Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Should price controls be imposed on gasoline?

Gas prices rose for the 21st day in a row yesterday, inching ever closer to a national average of $4 a gallon.
According to AAA, the nationwide average is now $3.72 a gallon - up $0.02 from a day earlier.
Gas prices are up more than 13% percent so far this year - and February isn't even over yet.
Gasoline is already topping $4 a gallon in several states including California, Alaska and Hawaii.
Gas prices are mainly rising due to soaring oil prices.
They are up a whopping 10% in the past month alone due to fears that tensions with Iran will lead to a war and disrupt oil supplies.
Signs of an improving economy, growing worldwide demand and speculators have also driven oil prices higher.
We've been here before:
In the 1970s, the Nixon and Ford administrations imposed price controls on gasoline. They were reacting to rising gas prices caused by OPEC's cuts in production.
But what followed was long lines at gas stations and an artificial shortage of gasoline.
Experts say the most likely outcome of price controls is gas rationing, like what we saw 30 years ago.
People panicked to make sure they didn't wind up without gasoline and gas stations only stayed open a few hours a day to empty their tanks.
Since they couldn't raise prices, they would close shop after selling out.
And those who didn't want to wait in long lines bought gas on the black market at steep prices.
But as gasoline prices continue to climb and consumers feel a more intense pain at the pump, there could be pressure on the government to intervene once again.
Here’s my question to you: Should price controls be imposed on gasoline?Should price controls be imposed on gasoline?

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