Price-gouging or supply and demand? (Opinion)
We continue to hear the stories about so-called "price-gouging" and the hostility exhibited toward the offender, especially from the many so-called journalists in the news media. Of course, as with every story, there is another side.
A calm analysis of the practice of raising prices in times of emergencies may calm some of your anger. First of all, most of the stories you hear are from smaller businesses that are raising prices based on a flood of new demand due to the increased costs of doing business. Suppliers and wholesalers raising their prices and the need to keep critical supplies in stock all contribute to higher prices.
In dangerous economic times like these, many stores are concerned that they will be overrun by customers and cleaned out leaving shelves empty. Many of those stores will wait for resupply leaving them vulnerable and in a low margin business facing the possibility of layoffs and even closing. Charging more for products to meet a rising demand makes economic sense to many small businesses. They are in it to survive, not "gouge" the customer.
The very term is designed to make you draw a conclusion, often times without facts, and judge the store negatively. In these uncertain times with weak, feckless so-called leaders like Phil Murphy in charge, the stores are the victims, not the bad guys as they are painted by fake-cops like Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and his boss.
No one doubts that there are unscrupulous business owners who just want to take advantage of other peoples misfortune, but from my experience, they are in the minority. The problem we have during this current economic crisis is our government is shutting down businesses and threatening to possibly have people 'shelter-in-place'. All of these actions and endless press conferences for sound bites instead of solutions, have sent fear and panic through the community.
Is it any wonder why a business would try to get as much revenue up front as possible? Of course not. But the attorney general in New Jersey would rather grab a headline ad pretend that he's looking out for the little guy than actually do his job and stand against the real criminals in our midst. I posed a question to my friend and fellow common sense thinker, Matt Rooney who is a New Jersey attorney and publisher of SaveJersey.com.
If prices had gone up to meet the expected demand, it's possible that the shelves would not have been cleared in hours leaving many people without basic supplies like toilet paper and cleaning products. Higher prices force people to prioritize and if you really want to prevent hoarding, it's a good start.
Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea. The opinions expressed here are solely those of Bill Spadea.
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