Wow. And here I thought that FEEBLE took the cake for dumb things this week.
Read this little piece of mental tripe (from Media Matters) and see if you can note a small, tiny, little-bitty error in thinking.
He makes the statement that "By charging $20, the price gouger makes sure his water goes to those who really need it." Um, no. Take his example, but make it two families, one who managed to escape with some money and one who didn't. (For extra fun, have both families middle class) BOTH families now have a child dying of thirst.
Why is it the family that managed to escape with money "needs" the money more than the family that didn't? Answer: They need the water equally. The family that CAN pay does not need the water more, it is able to pay more. There is a vast difference in these two statements. Unless Mr. Stossel equals ability to pay with need...in which case welfare should start at one million and up.
Here's another asinine comment: "Let the market work, suppliers come -- and competition brings prices as low as the challenges of the disaster allow. Goods that were in short supply become available, even to the poor." Except for one small, tiny, little-bitty problem again - the goods are not in short supply due to a long-term problem; they are in short supply in a short-term crisis. Or does Mr. Stossel really feel that in the time it takes for "competition" to come to a hurricane ravaged area, set up, and retail water, it will still be that high? (I will allow his argument about roofers, builders and tree removers does match better here - but roofing and water rank differently on the scale of dying babies he advanced at the beginning. In addition, these are services, not goods. Also, as stated, that will be a long term shortage, not a spot one.)
Mr. Stossel, always ready to defend price gougers...but I bet he negotiated like Hell the last time he bought a car.