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East Texas before Gustav

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  • East Texas before Gustav

    Just a quick note to mention that I'm visiting relatives today in East Texas. We had to drive down from Lufkin to find gasoline as the local stations are dry. There is gas on the ranch but I didn't want to use it unless necessary.

    Luckily we only need half a tank to return and had that when we pulled into town. It was interesting to see people filling 50 gallon barrels and lines down the road four days before the storm makes landfall.

    Glad I am not staying. Just dropped off the spare generator and some extra gallon water containers. Everyone say a prayer for people to be safe.

    If we can't even get gas here I wonder what it will be like in two days. Just in time delivery my patooty.

  • #2
    Good luck out there.

    I lived in the DFW area of Texas during Katrina, and was driving back from Baltimore during the storm. I remember being limited to $20.00 worth of fuel at many places and was paying $3.20 a gallon. In a huge SUV that does not go far. I also remember the aftermath and the huge amount of refugees that came into DFW. The wife and I did a lot of charity and donated a good bit of money. I feel like a fool now, knowing that many of them are still sucking off the public tit. I will not do it again.

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    • #3
      Oh' I paid forty cents more per gallon for gas than yesterday but certainly they are not price guaging...wouldn't that be un-American! As for those in line I can assure you that this was ENTIRELY middle class people with new cars and trucks. Many were towing trailers and boats and were from Beaumont area based on stickers and car dealer labels.

      They had their families in the car and had a plan. My wife took her mother to get extra ice/tp and non-perishable food...red beans and rice plus corn meal, honey/molases. She said she had never seen the grocery so full with people qued up like locust. If I had known it was going to be this bad I would have brought down some catering liquid nitrogen packs that last for days and stored them in the extra freezer...I love those things but you can only find them in big cities with enough of a demand.

      Solving their lack of planning with plastic is my guess. When the bills come home I imagine half the preps will be returned if unused....might be a good time to buy!

      Everyone in Texas and surrounding is financing the Katrina evacues and probably will as long as the tax base holds out or we elect some politicians who can say no more...yeah I know.
      Last edited by das; 08-30-2008, 12:36 PM.

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      • #4
        I really do not believe that price gouging should be illegal. My theory is that it is just simple supply and demand. Whatever the market will bear. But, I am a free market kind of guy.

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        • #5
          If you consider price gouging seperate from taxation and inflation I can almost see your point. But taken with the normal manipulation of money it realy annoys me.

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          • #6
            However

            One is the government, and one is a private entity. Big difference in my book.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Rustyshakelford View Post
              One is the government, and one is a private entity. Big difference in my book.
              Yes, this is true but two wrongs don't make a right. Price guoghing is about profit over common sense. Capitalism is the agreement of consumer and producer....controlling, balancing and adjusting happens naturally as people can expand or contract their purchases. Well I guess they did before credit cards destroyed common sense.

              In the event of an emergency water/shelter/fuel/food are necessary to evacuate. Those who take advantage of that are preying on the weakness of others. Makes me classify them with lawyers/bankers and organized crime.

              Your milage may vary and I am good with that because 'right' is difficult to be certain of in this world.

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              • #8
                I disagree

                I live in the desert. Here, water is a necessity. Bottled water sells for $2.00 for 20 ozs. Outrageous!!! However, it is supply and demand.

                Is plywood a necissity? Nope, even in a hurricane path it is not a necissity. However, the government says that if you up the price, it is now a crime. Bullcrap. I say whatever the market will bear is the fair price for any product, and in the event of a natural disaster, then so be it.

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                • #9
                  East Texas before Gustav

                  Das and Rusty,

                  I hope you and your family and loved ones stay safe in the wake of Gustav. The same goes with anyone reading this message in Louisiana or anywhere targeted by Gustav.

                  Regarding so-called "price-gouging" and "disaster-profiteering": The so-called "price-gouger" or "disaster-profiteer" is actually an unsung free-market hero in the midst of a natural disaster.

                  Yes, this person is using the mechanism of supply-and-demand to profit, yet this same mechanism, by raising prices, assure that products remain on the shelves in a time of crisis, so that everyone has a chance to get at least some of the product until the disaster ends and supply chains are restored to normal.

                  Then, when supply chains are flowing again, the products accumulate on the shelf and the "price-gouger/disaster profiteer" has to move product, so he or she has to lower prices to previous levels that cleared the shelves.

                  The worst thing any government can do in a time of crisis is to use price controls to forcibly hold prices lower then the supply-and-demand-set prices. Price controls guarantee that people will flood to the stores to snatch products off of the shelves faster than the merchants can replenish them, thus creating a shortage.

                  Price controls also gives producers and distributors further up the supply chain less incentive to produce and distribute the products subject to price controls, thus creating an even deeper shortage. Coupled with inflationary monetary policies, shortages created by price controls make currency that already buys less become even more worthless.

                  If shortages get deep and long enough, eventually the rabble and demagogues call for a "man-on-horseback" dictator to come and restore order, and then all political and economic freedom is lost.

                  There is actually a book on this very subject called Forty Centuries of Price Controls, which traces the economic history of this phenomenon and no matter how or where tried, price controls end the same way: poverty, tyranny, and destruction.

                  So, if your concern is with supplies in a disaster situation, the best thing we can do is support, defend, and practice free-market Capitalism.
                  "Apocalypse is by no means inevitable." --Jim Rice.

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                  • #10
                    East Texas before Gustav

                    I should hasten to add a clarification: A "price-gouger" or a "disaster-profiteer" is simply someone who offers products honestly and non-fraudulently at a price of which government does not approve.

                    A "price-gouger" or "disaster-profiteer" is not in the same category as a person who offers to fix disaster damage, takes a deposit, and then runs, or a person who increases the damage to their own property to get a bigger insurance estimate and thus a bigger claims check.

                    These latter two are thieves and frauds and should be treated the same as rioters and looters in a disaster situation.
                    "Apocalypse is by no means inevitable." --Jim Rice.

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                    • #11
                      My feelings exactly.

                      People need to realize that the government is not there to save us, quite the contrary. Whenever the government gets their hooks into something, they rarely let go. I challenge anyone to name something the government does efficiently, or name a good or service they produce. I can only think of one thing, and that is the military. And, if you think about it, their equipment is all produced by private companies. The government produces nothing but burocracy, lives only to take money from people who produce, and strives to make itself larger and more bloated. It is the nature of the government, and only we as free people have the power to prevent that from happening. We are not doing a very good job. Not only do we keep putting the same group of worthless elected officials in office, but have allowed the real problem to expand, and that is the legions of burocrats who are unelected, unaccountable, and unhireable outside of the burocratic machine.


                      Remember, the opposite of Progress is Congress.

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                      • #12
                        Sorry I am just now responding to this topic. I spent the weekend clearing gardens, bringing in loose furniture/decorations and trimming trees. Mighty humid in East Texas I can tell you. I have decided to bow out of this price controls discussion. It was my intention to report my very limited perception of the events of this long weekend being 4 hours away from landfall.
                        Last edited by das; 09-02-2008, 10:06 AM.

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                        • #13
                          No problem, Das. I wasn't intending on starting a big argument, simply sharing my own studies on economics. :)

                          Do what you have to do (peacefully and honestly, of course :cool: ) to live, thrive, and survive. Any individual initiative to prepare for disaster is great in my book. I'm in the middle of doing a couple more preparedness steps myself before Hurricane Hanna comes up through North Carolina.
                          Last edited by TheUnboundOne; 09-02-2008, 06:23 PM.
                          "Apocalypse is by no means inevitable." --Jim Rice.

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