During Harvey some think price gouging OK


Clete Wetli, Contributor

In Trumplandia, the lack of ethics, basic morality, common decency, and social norms have become a sad, new status quo. Yet, I had to look twice when I saw an article in Forbes that genuinely advocated and promoted price gouging during an historic natural disaster. Yeah, you heard that right.

Here’s the link to the piece written by Tim Worstall, a Fellow at the Adam Smith Institute:


Basically, Worstall argues that price-gougers should be thanked rather than punished because the law of supply demand is helped when scarce resources are allocated to “more valuable uses”. In this case, Worstall contends the person that can afford $99 for a case of water in Houston is a “more valuable use” of that water than the person who dies of thirst because they only have $50. Of course, Mr. Worstall, what were we dumb liberals thinking? Certainly, people with more money are way more valuable than useless poor people.

Oh, he’s not done. Worstall ends his linguistic fellatio of unfettered capitalism by positing this brilliant gem, “Price gouging is the market’s get out of jail free card in the wake of a disaster, bringing supply and demand into accord–yet we try our damnedest to imprison people for employing our most effective tool. We really need to change the laws here.”

I know! I had to walk away from it a minute and let an insane torrent of profanity loose before I could address Worstall’s privileged, fraudulent syllogism and vulgar rationalization of human exploitation and unbridled greed.

The obvious counter to Worstall’s argument is that regardless of whatever economic theory he espouses at the ivory tower of Adam Smith Institute; he is a subhuman piece of shit with no moral compass or an iota of compassion if he thinks that it’s ok to deny people aid during a disaster because they can’t afford it. Perhaps, the only human being that might be worse would be Trump who allowed the Border Patrol to remain open during the hurricane evacuation in hopes of catching illegal immigrants that were fleeing for their lives. This is the butt-ugly truth behind the conservative love affair of the “free market”.

It’s in Worstall’s piece that you can plainly see how this embrace of unfettered and unregulated capitalism is foundational to the racism, the sexism, and the vilification of poverty that entwines modern conservative ideology and policy.

This is why Republicans voted against relief funding for Hurricane Sandy and it’s why the relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina were insufficient. Conservatives are terrified that someone may get something for nothing or that someone they deem undeserving may get a benefit. This sick way of thinking goes beyond price-gouging advocacy or offset funding for disaster relief, it even shows up in stupid ways like demanding drug testing for food stamp recipients.

I’m a liberal because I’m a decent human being that cares about others. Scumbags like Tim Worstall are why I’m a loud activist that will fight to his dying day to keep people like him from inflicting damage on the world. There’s no good argument for price-gouging. There’s not a place on this earth or any imaginable situation in which profiting off the suffering of others is morally acceptable.

In the era of Trump, we’ve got to stand against this type of bullshit. This is the kind of garbage that fuels the white supremacists and other mental midgets that seek justification for their prejudice, xenophobia, and avarice.

Mr. Worstall, I don’t know you, but what you wrote appeals only to the extreme worst of human nature. Because of morally bankrupt assholes like you, we’re stuck with a President that’s the epitome of whoring selfishness.

One Reply to “During Harvey some think price gouging OK”

  1. When he states that in a disaster “price gouging is … bringing supply and demand into accord” he reveals the lie at the heart of the pure, unfettered capitalist thesis. For if the free market works perfectly as is claimed, then supply and demand should ALREADY be in accord, in balance. It should not be necessary to have a crisis to achieve balance!

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