102IAHexpress
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Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Thu May 10, 2007 8:45 am

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
 
KaiGywer
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Thu May 10, 2007 9:03 am

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.
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
 
ArmitageShanks
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Thu May 10, 2007 9:19 am

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.
 
MDorBust
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Thu May 10, 2007 9:26 am

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.
"I KICKED BURNING TERRORIST SO HARD IN BALLS THAT I TORE A TENDON" - Alex McIlveen
 
KaiGywer
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Thu May 10, 2007 9:31 pm

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.
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
 
cfalk
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Thu May 10, 2007 11:35 pm

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?
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KaiGywer
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Thu May 10, 2007 11:47 pm

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
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
 
AA787823
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Thu May 10, 2007 11:57 pm

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.
F.U.R.P.....Families Under Reduced Pay
 
KaiGywer
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Fri May 11, 2007 1:44 am

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
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AC773
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Fri May 11, 2007 2:01 am

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.
 
searpqx
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Fri May 11, 2007 2:06 am

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"
 
fr8mech
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Fri May 11, 2007 5:46 am

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.
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BHXFAOTIPYYC
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Fri May 11, 2007 6:50 am

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.
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LOT767-300ER
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Fri May 11, 2007 7:05 am

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.
 
cba
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Fri May 11, 2007 7:19 am

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.
 
KaiGywer
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Fri May 11, 2007 10:23 am

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

Who doesn't?  duck 
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
 
checkraiser
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Fri May 11, 2007 10:39 am

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.
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767Lover
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Fri May 11, 2007 10:44 am

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?
 
checkraiser
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Fri May 11, 2007 10:48 am

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.
N1120A is a camel-fucking terrorist.
 
cfalk
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Fri May 11, 2007 11:02 am

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)
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KaiGywer
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Fri May 11, 2007 11:05 am

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
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lincoln
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Fri May 11, 2007 11:52 am

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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777ER
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Fri May 11, 2007 7:44 pm

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
 
cba
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Fri May 11, 2007 8:00 pm

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
 
KaiGywer
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Fri May 11, 2007 9:20 pm

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
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
 
767Lover
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Fri May 11, 2007 9:25 pm

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 basic items like milk and bread (or is this not a convenience store?)
A gallon of milk is pretty expensive.
 
Pope
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Fri May 11, 2007 11:53 pm

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 1):
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.

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 could not, as a term of sale require that its distributors sell an Ipod for no less than $XXXX.

I'm tired of people whinning about big box stores. The market deals with them just fine. Did you see yesterday's retail sales report. Look at what Wal*Mart and Target did. Not good.
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
767Lover
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Sat May 12, 2007 1:17 am

Quoting Pope (Reply 26):
I'm tired of people whinning about big box stores.

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 income people helped by the proliferation of Wal-Mart than by the existence of mom & pop stores. More jobs created too.

The fact of the matter is that if "mom and pops" provide extra services (that don't necessarily cost more money), they will still attract customers. I buy dog food at a locally owned hardware franchise rather than from the big box pet shop, simply because the hardware place carries the huge 40-lb bag to the car for me.
 
bagpiper
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Sat May 12, 2007 2:32 am

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 $$ worth of free gas over however long the supply lasts, but only 1 tank full at a time, per customer, per visit. Lets ignore sin nature and assume that people will not be reselling this gas, or hording it, and honor the spirit of the gift.



Could the state shut him down for giving away gas?

If they could, then what about charities giving away clothing? What about the little girl next door who makes cookies, and gives them to neighbors? Does that become illegal? Can we not volunteer our time to community service? Can we not volunteer with habitat for humanity, building free or very cheap houses?

If they cannot shut him down, then why the hell can they shut down a station that is providing a discount on gas prices? After all, free (above in the Bill Gates example) is really a deep, deep discount. Can we no longer have 50% off sales in department stores?? Can senior citizens no longer get discounts? Can war veterans no longer get discounts?





I'm just taking it the next logical step, folks....
 
767Lover
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Sat May 12, 2007 2:44 am

Quoting Bagpiper (Reply 28):
Could the state shut him down for giving away gas?

If they could, then what about charities giving away clothing? What about the little girl next door who makes cookies, and gives them to neighbors? Does that become illegal? Can we not volunteer our time to community service? Can we not volunteer with habitat for humanity, building free or very cheap houses?

If they cannot shut him down, then why the hell can they shut down a station that is providing a discount on gas prices? After all, free (above in the Bill Gates example) is really a deep, deep discount. Can we no longer have 50% off sales in department stores?? Can senior citizens no longer get discounts? Can war veterans no longer get discounts?

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 level of tax income.
 
checkraiser
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Sat May 12, 2007 6:12 am

Quoting Bagpiper (Reply 28):
Could the state shut him down for giving away gas?

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.
N1120A is a camel-fucking terrorist.
 
bagpiper
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RE: Wisconsin Tells Gas Station Owner To Raise Prices

Sat May 12, 2007 1:28 pm

well... what about what I said if they can't shut him down? The sales, discounts, etc??

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