News: Landfalls and Windfalls
You hear a lot about "windfalls" these days when it comes to profits. First, of course, is the hurly-burly over the oil industries' profit margins, including the ridiculous proposal some pols advocate - a "windfall profits" tax on profits above a certain level. I mean, did these guys fall asleep in economics class?
If there's a tax on supplying goods at the price the market will bear, the only logical choice for a producer would be to *ahem* produce less, thus driving supply down and prices up. I suppose no one remembers those pictures from the Great Depression of farmers pouring out milk on the road and destroying crops while hungry people waited in soup lines - price controls really worked great then, right?
And it's not just oil companies. Now, people are on the cases of agricultural conglomerates and even regular old farmers, all because of the world food shortage. I've even heard the food shortage blamed for some of the problems in Myanmar - but I'd wager that the incredible human tragedy following Cyclone Nargis was less about food and more about the awful preparation and lackadaisical response of the ruling junta.