Description

I’ve seen too many “libertarians” lately against price gouging, so let’s talk about the economics and ethics of price gouging. This is episode forty-nine of The LAVA Spurt, The Economics of Price Gouging. This episode is brought to you by Tom Woods’s Liberty Classroom, helping you to become a smarter and more informed libertarian than ever before, for just 24 cents a day.
As always tends to happen when there are major disasters such as Hurricane Harvey, prices of products shift to meet the situation. And, whenever that happens, you have people come out of the woodwork trying to shame and stop supposed price gougers. What makes this current situation unique for me is that I have seen an inordinate amount of “libertarians” saying price gouging is wrong and immoral. This tells me that we have way too many supposed libertarians who have no understanding of economics. Since I have seen this more than I would like, it stands to reason that some of my current listeners may also not understand the economics of prices and supposed price gouging. When I see a need, I try to fill it, so here we go!
No matter what the Los Angeles Times may tell you, price gouging is not morally and ethically wrong. It is the exact opposite of that. The LA Times has the same concerns and lack of economic understanding as the average person. This has lead to anti-price gouging laws in 34 states, including Texas. This anti-capitalist mentality is not only bad economic policy that, ironically, can hurt citizens when resources are not efficiently allocated, but it is morally reprehensible. What fundamentally underlies these laws is the notion that consumers are entitled to certain goods and services and that the owners of the products being sold have a moral duty to make sure people get those goods and services. As you know, no one is entitled to goods or services from someone else, period.

See More See Less

Subscribe

Leave us a review, comment or subscribe!

Meet the hosts

Rodger is a long-time libertarian activist, the founder of PaxLibertas Productions, host of The LAVA Flow podcast, Vice Chairman of the NHLP, Regional Captain for the Foundation for New Hampshire Independence and former Chairman and Secretary of the Libertarian Party of Arkansas. Rodger has also served on the national Libertarian Party Judicial Committee.

discussions

  • Ideal goods and services such as courtesy and trustworthiness and friendliness, to name a few, are not bound by physical scarcity and at the same time these ideal goods and services are the most desired by humans because they are uniquely human according to natural law. It is safe to assume that movement towards these goods and services will be a characteristic of the economy of an ever-advancing civilization.

    Jump to Discussion Post 4 replies
  • Does this list have anything else that could be added to it? The goal is to have a checklist that could be used to check any article on the topic. I would guess most people on this site are aware that arbitrarily raising the cost of labor isn’t the best way to help workers.

    Jump to Discussion Post 2 replies
  • The “Tax Honesty” movement has demonstrated a few things to a lot of people.  To cover a lot with a few words, I’ll put it this way:  The IRS breaks its own rules in order to rob us through deceit. Some people (Irwin Schiff, for example) have suffered because they attempted to protect themselves from the rule-breakers.  There is now a theory popular among liberty-minded people that the government is too corrupt and powerful for anyone to succeed in an effort like Irwin Schiff’s.  There is also some good evidence showing this theory to be wrong.  It’s available at Peter Hendrickson’s website, losthorizons.com. I think that a lot of bureaucrats feel and believe that they are helping society.  This leaves them open to consider fixing situations in which their bureaucracy is breaking its own rules.  And let’s face it, there are some rules that can actually help liberty.  Perhaps the loads of evidence that Hendrickson has on his site can be explained by the presence of such “good-hearted” individuals in the bowels of the IRS. In any case, if you can, please entertain the possibility that the US Income Tax is not being administered honestly.  Consider that maybe, just maybe, in the gargantuan tangle of words called “Title 26,” the legal meaning of the law as it applies to most people is not coercive at all.  Maybe, if it were properly applied, the government would be a nuisance like neighbors who let their dogs poop on your lawn, instead of a nuisance like cancer in your lungs.  It could be true.  I think it is true, and I think that failing to follow all the twists and turns that Hendrickson uncovered to see for yourself that it is true kind of justifies you still being enslaved to a government that steals from you in order to cause havoc all over the planet in a massive deception that justifies its existence. If we want to honor the goodness in all people, including those who have been tricked into serving evil, we can do so by understanding the rules they think they should be following, and using them to protect ourselves from enslavement.

    Jump to Discussion Post 35 replies
  • Hello, I’ve become quite keen on Jeffrey Rogers Hummel views on inflation. https://fee.org/articles/governments-diminishing-benefits-from-inflation/ That governments don’t get as much cash money as they used to from Seigniorage(money printing)…becuase of some details of the modern banking system. Hummels view is that the US Gov is more likely to actually default on it’s bonds than print it’s way out of it’s financial problems as so many of us libertairans often predict. Any way…. how are people actually calculating the revenue states are getting from seigniorage? There is constant mention to specific statistics in his works on what revenue governments make from printing money…but how are economists attempting to calculate this so exactly? “Almost none of the developed countries could boast seigniorage amounting to more than 1 percent of GDP, despite the fact that the study incorporated the inflationary years of the 1970s. Joseph H. Haslag’s smaller sample of 67 countries over a longer period, 1965 to 1994, finds that seigniorage averaged about 2 percent of total output for the entire sample, ranging from as low as 0.25 percent to as high as 9.98 percent (for Ghana).” However, I’m not smart enough to figure out how this is being calculated? When I Google — I see Seignoarge defined as the cost to money vs what the money is worth. (if it costs 1cent to print a dollar bill than Seigorage is 99cents). Pennies have negative seigniorage — cost the Gov more to mint than 1 cent.) But for the point Hummel is making it seems like a more sophisticated calculation? How did people figure out that for example in WW2 seignorage was 6%? Perhaps this is rather obvious? Thanks! –Luke

    Jump to Discussion Post 2 replies
  • Cryptocurrency Opportunists Investors and early adopters of cryptocurrency recognize the inevitable revolutionary change awaiting society and the huge income opportunity before them as they prepare to capitalize on the mainstream public adoption of this new technology trend in the next 24 to 36 months. The purpose of this whitepaper is to bring clarity to the marketplace to help investors and early adopters recognize where real value and opportunities lie. – Bob Wood , CEO, Nexxus Partners

    Jump to Discussion Post 0 replies