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Tags natural disasters , price gouging

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Old 15th September 2017, 03:31 PM   #121
cullennz
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I wonder how many gouging shops get accidently burnt down once every thing settles back to normal

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Old 15th September 2017, 06:33 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I can find tons of pictures of ration lines. We could go with a lot for reasons. Probably the biggest is immediate supply might not equal demand with ration cards allocation is only done by order in line.
Yes, if rationing is not managed properly then the results can be quite disastrous. However, the Curtin government is credited with doing quite a decent job of managing Australia's economy during the war (it probably helps that most Australians accepted that the war effort superseded their own individual needs).

The fact remains that large quantities of supplies such as petrol had to be diverted to the war effort leaving much less for Australian citizens. The Australian government had two options to control the demand: allow prices to rise to stratospheric levels (which would have left poorer people with nothing) or implement a system of rationing. Since the Labor party was essentially a socialist party at the time, the government chose the latter option. However, even they ditched rationing at the earliest opportunity after the war.
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Old 16th September 2017, 12:47 AM   #123
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
I agree totally with the highlighted part, but fail to see how price-gouging helps.

Let me put it into a local context - we Bs are far from truly wealthy (about €10k in the bank and a similar amount of credit) but most of our neighbours are damn poor in comparison.

Disaster (an earthquake is favourite in these parts) strikes and bags of rice and beans that used to cost €2 rise to €20. We easily have the money to strip the shelves, while neighbours might struggle to buy a bag or three.
But would you strip the shelves? That €20 should be a fairly strong signal not to buy it all. On the other hand, if the price is still €2, you have a strong incentive to strip the shelves. Why take any risk that you'll run out when the price is the normal price? Remember, you have more money than your neighbors.

Quote:
The price rises to €200 and we can still buy plenty enough to survive while they can buy none at all.
If the price rises to €200 you'd better have guns.

Quote:
The bottom line - price gouging doesn't help the poor one iota, it just sucks money from everybody and might well positively damage the poor who just have no way of paying the inflated prices. And even if they do just about manage by spending their cash and maxing-out any credit they might have, what happens in the aftermath? How do they cope?
It does the poor no good to go to the store and find the shelves empty, either. Yes, if the poor get to the store before it has been cleared out, they come out ahead if the price is normal. But if they are late, they would be better off with higher prices; at least then there might be something left to buy, even it it's not cheap.

And very quickly, the excess profit sends a signal to people that there's money to be made here. So they start providing whatever is needed. And at first, yes the poor are probably still screwed, but eventually they along with everybody else benefit as the prices come down faster due to the rapidly increased supply. If you don't allow for that profit, the people say ho-hum, why bother changing routes and schedules? No increased supply, and probably a frenzy anytime new shipments come in.

As I've said before, a lot of the bigger companies (Wal-Mart, for example) won't do this, because they figure the PR headache and potential loss of goodwill among their customers make it a losing proposition. This probably means their local stores will be picked clean of anything useful in any disaster.
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Old 16th September 2017, 12:09 PM   #124
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One of the problems (out of many) is that the stuff that is useful in a disaster is not always the stuff that has the run-on right before or during a disaster.

For instance here in Florida that main thing was bottled water. For a week before Irma the news was awash with stores running out of water, price gouging on bottled water, etc.

But here's the thing... this is before the storm. The faucet's still worked and the stores were full of perfectly adequate potable water containers of every size, shape and material.

Certainly at some point someone going on TV and going "Dingbats, buy an appropriate container and fill it with water now" might have been useful.

The wife and I just have a Water BOB, a giant heavy duty plastic bag that fits in a standard bathtub and has an attached spigot and stores ~65 gallons (enough for two people for a month give or take), which combined with all the normal potable water containers that a normal home could pre-fill and without even factoring in things like the sorta-potable water in water heater tanks, pools, spas, rainwater runoff, and so forth I feel like part of the problem is people making this harder than it has to be.
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Old 16th September 2017, 12:56 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
One of the problems (out of many) is that the stuff that is useful in a disaster is not always the stuff that has the run-on right before or during a disaster.

For instance here in Florida that main thing was bottled water. For a week before Irma the news was awash with stores running out of water, price gouging on bottled water, etc.

But here's the thing... this is before the storm. The faucet's still worked and the stores were full of perfectly adequate potable water containers of every size, shape and material.

Certainly at some point someone going on TV and going "Dingbats, buy an appropriate container and fill it with water now" might have been useful.

The wife and I just have a Water BOB, a giant heavy duty plastic bag that fits in a standard bathtub and has an attached spigot and stores ~65 gallons (enough for two people for a month give or take), which combined with all the normal potable water containers that a normal home could pre-fill and without even factoring in things like the sorta-potable water in water heater tanks, pools, spas, rainwater runoff, and so forth I feel like part of the problem is people making this harder than it has to be.
Yeah, or just sturdy freezer bags, half full and with a wire twist to close them. Line them up on a shelf or something.
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Old 16th September 2017, 01:43 PM   #126
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
I wonder how many gouging shops get accidently burnt down once every thing settles back to normal

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If a shop owner or any business gouges to the point of unreasonableness, they will pay a huge social cost and could be run out of business completely. Remember the United Airlines incident? That probably cost them millions of dollars. Likewise, it would be good publicity to charge less than your competitors in a time of need. All these things are factors. Without gouging laws, I doubt any shop would be "accidentally burnt down" and people coming in with a truck load of expensive generators or water bottles are more likely to be thought of as heroes rather than villains.
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Old 17th September 2017, 07:08 AM   #127
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Also another issue (again one of many) was the "double panic."

A lot of people ran out, cleared the stores of bottled water, gas cans, non-perishable food, and so forth and so on..... and then evacuated anyway leaving all that behind.

What we need is some way, either economic or governmental or whatever, of encouraging people to stock up on common emergencies supplies before the disaster (or at least far earlier in a potential disaster) to alleviate the entire Southeast to Mid-Atlantic region of tens of millions of people trying to buy all the bottled water and Pop-tarts at once.

And we know full well that most households aren't going keep all the bottled water and canned goods they purchased for this storm until the next storm. They are going to use them up and next hurricane we'll go through the same thing.
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Old 17th September 2017, 10:37 AM   #128
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Also another issue (again one of many) was the "double panic."

A lot of people ran out, cleared the stores of bottled water, gas cans, non-perishable food, and so forth and so on..... and then evacuated anyway leaving all that behind.

What we need is some way, either economic or governmental or whatever, of encouraging people to stock up on common emergencies supplies before the disaster (or at least far earlier in a potential disaster) to alleviate the entire Southeast to Mid-Atlantic region of tens of millions of people trying to buy all the bottled water and Pop-tarts at once.

And we know full well that most households aren't going keep all the bottled water and canned goods they purchased for this storm until the next storm. They are going to use them up and next hurricane we'll go through the same thing.
Permitting price gouging would probably be the most useful strategy for that.
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Old 17th September 2017, 10:43 AM   #129
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Permitting price gouging would probably be the most useful strategy for that.
I said "encourage" not "prevent them from affording necessary supplies in a time of disaster so they die."

I think people should stock up well before disasters, not immediately before or even during. But if they don't do that I don't think they should die for it.
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Old 17th September 2017, 11:23 AM   #130
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If you don't let the price float the only other way to discourage hoarding is to ration. Which means that pretty soon a black market will arise. You can keep on layering additional governmental regulations; people will find a way around them, even if it means breaking the law.
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Old 17th September 2017, 03:09 PM   #131
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Back in 1937 the United States Army commissioned chocolate bars from Herseys with implicit caveat that they not taste good, with the literal US Federal Government requisition order using the now infamous phrase "shall taste a little better than a boiled potato."

Why? Because the brass didn't want the soldiers dipping into emergency food stashes until they were actually out on maneuvers. Now the "D-Ration" Chocolate bars were so bad (apparently an actual bittering agent was used) soldiers flat out refused to eat them and the also reportedly played havoc on digestion and were so hard you had to shave small pieces off with a knife.

But the point is you have two ways of looking at the concept of "emergency supplies." You either create a surplus of things you use routinely or you have a separate supply of equivalent but distinct supplies that aren't (as) attractive for day to day use.

From both an emergency readiness and an economic viewpoint both ways have their pros and cons and for most households a mixture of both will yield the best results and reduce the chance and harm of last minute outages, shortages, and hoarding.
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Old 17th September 2017, 04:58 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
I said "encourage" not "prevent them from affording necessary supplies in a time of disaster so they die."

I think people should stock up well before disasters, not immediately before or even during. But if they don't do that I don't think they should die for it.
They probably won't die. It goes back to the stealing food analogy earlier in this thread. The people who are stealing food don't need it at that time. You can live about three weeks without it. I have seen a lot of ads on TV for African aid that shows how little food you can consume and still live. Out 1,400 deaths in Katrina, less than 20 were possible dehydration.

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Old 17th September 2017, 05:08 PM   #133
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Or "Suffer needlessly."

I'm not playing this game with you Bob, get to your "gotcha" moment and be done with it. I'm not walking you through all the steps.
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Old 17th September 2017, 05:14 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Or "Suffer needlessly."

I'm not playing this game with you Bob, get to your "gotcha" moment and be done with it. I'm not walking you through all the steps.
What is the difference between walking through and moving the goal posts?
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Old 17th September 2017, 06:57 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Back in 1937 the United States Army commissioned chocolate bars from Herseys with implicit caveat that they not taste good, with the literal US Federal Government requisition order using the now infamous phrase "shall taste a little better than a boiled potato."

Why? Because the brass didn't want the soldiers dipping into emergency food stashes until they were actually out on maneuvers. Now the "D-Ration" Chocolate bars were so bad (apparently an actual bittering agent was used) soldiers flat out refused to eat them and the also reportedly played havoc on digestion and were so hard you had to shave small pieces off with a knife.

But the point is you have two ways of looking at the concept of "emergency supplies." You either create a surplus of things you use routinely or you have a separate supply of equivalent but distinct supplies that aren't (as) attractive for day to day use.

From both an emergency readiness and an economic viewpoint both ways have their pros and cons and for most households a mixture of both will yield the best results and reduce the chance and harm of last minute outages, shortages, and hoarding.
Seriously? Your solution is to have emergency supplies of bad-tasting food ready to go into stores (or hand out) in the event of a disaster? Perhaps we could put lower octane gas in the gas stations, so that if they fill up their car it will knock and ping for a week? Maybe announce that the cases of bottled water include about 3% urine?
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Old 17th September 2017, 06:59 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Seriously? Your solution is to have emergency supplies of bad-tasting food ready to go into stores (or hand out) in the event of a disaster? Perhaps we could put lower octane gas in the gas stations, so that if they fill up their car it will knock and ping for a week? Maybe announce that the cases of bottled water include about 3% urine?
If it achieves your objectives, why not?
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Old 17th September 2017, 07:33 PM   #137
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Seriously? Your solution is to have emergency supplies of bad-tasting food ready to go into stores (or hand out) in the event of a disaster? Perhaps we could put lower octane gas in the gas stations, so that if they fill up their car it will knock and ping for a week? Maybe announce that the cases of bottled water include about 3% urine?
Hardly.

I'm just saying that the amount of hoarded emergency supplies purchased but not needed for Disaster X that wind up being used as part of people's daily routines and therefore not available and need to be replaced whenever Disaster Y comes around is a factor in all this. One factor out of many to be sure.

How picky people are, in the sense of how much of their normal day to day routine they want to maintain during a crisis, is a factor in all this.

I'd wager there is at least some parallel between the people hoarding bottled water and people who drink bottled watered in their normal routines. I drink tap water in some form of container so that's where my mind went when "Need to get some water in case I need" came up.

My entire point was that one, again just one of many, of the problems we're facing is that people often have overly narrow and picky tunnel vision when it comes to disaster preparation. People were panicking when the stores ran out of water because the idea of storing tap water just didn't occur to them. They went into stores, didn't see ready to go bottled water and walked out, often walking past all sorts of various appropriate potable water containers because that's just not the wavelength they were firing on. They went into groceries stores and walked out when they didn't have what they thought of as "emergency" food even though the shelves were full of non-perishable food.

A CAT-5 hurricane coming atcha is not the time to practice brand loyalty and consumer pickiness is all I'm saying.
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Old 17th September 2017, 08:12 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Back in 1937 the United States Army commissioned chocolate bars from Herseys with implicit caveat that they not taste good, with the literal US Federal Government requisition order using the now infamous phrase "shall taste a little better than a boiled potato."

Why? Because the brass didn't want the soldiers dipping into emergency food stashes until they were actually out on maneuvers. Now the "D-Ration" Chocolate bars were so bad (apparently an actual bittering agent was used) soldiers flat out refused to eat them and the also reportedly played havoc on digestion and were so hard you had to shave small pieces off with a knife.
That sounds considerably worse than a boiled potato.
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Old 18th September 2017, 12:43 PM   #139
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How many otherwise ambulatory people died of dehydration during Harvey and Irma combined?
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Old 19th September 2017, 01:58 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
If you don't let the price float the only other way to discourage hoarding is to ration. Which means that pretty soon a black market will arise. You can keep on layering additional governmental regulations; people will find a way around them, even if it means breaking the law.
True, but then again we have a pretty good 13 year "experiment" in rationing in the UK from 1940-53. Yes there was a black market which required enforcement to help to control but OTOH almost everybody had almost enough food all the time during the war and during the lean times afterwards - which was the key objective - to have a working war and postwar economy.
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Old 19th September 2017, 06:32 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
True, but then again we have a pretty good 13 year "experiment" in rationing in the UK from 1940-53. Yes there was a black market which required enforcement to help to control but OTOH almost everybody had almost enough food all the time during the war and during the lean times afterwards - which was the key objective - to have a working war and postwar economy.
This is why I don't support the US entering WW2.
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Old 19th September 2017, 07:42 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
This is why I don't support the US entering WW2.
That is a confusing statement, given that it is in response to what happened in the UK.
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Old 19th September 2017, 07:47 AM   #143
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
That is a confusing statement, given that it is in response to what happened in the UK.
And war rationing occurred in the US, also.
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Old 19th September 2017, 07:50 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Back in 1937 the United States Army commissioned chocolate bars from Herseys with implicit caveat that they not taste good, with the literal US Federal Government requisition order using the now infamous phrase "shall taste a little better than a boiled potato."
I would like to see a citation.
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Old 19th September 2017, 07:55 AM   #145
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
I would like to see a citation.
From the Smithsonian

http://amhistory.si.edu/militaryhist...ject.asp?ID=42
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Old 19th September 2017, 08:05 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
I totally understand the economic rationale. It is perfectly logical.

Nevertheless, people aren't going to like it. If you are literally dying of thirst and I offer to sell you a liter of water for $1000, you may buy it if you have no other choice, but you won't be grateful. And if I ever need help in turn, I can't expect any kind of motive other than pure self interest.



Good idea. Supermarkets could limit purchases to one or two items to prevent hoarding.



A better way is to appeal to people's sense of charity. Laud them as "heros". Give people awards and public recognition. In Harvey, you had people with boats voluntarily going around rescuing people. They weren't trying to make a buck (at least, not that I'm aware of). I suppose they could have charged people for rescuing them, but for some reason they liked the idea of being a hero more than the idea of making a quick buck.
Mostly agreed - except: I doubt seriously they thought of themselves as heroes, just folks doing what they could to help others - and likely embarrassed to be called heroes.
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Old 19th September 2017, 08:13 AM   #147
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
And war rationing occurred in the US, also.
Yes it did, but the original post was a fairly straightforward statement that British rationing was a success, to which you responded that this was a reason for the US not to enter the war. A rational reader could only presume that you meant that a British success was abhorrent to you.

Now of course a reader versed in bobspeak can probably figure out what you presumably really meant, but it is not very orderly expression.
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Old 19th September 2017, 08:14 AM   #148
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Do you know the answer?
I am pretty sure that the strong implication was that the A.G. came down on the stations that raised their price to $5.00.

And piggybacking: I save gallon plastic tea bottles (around 15-20 at a time) as hurricane season approaches. When it is clear one is on the way I fill them with water from the faucet. During Irma I had 11 gallons of water and passed 5 bottles to my across the street neighbors. Interestingly, none were needed as the water stayed on just fine anyway!!!!
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Old 19th September 2017, 08:17 AM   #149
ahhell
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Thanks, I like that it appears as though Hershey was too successful at making it taste bad, the DOD later asked for a bar that tasted slightly better.
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Old 20th September 2017, 12:44 AM   #150
The Don
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
Thanks, I like that it appears as though Hershey was too successful at making it taste bad, the DOD later asked for a bar that tasted slightly better.
Is the former the one still on sale in the US ?
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Old 20th September 2017, 12:46 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
This is why I don't support the US entering WW2.
Well lobby your congressman and maybe they won't.....
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