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Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices  
User currently offline102IAHexpress From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1156 posts, RR: 3
Posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2306 times:

A service station that offered discounted gas to senior citizens and people supporting youth sports has been ordered by the state to raise its prices.

http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/app...pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007705080562

31 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12241 posts, RR: 35
Reply 1, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2284 times:
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Minnesota has the same law. It is a good law, as it stops the big chains for selling gas too low (and making up profit from their other sales). Smaller gas stations don't have the convenience store volume the big ones do, and can't lower gas prices to match.


911, where is your emergency?
User currently offlineArmitageShanks From UK - England, joined Dec 2003, 3620 posts, RR: 15
Reply 2, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2265 times:

Just another law that makes the USA more of a socialist state. Government shouldn't set the market price for gas, no matter the size of the business.

User currently offlineMDorBust From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 2254 times:

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 1):
Smaller gas stations don't have the convenience store volume the big ones do, and can't lower gas prices to match.

Then perhaps the small gas station is no longer a competative buisness model and should be allowed to die off.


User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12241 posts, RR: 35
Reply 4, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2180 times:
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Quoting MDorBust (Reply 3):

Then perhaps the small gas station is no longer a competative buisness model and should be allowed to die off.

In bigger cities, I agree, but here in rural Minnesota there are many family owned gas stations in little podunk towns. As there are no jobs in these towns, people commute. If the bigger stations could lower their prices more, people would just fill up after work, rather than supporting the store in their own town. This in turn leads to the store closing down, and they now have to drive to get the small things they forgot at the grocery store, but can be had locally.



911, where is your emergency?
User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2148 times:

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 1):
Minnesota has the same law. It is a good law, as it stops the big chains for selling gas too low (and making up profit from their other sales). Smaller gas stations don't have the convenience store volume the big ones do, and can't lower gas prices to match.

People bitch that gas prices are too high. A station owner wants to make a good gesture, and the state tells him he cannot.

That is bullsh&t.

I agree with anti-dumping rules. But Minnisota is requiring a minimum 9.2% profit margin. They pulled this number out of their ass, apparently. How about a law that simply says you can't sell below cost and leave it at that. If someone wants to make only 6% profit rather than 9%, why the hell not?


User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12241 posts, RR: 35
Reply 6, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2141 times:
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Quoting Cfalk (Reply 5):
A station owner wants to make a good gesture

Good gesture? More likely that they know that by lowering gas prices, more people will come, which in turn leads to more in-store sales with a higher profit margin than gas

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 5):
Minnisota

Minnesota  Wink



911, where is your emergency?
User currently offlineAA787823 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2130 times:

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 4):
In bigger cities, I agree, but here in rural Minnesota there are many family owned gas stations in little podunk towns. As there are no jobs in these towns, people commute. If the bigger stations could lower their prices more, people would just fill up after work, rather than supporting the store in their own town. This in turn leads to the store closing down, and they now have to drive to get the small things they forgot at the grocery store, but can be had locally.

Well that is a free market society, what the USA is SUPPOSE to be on. Till we get a bunch of darn left wing democrats around.....If the market is not there for the smaller mom-pop business, then they should be allowed to die.


User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12241 posts, RR: 35
Reply 8, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2103 times:
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Quoting AA787823 (Reply 7):
Well that is a free market society, what the USA is SUPPOSE to be on. Till we get a bunch of darn left wing democrats around.....If the market is not there for the smaller mom-pop business, then they should be allowed to die.

I agree, but there should also be some protection for the small business owners. Without them, small town USA will die out and we all have to go to WalMart to get everything  Wink



911, where is your emergency?
User currently offlineAC773 From Canada, joined Nov 2005, 1730 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2092 times:

I agree with the free market philosophy for most industries, but not for something so vital to everyday American life (I mean, who doesn't have a car in this country?)

Things like electricity, phone service, and yes, gasoline, are too important to be left alone; allowing certain sectors to die off as a result of a competitive market.



Better to be nouveau than never to have been riche at all.
User currently offlineSearpqx From Netherlands, joined Jun 2000, 4344 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2089 times:

Quoting AA787823 (Reply 7):
Well that is a free market society, what the USA is SUPPOSE to be on. Till we get a bunch of darn left wing democrats around.....If the market is not there for the smaller mom-pop business, then they should be allowed to die.

The US never has been and never will be a 100% free market. Such an environment is not good for anybody, except for the small handful of business that manage to come out on top. There is value in ensuring that competition remains, new entrants have opportunities, monopolies can't exploit their position to the detriment of the consumer, etc.

Having said that, telling someone what profit margin they must make is ludicrous and doesn't serve either free market or consumer protection roles. Like CFalk said, simply say you can't sell below cost (of gasoline), etc. If you truly need to protect single station owners (which I don't have a problem with), limit the calculations to the cost of gas and cost of service. That way the mini-mart still must factor in rent, staffing, etc. making their costs more comparable to the independents.



"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
User currently offlineFr8Mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5385 posts, RR: 14
Reply 11, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2053 times:

The government needs to stop intergfering with the market. This guy chose to LOWER prices and got smacked for it. Then the government goes after 'price gouging' after a 'disaster' (an all encompassing term) and winds up stifling activity.

The market works, when it is not interfered with.



When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
User currently offlineBHXFAOTIPYYC From Portugal, joined Jun 2005, 1644 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 2029 times:

2 - 3 cents a US gallon, thats GALLON, not litre, is a dinky amount anyway. Since they liberalised fuel prices here a couple of years ago my local BP station is offering 5 euro cents a LITRE off fuel. Ok, we're paying a heck of a lot more for it than you guys to begin with, but this does seem like unnecesaary interference by the state.


Breakfast in BHX, lunch in FAO, dinner in TIP, baggage in YYC.
User currently offlineLOT767-300ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 2023 times:

No wonder...I lived 30 miles from Wausau, WI in Marshfield and I hate that part of the state (Actually I hate all of Wisconsin with a passion) Lets face it, Madison is the most socialist of all cities in the USA as per the last 2 elections. Ralph Nader had a field day there.

They have a bunch of assinine laws in that city too...one of them being that no building can be taller than the Capitol Building.


User currently offlineCba From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 4531 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 2016 times:

Quoting AA787823 (Reply 7):
Well that is a free market society, what the USA is SUPPOSE to be on. Till we get a bunch of darn left wing democrats around.....

Oh come on, the Democrats until a few months ago have not controlled the legislative or executive branch in years. You can't tell me that the Dems have turned this country into a socialist state (oh god, it's the S word! everyone run for cover) in the past four months.

That said, I'm with Cfalk on this one. A government mandate that says that a specific profit margin has to be made is ridiculous. Selling below cost to drive out competition is a monopolistic activity and thus should not be tolerated, however if a business wants to offer a discount to boost sales, then they should be free to do so.


User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12241 posts, RR: 35
Reply 15, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1985 times:
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Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 13):
(Actually I hate all of Wisconsin with a passion)

Who doesn't?  duck 



911, where is your emergency?
User currently offlineCheckraiser From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1971 times:

Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 13):

Hey now! If you lived in Marshfield you know damn well that MSN is NOT a reflection of the rest of the state. It's its very own special little place. 72 square miles surrounded by reality.

Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 13):
They have a bunch of assinine laws in that city too...

Also, a stripper may only accept a tip with her hands. Yep, you have to hand her the tip.

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 15):
Actually I hate all of Wisconsin with a passion)

Who doesn't?

Pfft... says the guy from Mankato. Mark your county roads with letters instead of numbers and you wouldn't even know which side of the river you were on.


Back on topic...
These stories about our minimum markup law come out every year when gas goes up. It's almost always a competitive station that narcs out the guy cheating. A couple of years back I remember seeing a story in Milwaukee that one station was selling gas cheaper than the other could buy it wholesale. In a publicity stunt he hired a tanker and sent it to the offending gas station. The tanker driver managed to get around 350 gallons before the clerk got ahold of the owner and he told her to shut it off. The guy that hired the tanker paid for the gas and had it pumped into his own tanks.


User currently offline767Lover From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1966 times:

Wait, I'm confused (or maybe just tired.) Isn't this guy a single-station owner? I didn't see the article mention anything about him owning any other stations.

So this law is supposed to protect him from himself?  confused 

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 5):
They pulled this number out of their ass, apparently

I imagine the final number had something to do with cost + various taxes?


User currently offlineCheckraiser From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1963 times:

Quoting 767Lover (Reply 17):
So this law is supposed to protect him from himself?

It's intended to keep Wal-Mart and the like from taking over mom and pop business. Whether it actually works is another matter.


User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1958 times:

Quoting 767Lover (Reply 17):
I imagine the final number had something to do with cost + various taxes?

No. It is 9.2% above cost inclusive of all taxes (which are more than 9.2% anyway)


User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12241 posts, RR: 35
Reply 20, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1957 times:
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Quoting Checkraiser (Reply 16):
Pfft... says the guy from Mankato. Mark your county roads with letters instead of numbers and you wouldn't even know which side of the river you were on.

 rotfl 

Quoting 767Lover (Reply 17):
So this law is supposed to protect him from himself? confused

Something like that  Smile



911, where is your emergency?
User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1933 times:

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 1):
Smaller gas stations don't have the convenience store volume the big ones do, and can't lower gas prices to match.

I understand what you're saying but fail to see its impact in this case; after all the gas station offering the discount was the small locally/individually owned station -- why should they not be able to offer an incentive program?

I'm a liberal conservative or (maybe a conservative liberal) -- I'm somewhat for prohibiting giants from abusing their market position to the detrement of the smaller players (i.e. locking distributors into exclusive sales or extreme examples vertical integration) but artifical price controls are just dumfounding -- especially the way the state's "Minimum Markup Law" is written -- The gas station has to charge at least 9.2% over the "average posted terminal price". This means (at least the way I read it) that even if the owner of a gas station is somehow able to obtain less expesive gas through legitimate means they still have to charge basically the same price as everyone else (unless everyone else is gouging)

Quoting MDorBust (Reply 3):
Then perhaps the small gas station is no longer a competative buisness model and should be allowed to die off.

While some people may not react positively to the statement, I agree. It's economic darwinism and for a healthy economy it's critical: Those businesses that can survive in the marketplace do, they're profitable, create employment, and provide a needed product/service. Those businsses that can't survive in the marketplace go out of business and release the resources that they're using ineffeciently (people, real estate, etc.) for use by other businesses.

If the gas station in its current form dies off one of two things will happen (a) either there is sufficient demand for the product/service and someone else will make a go at it (perhaps with a diffferent business model that is better suited for the competitive market) or (b) there is not sufficient demand so no one else will make a go at it and the original business was ineffeciently utilizing limited resources.

Lincoln



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User currently offline777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 12090 posts, RR: 18
Reply 22, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1896 times:
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Its nice living in a country where the petrol pruces are roughly the same, except for areas where they is big competition from many petrol stations. The latest war is over supermarkets offering discounts on petrol. 'Free' prices like this are good

User currently offlineCba From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 4531 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1891 times:

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 15):
Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 13):
(Actually I hate all of Wisconsin with a passion)

Who doesn't?  duck 

The Miller Brewing Company?

There's nothing like slumming with a 30-pack of Hi Life or the Beast  Wink


User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12241 posts, RR: 35
Reply 24, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1884 times:
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Quoting Lincoln (Reply 21):
why should they not be able to offer an incentive program?

This I agree with, and I believe Minnesota has an exception for this (unless it just isn't enforced). Cub Foods around here give gas discounts when you buy groceries, and one time I got 25 cents off per gallon. That was certainly under the minimum price.

Quoting Cba (Reply 23):
There's nothing like slumming with a 30-pack of Hi Life or the Beast

I'm more a fan of Hauenstein myself Smile



911, where is your emergency?
25 767Lover : What I don't understand is, if the owner wants to help seniors, why not just charge the minimum price allowed and then offer comparable discounts on b
26 Pope : Note that in just about every other industry I can think of, resale price floors are per se illegal violations of antitrust laws. For example, Apple
27 767Lover : I agree, particularly since these retailers enable people with low incomes to get good brands at lower prices. I would bet that there are more lower
28 Bagpiper : So, lets say Bill Gates decided to move into the area, and got pissed off about all the gas prices. So, he opens a station that gives out 1 billion $$
29 767Lover : You bring up a good point. I guess we could look at the sinister angle here: The "minimum selling price" assures that the state will get a certain le
30 Checkraiser : Not if it's free. It would probably be legit if he sold it at or below cost as well if he were doing it as a legit non-profit organization.
31 Bagpiper : well... what about what I said if they can't shut him down? The sales, discounts, etc??
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