One of the great things about our capitalistic system is supply and demand. In other words, the market sets the pricing for products and services.

A fine diamond costs more than a bottle of Coke. There’s a reason for that. Diamonds have an intrinsic value while your Coke has an emotional value. Hence, diamonds cost more than Cokes.

A dollar bill only has value because we all agree that it does.

You may have heard the term Manufactures Suggested Retail (MSR). When I was selling electronics, there were companies that would not allow their products to be sold below a certain price.

The Private Sector

Pricing of products are services in the private sector are based on how much the market will bear.

An attorney might like to charge $2,000 an hour but in Bozeman, Montana that attorney might be waiting a while for a client with those kinds of resources to show up.

So, goods are services are based on what it costs to keep the doors open, how many customers will it take to make that happen, and how much are they willing to pay?

Not enough customers or charging too much could easily lead to a going out of business sale.

The Public Sector

The public sector has no such constraints. Property taxes are what they are. There’s no place you can go and pay less.

A fishing license costs $X. There’s no Fishing Licenses for Less out there. And there doesn’t seem to be any way to rein in the cost of government.

The government can’t go out of business. Well, I guess in extreme circumstances they might but for the most part it’s take it or leave it pricing.

That’s why we need government price controls.

Every city is different. There are rich and poor cities just as there are rich and poor neighborhoods or people.

Bozeman is a fairly expensive place to live so you might think that would push government costs to their citizens higher.

We do have a vote on some of these increases. There are things put on the ballot such as the Law & Justice center or jail or schools that we do have a say in.

Some Final Thoughts

A private company can find additional profit centers if the cost of doing business goes up.

But when the teachers, fire, or police unions come calling the only recourse for government is to raise taxes to cover those increased costs.

The government should be forced to live within its means just as you and I are expected to.

When times are tough you switch from bologna to Top Ramen. Government should do the same. What say you? Comments below.