obscene, excessive, windfall profits

Now that oil prices are hovering around $50/barrel, perhaps the Rahm Emanuel-style window of “opportunity” is less open now than it was back in the spring when Obama and Clinton were both talking windfall profits taxes.

But we must remain vigilant whenever retread ideas like this rear their ugly heads.  Again, from Henry Hazlitt’s “Economics in One Lesson,” originally published in 1946:

The best profits, from the standpoint not only of industry but of labor, are not the lowest profits, but the profits that encourage most people to become employers or to provide more employment than before.  If we try to run the economy for the benefit of a single group or class, we shall injure or destroy all groups, including the members of the very class for whose benefit we have been trying to run it.  We must run the economy for everybody.

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