State governments often collude with businesses to undermine competition and create unearned profits. Wisconsin’s mandatory 9.2 percent gasoline mark-up is a good example. Service stations get a government-enforced cartel, politicians doubtlessly get campaign contributions, and consumers are victimized. Yahoo.com reports on government price-fixing:
A service station that offered discounted gas to senior citizens and people supporting youth sports has been ordered by the state to raise its prices. …the state Department of Agriculture…says those deals violate Wisconsin’s Unfair Sales Act, which requires stations to sell gas for about 9.2 percent more than the wholesale price. Bhandari said he received a letter from the state auditor last month saying the state would sue him if he did not raise his prices.