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Hurricane Michael: Should Businesses Be Allowed to Price Gouge?
by Countable
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  • TuckerWantsLiberty
    Voted Yes

    The first rule of economics is that all goods and services are scarce. That is much more the case when there are disasters that disrupt normal supply chains. Scarce goods require rationing, which can happen one of two ways - voluntary rationing (prices adjust and consumers in the market self-limit by reducing consumption, which itself then provides a natural downward pressure on prices, to counteract the upward pressure from reduced supply), or involuntary rationing (someone from the government arbitrarily decides what sounds like a "fair" amount for everyone to get). I choose "price gouging" over government oversight, and would choose that every single time. Additionally, the higher prices (and hence the higher profit opportunities) provide incentive for suppliers outside the affected area to undertake the expense of figuring out how to get goods in there and make sales, thereby increasing the supply available to those affected by the disaster (and, of course, that drives prices back down as well). At this point anyone against the natural movements of prices is basically against helping people.

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