John Stossel Makes Too Much Sense

I’d like to lock President Obama and every one in Congress into a room with John Stossel and have him talk to them. Maybe then, we might start to get something like a rational economic policy. In his latest column in Human Events, he takes on the popular and wrong idea that “speculators” are evil, greedy people who conspire to jack up prices and gouge the public.

The speculators are ripping us off!

“The skyrocketing price of gas and oil has nothing to do with the fundamentals of supply and demand, and has everything to do with Wall Street firms that are artificially jacking up the price of oil in the energy futures markets. … (T)he same Wall Street speculators that caused the worst financial crisis since the 1930s through their greed, recklessness and illegal behavior are ripping off the American people again by gambling that the price of oil and gas will continue to go up.”

Here we go again. That quote was Sen. Bernie Sanders doing what some always do when the price of oil spikes: complain about speculators. Now, President Obama says he’ll investigate them: “We are going to make sure that no one is taking advantage of the American people for their own short-term gain.” I assume that his new Financial Fraud Enforcement Working Group, like its predecessors, will uncover nothing untoward.

As he so ably explains

Speculators are like the ants in Aesop’s “Ants and the Grasshopper” fable: They save resources for lean times. Everyone benefits because everyone has a chance to buy from them in those lean times.

Speculators don’t “artificially jack up the price of oil” — they take risks. Those who guess wrong lose a lot of money.

I really wish the people in Washington would listen.

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