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Is Price Gouging Immoral? Should It Be Illegal?

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Convincing arguments re price gouging

It's hard not to agree with the logic presented. I guess where it gets murky is a situation where you are forced to buy a product by your local government (that is, if gas and electricity in 40 degree weather is important to you or your tenants). Here's an example. (FYI, I'm sitting writing this wearing three layers of clothing in a home that's been without power for almost two weeks by now.) Okay, let's say that a whole bunch of homes have had their basements flooded. In one scenario, residents/landlords would clear stuff out, pay about $45 for stuff (bleach, basically) to power-wash the walls against mold, let stuff dry out, and then within a day or so relight their furnaces. In the second scenario, that's no longer legally allowed: the county and/or town building inspector says that all basements must be professionally power washed (with the price for that service in the thousands and apparently higher than usual) and also that any furnace submerged would need to be replaced altogether. Only then will they give the okay to the power company to restore services to that home or apartment building. (This results in many people needing to first apply for loans to be able to afford these requirements.) I'm not accusing anyone of anything, but boy it would sure make a relatively small number of local businesses a lot of money if suddenly hundreds of people had no choice but to buy their services or products regardless of what was charged or how long they'd have to wait. Btw, for part of the work, only locally-certified electricians and plumbers are able to do necessary work. So much for drawing other suppliers to the market willing to do the work for less!

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir