Emotions are not tools of cognition
But set that aside, for now. Then, ponder its meaning after digesting the following.
Last March, I had occasion to blog about ABC’s John Stossel calling out the morons for thier lack of vetements.
This is a bit different. First, you must read Stossel’s op-ed, In praise of price gouging. Some key excerpts, but you ought to read the whole thing (short).
Consider this scenario: You are thirsty — worried that your baby is going to become dehydrated. You find a store that’s open, and the storeowner thinks it’s immoral to take advantage of your distress, so he won’t charge you a dime more than he charged last week. But you can’t buy water from him. It’s sold out.
You continue on your quest, and finally find that dreaded monster, the price gouger. He offers a bottle of water that cost $1 last week at an "outrageous" price — say $20. You pay it to survive the disaster.
You resent the price gouger. But if he hadn’t demanded $20, he’d have been out of water. It was the price gouger’s "exploitation" that saved your child.
It saved her because people look out for their own interests. Before you got to the water seller, other people did. At $1 a bottle, they stocked up. At $20 a bottle, they bought more cautiously. By charging $20, the price gouger makes sure his water goes to those who really need it.
The people the softheaded politicians think are cruelest are doing the most to help. Assuming the demand for bottled water was going to go up, they bought a lot of it, planning to resell it at a steep profit. If they hadn’t done that, that water would not have been available for the people who need it the most.
Consider the storeowner’s perspective: If he’s not going to make a big profit, why open up the store at all? Staying in a disaster area is dangerous and means giving up the opportunity to be with family in order to take care of the needs of strangers. Why take the risk?
Now to the funny part. The parade of useful idiots. Here are some letters republished from Stossel’s weekly email:
"John, The following is a serious question: Are you retarded? I just finished reading your op-ed piece on price gouging and I can’t decide if there is some tragic and pervasive problem with your mind, or if you are just the most dishonest, most despicable man on the planet…How do you sleep at night?" Steven Bandyk
"Price gouging is illegal. It kills people. Or is that ok with you, too?" Sharon, Binghamton, NY
"you’re article ‘in praise of price gouging’ is the single stupidest, most offensive thing I have ever read. I hope you lose your job over this you soulless cretin." Rev. T. Sam Bailey
"You sir are scum. Plain and simple, you are scum. How dare you say that the price gougers are saving lives." Robert Pearce, Knoxville, TN
"When I see someone like you on television I know you spent a lot of time under a desk somewhere. Seen you on 20/20 a couple of times and you have to be the biggest idiot I have ever seen. Guess that’s why I never tune you in anymore. What a nut case you are. ABC must really be hard up." Harold Dundee
"You’re a truly a bottom feeder, the lowest form of scum. Anyone who says that only those who can afford things like water and food are the ‘truly needy’ is just an idiot. I suppose using your logic, that if you lived in occupied Poland during the Second World War, and you saw someone selling out their Jewish neighbors to the nazis that you’d feel that they did what they had to to survive? I can’t believe a reputable media organisation like ABC keeps you on. Do you have any shred of humanity left? Do you actually feel it’s ok to sell your fellow human beings ‘down the river’ in some sick social-darwinist idea of survival of the fittest? Where do you get your ideas? Mein Kampf? You disgust me and I’m going to write everyone I can at ABC…" John Arnold, Aberdeen, WA
"Stossel, give me a break. You can’t be this dumb, can you? The price gouger isn’t saving resources for those who need it…he’s ransoming those resources to the highest bidder. So your little scenario really ends up with the baby dying from dehydration because the parent didn’t have $20 bucks on them. I guess that makes the gouger a murderer using your logic…"
Yet, not everyone who writes to Stossel is a useless moron.
"Would you rather have the baby die because there IS NO water left? Or have the chance that the store owner sees a dying baby and gives up a $20 bottle of water? In your world, there is no water left for the baby regardless of the kindness of the store owner. On the other hand, the baby has at least a chance, even if the mother has no means or money (which is unlikely she wouldn’t be able to scrounge up something to save her own child). Stop assuming business owners are evil. They are just like you. Have you learned nothing from the price caps applied to the gas market in the 70’s, look what that did for supply? You could only buy gas on certain days, supply was nearly run-out completely. Take a look at history and stop being so naove…"
"The store owner who charges $20 for water might have the resources to help the woman with the thirsty baby. When prices are controlled, the store owner closes his doors, and the baby dies. When the free market moderates the prices, lower priced water floods into the area in a normal competitive fashion, and the baby gets a drink. Gouging saves lives, hoarding at artificially low prices (set by the truly evil politicians and bureaucrats) kills babys. John Stossel is courageous for standing up for good, amid the politically correct morons that post here."
"the everyday consumer does in some fashion horde resources for themselves if they can get it for a lower price. That is why I witnessed everyone last week rushing to top off their gas tanks before the prices went up…Price is the primary signal to efficiently direct limited resources to those with the most need. Without it we would have to rely on our incompetent goverment (republican and democrat) to ensure everyone got what they needed (and we’ve seen how well that works)."
"Anti-price gouging laws have been passed for builders in areas affected by hurricanes dating back to hurricane Andrew. In every case, these laws have effectively ended rebuilding in the area. I know your government school educated mind has a hard time understanding the market, but it’s irresponsible to be so naive…Anti-price gouging laws will leave the entire Gulf Coast in disrepair and make it impossible for the rest of the country to get the gasoline it needs. Here is a link to help you start your re-education. I hope you can learn enough to abandon your destructive viewpoint.