Some individuals diagnosed with anxiety or depression, hoarding is a symptom. Some individuals are profiteers. Yet, other people hoard because their survival instincts kick in to ensure the survival of their families. Mix all of these together and you have empty store shelves. The rest of us suffer without these essentials regardless of the reason. In the end, this hurts everyone.
How does this hurt everyone?
Supply and demand within economics is a theory used in free markets. The supply in this post refers to medical supplies, cleaning agents, and paper products. These industries are experiencing an increased demand where companies have a low supply. In a normal free market, the price would increase due to the high demand.
However, during a state of emergency, anti-gauging laws require industries to maintain prices prior to the state of emergency. Who does this law hurt in the end? EVERYONE! How? There are no paper products, cleaning agents, and limited to no medical supplies in the stores.
So, how do we ensure that this does not happen again during a crisis?
The federal government should revise its anti-gauging laws and stores should limit the number of these items customers can purchase at the first sign of a crisis.
My viewpoint on hoarding is that those private profiteers buying up all of these items and placing them on the internet to sell at a ridiculous cost are not heroes. They are cons and selfish individuals. Who in the hell would sell medical supplies or any other necessities at such a high profit margin? The greedy people that have no souls and only care about themselves. I agree with the chains that prohibit these people from returning items for a refund. This allows the stores to teach these profiteers NOT to attempt to try this again. It will also curb potential profiteers from behaving this way in future crises.
For example, someone in my family suffers from migraines. This family member was unable to find Excedrin Migraine at any brick and mortar store. They looked online, and at their dismay, a 300 capsule bottle that typically cost under $10 was listed on Amazon and eBay for a minimum of $75 going well over $150.
Next time, I will review anti-gauging laws and how the government should revise these laws for the next crisis.