The government prosecutes people who charge too much or too little for products during a disaster. That causes shortages. Fewer generators and less gasoline hurt people and turned them into deeper victims. Hurricane Sandy is another sad example.
CHARGING TOO MUCH: Citizens were paying $20 a gallon for gasoline on Craigs List. Hurricane victims needed gasoline to run their generators. A gallon of gas could run an oil heater for 12 hours. That’s worth more than $20 but the government forbid anyone to sell gas for more than $4.00 a gallon. So there was no reason for the gasoline companies to produce more gas for Staten island or for the other towns partly destroyed by hurricane Sandy. Imagine if the oil companies could get even $10 a gallon. they would have rushed more gasoline to the damaged areas. Same for generators. A $500 generator could run a home if the power was limited to essential things like water to flush, power to run the heater, the well pump and to turn on some lights. But there were almost no generators around after the storm. Imagine if $500 generators were available for $1,500. People would have raced to the storm damaged areas and sold thousands of generators helping tens of thousands of people. Instead, almost no generators were available to people had to abandon their cold, dark homes and let the food in the refrigerators and freezers rot. What’s wrong with what happened because government stopped the free market?
CHARGING TOO LITTLE: Government stops people selling below the marketprice because of loads of phoney, make-nelieve reasons purposely concocted to stop the free exchange of products and money. If a fuel oil company paid $4 a gallon and sold fuel for $2 a gallon everyone who could would buy his fuel and everyone who did would save money. No other company would sell fuel while the $2 fuel was available. Government would punish the $2 seller for restraint of trade. Of course everyone knows the opposite happens when someone underprices a product. Trade is encouraged. People buy more. Government doesn’t like people deciding to buy more than they need so they prohibit low price sellers. Who benefits? No One. And less fuel is sold. Now imagine if someone sold gasoline fot $2 after Sandy. All the fuel would change hands from the seller to people who need or want fuel. Scads of fuel would benefit everyone who bought it. They would save money or buy extra fuel and tha’t what was needed after Sandy. How does government interference help anyone? It doesn’t. Obama didn’t help the Sandy victims. His enforcement of the law kept needed generators and gasoline from flowing like Niagra into Staten Island, New Jersey and Long Island. He regulated commerce instead of keeping his long nose out of the markets. That hurt tens of thousands of people. Physically hurt them as they were cold and without lights. They couldn’t work at night. Obama did that. Maybe he didn’t start it but that’s like saying he’s not responsible for crime because he didn’t stop it when he could. But he could have stopped interfering with the market. And don’t think it’s only about gasoline and generators. It’s about everything government regulates and it’s all wrong.