MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘England’

English Petrol Travails

Posted by M. C. on November 23, 2021

In the absence of government intervention, the price of gasoline would have risen. This would have financed higher wages and better working conditions for the drivers. End of problem. It never would have occurred in the first place. Any incipient tendency in this direction would have been nipped in the bud.

By:

  Walter Block

What is going on in England? There are long lines at gas stations and motorists are not allowed to fill ‘er up; they are limited to only a few gallons of gasoline, each. The fuel pumps are in operation. The refineries there are functioning well. There are plenty of trucks fully capable of transmitting the fuel from wholesalers to retailers. The problem? You had better be sitting down for this or you’ll keel right over: there are simply not enough drivers available to transport the fuel to where it is most needed.

Say what? There are millions of motorists in that country. Of course, not that many are capable of driving the heavy tanker trucks; however, more than enough are! But, still, there is something rotten in Denmark, well, England. Either that, or what we teach in introductory economics is all wrong.

What is the lesson stemming from econ 101? It is that whenever there is a shortage, as there is now for English truck drivers, this means demand is greater than supply. And what is supposed to happen when that takes place? Prices, or in this case wages, which are the price of labor, are supposed to rise. These, in turn, are comprised of money payments, salary, plus working conditions. But neither has occurred. Working conditions, in the form of clean rest stops for long distance haulers, have actually deteriorated, and take-home pay has not increased.

Why not? Where is the money for these raises supposed to come from? They are presumed to emanate from the ultimate consumer in the form of derived demand from him. Well, there is indeed a shortage of drivers in England. Motorists are clamoring for more gas. There are long lineups at filling stations. Why haven’t prices risen there, so as to ration limited supply until more is forthcoming?

This ordinary economic response has been rejected, and for two reasons. One, it would be considered price gouging. And that would be unconscionable in these politically correct times. Second, if the price of gas doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled, who would still be able to purchase it, and who would be left out in the cold? This much is clearer: the rich would get the lion’s share, and the poor would pretty much have to do with their leavings, or do without. But we can’t have that, not in this epoch.

In the absence of government intervention, the price of gasoline would have risen. This would have financed higher wages and better working conditions for the drivers. End of problem. It never would have occurred in the first place. Any incipient tendency in this direction would have been nipped in the bud.

Market prices are a signal. If they are squelched, they cannot do their jobs. Economics chaos of the sort we now see in England results. Suppose we all decide we are too fat. We want to go on diets. We don’t desire as much ice cream, cake, cookies, and instead demand more carrots, apples, string beans. But the farmers, bakers, manufacturers have as yet no idea of our change in tastes. Do we have to petition the government to get entrepreneurs to produce more rabbit food and less of what makes life worth living? No. We simply buy more of the former and less of the latter. This raises the prices and profits in veggies and lowers it for sugary substances. Business is led by an “invisible hand” to do our bidding. This is despite the fact that some don’t like it since some get rich (low calorie food producers) and some suffer a loss (the producers of high calorie food). But if this market signal is not allowed to function, we stay obese.

There are analogous signals in numerous other walks of life. If your bridge partner opens with a one heart, he is signaling something different than a three diamonds bid. If these signals are disallowed, the game is ruined. The conductor of the orchestra also signals. He indicates he wants the music to go faster, slower, louder, softer, etc. If he is not allowed to gesture, wave his arms about, if his signals are truncated, the quality of the music is reduced. Words, too, whether spoken or written, are signals. So are musical scores, facial expressions and hand gestures. Communication depends upon signals. Most people appreciate all this, and would be horrified if they were rendered impotent. Temple of Babble, here we come.

But prices, too, are every bit as much a signal as any of these others. The only difference is that they are not at all generally appreciated. Rather, we tolerate rent controls, minimum wages and outlaw price “gouging.” All this at the loss of a civilized order. Who wants to wait on line for several hours for two gallons of gas at an artificially lower price?

Which was the chicken and which the egg in this case? It is unclear as to whether the low price and restrictions on quantity were the cause or the result of the problem. What is clear is that one way to ameliorate the problem is to allow market prices to operate. When they do, in a shortage, initially prices will rise. But that will attract greater supply, and prices will fall once again. Meanwhile, no shortages.


Walter E. Block is Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics at Loyola University New Orleans

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Watch “The beacon of freedom shifts— but it does not disappear” on YouTube

Posted by M. C. on November 5, 2021

The most free country on earth has shifted over time, from England, to France, to the USA. Just because one country appear to be in decline doesn’t mean freedom itself is going away. It just means that you need to plan properly, and take matters into your own hands in order to preserve your liberty.

https://youtu.be/CZx2ANPtgwQ

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‘Epidemic’ in England as Nearly 19,000 Children Identified as Victims

Posted by M. C. on December 30, 2019

Swept under the rug for a decade for PC reasons.

https://themindunleashed.com/2019/12/sexual-exploitation-epidemic-in-england-as-nearly-19000-children-identified-as-victims.html

(TMU) — There’s a new official epidemic in England and it can’t be tackled with increased hand washing or a new vaccine. In the past year, nearly 19,000 children have been sexually groomed, according to official numbers. But some say the real figure is much higher.

Five years ago, 3,300 suspected victims of child sexual exploitation were identified by authorities. That number rose to a shocking 18,700 in 2018-2019.

Grooming was not officially recorded as an assessment factor during referral to social care until 2013.

Sarah Champion, the Labour MP for Rotherham, told the Independent that the grooming of children “remains one of the largest forms of child abuse in the country.”

“Too many times, government has said it will ‘learn lessons’, yet 19,000 children are still at risk of sexual exploitation.

The government has singularly failed to tackle this issue head on. Its approach has been piecemeal and underfunded.”

According to the Independent, the Home Office has begun an analysis of data regarding the cases and will use the results to inform new policy and prevention strategies, but the Queen’s Speech did not mention anything about a public review.

The Independent also reports that investigations into grooming gangs are ongoing throughout the country. In fact, abusers in Huddersfield have already been jailed.

Sammy Woodhouse, a victim from Rotherham, told the Independent:

“You hear this bullshit line, ‘lessons have been learned’, but they haven’t learned anything.”

Woodhouse, who isn’t surprised by the newly released numbers, helped expose a sandal in 2012 that involved the abuse of an estimated 1,500 victims.

“I still hear a lot about the authorities aren’t doing things as they should. It’s not very often I hear something good and for all different reasons—if the police won’t act on reports, people feel they’re not being listened to or supported properly, or information not being shared,” Woodhouse explained.

“I’ve said for years that this country’s in epidemic when it comes to abuse and exploitation. Authorities claim it’s under control but it’s not.”

Woodhouse also noted the likelihood that many victims won’t report what is or has happened to them.

Simon Bailey, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for child protection, says officers are “doing all we can to pursue and prosecute criminals who exploit and abuse young people” but that “more must be done to stop abuse happening in the first place.” Bailey suggests “honest conversations, education, and appropriate safeguarding.”

A spokesperson for the Home Office said:

“The Home Office is committed to tackling child sexual abuse and will leave no stone unturned in tackling this abhorrent behavior.

This is why we launched the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse to get to the truth, expose what has gone wrong and learn lessons for the future. The inquiry operates independently of government and, within its terms of reference, decides for itself what it investigates.

The inquiry is investigating institutional responses to child sexual exploitation by organized criminal networks with public hearings set for the spring of 2020.”

“We cannot allow grooming to fall out of the spotlight, because sexual exploitation always flourishes in the shadows,” Champion contends.

By Emma Fiala | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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