Dr. Martin Hash Podcast

Politics & Philosophy by Dr. Martin D. Hash, Esq.

248 Price Gouging


Price gouging is illegal in 34 States. It's tough arguing on the side of price gouging: suppose someone in a boat finds a family stranded on their roof for 2 days, and won't pick them up until they give everything they have, maybe even a nubile young daughter. Yes, extortion is profitable, and somewhere there's a line between abducting a child for ransom verses letting them die because the victim can't afford the cost the price gouger is charging for insulin. However, most purchase decisions are easy: buy some ice for 10x the price, or continue to sweat. There's no reason a person who braved driving a truck full of generators into a ravaged area shouldn't get whatever they want to charge.

Price gouging works for everyone, though there is a lot of resentment on the part of the buyer, but if gas costs $20 gallon, that's still cheap by bottled-water standards, and you're only going to buy as many gallons as you absolutely need, leaving some for the next guy who might be more distressed than you are. Religious socialism has clouded people's judgment, instigating moral outrage & condemnation, where they should be expressing relief & gratitude, so laws are passed to prevent “gouging.” Other proffered solutions are meant to be egalitarian but only end up being counter-productive: vouchers just create a Black Market, and rationing insures everyone purchasing “their fair share” will make the commodity disappear even faster than if there was no emergency. As odious as it may seem to the sanctimonious, Market Forces are the most efficient way to let an emergency resolve itself.

Categories | PRay TeLL, Dr. Hash


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