Friday, December 6, 2013
Ed Rowe previously wrote to ask for the price of gas to be set at $2 per gallon (letter, Oct. 5). His assumption, shared by many others, is that lower gas prices will result in saved money for consumers and will help to stimulate growth in the economy and benefit United States citizens.
Creating a limit for how high a gallon of gas may sell for (a price ceiling), however, will cause more harm than good. This upper limit of $2 will bring more people to demand and buy gas, but companies will supply less gas because they are not making as much money from what they sell.
Then a shortage in the supply of gas will occur so that buying gas at $2 per gallon will lead to copious amounts of wasted time and effort. Lines at gas stations will appear and drivers will spend many extra minutes each month waiting to pump 20 gallons of inexpensive gas into their cars. Time is money, so this waste of time is a waste of money that could be made elsewhere.
Also, the gas may be produced at a lower quality because the companies have less incentive to produce high-quality gas, now that they are selling it for the low price of $2.
I know that stinginess, selfishness and greed are hard to fight, but a price ceiling on gas will irritate the masses and waste everyone’s time.