Posted by mike on December 02, 2000 at 13:28:47:
In Reply to: What's wrong with some service at gas stations? posted by Eins on December 02, 2000 at 08:37:43:
well for starters, service should be a function of free-market competition, not unfunded governmental mandate. Unfunded governmental mandates are just another form of taxation.
Lets take a closer look;
You are the proud owner of a small business. It could be a gas station franchise, a Taco Bell franchise, a small apartment building in South Central, hell, it could even be a diveboat or a diveshop!!!
So how'd you come to own such a business? You took every last plugged nickel of your life savings and invested it in your new Chevron or Arco or Taco Bell franchise or apartment building or dive-boat. You have just taken the biggest gamble of your life! You have just entered the most grueling free-market entepreneurial marathon you have ever run! Hell, it's tougher than grad school! There is no guarantee of success, in fact, odds are, you will fail, and your life-savings will all go down the drain of ever increasing expenses and ever-insufficient income.
So, it's five years later and you've survived what you think is the worst (not counting a recession or deterioration of the local demographics). You are paying the mortgage, you are paying your hired help, you can put food on your table, keep a roof over your head, and your children have clothes to wear, and a small college tuition account started, and you can even book a boat trip to Catalina once in a while (Yes, landlords, diveboat owners, gas station owners, restaurant owners all have family, mortgages, illness etc) when all of a sudden, along comes big government who, at the behest of some "advocacy group" tells you to;
1) tear up your driveway and put in another water line and electrical line at your own expense
2) purchase and install an air compressor at your own expense
3) make it all handicapped accessible, etc. at your own expense
4) maintain it, repair the vandalism etc at your own expense
OK, so you raid the kids' college fund or your wife's 401K or get a loan at 10%-33% interest to meet the new government mandate. So now, you've just incurred a big expense which will give you absolutely no profitable return.
The expenses just keep coming! Transients urinate and defecate near your nice shiny new compressor, local gang-bangers spray-paint their territorial imperatives on your nice shiny new equipment, and of course, everytime the thing breaks down, someone will violently kick your equipment before letting you know in no uncertain terms that it is broken.
Yeah, so you pass the cost on to the consumers, who then bitch about the high cost of gas to their legislators, who then launch a media-frenzied inquisition against 1) the oil companies, 2) the oil refiners, 3) you, the gas station owner, before they discover that oops! The reason gas is so expensive in California is because of all our taxes and mandates!
That is but one reason why we business owners fear government (government likes to tell us what to do, how to do it, and when to do it, and not always for a reason that is all that compelling, not to get into the philosophical reasoning behind such actions however).
History provides the reason why everyone else should fear government.
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