Posted On: Thursday - July 18th 2019 5:38PM MST
In Topics:   Preppers and Prepping  Economics  Liberty/Libertarianism
Last week, in the comments in reply to one Bill H. of Anytown, USA, I mentioned that I would write a short post in support of the practice of price gouging during the aftermath of disasters and such. Of course, I don't mean I support scams of any sort, so I'm just referring to the honest, blatant, jacking-up-to-the-sky of prices when supplies get scarce.
This is just a pure Libertarian-oriented post, so if that's not your thing, wait a day for a return to other topics.
Maybe after the last hurricane, flood, earthquake, or whatever kind of natural disaster seen on TV, the National Guard brought in supplies, including pallets of bottled water, as shown above. Good on 'em - that's the Governor's job. However, when disasters go big-scale, such as what the real "preppers" are preparing for, there won't be that helping hand, available for everyone.
Things can get bad quickly in this world of Just-In-Time and intertwined computer and internet-based logistics systems that make the modern world run, sort of. When the water doesn't run, the toilets don't flush, and the electricity is off, things will become miserable enough even for a prepper after a while. For the rest, they may have notice with alarm that the stores were emptied of bottled water and, well, everything else, either before the disaster even got started, or within a few hours after. We live on the thin edge, people, and the grocery store shelves are only bountiful when the world is running smoothly.
Now, 3 days later, a truck pulls up selling water at 50 bucks a case of 24. (Well, you know how Peak Stupidity feels about bottled water, but that's another story.) "Fifty bucks! What a meanie!" "These people are evil" - that's the narrative today. However, at the normal price, would it really be worth if for them to truck this water from 2 states away? Not even close. "Well, they should do it out of the goodness of their hearts." Hey some do. These aren't the ones. "Oh, then, at least sell if for something to pay for the trip, and that's all." How would that motivate these guys to load up and truck this water from 2 states away?
No, they have every right to make some money, as much as they want, in fact, off of your misfortune. That's supply and demand, not Kumbaya at the Rainbow Gathering. The opportunity to price gouge may be the only thing bringing in this truck with its bottled water for your continued existence. Another good effect would be that paying that 50 bucks a case will be something you remember very well, before the next time around. Maybe you should have kept a dozen cases on hand. It's not like water has a short shelf-life. How hard is it to do that?
I suppose, for some people things like that and, well, life in general, is hard. As the man in the Western (apparently never) said, it's even harder when you're stupid.