DVD Talk
Post Hurricane Price Gouging [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum
 
Best Sellers
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
The Longest Day
Buy: $54.99 $24.99
9.
10.
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.

PDA
DVD Reviews

View Full Version : Post Hurricane Price Gouging


RoyalTea
08-30-11, 06:26 PM
Suppose you live in an area that's without power for a while. You have no electricity. The roads in and out of town are flooded. You have no ice.

You're have a disease. Your medication needs to be kept refrigerated. For you, lack of ice is a life or death situation.

A couple of entrepreneurs rent a boat that's capable of keeping bags of ice cold. They intend to come to your town to sell the ice.

Would you rather they sell it at cost (say $2 a bag), or sell it at very high prices (price gouging)?

What's more important to you, the price of ice? or the availability of ice?

Th0r S1mpson
08-30-11, 06:40 PM
I would rather they sell it at cost, but would offer to pay the higher prices since I don't want to die. Then when they got close I would kill them, steal their boat and go find ice at regular prices. When I got back home if anyone asked for ice I would tell them I need the ice, piss off. If they really needed the ice we could negotiate a price but you better believe it wouldn't be at cost!

RoyalTea
08-30-11, 06:44 PM
I would rather they sell it at cost, but would offer to pay the higher prices since I don't want to die. Then when they got close I would kill them, steal their boat and go find ice at regular prices. When I got back home if anyone asked for ice I would tell them I need the ice, piss off. If they really needed the ice we could negotiate a price but you better believe it wouldn't be at cost!

But if they sell it at cost, what happens if the first people in line are all douchebags who buy out the entire inventory just because they want to put ice in their lemonade?

You NEED ice. Other people WANT ice. Without price signals, how do you make sure the people who need ice get it before the people who merely want it?

Nausicaa
08-30-11, 06:48 PM
Since it isn't exactly clear, I think the implication of RoyalTea's post is that ice sold at cost will be sold out right quick, and the medicine man dies. Wheras if bags of ice were pegged to market rate of gold, the medicine man may be forced to spend thousands, but he will live to see another hurricane.

In any case, were I in this situation I would just throw my feces all over the ice so no one wants it.

EDIT: Bastard, explaining yourself like that. I was trying to look smart but now I look foolish.

JasonF
08-30-11, 06:49 PM
I know it's almost September, but do we really need a thread that looks like it was started by a freshman who just got out of his first Microeconomics 101 lecture?

(I want my government to temporarily become a participant in the ice market to alleviate the temporary ice shortage by supplying more ice during the state of emergency. What do I win?)

Nausicaa
08-30-11, 06:53 PM
(I want my government to temporarily become a participant in the ice market to alleviate the temporary ice shortage by supplying more ice during the state of emergency. What do I win?)

I think we're operating under the assumption that Glorious Republicans have dismantled FEMA. Fact is the medicine man is an idiot for living somewhere where hurricanes can strike and deserves whatever happens to him.

crazyronin
08-30-11, 06:55 PM
(I want my government to temporarily become a participant in the ice market to alleviate the temporary ice shortage by supplying more ice during the state of emergency.)

That always works well. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9665434/ns/nightly_news-nbc_news_investigates/t/fema-ice-follies-revisited/#.Tl1p7Vtfsz8)

Th0r S1mpson
08-30-11, 06:56 PM
But if they sell it at cost, what happens if the first people in line are all douchebags who buy out the entire inventory just because they want to put ice in their lemonade?

If that's the only reasoning then it's no safeguard against rich douchebags. They still get their lemonade. You'll have to do better than that.

BearFan
08-30-11, 06:58 PM
That always works well. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9665434/ns/nightly_news-nbc_news_investigates/t/fema-ice-follies-revisited/#.Tl1p7Vtfsz8)

Not surprised at all.

RoyalTea
08-30-11, 07:00 PM
If that's the only reasoning then it's no safeguard against rich douchebags. They still get their lemonade. You'll have to do better than that.
Do you think those people got rich by paying way too much for goods and services?

RoyalTea
08-30-11, 07:05 PM
(I want my government to temporarily become a participant in the ice market to alleviate the temporary ice shortage by supplying more ice during the state of emergency. What do I win?)And just how do you propose that would be successful? How does the government differentiate between the people who want the ice and the people who need the ice?

Do they make everybody in the line fill out a form to prove their need? Or would they have done some pre-disaster screening process, so people could just show their IDs to someone with a clipboard to see where that person ranks on the list of need?

Suppose the good in question isn't bags of ice, but generators. Where is FEMA giving away generators to people who need them right now?

OldDude
08-30-11, 07:08 PM
That always works well. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9665434/ns/nightly_news-nbc_news_investigates/t/fema-ice-follies-revisited/#.Tl1p7Vtfsz8)

Wait! That ice in Maine looks pretty brilliant now. It is just one state away from where it is badly needed (and, of course, a reefer has been idling for years keeping it cold).

Knowing FEMA, it probably ran out of fuel, and the ice all melted. Shit.

Th0r S1mpson
08-30-11, 07:09 PM
Do you think those people got rich by paying way too much for goods and services?

No, but they're rich now so what are you going to do to stop them from paying too much?

An ice cold lemonade sounds pretty good in those conditions. Rich people do splurge.

Th0r S1mpson
08-30-11, 07:13 PM
You haven't done anything to describe the scene here. Is there really just a line that's first come first served? How did people find out about the line? Do the rich lemonade sippers know about Mr Sickypants or is nobody allowed to speak to one another in the line?

How much ice is available and how many people are there wanting to buy ice?

It would seem to me that price is not the predominate control factor here. It's not a simple market. We need to better ascertain what other factors are at play before determining what we think it should be priced at.

crazyronin
08-30-11, 07:14 PM
Wait! That ice in Maine looks pretty brilliant now. It is just one state away from where it is badly needed (and, of course, a reefer has been idling for years keeping it cold).

Knowing FEMA, it probably ran out of fuel, and the ice all melted. Shit.

Nope. They melted it on purpose. (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/07/15/national/main3058982.shtml)

Th0r S1mpson
08-30-11, 07:19 PM
Nope. They melted it on purpose. (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/07/15/national/main3058982.shtml)

That seems like a terrible waste, when they could have created jobs by hiring people to lay down and melt the ice in their bellybuttons.

Red Dog
08-30-11, 07:21 PM
I know it's almost September, but do we really need a thread that looks like it was started by a freshman who just got out of his first Microeconomics 101 lecture?

(I want my government to temporarily become a participant in the ice market to alleviate the temporary ice shortage by supplying more ice during the state of emergency. What do I win?)

A nice button:

http://i.ebayimg.com/t/1-3-4-Re-elect-Nixon-72-presidential-pin-button-/16/!BorQDwwBGk~$(KGrHqUH-DEEuOurQR25BLoVmi1fg!~~_35.JPG

Ghostbuster
08-30-11, 07:23 PM
I don't see how "price signals" solve the problem.

- People who need the ice may not be able to afford to pay hundreds or thousands (in the event of a ridiculous bidding war) of dollars for it.

- Even if people who need the ice are able to afford it, they may not have cash on hand. (What random opportunist would accept a check or credit card number rather than cash?)

- Even if people who need the ice have the necessary cash, they may show up after the ice has been sold out. (Would the opportunists run an auction at a specified time and place to ensure maximum profit?)


What is the point of this thought experiment?

Th0r S1mpson
08-30-11, 07:35 PM
Exactly.

OldDude
08-30-11, 07:46 PM
Nope. They melted it on purpose. (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/07/15/national/main3058982.shtml)

They didn't know if the ice was safe for human consumption? Water has an expiration date? How do I know all the fucking water in the Great lakes hasn't expired? I thought we had an "eternal" water supply.

Best if used within 4.5 billion years. Crap. Just missed it.

OldDude
08-30-11, 07:50 PM
I don't see how "price signals" solve the problem.

- People who need the ice may not be able to afford to pay hundreds or thousands (in the event of a ridiculous bidding war) of dollars for it.

- Even if people who need the ice are able to afford it, they may not have cash on hand. (What random opportunist would accept a check or credit card number rather than cash?)

- Even if people who need the ice have the necessary cash, they may show up after the ice has been sold out. (Would the opportunists run an auction at a specified time and place to ensure maximum profit?)


What is the point of this thought experiment?

Well, the smart people bought a generator and laid in a supply of gas before the flood, and are busy making ice. This experiment gives the dumbasses something to do sitting in the dark wishing they had some ice.

RoyalTea
08-30-11, 08:03 PM
I don't see how "price signals" solve the problem.

- People who need the ice may not be able to afford to pay hundreds or thousands (in the event of a ridiculous bidding war) of dollars for it.

- Even if people who need the ice are able to afford it, they may not have cash on hand. (What random opportunist would accept a check or credit card number rather than cash?)

- Even if people who need the ice have the necessary cash, they may show up after the ice has been sold out. (Would the opportunists run an auction at a specified time and place to ensure maximum profit?)


What is the point of this thought experiment?

If price gouging isn't treated as a crime, maybe someone comes in and sells ice for $15 a bag. Then someone else sees that opportunity for arbitrage and wants to join in the market, but with his new supply of ice, he might have to sell it for $14 a bag. Add a couple more entrants to the ice selling market and the price will continue to drop.

If there's no ice, the price of ice is ∞. People who think price gouging is horrible must think that a price of ∞ is better than a price of $15.

Th0r S1mpson
08-30-11, 08:10 PM
That explanation has more holes than St Andrews.

RoyalTea
08-30-11, 08:15 PM
That explanation has more holes than St Andrews.
such as?

Jason
08-30-11, 08:17 PM
Since it isn't exactly clear, I think the implication of RoyalTea's post is that ice sold at cost will be sold out right quick, and the medicine man dies. Wheras if bags of ice were pegged to market rate of gold, the medicine man may be forced to spend thousands, but he will live to see another hurricane.


But what this fails to take into account is the guy on the boat is the only person capable of keeping the ice cold. So if he sells it cheap (or gives it away), people can't hoard it because it will melt. Sure, they can just waste it, but they can't sell it later, because there isn't going to be a later (at least, not for the ice).

And if the guy on the boat isn't the only one who can keep ice cold, the whole question is moot.

Jason
08-30-11, 08:20 PM
If there's no ice, the price of ice is ∞. People who think price gouging is horrible must think that a price of ∞ is better than a price of $15.

If there's no ice, isn't the price zero? You can't charge for an imaginary product*

*unless you're some kind of investment banker, insurance company or mutual fund.

Th0r S1mpson
08-30-11, 08:41 PM
That explanation has more holes than St Andrews.

such as?

The par 4 on 1.

Troy Stiffler
08-30-11, 09:53 PM
This is a free market. If the rich tell people to go fuck themselves, and pay more, then so be it.

More than likely, we would see human generosity set in and people would help people.

It shouldn't be ther government's decision to do anything about it. But that's the way it will be, until folks work together. In a society where people can take care of themselves, the government serves only as a utility.

RoyalTea
08-30-11, 09:57 PM
More than likely, we would see human generosity set in and people would help people.

Go to a grocery store in Washington, DC the day before they're supposed to get more than an inch of snow, walk down the water and bread aisles and tell me about human generosity.

Groucho
08-30-11, 09:57 PM
The par 4 on 1.:lol: The thread finally delivers! And believe me, by post 27 I really needed it to.

al_bundy
08-30-11, 10:34 PM
Suppose you live in an area that's without power for a while. You have no electricity. The roads in and out of town are flooded. You have no ice.

You're have a disease. Your medication needs to be kept refrigerated. For you, lack of ice is a life or death situation.

A couple of entrepreneurs rent a boat that's capable of keeping bags of ice cold. They intend to come to your town to sell the ice.

Would you rather they sell it at cost (say $2 a bag), or sell it at very high prices (price gouging)?

What's more important to you, the price of ice? or the availability of ice?

If you sell it cost, what the point of going to the effort?

starman9000
08-30-11, 10:43 PM
Go to a grocery store in Washington, DC the day before they're supposed to get more than an inch of snow, walk down the water and bread aisles and tell me about human generosity.

If human generosity doesn't exist why are you so concerned that people might not price gouge?

Troy Stiffler
08-31-11, 12:32 AM
Go to a grocery store in Washington, DC the day before they're supposed to get more than an inch of snow, walk down the water and bread aisles and tell me about human generosity.

Okay, then screw the ice. Wait it out and pray that Sean Penn saves you in a canoe.

RoyalTea
08-31-11, 08:14 AM
If human generosity doesn't exist why are you so concerned that people might not price gouge?

After a natural disaster, I'd like to see two things:

1) essential supplies are quickly brought to market and are available to people who need them the most (ie, a new generator for sale that just arrived in an afflicted area should go to someone who needs it to power a medical device instead of someone who just wants to charge his nintendo 3ds).
2) people who don't need supplies think twice before buying a scarce supply about how much they really need it (if someone wants ice for their lemonade and sees that the prices isn't $2 a bag, but $15 a bag, maybe they decide to keep that money and that bag of ice is still "in stock" for someone in line behind him who needs it for something far more important).

I don't see how either of those problems can be solved by making it illegal for prices to temporarily rise.

JasonF
08-31-11, 08:35 AM
After a natural disaster, I'd like to see two things:

1) essential supplies are quickly brought to market and are available to people who need them the most (ie, a new generator for sale that just arrived in an afflicted area should go to someone who needs it to power a medical device instead of someone who just wants to charge his nintendo 3ds).
2) people who don't need supplies think twice before buying a scarce supply about how much they really need it (if someone wants ice for their lemonade and sees that the prices isn't $2 a bag, but $15 a bag, maybe they decide to keep that money and that bag of ice is still "in stock" for someone in line behind him who needs it for something far more important).

I don't see how either of those problems can be solved by making it illegal for prices to temporarily rise.

Your solution assumes that all people have sufficient resources to attend to their needs, but not sufficient to cavalierly attend to their wants. But the truth is, if there's only one generator in Duckburg, Scrooge McDuck is going to outbid Donald for it every time, even though Scrooge only needs it to keep his lemonade cool while Donald needs it to keep his medicine from going bad.

And by the way, "Because Republicans are a bunch of fuck-ups who insist that government can't do anything right then set out to prove it when they get into power" is not really a good answer to the question of why the government can't temporarily step in as a supplier to resolve the artificial scarcity.

starman9000
08-31-11, 08:46 AM
The only logical argument against penalizing price gouging is that it shouldn't be illegal to take advantage of morons.

RoyalTea
08-31-11, 08:52 AM
Your solution assumes that all people have sufficient resources to attend to their needs, but not sufficient to cavalierly attend to their wants. But the truth is, if there's only one generator in Duckburg, Scrooge McDuck is going to outbid Donald for it every time, even though Scrooge only needs it to keep his lemonade cool while Donald needs it to keep his medicine from going bad.maybe, maybe not. what if scrooge mcduck already has a generator? what if he saw the storm coming and got out of town and went to live in one of his other houses?

is "first come, first serve" any more fair?

starman9000
08-31-11, 08:57 AM
How is your scenario not first come, first serve?

al_bundy
08-31-11, 08:58 AM
in summary, if you have to buy anything after a hurricane you have to bring a note explaining why you really need it and have it signed by your parents to authenticate it

starman9000
08-31-11, 09:01 AM
That, or a government mandate of "limit 1 per customer."

classicman2
08-31-11, 09:04 AM
Your solution assumes that all people have sufficient resources to attend to their needs, but not sufficient to cavalierly attend to their wants. But the truth is, if there's only one generator in Duckburg, Scrooge McDuck is going to outbid Donald for it every time, even though Scrooge only needs it to keep his lemonade cool while Donald needs it to keep his medicine from going bad.

And by the way, "Because Republicans are a bunch of fuck-ups who insist that government can't do anything right then set out to prove it when they get into power" is not really a good answer to the question of why the government can't temporarily step in as a supplier to resolve the artificial scarcity.

I expect government (local, state, & national) to step in when a disaster strikes and some greedy individuals & businesses want to take advantage of the situation. The state government in Oklahoma stepped in when building materials went sky high after the devastating tornado in OKC and a number of other towns & cities in its path. Plywood, for example, jumped 300%. The same thing occurred on 9/11 when some 'enterprising' gasoline stations were selling their gasoline at $7.50 per gallon, and spreading rumors that the refinery in the area had shut down. It hadn't.

JasonF
08-31-11, 09:13 AM
maybe, maybe not. what if scrooge mcduck already has a generator? what if he saw the storm coming and got out of town and went to live in one of his other houses?

Don't ask me -- you're the one who posited a scarcity of generators.

RoyalTea
08-31-11, 09:21 AM
How is your scenario not first come, first serve?
I'm in a neighborhood without power. Someone from out of town pulls into my neighborhood and is trying to sell $200 generators for $1000. I don't need on that bad. I don't buy it, making that generator available for someone else.

In a town with strict anti-price gouging laws, someone shows up and sells $200 generators for $200. How quickly do those supplies last?

al_bundy
08-31-11, 09:29 AM
someone i know lost power in the hurricane, they drove 100 miles or so each way to buy a portable generator

CRM114
08-31-11, 09:36 AM
The entrepreneurs give the ice at cost to those who NEED it and price gouge those who merely want it. :shrug:

starman9000
08-31-11, 09:37 AM
I'm in a neighborhood without power. Someone from out of town pulls into my neighborhood and is trying to sell $200 generators for $1000. I don't need on that bad. I don't buy it, making that generator available for someone else.

In a town with strict anti-price gouging laws, someone shows up and sells $200 generators for $200. How quickly do those supplies last?

How is that not "first come, first serve?"

classicman2
08-31-11, 09:37 AM
someone i know lost power in the hurricane, they drove 100 miles or so each way to buy a portable generator

If it's a gasoline generator it's not to last you very long. What do you do then? The service stations don't have power to run the pumps.

Solution: If you have natural gas, convert your gasoline generator to run on natural gas.

I try to be helpful. ;)

NORML54601
08-31-11, 10:10 AM
Well, the smart people bought a generator and laid in a supply of gas before the flood, and are busy making ice. This experiment gives the dumbasses something to do sitting in the dark wishing they had some ice.

Not so much. Given the person doesn't have power, they probably don't have internet, except maybe on their phone til the battery dies.

al_bundy
08-31-11, 10:23 AM
If it's a gasoline generator it's not to last you very long. What do you do then? The service stations don't have power to run the pumps.

Solution: If you have natural gas, convert your gasoline generator to run on natural gas.

I try to be helpful. ;)

in my case i live close to the center of civilization where we lose power once a decade. usually from high demand. long ago someone figured out that if you bury the power lines, then the wind can't knock them down every year

not only that but we have magic pixie dust that protects us even in case of tornadoes and hurricanes

story
08-31-11, 11:17 AM
Do you think those people got rich by paying way too much for goods and services?

"Hardly, he made his fortune moving to LA. Do you know how much he makes now?"

RunBandoRun
09-01-11, 01:58 PM
I can't understand why only one other person has brought up the idea of requiring limits for each customer. During World War II, many items were rationed and it was a disgrace to be caught hoarding or cheating on your ration points. It's a shame that isn't true today.

grundle
09-01-11, 05:30 PM
Suppose you live in an area that's without power for a while. You have no electricity. The roads in and out of town are flooded. You have no ice.

You're have a disease. Your medication needs to be kept refrigerated. For you, lack of ice is a life or death situation.

A couple of entrepreneurs rent a boat that's capable of keeping bags of ice cold. They intend to come to your town to sell the ice.

Would you rather they sell it at cost (say $2 a bag), or sell it at very high prices (price gouging)?

What's more important to you, the price of ice? or the availability of ice?

I would rather pay a high price for life saving supplies than have the government set price controls which would cause shortages of life saving supplies.

grundle
09-01-11, 05:31 PM
But if they sell it at cost, what happens if the first people in line are all douchebags who buy out the entire inventory just because they want to put ice in their lemonade?

You NEED ice. Other people WANT ice. Without price signals, how do you make sure the people who need ice get it before the people who merely want it?


This is an excellent point.

Jason
09-01-11, 05:36 PM
I can't understand why only one other person has brought up the idea of requiring limits for each customer. During World War II, many items were rationed and it was a disgrace to be caught hoarding or cheating on your ration points. It's a shame that isn't true today.

That was back before people knew that taking care of your neighbor is socialism.

RoyalTea
11-01-12, 08:05 PM
Hypothetical question for people that think "price gouging" should be illegal.

Larry owns a shop. He sees that there is a hurricane in the forecast and decides to stock up on necessary supplies (bottled water, canned food, flashlights, batteries, etc) because he believes that people will need those items when the storm hits.

The storm doesn't hit and goes out to sea. Larry needs to unload all this extra inventory and advertises a 50% off sale. If you believe that price gouging is wrong, would you ignore the sale and buy those items for full price?

Tracer Bullet
11-01-12, 08:38 PM
in my case i live close to the center of civilization where we lose power once a decade. usually from high demand. long ago someone figured out that if you bury the power lines, then the wind can't knock them down every year

not only that but we have magic pixie dust that protects us even in case of tornadoes and hurricanes

Well then.

DVD Polizei
11-01-12, 09:40 PM
Hypothetical question for people that think "price gouging" should be illegal.

Larry owns a shop. He sees that there is a hurricane in the forecast and decides to stock up on necessary supplies (bottled water, canned food, flashlights, batteries, etc) because he believes that people will need those items when the storm hits.

The storm doesn't hit and goes out to sea. Larry needs to unload all this extra inventory and advertises a 50% off sale. If you believe that price gouging is wrong, would you ignore the sale and buy those items for full price?

Larry simply made a bad investment choice on the chance he could sell product at an outrageous level during a time of dire need.

And now you want the consumer to help him out for making a bad investment choice--as well an unethical business choice, by paying full price for his products? Fuck that.

Price Gouging--when it comes to natural disasters--is wrong because it is naturally attached to a crisis which usually involves people who could suffer more than just a busted wallet. People can get severely injured due to lack of necessary supplies and even die.

RoyalTea
11-01-12, 10:22 PM
Larry simply made a bad investment choice on the chance he could sell product at an outrageous level during a time of dire need.

And now you want the consumer to help him out for making a bad investment choice--as well an unethical business choice, by paying full price for his products? Fuck that.

Price Gouging--when it comes to natural disasters--is wrong because it is naturally attached to a crisis which usually involves people who could suffer more than just a busted wallet. People can get severely injured due to lack of necessary supplies and even die.

I never said Larry was going to mark up the price.

stevevt
11-01-12, 11:25 PM
I never said Larry was going to mark up the price.

I know Larry. Larry would never do that.

K&AJones
11-02-12, 08:14 AM
this doesn't have anything bout price gouging but I'm sure some saw this happening which is another reason for all the gridlock going on up there.

Nonunion Ala. crews turned away from Sandy recovery

http://www.waff.com/story/19981857/some-nonunion-ala-crews-turned-away-from-sandy-recovery


The hurricane-ravaged east coast has been receiving north Alabama help, but crews learned they'll be doing work in Long Island, New York instead of in New Jersey.

Crews from Decatur Utilities and Joe Wheeler out of Trinity headed up there this week, but Derrick Moore, one of the Decatur workers, said they were told by crews in New Jersey that they can't do any work there since they're not union employees.

The crews that are in Roanoke, Virginia say they are just watching and waiting even though they originally received a call asking for help from Seaside Heights, New Jersey.

The crews were told to stand down. In fact, Moore said the crew from Trinity is already headed back home.

Understandably, Moore said they're frustrated being told "thanks, but no thanks."

Huntsville Utilities said they were not turned away and are up in storm ravaged areas working.