Good morning. Our TGIF celebration today begins with a pop quiz about plastic guns. True or false:
1. At $450 to $600-plus, Glock pistols, often referred to as "plastic crap," are horridly overpriced. T F
2. At $450 to $600-plus, Glock pistols are are correctly and fairly priced, right down to the penny. T F
Because we at the TMR have no desire to diminish the students' self-esteem nor to stifle his, her, or its creative thought, there are no wrong answers.
If you answered "true" to question No. 1 and "false" to No. 2 you have brought to the examination a firm sense of fair play, a concern for the consumer, and the understanding that market forces are a cruel burden on ordinary people with women and minorities hardest hit. While you may believe that, in theory, producers are entitled to a fair profit, you also understand that the people as a whole, operating through their elected and appointed officials, must be the judge and jury of of what is fair.
On the other hand, if you answered "false" to question No. 1 and "true" to No. 2, you are not an economic nitwit...
...because the price of guns is not very directly regulated by government, Pitmann-Robertson and trade regulations notwithstanding. The regulations are primarily an effort to control the availability of weapons directly --"thou shalt not." Efforts to do that via artificially high prices -- special taxes -- pop up routinely. They generally fail. The NFA taxes are an exception.
--With loose, or preferably no, price regulation, guns, just like those killer salt shakers and culturally insensitive Halloween costumes, sell for exactly the correct price -- a figure established solely between the fellow who wants to buy and the one who wants to sell.
This is one our periodic attempts to direct the attention of Rachael Maddow and similar dimdippitydoowops to the concept that a freely negotiated price is part of a very accurate information system without which no economy can function.
I particularly include among Rachael's cronies that group of tax-sucking "neighborhood organizers'" and "consumer advocates" who want, among other things, to organize and control our markets because, hey, let's face it, that's one of the neatest ways of organizing and controlling people.
Thanks anyway, but I'll just have to go along with Mr. Rothbard who suggests that, left alone, we can do a pretty damned good job of organizing ourselves.