Chris Christie is a great example of someone who, on the hustings, sounds wonderful: less government, tough on unions, balance the budget and all that sort of thing. For a brief moment, Ann Coulter fell for him as well.
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. 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.
He is a statist after all. In fact, to be completely accurate, he thinks government’s role is to override the market and intrude and reward and punish according to some tissue-paper standard of “right” and “good.” The proper word – get ready! – is fascism. Wikipedia, as far as it goes, does a pretty good job of explaining:
[Fascism] promotes regulated private enterprise and private property contingent whenever beneficial to the nation and state enterprise and state property whenever necessary to protect its interests…
Fascism is state control without state ownership. And Christie is a fascist.
Here is how Donald Boudreaux reacts to this egregious assault on the free market:
By enforcing anti-price-gouging legislation, New Jersey governor Chris Christie adds to the devastation inflicted by hurricane Sandy…
Prices kept artificially low – prices forcibly kept from reflecting the reality that gasoline and other staple goods are in unusually short supply – discourage the extra efforts required by suppliers in times of natural disasters to bring much-needed inventories to market.
And in return for this dampening of efforts to increase supplies, New Jerseyans receive no off-setting benefits. Quite the contrary. At a time when being with family and neighbors is especially vital, price controls cause desperate people instead to waste hours waiting in long lines at gasoline stations and other retail outlets…
There are other costs to the this intervention which Boudreaux, in the interests of space, doesn’t mention. But the biggest cost of all is the promotion of a falsehood by someone who should know better. Christie is an interventionist and a fascist after all. I guess it’s good to know that now. He might try to run for higher political office someday. He’d fit right in.