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Can price gouging be a GOOD thing? Options · View
lafayettemister
Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 9:20:00 AM

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Location: Alabama, United States
Price gouging good for consumers?

As heard on NPR

Many states have laws against price gouging. People hate it when businesses jack up prices during an emergency or a time of severe shortages. But economists say that preventing price gouging often makes matters worse.


STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK. So, it was really hard to get gas in the New York area yesterday. One very simple thing could be done that might change everything: drastically raise the price of gas. Now, if that happened, we would surely consider it price-gouging. But some economists think it would be a really good idea. Here's Zoe Chace of our Planet Money team.

MICHELLE MEDINA: So, everybody here's OK? You guys OK? All right. Yeah, we're still on line with him.

ZOE CHACE, BYLINE: The gas station on Union and 4th Avenue in Brooklyn was crazy, too: cars down the block, people with red gas containers crowded around the pumps. Michelle Medina was trying to organize the mayhem.

MEDINA: These are going to be for credit, this side for cash. Just remember, call me. I'll give you the gas, bring you back your change. OK?

CHACE: One thing nobody was asking: How much are you paying for your gas?

JOHN HANNA: I didn't even check the price. I don't care about the price right now. I care about - I need the gas for my kids.

CHACE: John Hanna drove three hours from Jersey looking for gas to power his generator. It's funny. You hear about the lines, the hours of waiting, the lack of power. But at a time like this, you don't hear about the price. Usually, when there's an incredible demand for something, the price of that thing goes up. That's not really happening here in New York. At this station, regular goes for about $3.80 a gallon. If gas station owners suddenly jacked up the price by a couple of bucks or more, they could get in trouble with the state. Looking at the lines of cars at this gas station, it seems like the gas should be worth more - at least to an economist it does.

MICHAEL MUNGER: I don't think $25 a gallon is unreasonable.

CHACE: I called Michael Munger. He's a professor at Duke, and he says the fastest way to fix the gas scarcity is to raise the price. Let the market work it out.

MUNGER: When prices go up, people buy less. Everyone who was waiting in line wanted to fill their tank. That means that there's not going to be enough gas for everybody.

CHACE: I saw one guy running down the block. He had six gas containers dangling from what looked like a swiffer. Not for sale, he yelled to me when I ran after him. If he had to shell out hundreds of dollars to fill up one container, he might not have taken so much gas with him. Of course, there's another way to get people to buy less gas at a time, even if they'd been waiting for hours.

RON FREEMAN: Cash only.

CHACE: Ron Freeman stalled out on Fourth Avenue.

How much you got?

FREEMAN: I got cash. I want $20 to get home, and I'm parking it and I'm not driving for the rest of the week.

CHACE: If you have to pay cash, the gas you get is limited to the money in your pocket. Four bucks a gallon seems a lot more expensive if you've only got $20 to spend. Zoe Chace, NPR News, New York.

=================

As someone in my local newspaper put it (paraphrasing): Someone in Alabama with a tanker truck full of gas might decide to drive to NY/NJ if gas was selling for $10/gallon. It would be worth his trip. The more producers of gas showing up to sell gas, the more the cost of gas would go down. The more gougers that pop up, the faster prices return to normal.

If supply and demand economics were left to play out, people wouldn't fill up their car and 5 gas cans at the pump when supplies are limited. They'd buy only what they could afford, thus leaving more gas for more people to have access to. Imagine if the rich couldn't by 100 gallons of gas on credit so the middle income or poor would be able to by 10 gallons? Enough for everyone to get by until life returns to normal. Is it possible that anti-gouging laws are slowing recovery and extending the aftereffects of a storm?

I'm sure most of us would be vehemently against price gouging. After Hurricane Katrina hit, everything here went up in price. Immediately after the storm, $400 generators were being sold for $700+. Gas went up some. Food went up. I fucking hated the price gouging, pissed me off.

Interesting concept, I don't agree with it but it's definitely made me think about it a little.






When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates
overmykneenow
Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 9:47:53 AM

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Location: United Kingdom
$10 a gallon? that's pretty much the price of unleaded in the UK!

Warning: The opinions above are those of an anonymous individual on the internet. They are opinions, unless they're facts. They may be ill-informed, out of touch with reality or just plain stupid. They may contain traces of irony. If reading these opinions causes you to be become outraged or you start displaying the symptoms of outrage, stop reading them immediately. If symptoms persist, consult a psychiatrist.

Why not read some stories instead

NEW! Want a quick read for your coffee break? Why not try this... Flash Erotica: Scrubber
elitfromnorth
Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 11:54:22 AM

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Joined: 2/12/2012
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Location: Burrowed, Norway
One thing that needs to be mentioned: economsist usually have one thing and one thing only on their mind; the market. They don't take into account the social effects that stuff like that would cause. With a tripled gas price you'll probably end up with illegal gas being sold cheaper, but still with a good profit.

You'll also end up with the poorer people not having the money to buy gas so they can drive their kids back and forth to school. Once again it's the economists that live in their little bubble and can't see anything but numbers.

"It's at that point you realise Lady Luck is actually a hooker, and you're fresh out of cash."
keoloke
Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 12:32:00 PM

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Joined: 8/12/2010
Posts: 599
Location: United States
hum necessities that cost more money are actually a good thing!

Everyone bow and say “Thank You”

See we just learned something new.


It brings to my memory of our former (US) president who said “American are hooked on gas”
Well, also they do not have an alternative. So called electric cars kept on being build (so to show) and killed.
Legally converting a gasoline car to natural gas cost $5000 to $8ooo. It really cost only a few hundreds of dollars.

but again if it's a good thing... thanks for price gouging.

Choose n Practice Happiness

Life is simple; we are what we eat and what we read. Talk is superfluous.
lafayettemister
Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 12:39:31 PM

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Location: Alabama, United States
elitfromnorth wrote:
One thing that needs to be mentioned: economsist usually have one thing and one thing only on their mind; the market. They don't take into account the social effects that stuff like that would cause. With a tripled gas price you'll probably end up with illegal gas being sold cheaper, but still with a good profit.

You'll also end up with the poorer people not having the money to buy gas so they can drive their kids back and forth to school. Once again it's the economists that live in their little bubble and can't see anything but numbers.


I generally agree with you, Elit. In this case, the gouging would be a temporary thing. A few days to a couple weeks. Not a long term gouging, if that matters. Within the theory mentioned, it would only last until things normalized. Not long enough to permanently affect someone's ability to get to from school/work.





When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates
elitfromnorth
Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 1:03:58 PM

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lafayettemister wrote:


I generally agree with you, Elit. In this case, the gouging would be a temporary thing. A few days to a couple weeks. Not a long term gouging, if that matters. Within the theory mentioned, it would only last until things normalized. Not long enough to permanently affect someone's ability to get to from school/work.


Just a couple of weeks? That's not really "just" or "only" is it? Besides, if you allow price gauging on gas and other petroleum products, what's to keep it from going on other things as well? And when you suddenly have disasters or times of need etc. you end up having gauged on a lot of things that doesn't really affect your ability to go to school or work and food, like batteries and so forth, but you're still allowing those with means to buy all they need while those with less means have to chose between what's most necessary and what they can go without for a certain amount of time.

And once the prices drop you'll suddenly have a large demand that will arise and the same situation will come again. There's a reason why socilogists and historians mock economists, and that's because they only think numbers and thinks there's nothing else to society than that. They believe they can take an economic model and use that to describe how speed limits affect casualties on a certain road(yes, they actually do believe that). Listen to them when they talk about something that's exclusively about numbers and won't affect the society in any way, like what's the best way to pay of your mortgage and so forth. But other than that they are useless because they have a blindspot the size of Russia.

"It's at that point you realise Lady Luck is actually a hooker, and you're fresh out of cash."
lafayettemister
Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 1:23:59 PM

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elitfromnorth wrote:


Just a couple of weeks? That's not really "just" or "only" is it? Besides, if you allow price gauging on gas and other petroleum products, what's to keep it from going on other things as well? And when you suddenly have disasters or times of need etc. you end up having gauged on a lot of things that doesn't really affect your ability to go to school or work and food, like batteries and so forth, but you're still allowing those with means to buy all they need while those with less means have to chose between what's most necessary and what they can go without for a certain amount of time.

And once the prices drop you'll suddenly have a large demand that will arise and the same situation will come again. There's a reason why socilogists and historians mock economists, and that's because they only think numbers and thinks there's nothing else to society than that. They believe they can take an economic model and use that to describe how speed limits affect casualties on a certain road(yes, they actually do believe that). Listen to them when they talk about something that's exclusively about numbers and won't affect the society in any way, like what's the best way to pay of your mortgage and so forth. But other than that they are useless because they have a blindspot the size of Russia.


Like I said earlier, I'm not in favor of the price gouge. Just that it offered a new way of looking at things, a different perspective that I'd not considered before.





When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates
ByronLord
Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 5:22:20 PM

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Only reason not to raise the price is that it might well cause ill feeling amongst customers who would boycott you after the supply goes back to normal.

TheGulfCoaster
Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 8:21:31 PM

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I think as long as the US government is subsidizing the oil industry, that gives us the right to prevent them from gouging and punish them if they do.
DLizze
Posted: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 11:55:40 PM

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This discussion highlights, in my mind, the various reasons Economics is not a science, much as economists would like to believe otherwise.

"There's only three tempos: slow, medium and fast. When you get between in the cracks, ain't nuthin' happenin'." Ben Webster
WellMadeMale
Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012 8:30:38 AM

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Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,288
Location: Cakeland, United States
TheGulfCoaster wrote:
I think as long as the US government is subsidizing the oil industry, that gives us the right to prevent them from gouging and punish them if they do.


The world population which desires to use petroleum for anything is already being gouged and has been gouged ever since Rockefeller instructed his geologists to promote the use of the false term - fossil fuel, to imply that oil was a finite resource and hence, naturally by being finite - its worth would increase in value as more of it was mined and used up.

Oil is a mineral, it is not a finite resource composed of the fossilized remains of zooplankton or deceased living organisms (like dinosaurs, amphibians, fish, other assorted ick). Oil is not an organic compound. There are no fossils found in oil, it is not created from the decomposition of once living creatures.

Oil is a replenishing mineral.
Oil is made from dead animals and plants? Riiiiiiiiight. evil4

If you believe otherwise - you're swallowing the defacto sales pitch from 1892, proposed & suggested (his theory to drive up the price of a mineral) to you by the very first robber baron of the oil industry.

Natural geological processes inside the Earth's mantle create petroleum as a result of plate tectonics. Oil is an abiotic resource and will never run out in any of our lifetimes.

You'll never find a fossil of any creature which ever existed on this planet any deeper than 18000 feet below the surface of the planet (whether that surface is on land or ocean floor). We drill and locate oil at depths much deeper than 18000 feet.



Care to read more?

Price gouging for any commodity...should be punishable by hanging or drawing and quartering. And that could be televised on pay-per-view and I bet it would sell like hotcakes$. That's a market strategy I can get behind.

If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
DLizze
Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012 9:29:59 AM

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Posts: 2,552
Searchingfor Mr. Prouty turns up this short "bit" in Wiki:

"As a critic of the CIA, Prouty pointed out its influence in global matters, outside the realm of U.S. congressional and government oversight. His works detail the formation and development of the CIA, the origins of the Cold War, the U-2 incident, the Vietnam War, and the John F. Kennedy assassination. Prouty has written that he believes Kennedy's assassination was a coup d'etat, and that there is a secret, global "power elite," which operates covertly to protect its interests—and in doing so has frequently subverted democracy around the world.[1]

Prouty subscribed to the theory that oil is not derived from fossils but from carbon deposits deep within the Earth (abiogenic petroleum origin theory).[citation needed]

Prouty said that "it would not surprise me if this was a Secret Team operation" in response to the death of Princess Diana.[2]

Prouty asserted that World War II could easily have been concluded with neither the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki nor the invasion of Japan whose obviation was the ostensible justification for those bombings.[3]

Prouty presented "a quartet of the greatest propaganda schemes ever put forth by man" that included Darwin's theory of evolution and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.[4]

While working for the Church of Scientology, Prouty told Scientology leaders that L. Ron Hubbard's military discharge papers were "sheep dipped," meaning two sets of government records were created documenting Hubbard's service. The claim came to light when a Lawrence Wright expose' on the subject revealed that official government documents contained no mention of any injury suffered by Hubbard during his service, injuries Hubbard claimed were later healed through Dianetics. Prouty's assertion is of particular importance to Scientologists; had there been no injury to Hubbard, a cure of such injuries by use of Dianetics would have been impossible, and thus the foundational claim of Scientology would be undermined.[5]"

Now, I am not a petrogeologist so hvae only my somewhat dated geology background to go on. But I am inclined to take Mr. Prouty's statements with, as my history professor used to say in fractured Latin, "cum grano salus".


"There's only three tempos: slow, medium and fast. When you get between in the cracks, ain't nuthin' happenin'." Ben Webster
WellMadeMale
Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012 10:04:04 AM

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Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,288
Location: Cakeland, United States
DLizze wrote:
Searchingfor Mr. Prouty turns up this short "bit" in Wiki:


a) Mr. Prouty is not the only person who makes these claims. I also provided a link to a white paper at the end of my post (not authored by Col. Prouty).

b) You just quoted wikipedia, which I'm sure you know that anyone can edit. Debunkers and paid misinformation specialists included in that group.

Or, you can believe the very industry which has always mined the mineral, processed it and then sold it to consumers at exorbitant gouged prices. It's up to you, man.

You don't need to be a highly trained petrogeologist, D... all which is required is the use of your mind being open to utilizing your fabulously intelligent brain, some time devoted to study and your open acceptance of being able to question authority - like Oil Barons.

(incidentally, just because petroleum is an abundant and regenerating source of carbon based energy, I don't advocate it's continued use to further dump gigatons of spent carbon into our environment - there are better ways to create and utilize different energy technologies on our planet - Plasma Focus Fusion being one of those ways which is being suppressed by Big Oil).

If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
ByronLord
Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012 11:23:53 AM

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Location: Massachusetts, United States
WellMadeMale wrote:

Oil is a mineral, it is not a finite resource composed of the fossilized remains of zooplankton or deceased living organisms (like dinosaurs, amphibians, fish, other assorted ick). Oil is not an organic compound. There are no fossils found in oil, it is not created from the decomposition of once living creatures.

Oil is a replenishing mineral.
Oil is made from dead animals and plants? Riiiiiiiiight. evil4
..
You'll never find a fossil of any creature which ever existed on this planet any deeper than 18000 feet below the surface of the planet (whether that surface is on land or ocean floor). We drill and locate oil at depths much deeper than 18000 feet.


You should try science. The conspiratorial drivel you are repeating is utter nonsense.

Show me the chemical reaction that produces oil. What are the starting chemicals? Where does the energy come from?

If there was a way of turning hydrogen and carbon atoms into tasty petroleum that only took heat and pressure then we could do it on the surface and solve our oil shortage. The ability to do that would amount to a perpetual motion machine.

Oil is actually formed from micro-organisms that lived before multi-cellular organisms appeared. The fact that it is a finite resource is a fairly obvious consequence of the fact that the planet has a finite amount of carbon. The micro-organisms locked up the majority of the atmospheric carbon billions of years ago. As the Co2 in the atmosphere dropped the temperature dropped to the point where the whole earth was a huge snowball causing the temperature to drop even further as all the light was reflected. Then over time volcanic activity pushed Co2 back into the atmosphere and the ash made the snowball dirty causing more light to be absorbed and reversed the cooling trend.

WellMadeMale
Posted: Saturday, November 17, 2012 6:51:54 AM

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Joined: 9/30/2009
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Location: Cakeland, United States
ByronLord wrote:


You should try science. The conspiratorial drivel you are repeating is utter nonsense.

Show me the chemical reaction that produces oil. What are the starting chemicals? Where does the energy come from?

If there was a way of turning hydrogen and carbon atoms into tasty petroleum that only took heat and pressure then we could do it on the surface and solve our oil shortage. The ability to do that would amount to a perpetual motion machine.

Oil is actually formed from micro-organisms that lived before multi-cellular organisms appeared. The fact that it is a finite resource is a fairly obvious consequence of the fact that the planet has a finite amount of carbon. The micro-organisms locked up the majority of the atmospheric carbon billions of years ago. As the Co2 in the atmosphere dropped the temperature dropped to the point where the whole earth was a huge snowball causing the temperature to drop even further as all the light was reflected. Then over time volcanic activity pushed Co2 back into the atmosphere and the ash made the snowball dirty causing more light to be absorbed and reversed the cooling trend.


Actually Byron, while I agree with a great many of your solid political takes - I'll have to ignore your laser beam above.

We're about the same age, different experiences...education, meh...I'm twice degreed with too much collegiate exposure to the sciences accepted and promoted by the mainstream.

You shall expound what you believe and I'll choose the other. As I too long believed what you're pushing above. Until I learned (not too late) to wonder why there were other theories long ignored, never mentioned and reasons why we've been taught dogma and fiction.

For the longest time, I thought this abiotic theory was Soviet horseshit.

Then I actually looked into the entire mechanism. It makes a helluva lot more scientific sense than millions of deceased dinosaurs, gigatons of never eaten zooplankton, or vast stretches of carboniferous plant-life which merely caked upon itself over the eons, to depths of 30,000 feet, where it would some day be discovered bubbling to the surface of the Earth in thousands of locations...as the black gold our civilization would utilize for everything we can think of to use it for.

Your theory above (last paragraph) is eloquent...but...that's all it is - to me.

If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
WellMadeMale
Posted: Saturday, November 17, 2012 7:01:00 AM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,288
Location: Cakeland, United States
ByronLord wrote:


You should try science.

Show me the chemical reaction that produces oil. What are the starting chemicals? Where does the energy come from?

If there was a way of turning hydrogen and carbon atoms into tasty petroleum that only took heat and pressure then we could do it on the surface and solve our oil shortage. The ability to do that would amount to a perpetual motion machine.


Here's a hint, Byron. Perhaps you should try, reading (material from within the last 15 years). You're partially correct, and I'm partially correct. I won't insult you and I will assume you are aware of subduction zones and the accepted mechanism of plate tectonics.

This above link is the result of using the proper keywords within the search criteria with Google. Page 1. 2nd post. But don't stop there. The 'new' theory is all around us (but not being taught in universities).

And if Scientific American dot com - isn't science...then we are truly being fucked over.

ScientificAmerican.com wrote:

Oil and gas result mostly from the rapid burial of dead microorganisms in environments where oxygen is so scarce that they do not decompose. This lack of oxygen enables them to maintain their hydrogen-carbon bonds, a necessary ingredient for the production of oil and gas.
Newly developing ocean basins, formed by plate tectonics and continental rifting, provide just the right conditions for rapid burial in anoxic waters.
Rivers rapidly fill these basins with sediments carrying abundant organic remains. Because the basins have constricted water circulation, they also have lower oxygen levels than the open ocean.
For instance, the Gulf of California, an ocean basin in development, is making new oil and gas in real time today.


I say petroleum it is a mineral, while the initial starting compounds are the muddy/crud which used to be living organisms - but the engine of the Earth (pressure from weight above, heat from magma close to the surface) is the energy to transform organic back to the base mineral.

Carbon - is it organic or mineral - at first? What are diamonds? Organic or mineral?

What do our bodies and all organic life contain - if not minerals at their most base level? My apologies, Byron...in my mind, I simply skipped the mineral to organic to mineral conversion (much like we often perform simple mathematics in our brains, without benefit of scratch paper and pencil).

If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
DLizze
Posted: Sunday, November 18, 2012 9:16:20 AM

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Joined: 4/23/2011
Posts: 2,552
"Carbon - is it organic or mineral - at first? What are diamonds? Organic or mineral? "
Diamonds, beinhg carbon, are inorganic, if pure. But you knoew that. Please stop picking nits.

BY definition, organics are compounds containing hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen. Any one of those elements (or any other) in and of itself is by definition, inorganic.

"There's only three tempos: slow, medium and fast. When you get between in the cracks, ain't nuthin' happenin'." Ben Webster
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