October 2012

Tweet of The Day


Ping Pong Physics

Fun with physics and ping pong balls:

In defence of price gouging

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy there is concern that people may be price gouging. Gov. Chris Christie has said he will come down hard on culprits caught price gouging.

During emergencies, New Jerseyans should look out for each other — not seek to take advantage of each other. The State Division of Consumer Affairs will look closely at any and all complaints about alleged price gouging. Anyone found to have violated the law will face significant penalties.

Mark J. Perry, though, schools the governor on market dynamics:

With that statement, the New Jersey governor demonstrated a fundamental lack of understanding about how markets actually work.  Sellers always try to take advantage of consumers, in the sense that they always charge “whatever the market will bear,” and this condition of a well-functioning market doesn’t change because of a natural disaster.

Just like earthquakes, hurricanes, or floods don’t change the fundamental physical laws of gravity or aerodynamics, those natural disasters also don’t change the basic laws of supply and demand.  If sellers of electric generators in New Jersey are guilty of illegal “price gouging” for charging market prices after a major disruption to the market like Hurricane Sandy, then sellers of all products at all times are guilty of “price gouging.” Sellers always charge “whatever the market will bear,” and in that sense are always trying to “gouge” and “take advantage of” buyers to the maximum extent possible.  To act any differently would be foolish and even disruptive to our economic system based on market prices.

I’m very confident that the last time Governor Christie personally sold one of his own homes, shares of stock, or cars, he sold his possessions for the highest price possible and not a penny cheaper, and in the process he did his very best as a seller to “take advantage” of the buyer.  That’s how markets function.

Rising, market-based prices following a disaster are the most effective method possible of allocating scarce resources, eliminating shortages, and attracting essential supplies to the areas that need them the most.  In fact, market-based prices are also the most effective method possible of allocating scarce resources, eliminating shortages, and attracting essential supplies to the areas that need them the most before a disaster – wind and rain don’t change that reality.  Governor Christie and others fail to recognize that the coordinating role of market prices becomes even more important following a disaster, not less important.  To prevent the price system from operating following a disaster with price gouging laws will make the situation worse, not better.  Thanks to the strict enforcement of their state’s price gouging laws, New Jerseyans should expect possible shortages of fuel, food and generators.

It’s only in the fantasy world of politics that the “anointed elected officials” think they get to be the “price deciders,” and determine if sellers are guilty of “price gouging.” In the real world of the marketplace it’s much different and much more democratic – the impersonal market forces of supply and demand become the “price deciders,” and we’re all much better off with those market-determined prices than with the artificial prices determined by politicians and bureaucrats.


Socialists are stupid, Ctd

Socialists, as a sub-set of people are stupid. They always try to control and tax things that cannot be controlled and always with unintended consequences.

French socialists are especially stupid. Instead of focusing on the terrible problems that France faces Francois Hollande is instead trying to control and tax search engines:

French President Francois Hollande is considering a pushing for a new tax that would see search engines such as Google have to pay each time they use content from French media.

Hollande discussed the topic with Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, during a meeting in Paris on Monday.

Hollande says the rapid expansion of the digital economy means that tax laws need to be updated to reward French media content.

Google has opposed the plan and threatened to bar French websites from its search results if the tax is imposed.

Way to go! French is already a backwater, what the little french rooster is proposing will just isolate it further.

An email from a Reader

A reader emails about the proposed White Water Rafting/Kayaking centre in Manukau and my post about the Greek version:

On the whitewater stadium, it might be better to compare it to the one in Australia. Let’s face it the cited example is more the Greeks than anything else.

That said, the Penrith stadium cost a third of what Auckland CC is proposing. WHY?

The total cost of construction was $6 million, of which $1.5 million was paid by Penrith City Council, $1.5 million by the International Canoe Federation (including $300,000 by Australian Canoeing) and $3 million by the Government of New South Wales.

And how much does Penrith make or how much is it subsidised? Is anyone comparing? AND what a ridiculous thing to introduce as most Aucklanders are infuriated with rate rises.

All good points, does anyone know the answer to them?

People are Stupid, Ctd

Oh FFS, look at this case in the US where some anti-human weirdo wants a memorial to dead fish:

Animal activists want a California roadside memorial sign to honour fish killed during a container truck crash.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) volunteer Dina Kourda told Irvine’s street maintenance chief the sign would remind drivers that fish value their lives and feel pain.

About 750 kilograms of saltwater bass died on October 11 when the truck hauling them to market got into a three-way crash.

Kourda’s letter acknowledges roadside memorials traditionally honour humans, but she hopes an exception will be made.

Irvine spokesman Craig Reem says there won’t be a fish memorial.

But Peta spokeswoman Asheley Byrne said they will go back and ask again.

It’s not the first time Peta has asked to post a memorial for animals killed on their way to slaughter.

They’ve tried to honour pigs killed in Virginia and cows killed in crashes in Illinois, Kansas, and Manitoba, Canada, Byrne said, but none have been approved.

Oh how stupid. The fish were going to be killed and eaten anyway…what is what happend to “food” at the end of its journey.

Announcement: Whaleoil Appointed Editor of Truth

Dear Readers I have an announcement.

Internet shock jock goes mainstream

“Wellington, you’re on notice – be afraid.”

New Zealand’s number 1 news and opinion blogger Cameron Slater has today been appointed Editor of the Truth.

Truth is New Zealand’s last remaining Kiwi-owned national newspaper which this year turns 125 years old.

Slater has been brought on board to fundamentally change the way newspapers deliver to their audiences. Newspapers worldwide are in decline, due, Slater says, to a tired old business model that no longer works.

“We’re not going to spend $4 million on a paint job and then deliver the same tired old paid-for shit.

“Most of the media in this country is weak, and it’s paid for. The integrity in news went ages ago.”

Slater is adamant that the backbone of New Zealand – the people who work – are not getting a fair shake from government or the system. He aims to change that.

“Each and every one of us has got an investment in NZ Inc, and the majority of the people in charge of the place are taking the piss out of our investment.

“We’re going to keep the buggers honest. There’s no better disinfectant than sunlight.

“To use a tired phrase – if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear, so Wellington, you’re on notice – if you’re having a lend, we’re coming for you!”

Changes will be rolled out over a period of months and will include both print and a 24 hour news website to support the paper. Slater aims to alter the approach to news presentation significantly.

“We took the pulse of the nation, and it had nearly bloody died.

“No bastard wants to read old news – they can get that online. We’ll be more of a views-paper that promises to deliver REAL news, REAL opinion.

“The people are numb from the eyes down with the diet of PR’d crap they get now. I will not do it to them anymore – it’s not right.

“I assure you – the little paper that could still can!”

There will be further announcements regarding contributors and editorial direction.

Slater’s first issue will hit newsstands on Thursday 8 November 2012.


Another bad bastard goes free

Thanks to the liberal panty waist activist judge Simon France another bad bastard has walked free.

You might ask how I know he is a bad bastard? His lawyer is Eb Leary and he is a Hells Angel:

A senior Hells Angel has had a drug charge dropped as the fallout from the fake police prosecution of an undercover officer continues.

Philip Ernest Schubert, a former president of the Mt Eden chapter of the motorcycle gang, was charged with offering to supply methamphetamine after a covert police sting.

But the charge was dropped when he appeared at the High Court at Auckland this morning, following a damning court ruling on the police operation last week.

Justice Simon France ordered a stay of proceedings against a group of 21 gang members in Nelson who were facing a range of charges including drug offences and being part of an organised criminal group.

For those who have short memories, Simon France is the same Simon France who presided over the travesty of a case against Ewen McDonald, suppressed vital evidence in that case and was the FIFO (Fly in, Fly out) Judge in Nelson who let 21 bad bastards back on the streets.

The wreckage left behind Simon Frances cases is building.

Disney acquires LucasFilm, more Star Wars movies on the way

Disney has acquired LucasFilm and announced new Star Wars movies are underway with the first to be released in 2015:

A seventh Star Wars film has been confirmed for release in 2015 as well as a string of sequels after the sale of LucasFilm to Disney for US$4.05 billion (NZ$4.93b).

In a statement announcing the deal, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucasfilm George Lucas said: “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers.”

“I’ve always believed that Star Warscould live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come.

“Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”

TheStreet.com reported that Star Wars: Episode VII is scheduled for release in 2015.

There are plans to follow it with Episodes VIII and IX, as well as a new movie every two or three years after those films.

No he doesn’t

David Shearer is a doofus.

Jon Stephenson would be better off helping Shearer find the GCSB tape rather than inventing conspiracy theories.

How does the Labour leader think this will play out?

Key needs to reassure Kiwis of SAS role

Labour is calling on the Prime Minister to confirm that our SAS troops in Afghanistan are sticking to their mandate of ‘gathering intelligence’ as previously stated by the Government.

“John Key has said that our SAS are in Afghanistan to help with logistics, planning and intelligence gathering,” Labour Leader David Shearer says.

“We would not want to see any kind of mission creep as suggested by media reports today.

“It’s important that the Government doesn’t divulge operational details, but Kiwis will want to be reassured that our SAS are there for the right reasons.

So when the PM gives an assurance (as he has already done) – Shearer will now have to say he believes John Key or try to cast suspicion on the PM as a liar.

Given his last outing in this space I would have thought Shearer and his strategists might have been a bit more careful this time around.

And for the record the right reasons are killing the bad wogs that went after our boys. John Key should reply that he hopes our SAS guys find them and kill them and he has no problems with mission creep if the bad guys wind up dead.

Never mess with Kiwi troops is the only message we need to send.