Joe Arpaio

Price Gougers Are Heroes! [Podcast]

Reason editors discuss Hurricane Harvey, the pardon of Joe Arpaio, Al Franken 2020, Antifa, and more.

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"Price gougers are heroes," says Reason's Katherine Mangu-Ward. When "people who go into disaster zones, we generally praise them," but when their motivations include "mak[ing] money…suddenly they're villains."

In the latest Reason podcast, Mangu-Ward joins Nick Gillespie, Matt Welch, and Andrew Heaton to talk about market fundamentals in hurricane-addled Houston, and why Joe Arpaio's presidential pardon is worse than merely letting a deplorable lawman walk free.

Democrats are eyeballing Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) as a presidential candidate in 2020, and he might have a secret weapon against Trump.

Plus why Antifa is violent, terrible, and boring.

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  1. “Price gougers are heroes,” says Reason’s Katherine Mangu-Ward. When “people who go into disaster zones, we generally praise them,” but when their motivations include “mak[ing] money…suddenly they’re villains.”

    Price gouging come in many different forms. The idea of going into a disaster zone to ‘make money’ certainly doesn’t make you a villain, and in fact can make you a hero. If the local economy can’t supply a good during a disaster, people rushing in to fill that need helps create and maintain the supply.

    Also, prices rising during scarcity helps maintain supply.

    But on the other hand, I can see how the community may react negatively during a disaster when you run to your hardware store and certain critical supplies have quintupled in price.

    As a store owner, I’d be concerned about earning the ire of my community if I did that. I think that it’s reasonable that if a store owner wants to maintain good relations with his local customers, he can do other things to maintain supply, such as limiting ‘one per customer’ or other similar measures. Of course, all of this is on a case-by-case basis, and should be the sole decision of the seller.

    1. I’m always shocked (not really though) at how many people who live in areas prone to certain disasters seem completely unprepared to handle said disasters. If you live on the gulf coast you shouldn’t be rushing to the store at the last minute for plywood and batteries and a gas generator. That stuff should be sitting in your shed/storage unit, ready to go at the start of each Spring. If you live in the northeast you shouldn’t be rushing to the store at the last minute for a snow shovel and fire wood. If you are one of these people running around right before disaster strikes you should expect to pay someone else a premium for planning out your survival needs for you.

  2. Democrats are eyeballing Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) as a presidential candidate in 2020, and he might have a secret weapon against Trump.

    Really?!

    So they haven’t learned anything from Hillary’s loss?

  3. My eyes skimmed over the first two headlines really fast and I thought that crotch gougers were unconstitutional heroes. They are though.

    1. crotch gougers

      How does one acquire the proper certification to be a crotch gouger? Just curious.

  4. Price gouging just how market sets price during shortages.

    If you price gouge on generators and risk your own life to bring them to the people, then you might be a hero.

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