Price Gouging Argumentative Essay

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Price gouging is a topic that has prompted much debate and controversy among many people in society. It is a tactic that has generated much discussion from both a moral and legal prospective. Critics of price gouging criticize the practice as unjust because it involves merchants exploiting people who have just survived terrible ordeals such as a hurricane by skyrocketing prices of goods, like water, to make a profit for themselves. Some states even have laws that prohibit price gouging in an effort to discourage this action. Despite the criticisms that surrounds price gouging and that people deem it unjust, price gouging is actually justified because it prevents shortages while at the same time it teaches people how to better prepare for emergencies.…show more content…
By raising prices higher than normal, this can act as a way of rationing goods so that there can be more of it available for others. If merchants did not raise prices on goods such as bottle water, there is a likelihood that there would be a shortage. From an economist’s perspective, if goods were out of stock it is “evidence that prices were too low.” (Goldstein) The fact is that supplies like bottled water will become less available during times of emergency, and so something must be done to ensure that there will be enough for everyone who are desperate to buy it. Some of the vocal critics will argue that price gouging is unjust because the high prices will harm the poor since they will not be able to afford to purchase materials. While the naysayers have a point, they fail to realize that in the case of rationing goods, there will always be people who will be at the disadvantage of the system. Not everybody can be able to afford to pay and many will have to stand in line for many hours waiting for their turn to make a purchase. Furthermore, the belief that the “suppression of ‘price gouging’ will advantage the poor” (Zycher) is severely mistaken. For example, those who are well off would be barged from bidding on the prices of water bottles in order to make it fair for people of lower incomes to have a chance to buy water bottles. Because of this, those individuals are likely

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