If the goals were to: a) extend the gasoline shortages in New Jersey for as long as possible, b) make the lines at the pump as long as possible, c) discourage as many gasoline stations as possible from re-opening, and d) maximize the suffering of the citizens of New Jersey, there couldn’t be a more effective method of achieving all four of those outcomes than to vigorously enforce the state’s “
anti price gouging” guaranteed shortage and maximum suffering laws.
From the New Jersey Star-Ledger:
The New Jersey state attorney general’s office announced Friday that it has issued subpoenas to 65 businesses, part of an ongoing investigation into more than 500 consumer complaints regarding alleged price gouging.
“Having visited some of the hardest-hit areas of our state, and having seen firsthand the suffering people are experiencing, I assure New Jersey’s residents and retailers that we are taking a zero-tolerance approach to price gouging,” said Governor Chris Christie. “Fuel, electricity, food, and a place to sleep are not luxuries, certainly not for individuals who have been displaced from their homes and in many cases have limited resources at their disposal. We are not asking businesses to function as charities. We require that they obey New Jersey’s laws – or pay significant penalties.”
The complaints have come from all areas of the state, Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa said.
“We have deployed 45 investigators into the field, and our investigative teams will continue to take consumers’ calls and investigate complaints through the weekend,” he said. “We expect that, by the end of the weekend, we will have issued 100 subpoenas to gas stations, requiring them to provide their receipts and other information to demonstrate their prices, and the costs they faced, both before and during the state of emergency.”
MP: Maybe there’s hope in the future for greater economic literacy in New Jersey. The state now requires 2.5 credits in Financial, Economic, Business and Entrepreneurial Literacy as a requirement for high school graduation, but it only just recently went into effect. Unfortunately, Gov. Christie and his generation of politicians and bureaucrats graduated from high school years ago and missed that basic training in economic literacy, especially the section on the “economics of price controls.”