The Myth of "Price-Gouging"Blatantly stolen from Cox & Forkum, who also have an illustrating cartoon.
Friday, February 17, 2006
By: Alex Epstein
The recent announcement of record profits by ExxonMobil and Chevron has revived widespread claims that these profits were extracted by "price gouging." Thus, the stage is set for Washington to pass a federal law banning "price gouging." Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, for his part, has promised that "if the facts warrant it, I will support a federal anti-price gouging law."
But there are no facts that could warrant such a law, because there is no such thing as "price gouging" by private businesses.
The term "price gouging" implies that gas stations have an ability to forcibly inflict harm on us--but they do not. Any price we pay for a gallon of gasoline--whether $1 or $3--we pay voluntarily, based on the value of the gasoline to us. If we think we are spending too much on gasoline, we are free to drive less, to buy more fuel-efficient cars, to use carpools or busses, or to travel by bicycle or on foot. Gas station owners cannot force us to buy gasoline; they can only offer us a trade, which we are free to accept or reject.
Offended? Intrigued? Contact my manager.
Here begins your journey into the mind of everybody's favorite asian, and I don't mean Jet Li.
What follows is the somewhat inane, mostly irrelevant, and self-important ramblings of a man on the brink of madness.
Welcome... to the Chu.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
The Myth of Price-Gouging [L]
An illuminating article by the Ayn Rand Institute in light of the recent clamor over gas prices: