November 11, 2012

RIGHT ON SCHEDULE:  Time to go after those awful “price gougers:”

When allowed to function properly, the free market works very smoothly in bringing people the goods and services they want, in the amount that they want them, and for the price at which they value them. As much as people don’t like hearing it, the laws of supply and demand are no less vital in the event of an emergency — but politicians sure do love to rag on those greedy, profiteering businesses that jack up their prices in the event of a sudden supply shock or demand spike (a.k.a., “price gouging”). Anti-price gouging laws are a huge mistake that hurt the public at large, because all they accomplish is preventing the free market from doing what it does best: Quickly and efficiently adapting to conditions in a way that benefits everyone, and in an emergency especially, price gouging can save lives.

Predictably, of course, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, so begins the outrageous outrage against those who had the audacity to raise prices on things like gasoline and lodging, via NBC:

NBC, you say? They’re pretty cool themselves with the notion of manipulating prices of consumer goods such as gasoline when faced with what the network perceives to be a natural catastrophe.