Hurricanes and price gouging: More from Acton analysts

Following Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, price gouging has become a hot topic of conversation. The prices of water, gasoline and hotel reservations in places effected by the hurricanes have skyrocketed, so it’s worth considering the ethical or unethical reasons behind price gouging. Continue Reading...

The consuming self as tyrant

“Consumerism is, quite precisely, the consuming of life by the things consumed. It is living in a manner that is measured by having rather than being.” -Richard John Neuhaus In a free economy, we each serve distinct roles as both producers and consumers. Continue Reading...

Markets fail, which is why we need markets

There are generally two views of markets. The first is that markets can do no wrong. The other is that markets fail—and fail often—which is why we need government intervention. But as Nick Schulz and Arnold Kling note, there is a third way that can be summarized as “Markets fail. Continue Reading...

Thinking about the ethics and economics of ‘price gouging’

A reporter posted a picture on Twitter yesterday that showed a Best Buy in Houston charging $42 for a case of Dasani water. The picture also showed a case of Smartwater for $29, with a sign noting there was a “limited supply.” Not surprisingly, the outrage on social media prodded Best Buy to quickly respond by claiming it was a mistake. Continue Reading...

How free trade promotes global peace

Thomas L. Friedman said in The Lexus and the Olive Tree that no two countries with McDonald’s within their borders have ever been in a war since having a McDonald’s. Since it was proposed in 1999 this explanation of how globalization affects foreign policy and conflict has become known as the Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention. Continue Reading...