While I am a proponent of an economic’s law called supply and demand, I strongly oppose price gauging. Used correctly, the law of supply and demand will either encourage or discourage the purchasing power to ensure essential items remain stocked during a state of emergency.
According to various websites, anti-price gauging laws vary across states. Over half of the states within America prohibit a supplier from charging "unconscionable prices" for "necessary goods and services" during the 30-day period following a declared state of emergency.
There is a simple test to determine if a price is too high. If the price grossly exceeds the price charged for the same or similar goods and services during the ten day’s prior to the state of emergency.
For instance, in New Jersey a ten percent (10%) price increase during an emergency would be unlawful under most circumstances. In Pennsylvania, there is an assumption that a twenty percent (20%) increase is unlawful, but lower price increases could be deemed unlawful depending on the circumstances.
Before you say, “I cannot afford a 10% to 20% increase in toilet paper or other essentials, the increase is less than one cup of coffee at your favorite cafe. After all, what in the hell are you doing at your favorite cafe during an epidemic? Make your own coffee at home, people. If you still feel that you cannot afford on average a 50 cent to $1 increase on toilet paper, look to see how much toilet paper you have and ask yourself, “If I supported the supply and demand law, would I still have toilet paper?”
Now, we all know that the below examples are price gauging and I hope that if you see prices this high that 1) you do not buy the product and 2) that you report it to the proper authorities in your state.
My viewpoint on anti-price gauging is that businesses should increase their price points within the limits of the law to curb the demand. However, businesses should also limit the amount of these essentials an individual can buy to further prevent profiteers during a state of emergency or otherwise.
This should also apply at Christmas time and with entertainment such as concerts. Like, who in their right mind would buy a Ryan’s World egg for $100+. These are the people who support profiteering, because without buyers, we wouldn’t have profiteers.
Seriously, get your priorities straight!