Anti-Gouging Laws Hurt the Vulnerable and Increase Suffering

The approaching Hurricane Matthew has led to news reports that governments are warning residents and businesses in Florida about price gouging. It brings up a question related to my recent post on FB about a narrow question of economics. Do anti-gouging laws actually hurt people?  Or is that just a myth of the cultural Marxists to scare people from helping one another and turn instead to benevolent Uncle Sam for rescue?
 
Here’s the very real scenario: people hit the stores to stock up on the essentials: beer, milk, bread, etc. Consequently, the stores run out of those essentials. Entrepreneurs who are beyond the danger zone of Hurricane Matthew see an opportunity, buy up beer, milk and bread, buy coolers and ice, load up their trucks and vans, and drive into the danger zone to sell these supplies.
 
Naturally, they do not sell them at the same price they bought them for. They want to make a profit. First, they add the cost of the ice, the cooler, and the gas, and if they are smart, they add the value of their time for the shopping, loading, driving and working, meals on the road, lodging, and then they set a price above this amount which would represent some hoped-for profit margin. The price could easily be double or triple the normal price.
 
Now, the state would consider this gouging. Many on the Left and Right rage against the practice. And yet, aren’t these entrepreneurs actually doing the consumer a fabulous service?
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Fear of Failure is Fear of Living

I love the diversity of personalities that make up a big family, and life, for that matter. #2 is much more like his Mother than he is

me. This morning I mentioned off-handedly that I’d ordered something online from China. A business expense.  A look of slight alarm passed over his face. I preemptively explained that I’d done some research on this particular item, the seller, and was reasonably sure it would work out.

He replied with great gravity, “What do you think the chances are you’ll be disappointed?” Ha! What a great question! I got a good laugh at that and said, “Well, I guess I would say about 30%, although it’d be tough to justify that. I’m quite a bit more sure of being satisfied, although I would say the chances are fair that I won’t be. But I have a plan if that’s the case, so I’m not too worried about it either way”.  I then briefly explained my Plan B.

He didn’t say anything. The look on his face showed his doubt. So like his Mom! So I said, “I don’t mind risks…I’m prepared for some disappointment, but also delight in achieving something, discovering something new, or learning something, or perhaps just as satisfying, proving my judgment to be accurate. That’s pride, of course, but enjoyable.  I learn something, perhaps even more, from my mistakes”.

At that moment his Mother entered the room and, hearing at least some part of the discussion, said, “Yeah, but I … Read the rest

I love the diversity of personalities that make up a big family, and life, for that matter. #2 is much more like his Mother than he is

me. This morning I mentioned off-handedly that I’d ordered something online from China. A business expense.  A look of slight alarm passed over his face. I preemptively explained that I’d done some research on this particular item, the seller, and was reasonably sure it would work out.

He replied with great gravity, “What do you think the chances are you’ll be disappointed?” Ha! What a great question! I got a good laugh at that and said, “Well, I guess I would say about 30%, although it’d be tough to justify that. I’m quite a bit more sure of being satisfied, although I would say the chances are fair that I won’t be. But I have a plan if that’s the case, so I’m not too worried about it either way”.  I then briefly explained my Plan B.

He didn’t say anything. The look on his face showed his doubt. So like his Mom! So I said, “I don’t mind risks…I’m prepared for some disappointment, but also delight in achieving something, discovering something new, or learning something, or perhaps just as satisfying, proving my judgment to be accurate. That’s pride, of course, but enjoyable.  I learn something, perhaps even more, from my mistakes”.

At that moment his Mother entered the room and, hearing at least some part of the discussion, said, “Yeah, but I … Read the rest