The Motley Fool Discussion Boards

Previous Page

Retirement Discussions / Retire Early CampFIRE

URL:  http://boards.fool.com/i-dont-object-to-businesses-charging-the-same-30388029.aspx

Subject:  Re: Price-gouging laws suck Date:  11/18/2012  10:31 AM
Author:  Colovion Number:  655801 of 737510

I don't object to businesses charging the same price after a disaster that they charged before it. I think you don't lose your right to your normal rate just because something unusual happened. But you don't have the right to extra benefits because of a circumstance you did not create, and that's what raising prices after a disaster is.

No, it's not. At all.

Gasoline is Tge example given in the link provided, and a good one. Gas trucks can't get through (either at all or in the same amounts) to deliver more supply. Lots if people are suddenly using more gas to leave the area. Lots of help is coming, their vehicles need gas. Demand goes way up while supply goes down... and you demand that prices remain the same?

The results are plain to see: long lines and stations running out of fuel. And "price gouging" still happens. People were filling up 2.5 gallon gascontainers then turning around and selling them at $50. So the black market was selling gas at $20/gallon while the white market was selling at under $4/gallon. When the stations ran out of gas you still had to pay the "gouging" prices. Why? Because the market always wins. It has to, or else there is utter chaos. All the anti-gouging laws did was impoverish the station owners while enriching black market operators.

The real victims? The gas station owners who were deprived of their livelihoods because politicians prevented it based on a flawed view of the market. If the station owners could have charged $8/gallon the lines would have been shorter, their supplies would have lasted longer (until they could be resupplied, and I guarantee those trucks are charging more to resupplied them, are they supposed to eat that cost? Will the politicians reach into their own wallets to compensate the station owners for their state-imposed losses?)

This applies to everything that is in short supply from hotel rooms to food, water, medicine, etc. Thieir supply and demand are GREATLY affected!

If I owned a store in those areas and I couldn't raise prices I'd shut the stores, lock it down and arm up to defend against looters. Why should I destroy my livelihood in order to appease anti-market zealots? Good intentions don't pay the bills, profits do.
Copyright 1996-2014 trademark and the "Fool" logo is a trademark of The Motley Fool, Inc. Contact Us