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Flawed Price Gouging Proposal

First, my response to the results of yesterday’s city election… I’m glad I live in the county.

Ok, now onto the ill-conceived price gouging legislation proposed by Governor Richardson and Attorney General Madrid:

“I was shocked to learn that New Mexico does not have a law protecting consumers from price gouging,” Governor Bill Richardson. “The Attorney General and I will work with legislative leaders and reach out to consumer advocates and business leaders to create the toughest possible law for New Mexicans.”

“I stand ready to prosecute anyone who would take unfair advantage of consumers because of a national emergency or natural disaster, but the legislature must provide me the tools to do it,” said Attorney General Patricia Madrid.

Governor Richardson and Attorney General Madrid will meet next week with key legislative leaders to discuss the scope of the legislation, which would apply to all commodities, such as gasoline, natural gas and electricity.

So, who will be the likely first victims should these two succeed in pushing this ridiculous proposal into law? Well, you need to look no further than New Mexico’s small businesses:

Dennis Romero, owner of A-1 Firewood Inc., 3134 Bridge Blvd. S.W., said he has seen business go up by about 25 percent from this time last year.

While business is up, Romero said, so is the price of firewood.

The most popular pick – a cord of cedar/pinon mix – sells for $195 delivered, up about 30 percent from last year, he said.

Romero said increased gas prices have forced him to raise the price of wood.

Yup, these scoundrels are raising prices to take advantage of a natural disaster, or at least that is what Richardson and Madrid would have you believe. The truth is a lot less devious. The problem with “price gouging” in a capitalist system is, as I’ve stated before, if the price gets too high, people will seek other options:

Mark Chavez, a spokesman for Cibola National Forest, said people can buy firewood permits for $20 and can get up to four cords of wood.

Please let Governor Richardson and Attorney General Madrid know that we would rather them focus on solving real issues instead of creating laws to address problems that don’t exist.