What Would You Pay for a Klondike Bar?

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) just appeared on my office TV screen courtesy of CNBC and said he wants to ban airlines from charging a fee for carry-on baggage. I am relieved to see that one man in upstate New York is able to look out for people who travel with three handbags more effectively than the market itself. Obviously customers and producers could never figure this out on their own. No competitive airline would never dare offer a better experience, and force a market response. No, we need Schumer to tell airlines what they can and can not charge.

The really good news is that this is not at all the result of a slippery slope. And it really will stop here. When governments decided to ban smoking indoors, they never thought they could tell restaurants what temperature customers could order their hamburgers at. And they never got the idea that a full-scale ban on candy in vending machines was within their jurisdictional scope. No, of course not.

And when TARP was passed and they wanted to limit the amount of money executives from TARP companies could take, it was outside the scope of possibility that they would then seek to impose compensation limits on NON-TARP companies. That would be, well, that is – tyrranical. Price controls and wage controls have worked so wonderfully over the years, I am just thrilled to see someone picking up the torch for such a crucial issue. ATM fees. Cell phone surcharges. Hey, don’t you think it is silly that sometimes you have to pay 99 cents for an app on your iPhone? Call Schumer!!! He can help.

This is not a light matter, my friends. This is statism. These people have no right to even speculate what is and is not an appropriate fee. Consumers can refuse to pay these nickel and dime airline charges by flying on a different airline. It is not rocket science (no pun intended). Producers and consumers are the ultimate price arbitrauers. The intervention of the government is the ultimate buffoonery. It muddies price discovery, creates unfathomable unintended consequences, and worst of all, forces us down a slippery slope that can best be described as a statist nightmare. Live free or die. That applies to the airline’s right to charge for peanuts. Sorry.