Politics is Stupid


#1662

I think that issue is a little too complicated to give a black and white answer to. After last October’s fires, there were landlords who doubled rent on their properties, taking advantage of people who had lost everything. These same landlords are now being investigated or put on trial for price gouging. Hotels and gas stations who did the same thing are also facing the same consequences.

In my mind, there is a difference between charging what the market will pay vs. taking advantage of people who don’t have much other choice than to pay due to special circumstances such as a disaster.


#1663

I’ve read multiple articles stating that market driven prices on housing and hotels during disasters can have positive effects as well.

Instead of renting two rooms at the normal price a family of 4 might settle for one room and leave space for another family. They also could keep driving until they reach somewhere cheaper and reduce the pressure for housing at the original location and again leave space for people who can’t keep going.

Since the price of goods is directly related to the availability and demand any law restricting pricing is arbitrary. It’s gouging compared to what? They were charging double the rent, in a market where they could have sold the house for double or triple?

I believe that there should be some limit, but it seems like the limits these laws set are too low and the motives for prosecuting them are too involved with ratings and reelections than actually doing the best for the community.


#1664

In my area housing is already incredibly expensive. Taking advantage of people during a disaster and taking what may be the last of their savings just because you can is a really scummy thing to do. Where do you draw the line between market value and robbery? If you normally charge $100/night and you decide overnight to charge $200/night because you know that 5000 homes just burned down, is that okay? You’ve been making a living renting out your property at $2500/month. Is it justified to raise that to $5000/month to someone who needs a place to stay for a month or two while they figure out what they’re going to do with the land that now has a burned mess on it instead of a house? Is it okay to start charging $7-8/gallon of gas to those trying to flee the flames?

The reasons laws come into existence is often because someone did something cruel or awful to another person. The reasons people do awful things to other people are varied, but greed is a common one.

I don’t disagree with you 100%, but I think that your original statement doesn’t take into account that some anti-price gouging laws are needed.


#1665

I agree. Businesses charging 3 or 4 times what they normally would in response to a disaster is something that I not only consider price-gouging, I consider it evil. It takes a special kind of mind to look at a large group of people obviously suffering from the disaster on its own and go “How can I make a profit at their expense?”


#1666

You assume the motive, thereby making the action evil. If I am a smart businessman, and price my good high enough to slow demand enough to not run out of something, pay my employees overtime, and pay for donated supplies after the emergency then even though I’ve done the same thing, I should be rewarded for it.

What kind of mindset does it take to pull a pallet of water out and price it at $2.99 a case as usual knowing that it will be gone in 10 minutes due to panic buying?

However, as is actually proven by events on the ground. If people are allowed to set appropriate prices, then a more equitable distribution of goods is found.

If you can’t up charge for the last pallet of water, or last truckload, before the storm hits then Bubba will load his truck up with every bottle it can hold. Where if it’s two or three times the original price, only people who have to have it will pay that much. Leaving enough for other people who also need it instead of Bubba having yet another pallet of bottled water in his pole barn.

Many of these laws cap the increase at 10% or 25% at most. Redirecting, or ordering another truck of water right before, or worse, right after a storm hits is going to cost more than 25% more.

I’ve read in a couple places where the best strategy for businesses is to limit purchases to a certain number of an item, but the public is going to be almost as pissed off and it’s a losing deal. But better than being accused of price gouging.

Yes there should be limits, but 10% means that the only extra supplies will be charity.

And at the same time, the cost of labor shoots through the roof, over time, double overtime, hazard pay, per diems, etc… all add up to very high costs compared to the same work a month ago. We don’t mind paying those costs, yet a business trying to stay open after an incident and trying to make a living for everyone gets hammered.

Are there people that abuse the system and take advantage of people, yes, but I think this is another case fo punishing everyone for the stuff some people do. Same as restricting Air BNB or Uber, or those scooter companies because people here and there take advantage of the setup.

We had a gas station that doubled gas prices on 9/11. They were informally boycotted to the ground. No one had to start a march, or take out ads, they just lost 75% of their business and had to sell. If Food Lion was selling cases of water for $50 it would ruin that location until they made it better. But if they were selling $3 cases for $6 and had water when people needed it because they rolled the profit into more stock, then in the long run they were a positive force.


#1667

It’s an emotional issue, and no politician will ever lose an election because they support anti gouging laws. I’ve had multiple conversations on this lately and I’ve found a couple people that agree, but no one that’s ever really changed their mind. The best I get is “Yeah, I can see that, but it’s still bad.”

And I’m not saying that you are totally wrong either, there needs to be redress for extreme cases.


#1668

I see it as “mitigating the inevitable assholes so that everyone else can try and play fair”.

As you can probably tell, I’m not one that believes a free market will eventually balance out. Humanity has too many assholes that will gleefully throw their fellows under a proverbial (or possibly literal) bus for the chance at just a little more money in their pocket, with no external influences like poverty, for a free market to ever work.

I get that many smaller business owners are always riding the line of “Can I pay the expenses this month and still have some money left over to pay myself”. I have a friend who’s in that position a fair amount (he opened a game store near here a couple of years ago, and so far has failed to run himself into bankruptcy, so he must be doing something right somewhere), but in my opinion even that doesn’t permit you to be an asshole and screw over others just because you can. I firmly believe in the “don’t be a dick” principle.


#1669

If it costs me 300% of the normal price to get the water, why would the law cap me at 110% of the prior price. That just means no one plays and people go without. (and some laws allow the business to do a pass through on additional costs, but good luck winning that case)


#1670

Why should it cost you 300% of the normal price to get the water?

This is assholes at work again. It’s not just the final consumers getting the shaft here, it’s the intermediate businesses getting shafted, and THAT shouldn’t be permitted either.


#1671

The laws get made because there has to be some sort of quantifiable limit in order to punish the ones that are causing damage. It is conceivable that someone may be accused of price gouging because they raised the price over the limit, but found innocent because they can prove that their cost of the items increased that much. It still needs to be investigated so that the ones who are being selfish to the point of causing harm to others get punished.


#1672

It costs more because I had to get a special shipment to replace what just sold out and the roads are blocked and power is sketchy and once a truck gets to me it might not have gas to get back out.

In the normal scenario goods cost more during emergencies, for everyone.

But in order to try to catch the occasional asshole, they restrict the flow of goods and services to everyone. I can run around begging for a generator waving a thousand dollars in the air. If someone gives up theirs and sells it to me they could be in violation. Despite the fact that I was glbegging to get in at any cost. And he needed that extra money to drive somewhere that had them so they could replace it.

And getting accused of price gouging is a death sentence for many businesses. And again, if the limit is 10% then they just won’t bother, they’ll close the doors and stay home and nobody gets anything.

I put forward that expensive but available goods save more lives than non-existent goods. And if there is no profit, or even break even, than most people won’t provide the goods. This would also allow volunteers and charities to take care of the very worst off instead of those who got to the store ten minutes late.

Anyway, like I said, people have very strong views on this and I’m not expecting to convert anyone. I’d like to do so, but I’ll shut this one down.


#1673

Just so you know, I like hearing a different side. It makes me think. I’ll argue with you, which, hopefully makes you think, so we both come to (hopefully) an informed, if different, opinion. :slight_smile:


#1674

If anyone wants to hear more on Woodman’s side, John Stossel is a staunch Libertarian on most topic and he has expounded on price gouging after disasters.


#1675

No one can ever be appointed to anything again without being tainted.

Right now party faithful on every side are working on seeding the ground in case their specific boogie man gets nominated for something. This particular one was planted shortly after Romney had a short list of SCOTUS nominees published and he was still the front runner.

It took three years for the Democrat congress to approve him for federal judgeship, never came up then.

I know it can take some people a long time to bring these things up… but no proof,no witness, she’s not even sure what county they were in, or what year it was, or apparently how many people were there.

If she wants justice, place charges. Otherwise let’s have the vote. The FBI doesn’t investigate sexual assault cases that don’t cross state lines.

Clarence Thomas, and Herman Cain feel your pain. And Pence looks smarter every day.

Anyway, these people are going to reap the whirlwind and eventually they will be responsible for real victims being ignored.


#1676

Warning - watch at your own risk. Not for the squeamish. Current situation on farm murders in SA.


#1677

If Ford falls apart in the hearing today and recants everything the Democrats still won’t vote for Kavanaugh. And they’ll still claim he’s a rapist.

And holy crap, we’ve gone from one potential incident involving two people to a vast conspiracy of date rape parties. That people all knew about and everyone kept going to. At this point anyone who went to the same school and any parties in the area in the 80’s is under suspicion.

Yet, no one appears to know anything about this except three women, who all can agree on the fact that they aren’t sure what really happened.

And all of these women have a motive in the fact that they believe they are saving Roe vs. Wade and keeping Trump from placing a crazed Republican to replace a swing vote. People are attacking republicans with guns, fists, knives, who would be surprised that these women would attack the way they could.

I’m curious what could possibly happen here besides her saying it happened and him saying it didn’t. In which case he’ll get voted into SCOTUS.


#1678

Congrats, Democrats. This is the world you wanted. An innocent man’s wife and daughters are being violently threatened, and lawmakers are being doxxed, barely a year after a horrific mass assassination attempt against Republican congressmen.

Found on twitter.

I’ve been keeping my head down on Facebook for mental health reasons. Some of my friends and family members are posting that if you don’t believe Ford than you don’t belong to the human race and how do you look your daughters in the eyes if you don’t believe her.

I normally dive right into the culture wars on Facebook. But there is no room for middle ground with these people. People who support Kavanaugh are getting curb stomped out there, even though they are mostly willing to discuss the matter it just doesn’t matter, any objection to Ford’s claims is heresy and they will be burned at the stake.

What happens if somehow they delay the vote till after the election and the Republicans hold on to the Senate? Is this another election result we should ignore? How many elections can people call illegitimate before it just doesn’t matter anymore?


#1679

Rape and attempted rape get people’s blood boiling, especially women. The problem is, we don’t know what happened, but people are assuming that one side or the other is telling the truth. Personally, I think that people who think that sex is somehow owed to them should not get away with that behaviour. On the other hand, people who falsely accuse and ruin someone’s life also should not get away with that behaviour.

I don’t know what happened. All of the evidence so far has been pretty indirect from what I’ve seen. That makes this case particularly nasty, since, as you said, either way, Kavanaugh’s career will suffer. If he’s guilty, I think it should suffer. If he’s not, then it’s a terrible injustice. How do we know? We don’t. Hopefully, the court will.


#1680

I just don’t see anything that could come out at this point that would prove it either way. He has literally set the bar to prove he’s lying to find anyone that will say he had sex with them before he graduated high school. And I think Feinstein has ruined Dr. Ford for political gain. And since she doesn’t know how she got to or from this party I’m wondering why no one has come forward saying they were her ride (On the other hand, maybe they don’t want to jump into a blender). They could have lined up all their ducks in a row and given everyone a clean chance to get through this.

Once they held on to this till the last minute they proved they don’t care about her or justice.

I have three daughters, and I decided quite a while ago I don’t mind going to prison if something happens.


#1681

Have two daughters. Somebody mess with them, I’ll go balls to the wall flat out.