Monday, May 03, 2010

Price Gouging?

A Boston store was accused of "price gouging" for pricing a case of water at $16. We normally would say, "so what?" - if a potential customer doesn't like prices, they can go elsewhere.

(article here)

Why should this case be any different? Boston was facing a water emergency... does that mean nobody offering drink can profit? It seems "price gouging" is always all around us; it's the basis of capitalism.

Perhaps life & death situations might be different, but otherwise, the pursuit of private profit is the bedrock of U.S. society. Income motivates work, and resources shift to take advantage of high returns. Of course, some people feel a moral focus to volunteer, or to help others without receiving payment. But can we demand selflessness from everyone? Is it right that society confiscates and reallocates valuable resources that some people prepare with risk and foresight? Is the US capitalistic? Needs are motivators. Capitalism is cruel & indifferent...

(Florida's price gouging law)

(Illegal price gouging in Texas)