Recent calls from predictable sources to emulate Britain and introduce a one-off “windfall tax” on petrol companies, are massively ill-considered.
An important principle of any tax system is consistency. Ad hoc “one-off” taxes are contrary to that principle.
Participation in market economies, be it owning a coffee-shop or an oil company, necessitate acceptance of unexpected events causing a windfall or a bankruptcy-facing collapse in demand.
Windfall situations see a rush of new entrants, inevitably causing a glut and price-collapse, thus being self-correcting. So too a collapse in demand sees the withdrawal of participants until a new supply and demand balance is achieved.
Periodically there are attacks on drug research companies demonstrating similar ignorance when they’re condemned for allegedly price-gouging.
The reality is that the vast amount of medical research being undertaken to find drugs for ailments, frequently fatal, proves in vain. But they persevere without any guarantee of a return in the hope of a huge pay-off should they succeed. Remove that incentive and they won’t bother.
Most people over say 50 will have received drugs for ailments which untreated would have killed them. Once found they’re taken for granted as some sort of human right. It’s time elementary economics was a compulsory school subject.