Price “Gouging”

“When Jill puts her house on the market for $450,000 — triple what she paid 10 years ago, but the going price in her neighborhood today — the politicos understand that the 200 percent markup is the result of supply and demand in the real estate market. Senators don’t call press conferences to denounce Jill as a profiteer. Attorneys general don’t threaten to prosecute her. Governors don’t compare her to looters.
“But when Joe’s service station ups the price of gasoline by $1 a gallon, the political world freaks out. Never mind that a Category 4 hurricane has devastated oil production throughout the Gulf Coast, depleting the nation’s already strained refining capacity by 2 million barrels a day and driving up the price Joe’s wholesaler is now charging *him*. For some reason, politicians forget everything they learned in Economics 101, and rush to savage Joe for ‘gouging’ his customers.”
– Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby
Hat tip to Chuck Muth.