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Old 09-24-2017, 02:35 PM   #276
de captain
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Re: Price gouging ?! What's your opinion on it

I don't think anyone has implied that.

I am curious as to how big business was unable to prevent anti gouging laws from coming into existence in the 1st place? Big business has long had all of the money and the lobbying power. Big business and free market pricing existed well before the advent of anti gouging laws.

That implies that big business really screwed the pooch somewhere along the line to the point that all of their money couldn't prevent anti gouging laws from being enacted. If the free market pricing in times of disaster worked so well before why did we change it?
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Old 09-24-2017, 03:26 PM   #277
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Re: Price gouging ?! What's your opinion on it

You seem to believe that businesses make scandalous amounts of money from natural disasters in the absence of price control laws. They don't. Natural disasters are very rare, and they increase the cost of supplying goods. Businesses have empty shelves because supplying them at everyday prices would create a loss, and they're not charities, nor should they be.

You don't seem to grasp the pro-social function prices have. In your view prices are solely a mechanism to extract as much money from the sheeple as possible, so if they go up that's bad. Prices actually move to new equilibria that reflect the changing cost to deliver a good and the changing value people obtain from that good. The change in prices then changes incentives on the supply and demand side. Higher prices mean that suppliers are incentivized to deliver more goods and pre-store extra goods before a hurricane and to continue supplying goods during and after the hurricane. On the demand side, higher prices mean that people only consume what they absolutely need, and early-birds or insiders/store employees can't simply hoard all the goods bought way too cheaply. This efficient resource allocation and consumption dynamic took us from the stone age to the space age.

For big businesses it wouldn't be worth the time and resources needed to fight anti-gouging laws because it's such a small impact on their bottom line. These situations happen so rarely and these corporations have to deal with reputation effects over and above the legality, so they stand to gain little from repealing the laws. It's small producers and suppliers that are best suited to fill the niche of disaster supply, and as small players they are least able to lobby for changing the laws.
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Old 09-24-2017, 04:18 PM   #278
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Re: Price gouging ?! What's your opinion on it

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If the free market pricing in times of disaster worked so well before why did we change it?
In the end, it doesn't matter how much money is given to a politician, they do things for the votes.
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Old 09-24-2017, 07:21 PM   #279
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Re: Price gouging ?! What's your opinion on it

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I think you'd see far more water and fuel if the free market was allowed to operate. Triple the price and it becomes very +EV to risk losing a truck and leave it parked and loaded. Or to stock up a warehouse and take the risk of looting into account. Or a million other things.

When you can't up prices, you can't price in risk, so risky situations will be undersupplied, especially in things where the profit margin is thin.

The anti-gouging guys are acting like there's no way to get water and fuel to somewhere when there's a hurricane. That's comical. The market could easily supply all wants during these periods - by stocking up before, by taking risk actions, by flying it in via helicopter after the winds abate (600 pounds of water = 150 miles of helicopter flight = `$600 operating costs = $1/pound extra - see how that works?)

What would people without clean drinking water prefer?

- $4/30 ounce water
- No clean water obtainable at any price?

The anti-gouging guys want to deprive the suffering of basic necessities. They're awful people. Racist too, given that their idiocy disproportionately affects minorities.
I'm not arguing that. Anyone who thinks prices shouldn't adjust at all and anti gouging laws are not supposed to allow for reasonable adjustments to prices is arguing for a situation that seriously limits supply/economic rationing and is dangerous to the overall populous.

Price gouging laws are meant to protect consumers against obscene price changes. They should not exist at 2x or 3x or even 5 normal market prices which occur based on operational cost increases and acts to help ration supply. However, certain situations occur such as charging 100x normal market prices for essentials because there are no other alternatives for the consumer and this is abusing the situation and obviously not good for the economy especially when it causes a situation where not all supplies are utilized.

Just out of curiosity and it better illustrates my position do you think hospitals/doctors should have restrictions on pricing especially for critical/intensive care type situations? There are certain times when the market cannot be efficient and restrictions have to be required to protect the economy as a whole. I do agree it's not as often as people think and people cry about it too much though.

Last edited by smoothcriminal99; 09-24-2017 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 09-24-2017, 07:25 PM   #280
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Re: Price gouging ?! What's your opinion on it

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Originally Posted by commas,are,funny View Post
You seem to believe that businesses make scandalous amounts of money from natural disasters in the absence of price control laws. They don't. Natural disasters are very rare, and they increase the cost of supplying goods. Businesses have empty shelves because supplying them at everyday prices would create a loss, and they're not charities, nor should they be.

You don't seem to grasp the pro-social function prices have. In your view prices are solely a mechanism to extract as much money from the sheeple as possible, so if they go up that's bad. Prices actually move to new equilibria that reflect the changing cost to deliver a good and the changing value people obtain from that good. The change in prices then changes incentives on the supply and demand side. Higher prices mean that suppliers are incentivized to deliver more goods and pre-store extra goods before a hurricane and to continue supplying goods during and after the hurricane. On the demand side, higher prices mean that people only consume what they absolutely need, and early-birds or insiders/store employees can't simply hoard all the goods bought way too cheaply. This efficient resource allocation and consumption dynamic took us from the stone age to the space age.

For big businesses it wouldn't be worth the time and resources needed to fight anti-gouging laws because it's such a small impact on their bottom line. These situations happen so rarely and these corporations have to deal with reputation effects over and above the legality, so they stand to gain little from repealing the laws. It's small producers and suppliers that are best suited to fill the niche of disaster supply, and as small players they are least able to lobby for changing the laws.
In my opinion it's usually not the big businesses that are the ones price gouging it's actually the mom and pop stores/family owned businesses. I don't know if it has to do with a big business bureaucracy making it harder to adjust prices then a small shop or what but it is interesting everyone thinks Walmart's evil when in actuality when it comes down to it a lot of the small business owners are more ruthless in these situations on average.

Last edited by smoothcriminal99; 09-24-2017 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 09-24-2017, 07:33 PM   #281
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Re: Price gouging ?! What's your opinion on it

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Originally Posted by commas,are,funny View Post
For big businesses it wouldn't be worth the time and resources needed to fight anti-gouging laws because it's such a small impact on their bottom line. These situations happen so rarely and these corporations have to deal with reputation effects over and above the legality, so they stand to gain little from repealing the laws. It's small producers and suppliers that are best suited to fill the niche of disaster supply, and as small players they are least able to lobby for changing the laws.
I see. Were there no small producers and suppliers back before price gouging laws came into effect? It seems to me if we'd only had these small producers and suppliers back in the day that could have filled the niche of disaster supply it would have prevented the need for anti gouging laws to begin with and we wouldn't be in the position we're in now where small players are unable to lobby for the repeal of the laws.

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In the end, it doesn't matter how much money is given to a politician,...
LOL
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Old 09-24-2017, 08:00 PM   #282
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Re: Price gouging ?! What's your opinion on it

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In the end, it doesn't matter how much money is given to a politician, they do things for the votes.
I disagree strongly... you know our system is designed so politicians can create/change policy without the public realizing they are involved right?
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Old 09-24-2017, 08:10 PM   #283
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Re: Price gouging ?! What's your opinion on it

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I see. Were there no small producers and suppliers back before price gouging laws came into effect? It seems to me if we'd only had these small producers and suppliers back in the day that could have filled the niche of disaster supply it would have prevented the need for anti gouging laws to begin with and we wouldn't be in the position we're in now where small players are unable to lobby for the repeal of the laws.
A woman in Arizona got a life sentence for drunkenly demanding a 13-year old boy suck her breast under the state's zero-tolerance laws toward child molestation. A lot of laws are like a bazooka rather than a sniper rifle. I could endorse a price-gouging law that prohibits 10x pricing, maybe even as low as 5x pricing to prevent the rare instance of true predatory pricing (but I would defer to the Nobel Prize winners to determine the optimal multiple). It might be surprising but I do think predatory pricing exists; a strong example is the payday loan industry, an industry that should probably be regulated for the best interests of the vulnerable consumer. But having a carte blanche prohibition during a severe natural disaster that results in jailtime for mere 2x pricing is seriously inefficient and harmful.
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Old 09-24-2017, 08:26 PM   #284
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Re: Price gouging ?! What's your opinion on it

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I disagree strongly... you know our system is designed so politicians can create/change policy without the public realizing they are involved right?
Have you never seen a negative campaign ad? "Joe Politician voted to allow heartless corporations to jack up prices for people that just lost their home - making them pay 10 times normal for food, water, and even the air they need to breath. Time to vote Joe out of office. Now!" No one wants to defend against that no matter how much money is donated to their campain.
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Old 09-24-2017, 08:37 PM   #285
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Re: Price gouging ?! What's your opinion on it

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Have you never seen a negative campaign ad? "Joe Politician voted to allow heartless corporations to jack up prices for people that just lost their home - making them pay 10 times normal for food, water, and even the air they need to breath. Time to vote Joe out of office. Now!" No one wants to defend against that no matter how much money is donated to their campain.
Those are the most idiotic thing ever. Majority of the time the person voted for or against something during a procedural type vote. If you want to get a bill stopped its done by getting it buried in committee or through filibusters... if you want something unpopular in law you earmark it on an incredibly popular bill. A politician's vote is pretty irrelevant in the grand scheme.

How do you think people hear about those type's of incidents? I can literally find a vote by every politician in office that can be aired in the same way and a quote by any candidate that will look bad if I spent the time. The main issue in campaigning is money constraints to air this type of advertisement and how to effectively market it.

The best campaign ad I ever saw was about a politician who had the worst voting record in congress. I remember seeing it and instantly thinking he was useless and to vote for the other guy. Turns out he was actually very influential and involved in a bunch of committees and the votes he missed were procedural or irrelevant. Campaigns are all about marketing and perception more then actual policy which is why politicians value money more then policy typically.

Last edited by smoothcriminal99; 09-24-2017 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 09-24-2017, 09:06 PM   #286
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Re: Price gouging ?! What's your opinion on it

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Originally Posted by commas,are,funny View Post
I could endorse a price-gouging law that prohibits 10x pricing, maybe even as low as 5x pricing to prevent the rare instance of true predatory pricing (but I would defer to the Nobel Prize winners to determine the optimal multiple). It might be surprising but I do think predatory pricing exists; a strong example is the payday loan industry, an industry that should probably be regulated for the best interests of the vulnerable consumer. But having a carte blanche prohibition during a severe natural disaster that results in jailtime for mere 2x pricing is seriously inefficient and harmful.
I believe we're in agreement here.

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Is a guy who buys generators in the midwest and drives them to a natural disaster to sell them at a 2x markup price gouging? No. He's an entrepreneur. He has overhead and deserves to be compensated for his time, risk, investment, short term increased cost of doing business, and foresight. Charging 2x for his generators is reasonable and not price gouging.

Is a store in Florida that marks the price of it's existing inventory up by 10x, because people desperately need it due to an unavoidable natural disaster, price gouging? Abso****inglutely.
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Old 09-24-2017, 09:50 PM   #287
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Re: Price gouging ?! What's your opinion on it

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You don't seem to grasp the pro-social function prices have. ...
Basically this.
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Old 09-24-2017, 11:08 PM   #288
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Re: Price gouging ?! What's your opinion on it

Telling someone with a differing view on a subject that they just don't get it or can't grasp a concept does little to further the conversation. It frequently means you're not explaining your position very well. Furthermore, it's entirely possible to grasp a concept but hold a different view point.

I've asked for an example of free market pricing pre, during, or post natural disaster being implemented and improving the situation for all. If it's a much better system than surely there are some countries without price gouging laws who are more successfully handling disasters than the US?

The US didn't always have anti gouging laws. If the system worked so well pre legislation why did we enact laws to prevent it?

Does anyone foresee any problems with eliminating anti gouging laws, or will it be all roses and sunshine? Does anyone see any downside at all? If you can explain to me the downside I'm more likely to believe the upside.

One of the problems is that business and consumer interests aren't aligned. Businesses have a long history of poisoning, lying to, and exploiting consumers to maximize profits. The problem is especially egregious when businesses deal with poor consumers. History shows that businesses are especially cruel to the poor but you'd like me to believe that if we just turn over natural disasters to businesses to handle they'll solve the problem and there will be no more shortages?
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Old 09-25-2017, 12:16 AM   #289
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Re: Price gouging ?! What's your opinion on it

Free market is good for lots of luxury things but when it comes to necessity there needs a equation. I agree with price increasing but not something redicious high. The equation I'll let it to the economics to decide. The thing is, in an ideal world we won't need laws if everyone is responsible. Take what you need and a bit more. We need to teach people to become more responsible, not have more laws. Got to educate the mass on how to be social accountable. I guess I am just daydreaming till that day.
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Old 09-25-2017, 01:18 AM   #290
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Re: Price gouging ?! What's your opinion on it

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BrianTheMick2 -
You appear to favor anti-gouging laws and rationing.
During times when the market doesn't work (i.e. times during which supply and/or demand are inelastic), I am in favor of anti-gouging.

Rationing is at least partially a separate issue. I've worked at markets where supply was inelastic and "limit one per customer" signs worked pretty darn well.

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Who sets the ration?
Mike Smith. He is a pretty smart guy.

Or, shop-keepers could just do it on their own. "Limit one per customer" cards are pretty easy to make.

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Are rations transferrable?
I'm not entirely sure, but I suspect that they ought not be transferrable unless they cannot be transferred for profit. We'd have to check with Mike Smith to be more certain.

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What happens when one person needs more than the rationed amount of gas and someone else needs less?
The one who needs less isn't required to purchase 28 gallons of gasoline. The less needy can, if they so desire, purchase 0.25 gallons of gasoline or even 0.0000 gallons of gasoline.

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Do you believe that rationing will result in a better allocation of gasoline than the free market would without anti-gouging laws?
I believe that anti-gouging laws do not meaningfully decrease supply.

Strict rationing can make sense during certain scenarios, of course. Sometimes not enough bread being allocated to too few people means that people starve. That you'd like to make a 400-foot-tall sculpture of Ayn Rand's left breast out of bread and would happily pay up to corner the market in bread doesn't mean you should be allowed to do so during a famine.
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