At a time when cash-strapped families are having to choose between food and fuel, you’d think low prices would be encouraged.
But leave it to Democrats to get everything backward.
Now a gas station in one blue state is being sued for the last reason you’d ever expect.
There’s nothing like getting “protected” by government overreach.
Elected officials in Wisconsin created just one such law – and the result is that people in one community are likely to end up paying more at the pump because their political overlords thought they were too dumb to understand one of the most common marketing practices ever.
A Waukesha, Wisconsin gas station is getting sued by two competitors for selling gas for “illegally low prices.”
In legal documents, Woodman’s gas station said it was simply trying to compete with a Costco just over six miles away.
But attorneys for the nearby BP and Shell stations argue the two are violating Wisconsin’s “Unfair Sales Act.”
That law bans businesses from selling anything below cost.
One would have to assume that Costco wouldn’t even be able to do business in the state considering that its dependence on “loss lead” items is so extreme the company has entire chicken farms so it can sell rotisserie chicken at a $30 million to $40 million dollar loss each year.
Last we heard, nobody’s been feeling particularly victimized by saving a wad of cash on dinner or getting a tank of fuel with a total less likely to bring on heart palpitations.
But apparently Wisconsin’s political elite are terribly concerned about their gullible citizens getting taken in by a good deal.
The law, also called the Minimum Markup Law, claims that “the practice of selling . . . below cost to attract patronage is a form of deceptive advertising and an unfair method of competition in commerce.”
We can only guess that the real motive has to do with some sort of heavy-handed statehouse lobbying by players in the business community who would rather close a backroom deal that delivers for their customers in the market.
Each of the two stations suing Woodman’s are demanding a payment of $80,000 for the days they were outpriced by their much smaller – but apparently more competent – competitor.
Thanks to lawmakers ensuring no consumer isn’t gouged, both Woodman’s and Costco have now brought their prices up to match those of BP and Shell.
Apparently elected officials in Wisconsin are hell-bent on making life as unbearable as possible for their constituents.
Stay tuned to Blue State Blues for any updates to this ongoing story.