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.