I excerpt the following wisdom of John Stossel from a post at Media Matters:

Consider this scenario: You are thirsty — worried that your baby is going to become dehydrated. You find a store that’s open, and the storeowner thinks it’s immoral to take advantage of your distress, so he won’t charge you a dime more than he charged last week. But you can’t buy water from him. It’s sold out.

You continue on your quest, and finally find that dreaded monster, the price gouger. He offers a bottle of water that cost $1 last week at an “outrageous” price — say $20. You pay it to survive the disaster.

You resent the price gouger. But if he hadn’t demanded $20, he’d have been out of water. It was the price gouger’s “exploitation” that saved your child.

It saved her because people look out for their own interests. Before you got to the water seller, other people did. At $1 a bottle, they stocked up. At $20 a bottle, they bought more cautiously. By charging $20, the price gouger makes sure his water goes to those who really need it.

The people the softheaded politicians think are cruelest are doing the most to help. Assuming the demand for bottled water was going to go up, they bought a lot of it, planning to resell it at a steep profit. If they hadn’t done that, that water would not have been available for the people who need it the most.


It’s the price “gougers” who bring the water, ship the gasoline, fix the roof, and rebuild the cities. The price “gougers” save lives.

My only question is, is it legal to walk up to someone like this and hit him in the head– really hard? If not, why isn’t it?

3 comments on “

  1. Cynthia says:

    I think it would be a total waste of time. With this kind of thinking no wonder the world is in trouble.

  2. Alas, my sister, you are correct once again. I shall refrain from giving out public thrashings except for the purpose of self-defense.

  3. Kneedeep says:

    How would Mr. Stoessel explain this scenario from real life? From an account on NPR by a woman who was at the NO Convention Center:Some of the men at the convention center had guns, “criminal types – they made me very uncomfortable”, and as conditions became hellish, they started organizing themselves. Then they split into task groups. Some patrolled the area to protect women, children and old people. Others waded through the waters, breaking into closed stores, to gather up all the water, food, diapers that they could find. They brought these supplies back and distributed them to the people in need, babies, children, and old people first.

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