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I haven’t had much to say lately (now there’s a first!)  I’ve been busy trying to catch up at my office, which was closed for two weeks.  And I assume many of my readers are busy with their work and, sadly for some, cleaning up and repairing the damage to their houses and businesses.

But mostly it’s just that the stuff I generally write about seems kind of trivial in light of the catastrophe that has befallen us.

I must say it’s been gratifying but not surprising to see the enormous outpouring of charity and volunteerism in the aftermath of the storm.  For me it gives lie to the notion that we would not take care of each other without the government forcing us to.  I’ve seen almost everyone I know helping out friends and strangers in one way or another, many for several long days on end.  We are also grateful for all the volunteers who come in from all over the state, and even from other states, to help us.  And Jennifer Nicolay has been very effective at organizing the volunteer efforts.

I have to mention that by all outward appearances the mayor, too, seems to be doing a very good job dealing with the emergency.  I would have preferred that we entered into this calamity without such a large debt, much of it for spending on projects that I opposed, and I was dismayed to hear Matt threaten to prosecute “price gougers” even though rising prices are necessary to conserve scarce resources for where they are needed most and to induce suppliers to go through the extra effort and expense to relieve the shortage.

Politicians never seem to understand that if they use force to suppress prices (like with gas) there will be shortages and if they use force to push prices up (such as with the housing market) there will be gluts.  The anti-gouging law is also a denial of the right to contract that both parties in the transaction should enjoy without government interference.  I guess though it’s bad economics and bad law, it’s good politics and that’s all that really matters in the end.  I must add though that it was good of Matt to offer to have contracts reviewed and to have someone from the town advise if it is a fair price, but force should never be used unless there is actual fraud involved.

Overall it must be recognized that a tremendous burden has been placed on our mayor’s shoulders.  Although I can not generally be counted as one of his most ardent supporters, I have to say that at least so far from what I see he has borne that burden pretty well.  But I’ll be watching.

One Comment

  1. Tom Burke wrote:

    In my humble opinion, one of your best presentations.

    Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 5:32 am | Permalink

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