that purchase our goods or services.

We need new policies before we are all billionaires that can’t afford to buy a loaf of bread.

Workers are being punished for inflation. The real culprit is corporate greed

Democrats can’t stand losing

For years we had to put up with the Supreme court handing down decisions based on what outcome the left wanted. The court was stacked heavily to the left. The great legal minds of the left on the court were looking for ways to modify the law in order to get the outcome they wanted.

You can see this in the disent on Bruen. The disent spends page after page telling us why guns are bad and how horrible it is that people die from gunshots. When they finally get around to arguing on the basis of the law, the major point is that there wasn’t evidence.

There was evidence, the evidence was given directly to the court during oral arguments.

In addition to the left leaning justices, we had justices that would do their best to do the least. Roberts works unendingly to make sure that decisions on the right are as limited in scope as possible. Read about how he was working to limit the scope of Dobbs if you want an idea of the sort of effort he puts in.

Even when he joins in an opinion he is likely to attempt to limit the scope of the decision.

The best of the left leaning justices was Ruth. While I didn’t like her decisions, she worked hard to find law to support her opinions. Kagan is out there telling the world that the court will be delegitimized if they don’t make the decisions she wants.

Having spent years owning the court, the left is now having a fit over no longer owning the court. People that were perfectly happy when the court was 6-3 left are now screaming that 6-3 right is stacked. Rules For Thee, Not For Me.

In response the left threatened to pack the court. To add so many justices to the court that it would be generations before it could be turned conservative again. There was talk of adding as many as 9 new justices, all to be appointed right now.

Court packing isn’t making any headway. It didn’t happen the last time a Democrat in office tried it. It is dead in the water today.

So of course the Democrats have to change the rules. Just like the killed the filibuster for court appointments when Obama was in office, as soon as they lost the Senate they wanted the filibuster back. When the Republicans killed the filibuster for Supreme court appointments, the left lost their minds.

Today’s latest rule change? Term limits on all justices.

The bill, 2021-2022 H.R. 8500 “Supreme Court Tenure Establishment and Retirement Modernization Act of 2022”

This bill has been introduced but there is no official text at The Library of Congress, it is only available at the congressman’s site: To amend title 28, United States Code, to provide for the duration of active service of justices of the Supreme Court, and for other purposes

The bill would limit the term of each justice to 18 years. In the first and third year of each president’s term, they would appoint one new justice. The longest serving justice would then be “retired”.

This means that a two term president would be able to appoint 4 new justices.

All of this to avoid having the constitution read as written and not some magic 8-ball that always gives the answer a left leaning justice wants.