Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Price Gouging

Price-gouging Laws Guarantee Shortages in Miami

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, September 8, 2017: 

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (shown) railed against so-called price gougers at a press conference in Tallahassee on Wednesday night: “It’s sickening. It’s disgusting. It’s unacceptable and we’re not going to have any of it.” She then provided the number for Floridians who think they’re being ripped off to call to complain: 1-866-9NO-SCAM.

Bondi doubled down the next day, telling would-be “gougers”:

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Venezuela: Some Lessons Must be Learned Over and Over Again

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, January 23, 2017:

George Santayana most famously said: “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” But he wasn’t the only one. Aldous Huxley put it this way: “That men do not learn very much the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.” Said Samuel Taylor Coleridge: “If men could learn from history, what lessons it might teach us! But passion and party blind our eyes, and the light which experience gives us is a lantern on the stern which shines only on the waves behind.”

There’s a lesson being taught to the hapless and now helpless citizens (shown above) of Venezuela. It’s a lesson so often taught but not learned that one may, with great confidence, predict the final outcome.

On Friday Venezuela’s Marxist dictator, Nicolas Maduro, fired his banker,

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Generators, Craigslist and the free market

English: This is a generator.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Economist Mark Perry is having a field day showing how people are using Craigslist to do an end run around New Jersey regulations against “price gouging.” His first post on the matter appeared on Sunday, November 4th, when he noted that people were buying generators from Home Depot, Sears and Lowe’s, paying retail prices of $700-$800 each, and then putting them up for sale on Craigslist at $1,000 or more. As he gleefully reported:

So apparently the “price gougers” entrepreneurs and speculators are buying up all of the portable generators at Home Depot, Sears and Lowe’s at regular retail artificially low prices and re-selling them at prices that many consider to be “price gouging” what the market will bear, or market prices.

Of course, this ticks off the statists and anti-capitalists and the ignoranti who think such behavior is

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Chris Christie, Just Another Fascist

Governor of New Jersey at a town hall in Hills...

Governor of New Jersey at a town hall in Hillsborough, NJ 3/2/11 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chris Christie is a great example of someone who, on the hustings, sounds wonderful: less government, tough on unions, balance the budget and all that sort of thing. For a brief moment, Ann Coulter fell for him as well.

But let reality intrude and all the falsehoods and chimera and gloss disappear. Here’s the guv on gouging:

Having visited some of the hardest-hit areas of our state, and having seen firsthand the suffering people are experiencing, I assure New Jersey’s residents and retailers that we are taking a zero-tolerance approach to price gouging. Fuel, electricity, food, and a place to sleep are not luxuries, certainly not for individuals who have been displaced from their homes and in many cases have limited resources at their disposal. We are not asking businesses to function as charities. We require that they obey New Jersey’s laws – or pay significant penalties.

He is a statist after all. In fact, to be completely accurate, he thinks government’s role is to override the market and intrude and reward and punish according to some tissue-paper standard of “right” and “good.” The proper word – get ready! – is

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Price-Gouging, Price Controls, and Common Sense

English: Temperatures in the USA, mesoscale an...

Temperatures in the USA, mesoscale analysis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As inevitable as the canard that Hurricane Sandy is going to be good for business is this one: those nasty capitalists running hardware stores and gasoline stations are gouging the public with high prices. They need to be stopped! Price controls will do it!

Mark Perry thinks so too, and has proposed a remedy: a maximum temperature law. After all, the last two summers have been unreasonably – no! unconscionably! – hot:

The extreme heat waves during the last two summers, and the hardships they have caused for millions of Americans (including 82 heat-related deaths this year), firmly establishes that we are at the mercy of a very cruel, ruthless, merciless, cold-hearted, and uncaring force: Mother Nature.

Something needs to be done about it! Politicians, take notice! Another opportunity to right a wrong, to establish

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Hurricane Isaac is Likely to Result in Price Gouging

Donald J. Boudreaux: On Price Gouging — Is It Fair to Raise Prices after a Natural Disaster?

The immediate aftermath of a natural disaster inevitably brings much higher prices for staple goods, such as lumber, batteries, fuel, and bottled water. Just as inevitably, these higher prices are roundly decried as unjust and inexcusable.

Hurricane Jeanne

Hurricane (Photo credit: kakela)

Donald Boudreaux lives in New Orleans and experienced Hurricane Katrina (September 2005) and its aftermath. Part of the aftermath was uninformed people—some economists who should have known better—decrying the rise in the prices of staples, calling merchants offering them at the higher prices “gougers”—seeking only to take advantage of the situation.

In fact, as Boudreaux points out, they were simply responding to market forces: supply and demand:

Prices are not set arbitrarily. They are what they are for a variety of reasons. These reasons are summarized by the two words “supply” and “demand.” Prices reflect existing conditions of supply and demand.

If the price of bottled water rises, it does so either because supplies have fallen or because people’s demand has risen. In the wake of natural disasters, both of these effects kick in strongly.

He teaches us several things. First, there is the reality of the market. It will not be denied. It may be, and will be if Isaac results in the same thing happening, that prices of, say, bottled water, rises substantially. That is the reality. We need to face it:

The higher price per bottle reflects the underlying reality; it reflects the fact that bottled-water supply is lower and bottled-water demand is higher. In short, it reflects the fact that bottled water is now more valuable than it was before the disaster…

And how best to deal with this unfortunate reality? To begin, never pretend that reality is other than what it is. Face reality squarely, fully, and soberly.

Second, the market price for bottled water gives out information to consumers and producers. It’s vital information that they need in order to make sensible decisions:

If the market value of a bottle of water is $25, preventing merchants from charging a price higher than $5 shields consumers from the fact that potable water is now more precious than it was pre-disaster. The price cap also shields suppliers from this same truth.

The inevitable consequences of this hoax only add to the problems caused by the natural disaster. With the price artificially kept low—at its pre-disaster level—consumers will try to use this now-more-precious commodity today with no more care than they used it yesterday.

Lesson: when government intervenes in the market, it distorts the market which results in poor decisions being made by those participating in the market. In a nutshell that’s what government interventions always do.

Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.