My letters

Submitted letters to the editor and other parties. Only a few of these were published.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

To the editor:

The state of Florida is wrong to discourage price gouging (“Hurricane survivors cite price gouging,” August 20-22). In the case mentioned, an Ohio-based firm did some emergency work on Ilyse Kusntetz’s house. She decided it was too risky to wait a few weeks for prices to return to normal, lest the damage to her house get worse during that time. If prices in Florida are kept at pre-hurricane levels by government force, out-of-state firms stay home. Ilyse would have had to wait on line. Price gouging insures that contractors come from everywhere and customers with the most dire need are served first. It also encourages both local and out-of-state contractors to work night and day doing as many jobs as possible in the weeks before prices return to normal, providing the most rapid restoration of the community.

Jacked-up hotel prices encourage families to double up and triple up, providing best use of the available emergency space. Jacked-up prices for food, ice, anything, encourage people from non-affected areas to load their pickups and drive long distances to make a few extra bucks. The list goes on.

Experience has shown that whenever government is successful at suppressing the supply and demand of the marketplace, misery is the result.

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