March 26th, 2004

barometric waffle linguists (pic by me)

They DEFEND this stuff?!

Our paper is running Walter Williams' syndicated column in defense of price gouging on Sunday. As a recent ex-Libertarian, I still have sympathy for several of their basic economic arguments. This, however, is not one of them.

Williams argues that the Virginia legislature's new "post-disaster anti-gouging" law is immoral (well, okay, maybe not; I'm not sure why he's arguing it's bad, other than it's against libertarian "invisible-hand-solves-all" principles) because ... ready for this? ... not as many people will be willing to provide disaster relief services if they can't make gross profits off of it. Not just profit, but huge windfall profits of the sort created by naked opportunism.

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... And I just have to leave one closing thought: Walter Williams, I hate you. I'm a social liberal, damn it. I never thought I'd have to seriously play the "breakdown of society" card. I feel all unclean now.