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Unrest grows amid gas rationing in Iran

Unrest grows amid gas rationing in Iran

This is one of those hard to believe ironies, one of the world’s leading oil producers is rationing gasoline because they can’t refine it fast enough.

TEHRAN: Unrest spread in Tehran on Thursday, the second day of gasoline rationing in oil-rich Iran, with drivers lining up for miles, gas stations being set on fire and state-run banks and business centers coming under attack. Dozens were arrested, and the Tehran police chief, Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam, complained to reporters that the police had been caught unaware by the decision to ration fuel.

Maybe if the geniuses who sell gas for 40 to 50 cents a gallon in Iran would just raise the prices, they wouldn’t have to ration it. But that would imply logic, a commodity in short supply in a theocracy. Markets naturally balance supply and demand. Only government introduced market-failures create such lunacy. Remember the empty grocery stores in the former Soviet Union? Check lately on what Cubans eat in a month?

But rationing will limit private drivers to only 100 liters (26 gallons) of fuel a month at the subsidized price. Taxis can get 211 gallons. Anything more than that will have to be bought at a higher price, which has yet to be announced.

It never ceases to amaze me how governments treat their people like children. Just tell them the adult truth: from now on they have to pay the world market price for ALL of their gasoline. Let the prices rise gradually over a few years. Problem solved.

When you crush people’s individuality for decades and keep them spoon-fed on government handouts, don’t be surprised if they panic when you try to take the handouts away. If you want people to conserve energy, there has to be some link between their behavior and economics. The only way to create such a link is with real (non-subsidized) prices.


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