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Coronavirus price gouging

Maple_Leaf

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DrQ

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I bought some organic cannellini beans at $3.50/pound. I've seen white beans at $5.50/pound.
 

Maple_Leaf

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The Ontario government just announced new penalties tor COVID-19 price gouging. That $10,000,000 fine would put a nice dent in a company's financial statements.
 

DrQ

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The Ontario government just announced new penalties tor COVID-19 price gouging. That $10,000,000 fine would put a nice dent in a company's financial statements.
To companies based in C-eh-N-eh-D-eh
 

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Here in the good old USA price / bidding wars are going on from our suppliers.
A shipment is going one place but another place offers more money and it goes to them.

That’s price gouging the good old American way

Shameful
 

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Despicable story . Not enough details about who the supplier was and why he was able to procure all those supplies.

A Brooklyn man claiming to be infected with the coronavirus coughed on FBI agents who were investigating him for hoarding medical supplies, the US Attorney’s Office said Monday.
Baruch Feldheim, 43, is facing charges of assault and making false statements to the feds on Sunday outside his Borough Park home where he allegedly peddled and stored massive amounts of N95 respirator masks, federal officials said.
Feldheim is also accused of price-gouging. On March 18, he’s suspected of selling a New Jersey doctor about 1,000 of the masks for $12,000, a markup of roughly 700 percent, authorities said.
The accused fraudster also directed another doctor to an Irvington, NJ, auto repair shop to pick up another order. There, the doctor reported to investigators that Feldheim was allegedly hoarding enough medical supplies “to outfit an entire hospital.”
Materials included: hand sanitizers, Clorox wipes, chemical cleaning supply agents and surgical supplies.
By last Monday, Feldheim was operating from his Brooklyn home, offering to push surgical gowns to a nurse, the feds said.
Two days later, the suspected hoarder received a gigantic shipment to his home of about eight pallets of face masks.
FBI agents then staked out his his house, first noticing empty boxes of N95 masks outside.
On Sunday, they said they witnessed “multiple instances” of people approach Feldheim’s residence and walked away with what appeared to be medical supplies.
The agents confronted Feldheim outside his house, keeping a safe social distance over coronavirus fears.
“When the agents were within four to five feet of him, Feldheim allegedly coughed in their direction without covering his mouth,” the US attorney’s release said. “At that point, Feldheim told the FBI agents that that he had the Coronavirus,” the statement said.
Feldheim then allegedly lied to FBI agents regarding his possession and sale of medical supplies.
He falsely told the agents that he worked for a company that bought and sold PPEs and that he never took physical custody of the materials.
The arrest comes after President Trump claimed that some medical supplies were being swiped from New York City hospitals, which Mayor Bill de Blasio dismissed as insulting.
FILED UNDER CORONAVIRUS IN NY
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dioxide45

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The problem is simply supply and demand. In a lot of cases, price gouging laws impact the supply side of the chain and exacerbate the demand side. Companies are likely to invest in to ramp up production if they expect they can see a return on that investment. Being able to charge more for a product would be the way they could repay the investment. By being prevented from increasing prices, why bother investing in additional production? As for the demand side, if someone can buy something that is in low supply for the same price they could when it wasn't, they are likely to buy more of them reducing availability for others.

Think of generators in a hurricane. Hurricane is expected to make landfall and the stores quickly sell out of generators. Storm hits and no generators are left. Perhaps someone two states over has a whole truck full of generators. However it wouldn't be profitable for him to pay to ship those generators to the impacted area if he can't get a return on the investment. So no generators for anyone. Stossel had a segment on this several years back. It can probably be found with a YouTube search if one is so inclined.

I get it, price gouging laws are popular with the general public, but they can do more harm than good.
 
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Brett

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The problem is simply supply and demand. In a lot of cases, price gouging laws impact the supply side of the chain and exacerbate the demand side. Companies are likely to invest in to ramp up production if they expect they can see a return on that investment. Being able to charge more for a product would be the way they could repay the investment. By being prevented from increasing prices, why bother investing in additional production? As for the demand side, if someone can buy something that is in low supply for the same price they could when it wasn't, they are likely to buy more of them reducing availability for others.

Think of generators in a hurricane. Hurricane is expected to make landfall and the stores quickly sell out of generators. Storm hits and no generators are left. Perhaps someone two states over has a whole truck full of generators. However it wouldn't be profitable for him to pay to ship those generators to the impacted area if he can't get a return on the investment. So no generators for anyone. Stossel had a segment on this several years back. It can probably be found with a YouTube search if one is so inclined.

I get it, price gouging laws are popular with the general public, but they can do more harm than good.

right, I understand the "libertarian" view of price gouging.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Stossel
..... but not popular on the outer banks NC during a hurricane
 

chapjim

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CanuckTravlr

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The problem is simply supply and demand. In a lot of cases, price gouging laws impact the supply side of the chain and exacerbate the demand side. Companies are likely to invest in to ramp up production if they expect they can see a return on that investment. Being able to charge more for a product would be the way they could repay the investment. By being prevented from increasing prices, why bother investing in additional production? As for the demand side, if someone can buy something that is in low supply for the same price they could when it wasn't, they are likely to buy more of them reducing availability for others.

Think of generators in a hurricane. Hurricane is expected to make landfall and the stores quickly sell out of generators. Storm hits and no generators are left. Perhaps someone two states over has a whole truck full of generators. However it wouldn't be profitable for him to pay to ship those generators to the impacted area if he can't get a return on the investment. So no generators for anyone. Stossel had a segment on this several years back. It can probably be found with a YouTube search if one is so inclined.

I get it, price gouging laws are popular with the general public, but they can do more harm than good.

I don't think anyone is talking about restricting "reasonable" profits. Price gouging is a case of opportunistic "excessive" profits, which is a particularly heinous practice in an emergency situation. In the announcement by Ontario Premier Doug Ford referred to in the OP, he was not talking about a store whose supplier has raised the price due to higher demand and shorter supply and therefore the retailer is having to charge a higher-than-normal price. He was using examples where the price had suddenly tripled, quadrupled or more. Whether the fault was the individual store or the store's supplier that was trying to price gouge, he indicated it would be investigated and if the higher price could not be justified, the perpetrator would be prosecuted. I have no problem with that.
 

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The Ontario government just announced new penalties tor COVID-19 price gouging. That $10,000,000 fine would put a nice dent in a company's financial statements.
Could that be called “fine gouging”? If so, I’m fine with it!
 

CanuckTravlr

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"excessive profits" --- it's a Darwinian world !

Maybe where you live, but not in this "socialist" monarchy where I live. Here we care about the well-being of the overall community more than one particular individual's desire to be greedy!

Unfettered capitalism would be a truly Darwinian world. Even the USA doesn't believe in completely unfettered capitalism and has reined it in many times with regulations when necessary.
 
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chapjim

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Who decides what is "excessive?" I believe the answer should be the consumer, rather than some bureaucrat.
 

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Who decides what is "excessive?" I believe the answer should be the consumer, rather than some bureaucrat.

That sounds like a prelude to chaos and violence.


Harry
 

chapjim

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That sounds like a prelude to chaos and violence.


Harry

Why? That's the way commerce works, unless the government decides it knows better than the supplier and the consumer.

Price controls mean shortages and black markets. The most severe price control ever set by the government was on alcoholic beverages. Want to talk about chaos and violence??
 

WVBaker

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"excessive profits" --- it's a Darwinian world !

Is it gouging or simply dynamic or surge pricing? :ponder:

Amazon may change the price for any given item every 10 minutes. This is done as it gathers information from millions of shoppers' habits and preferences.

Restaurants test whether people are willing to pay a premium during busy times.

Large entertainment venues like theme parks, concert halls and ski resorts are charging more during peak popularity.

Grocery stores have begun installing electronic price tags on their shelves, allowing them to remotely change the entire store's prices based on supply and foot traffic.
 

bluehende

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Why? That's the way commerce works, unless the government decides it knows better than the supplier and the consumer.

Price controls mean shortages and black markets. The most severe price control ever set by the government was on alcoholic beverages. Want to talk about chaos and violence??
Then there can also be no protections either. Patents cannot exist as they artificially effect the supply side.
 

chapjim

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Then there can also be no protections either. Patents cannot exist as they artificially effect the supply side.

Patents (and copyrights) do conflict with the general policy of open access to markets.

The Founding Fathers weighed the incentives for discovery and creation against the benefits of open markets. The result is in Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution which grants to Congress the "power to promote the Progress of Science and the useful Arts by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writing and Discoveries."

For your argument to prevail, an amendment to the Constitution would be required.
 

bluehende

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Patents (and copyrights) do conflict with the general policy of open access to markets.

The Founding Fathers weighed the incentives for discovery and creation against the benefits of open markets. The result is in Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution which grants to Congress the "power to promote the Progress of Science and the useful Arts by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writing and Discoveries."

For your argument to prevail, an amendment to the Constitution would be required.
Yes I was assuming we were discussing hypotheticals as I believe a lot of the constitution allows the government to step in for the communal good. I would guess our only differences is on where that line is in the hypothetical middle ground. Pure capitalism as well as pure socialism cannot and does not exist for very good reasons.
 

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Why? That's the way commerce works, unless the government decides it knows better than the supplier and the consumer.

Price controls mean shortages and black markets. The most severe price control ever set by the government was on alcoholic beverages. Want to talk about chaos and violence??

I’ve got news for you, the government still controls the supply, distribution, and to a great extent, the cost of alcoholic beverages.


Harry
 

DrQ

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And your point is????? :shrug: :doh:

If it's a comment on pronunciation, don't get me started on the various pronunciations of 'Murica. :devilish:
Old joke that I heard told by a Canadian (Canada's original name was CND) when I was working in Ottawa. No offense intended. Maybe it was too old of a joke.
 
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