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(Reason Magazine)   Why laws against price gouging, inconveniencing rich assholes, are wrong   (reason.com) divider line
    More: Facepalm, Hand sanitizer, Supply and demand, inflated price, Want, New York, high prices, large profits, French company  
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1705 clicks; posted to Politics » on 19 Mar 2020 at 10:32 AM (16 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-03-19 9:24:10 AM  
For everyone else that won't click because of the obvious--REASON.

All you need to know about the article is here...

Price "gouging" saves lives.

You may now avoid it at your leisure.
 
2020-03-19 9:35:37 AM  
When food runs out, I have been informed that the flesh of writers and management of Reason will feed a family or four for a month.
 
2020-03-19 9:54:33 AM  
I was a libertarian once.

Then I graduated from high school.
 
2020-03-19 9:54:49 AM  
Last week, some people bought lots of hand sanitizers and masks and then sold them on the internet. One couple boasted that they made over $100,000 reselling Lysol wipes.

They're not bad people. Their actions allow people desperate for supplies to buy what they need, even if it's at a higher price.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-03-19 9:57:13 AM  

SoupGuru: I was a libertarian once.

Then I graduated from high school.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-03-19 10:30:56 AM  
If a local price gouger has something that a family member desperately needs I believe it is morally acceptable to meet them in person and then rob them. Just leave a fair price on the way out.
 
2020-03-19 10:33:16 AM  
Ah, Stossel.  Devotee of Ayn Rand - philosopher in chief to the intellectually bankrupt.

/courtesy of sherlock, in elementary
 
2020-03-19 10:34:46 AM  

SpectroBoy: If a local price gouger has something that a family member desperately needs I believe it is morally acceptable to meet them in person and then rob them. Just leave a fair price on the way out.


Sounds like enlightened self-interest to me. I say go ahead.
 
2020-03-19 10:35:36 AM  
I  feel less intelligent after having read this.
 
2020-03-19 10:35:38 AM  
Sounds like John Stossel needs to be punched in the face by a wrestler again
 
2020-03-19 10:36:19 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-03-19 10:36:23 AM  

Giant Clown Shoe: Last week, some people bought lots of hand sanitizers and masks and then sold them on the internet. One couple boasted that they made over $100,000 reselling Lysol wipes.

They're not bad people. Their actions allow people desperate for supplies to buy what they need, even if it's at a higher price.

[Fark user image 317x289]


The plank of Libertarian economics is that if you can't afford something you must not really need it.
 
2020-03-19 10:37:58 AM  
This needs a JOHN THE ASSHOLE STOSSEL warning label.

A walking advertisement for lobotomy, that man.
 
2020-03-19 10:38:25 AM  
jrlburke.files.wordpress.comView Full Size


Some people will be assholes, because they were taught "profit uber alles"... That doesn't mean it's right.
 
2020-03-19 10:38:44 AM  
Libertarians are sociopaths reason #12946
 
2020-03-19 10:38:53 AM  
The argument is something like price-gouging discourages hoarding.  "Would you rather have an item that regularly costs .50 cents at 5 bucks or not at all?"

To follow this choo-choo train of thought - hoarding discourages hoarding.  

It's a fine example of the sort of intellectual pretzels one need convolute themselves into as a libertarian.
 
2020-03-19 10:39:17 AM  
Is Reason funded by the US Healthcare complex? Sadly, no snark intended, because it takes a really stupid person to think it's acceptable to take advantage of others in their desperate time of need for financial gain, and write an article remotely implying these people are helping, not hurting.
 
2020-03-19 10:39:19 AM  
Translation - Price gouging is good because it ensure that there is plenty of stuff that is too expensive for the poors to buy left the rich a$$holes.
 
2020-03-19 10:40:28 AM  
I recall in 2005 when we were trying to get back from Atlanta right after Katrina...and periodically getting to see local Sherrifs depts shut down and arrest Gas Station owners who tried that "free market" bullshiat for trying to charge 4-10x the regulated amount per gallon of gas.
 
2020-03-19 10:40:31 AM  
Look, TFAuthor, we are all very impressed that you got a B- in Econ 101 but no one actually asked for your thoughts on this.
 
2020-03-19 10:41:06 AM  

Gonzo317: Translation - Price gouging is good because it ensure that there is plenty of stuff, that is too expensive for the poors, to buy left the for rich a$$holes.


ftfm
 
2020-03-19 10:43:15 AM  
I give things to folks I like.
I sell things to people I hate.
 
2020-03-19 10:44:16 AM  
Reason's never about reason it's about excuses.
 
2020-03-19 10:44:49 AM  
My takeaway from this is that Reason thinks Harry Lime was the hero of The Third Man. And he was rather charming, I'll admit.
 
2020-03-19 10:45:09 AM  
I heard the street prices for torches and pitchforks are going up ... and don't get me started on guillotines.
 
2020-03-19 10:45:27 AM  
Drink a pint of bleach with an antifreeze chaser, John Stossel, you farking ghoul, you unmitigated farking diseased fetid asshole.
 
2020-03-19 10:45:46 AM  
One thing that just confuses me about America is that we are so obsessed with owning guns, and yet we won't do anything about landlords, price gougers, health insurance CEOs, and other legalized criminals.
 
2020-03-19 10:45:55 AM  
I read it so you don't have to.

This is a remarkably clueless column. Price gouging is not a normal price increase to meet demand. Price gouging is intentionally taking advantage of consumers by cornering a market in a time of duress. People aren't complaining that the price of Purell has gone up a buck at Walgreen's (if it has); people are complaining that someone has hoarded all the Purell and is charging $50 for it.

Manufacturers could maybe ramp up production to keep prices under control... in like three years.

Most state's anti-gouging laws never even say exactly what is "unconscionably excessive." That invites abuse. Vague laws give politicians dangerous power. They can use anti-gouging law to punish any merchant who doesn't give them money or kiss their rings.

Come back to us when there's evidence of this being an actual problem in the real world.

John Stossel has his head up his ass. This is the kind of thing that illustrates the shallowness and lack of real-world understanding inherent in libetarianism. If there's a silver lining to our predicament, it's that libertarianism could be a casualty.
 
2020-03-19 10:45:57 AM  
The attention whore of online magazines.
 
2020-03-19 10:46:23 AM  
Arguing for the wisdom of the market in the face of a total collapse of the market - that's The Libertarian Promise™
 
2020-03-19 10:46:25 AM  
But what politicians call "gouging" is just supply and demand. Prices rise and fall all the time.

We had the same basic "article" the other day... A bunch of bullshiat, again. I'm not reading past that. DO they start waxing poetic about how charging $100 for a bottle of hand sanitizer is "good" because it keeps the supplies from selling out too quickly? Do they also use the whole "well, gas prices fluctuate, why don't we freak out when that happens" shiat? Because gas prices and the prices for staple items from stores are 100% different. Gas prices go up and down. Gas is a commodity that constantly fluctuates in price, whereas regular grocery items stay at a stable price, go on sale on occasion, where the prices temporarily go down, but overall trend upwards.
 
2020-03-19 10:46:56 AM  
Imagine if porn sites started charging people during this.
 
2020-03-19 10:47:09 AM  
Why capitalism is a failed system.
 
2020-03-19 10:50:45 AM  

lilbjorn: Why capitalism is a failed system.


It's a totally unsustainable system.
 
2020-03-19 10:50:58 AM  
Alright, I'm onboard with this.  Let's permit price-gouging and profiteering during times of crisis, but with one caveat: price-gougers and profiteers shall no longer enjoy the protection of the law.

After all, if you're free to charge whatever price you want, we should be free to pay you in whatever method we want.
 
2020-03-19 10:52:07 AM  
People are terrible
 
2020-03-19 10:52:31 AM  

Stratohead: I recall in 2005 when we were trying to get back from Atlanta right after Katrina...and periodically getting to see local Sherrifs depts shut down and arrest Gas Station owners who tried that "free market" bullshiat for trying to charge 4-10x the regulated amount per gallon of gas.


They definitely enforce it here in Hampton Roads, Virginia. Right now, it's the exact same conditions they enforce during a hurricane. I'm hoping I'm wrong, but Hampton is probably gonna be on lockdown in the next few days.
 
2020-03-19 10:52:41 AM  
moral = profitable


That's the whole key to their 'philosophy.'
 
2020-03-19 10:53:11 AM  
Ever notice how libertarians always assume they start from a position of strength in their hypothetical world and stay there? They never think of what it's like to be "beneath" the captain of industry, or what happens when that captain is inevitably killed by a mob of pissed off people trying to survive and don't care to pay $40 for a loaf of bread.
 
2020-03-19 10:54:22 AM  
Hey Stossel :

i.imgflip.comView Full Size
 
2020-03-19 10:55:11 AM  
Or, you know, stores could just limit the amount you could buy at one time.
 
2020-03-19 10:56:11 AM  
If all you care about is money, and you're willing and able to make life harder for people during a time of crisis, guess what? You're on the wrong side of the law. Government is supposed to step in and protect the interests of the nation.

That's why price gouging is wrong.

That's also why Trump needs to be frogmarched out of the White House and into a supermax (genpop please).
 
2020-03-19 10:56:46 AM  

LeftisRightisWrong: Ever notice how libertarians always assume they start from a position of strength in their hypothetical world and stay there? They never think of what it's like to be "beneath" the captain of industry, or what happens when that captain is inevitably killed by a mob of pissed off people trying to survive and don't care to pay $40 for a loaf of bread.



That is a very specific case of "You ever notice that libertarians seem to be COMPLETELY clueless about how humans actually behave?"
 
2020-03-19 10:56:56 AM  
The libertarian response to every argument: "That's fine in practice, but in theory it just won't work."
 
2020-03-19 10:57:01 AM  

Mikey1969: But what politicians call "gouging" is just supply and demand. Prices rise and fall all the time.

We had the same basic "article" the other day... A bunch of bullshiat, again. I'm not reading past that. DO they start waxing poetic about how charging $100 for a bottle of hand sanitizer is "good" because it keeps the supplies from selling out too quickly? Do they also use the whole "well, gas prices fluctuate, why don't we freak out when that happens" shiat? Because gas prices and the prices for staple items from stores are 100% different. Gas prices go up and down. Gas is a commodity that constantly fluctuates in price, whereas regular grocery items stay at a stable price, go on sale on occasion, where the prices temporarily go down, but overall trend upwards.


Stossel is a wackadoodle but he occasionally gets close to the truth.  If someone buys up all the hand sanitizer only to resell at a higher price locally, then he is hoarding and that is why price gouging is bad.  But there are other ways where these laws have downsides.

For example, after Katrina hit, there were a LOT of people and places without power.  If a hardware store in Michigan has excess inventory of generators and wants to sell them to people that need them in the disaster zone, he has to pay to transport those generators and to do so, he may have to shut down his hardware store while he makes the trip.  If he is prevented from recouping those unusual costs (as far as his normal business model works) and make a profit due to local anti-gouging laws, then he won't sell them and then the people in the disaster zone will have to do without until their local infrastructure and stores are rebuilt/restarted (which could be days or weeks).

Where he and I agree: Poorly written anti-gouging laws can cause more harm than good.
Where he and I disagree: Elect competent politicians to write meaningful, well thought out laws (he hates laws)
 
2020-03-19 10:58:37 AM  

Pincy: Or, you know, stores could just limit the amount you could buy at one time.


Isn't that how Walgreen single-handedly solved America's meth problem?
 
2020-03-19 10:58:41 AM  

Dawnrazor: Alright, I'm onboard with this.  Let's permit price-gouging and profiteering during times of crisis, but with one caveat: price-gougers and profiteers shall no longer enjoy the protection of the law.

After all, if you're free to charge whatever price you want, we should be free to pay you in whatever method we want.


Seriously!  I mean, who the fark is the government to be lecturing us on theft and murder.  I'm just acting on demand.
 
2020-03-19 10:59:34 AM  

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: When food runs out, I have been informed that the flesh of writers and management of Reason will feed a family or four for a month.


Only problem is you will have to cook it all too well done as they will all have died from coronavirus prior to then.
 
2020-03-19 11:00:08 AM  

sleze: If a hardware store in Michigan has excess inventory of generators and wants to sell them to people that need them in the disaster zone, he has to pay to transport those generators and to do so, he may have to shut down his hardware store while he makes the trip.


Man I sure can't see some way around this.
 
2020-03-19 11:00:23 AM  
Well, fark this author.
 
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