Thursday, November 1, 2012

Never Trust a Fat Bastard

This is a line for gasoline in Northern New Jersey just off the turnpike. There are concerns about shortages for gasoline, hotel rooms, generators and presumably pizzas by the Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie (aka "Uranus" as he is a large, round, gaseous asshole). He has warned price gougers: "We will not hesitate to impose the strictest penalties on profiteers who, in direct violation of our consumer protection laws, seek to capitalize on the misfortune of others in the midst of a crisis and recovery period.” I guess the term "profiteer" is in the eye of the beholder because I would refer to them as entrepreneurs meeting a demand, but let's continue.

Governor Christie must have failed Econ 101 so we can't ask him, but what is price gouging exactly?  The Governor thinks it's taking advantage of people in a crisis by jacking up the price. But is it really? I think it's getting goods and services to people in desperate need at a price set by market conditions. I think the cost of meeting that demand can be astronomical in these circumstances otherwise there would be no shortage. I think if the state artificially imposes unrealistic prices for those needed goods and services when it costs the provider more, then what will inevitable occur is shortages. Why should the seller lose money because conditions have increased his costs and not be able to pass that cost along to the end user? He won't.

During Katrina a father and son from Kentucky went down to the local Home Depot and bought up every generator they could get their hands on. They then hauled said generators down to Mississippi and sold each unit for three, four grand. "OMG! No they didn't!" said the idiot. Yes they did and they were promptly exposed by CNN and arrested. Their inventory was confiscated of course and the good people of the Delta couldn't get a generator for love nor money, but by God at least they didn't get ripped off. Tell that to the guy who's medication must stay cold in the fridge or the new mother with a three day old infant. And what's the bet those generators ended up being used by some bureaucrat?

The Hurricane that occurred in the Northeast was not a surprise. Folks had time to prepare. But if one wants or needs certain commodities under these circumstances, you can expect to either pay more or to do without. I want the choice, and I don't want that choice taken from me by some bureaucrat or politician because they or their constituents don't understand the rudiments of market economics. Governor Christie obviously doesn't understand and he showed us his colors these past few days, and as far as I'm concerned he's finished as a national politician. He can stay in New Jersey.   

1 comment:

Sally said...

He's been a disappointment on so many levels this week. I'd love to know what he's really up to.

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