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Nickel and Dime-ing Competition in Toronto

May 29th, 2012

City of Toronto left of centre Councilors say they aren’t worried about a Toronto Taxpayer Coalition complaint that their mandatory bag fee is uncompetitive. The Coalition complained yesterday to the competition bureau, accusing the city of price fixing.

“There are no more pennies and five cents is the lowest (the fee can go),” she (left-wing councilor Michelle Berardinetti) said. “It has nowhere to go but up.”

In other words, the price is fixed. Except it isn’t:

“The merchants can charge whatever they want for the plastic bag” (left-wing councilor Adam) Vaughan said

See, here’s left wingers, bitching about a “right-wing think tank,” and their both wrong. Vaughan is right that merchants can charge what they want, as long as it’s more than 5-cents. But charge 3-cents a bag, and you’re in violation of the by-law.

Berardinetti is just wrong. As it is, it’s illegal for the price to go down. The price has, in fact, nowhere to go but up. To say the price wouldn’t go down if merchants could charge what they want, is to ignore the fact that five years ago the going price for plastic bags was zero. For the record councilor Berardinetti, zero is lower than 5-cents.

That’s the thing with these left-wing big government types. They want to be in charge of multi-million (billion?) dollar projects, and they don’t even get the basic concept of a nickel being more than nothing, don’t understand the fundamentals of competition, even at the nickel and dime level.

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