Price Gouging is good. Anti gouging laws are bad. Office of Price Administration.


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Some state GOP leaders spurn free market on gas prices

"That logic has libertarians fuming. One of them, Tampa defense lawyer Rex Curry, has started a legal defense fund to help those the state sues......"

By S.V. Date
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

TALLAHASSEE — Three of Florida's top Republicans, all conservative supporters of profit motive and the free market, have found a market they agree needs state intervention: gasoline prices during hurricanes.

Gov. Jeb Bush said recently that a service station should not raise the price of gas it had bought at a significantly lower price. An appropriate profit per gallon would be "2 or 3 cents," a profit margin that works out to about 1 percent, he said.

Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson is encouraging Floridians to use his toll-free hot line to report high gas prices, and Attorney General Charlie Crist last week sued a Tallahassee station owner for raising prices 70 cents a gallon in a single day.

The positions puzzle free-market economists, including one on Bush's Council of Economic Advisors.

Randall Holcombe, a Florida State University economics professor whose views often are cited by Bush's conservative allies in the legislature, said rising prices create the "most rational" means of rationing a scarce commodity. The alternative was to invite shortages by encouraging people who do not really need it to continue buying lower-priced gasoline, he said.

"I don't think it should be against the law to price-gouge," he said.

Holcombe said he did not know why Bush, who has used the free market as a model for everything from school vouchers to Medicaid reform, felt the need to intervene when it comes to motor fuel.

"That's a great question," Holcombe said. "Obviously, there may be some political benefit."

On Aug. 24, Bush declared a 60-day state of emergency because of Hurricane Katrina's impending landfall in South Florida. The executive order activates a state law that makes price-gouging illegal. It defines the practice as "unconscionable" price increases for lodging and essential commodities.

The hurricane left nearly a million residents of Miami-Dade and Broward counties without power for several days and hit the western Panhandle with 65-mph winds. But it did not damage ports, roads or other parts of the state's fuel distribution infrastructure.

So how did Katrina's landfall in Louisiana create an emergency in Florida that requires state intervention in gasoline pricing?

"I would consider it price-gouging even if it's in Alaska," Bush said. "It's price-gouging if you are raising your price... irrespective of cost, beyond a certain threshold.

"The same commodity, if you buy it at X and you sell it at Y for a profit, that's great. But then (if) you take advantage of the situation and raise prices even more, I think that's price-gouging, irrespective of whether it's in a hurricane-impacted area or in an area that hasn't been hit by the storm."

Crist, who is running for governor, denied any political motive in pursuing the price-gouging lawsuit. There is a distinction between the everyday principles of the free market, in which businesses can charge whatever the market will bear, and price increases during times of emergency, he said.

If there were a "gross disparity" between prices before and during the emergency, Crist said, "then the odds are it's price-gouging."

Crist said the statute applies equally to a poor hurricane victim fleeing a storm and a wealthy mom nowhere near a storm who is filling up her Hummer to drive her children to soccer practice.

"My job is to enforce the laws of the state of Florida," he said.

Agriculture spokesman Terence McElroy said Bronson saw no conflict between his support of the free market and his desire to protect consumers. "He is a free-market person, as I think most Americans are," McElroy said. "The one exception is for basic, essential commodities during an emergency."

Bush agreed. "We're in an emergency situation in our state. That's the difference.... If you change your prices three times in a day, or two times in a day, and it's the same gas that you had in your tank, there is no justification for that."

That logic has libertarians fuming. One of them, Tampa defense lawyer Rex Curry, has started a legal defense fund to help those the state sues and who face fines of $1,000 per incident.

"That's the gouging right there," he said.

Curry ridiculed the idea that the state should decide an appropriate profit level for a commodity such as gasoline. "This thinking has already been applied in places like the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the People's Republic of China," Curry said.

He said he would like to see how Bush's real-estate deals from before he was elected governor would compare with Bush's 2- to 3-cents-a-gallon profit. "How would Jeb even have made any money at all?" Curry said.

Democrats, meanwhile, have called on Bush to schedule a special session to suspend gasoline taxes temporarily to ease the pain for Floridians. State Sen. Ron Klein, D-Delray Beach, a candidate for Congress, said Florida's emphasis on pursuing gasoline retailers is misplaced.

"It's not just a hurricane. It's the demand for gas in China," Klein said, adding that the federal government should be investigating the major oil companies. "We're paying $3 a gallon, and the oil companies are making historic profits every quarter."

Bush said he is considering a suspension of the state gas tax in a special session this fall. His economic advisers were asked for their opinions this week.

Holcombe, for one, already knows his answer: "I don't think we should touch the gas tax."


Socialists in Florida's government ask snitches to tattle on "price gougers" over a toll-free hotline. True price gouging is what the socialists in Florida's government do 24/7 with their taxes, spending, debt and police-state behavior. Because of "price gouging" laws, Florida's socialists kill people and cause widespread shortages and suffering. It is the same deadly dogma as under the "Office of Price Administration" under the tyrant Roosevelt. When Charlie Crist was Florida's Attorney General, he and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles Bronson dueled for their media cheerleaders to see who was the biggest ignoramus and scam-artist on the topic. They were both hardcore republican-socialists and proved that the party is a lost cause for liberty, and that government schools must end, pronto. Did someone just say that they are "a lost cause for liberty"?  They are aggressive EVIL against liberty.  The Republican Administration outsocialized the Clinton Administration by double (in social spending alone) and that is not a defense of the Clinton Administration. At that time Crist wanted to be the next of Florida's republican-socialist governors (and he then succeeded in attaining that goal). Thank goodness that captalism provides so many ways to defeat them and their incredibly deadly dogma. Due to government schools (socialist schools), the media are too ignorant to criticize laws against price gouging and merely spew government propaganda from the scripts. Violations can net $10,000 fines each, and that is socialism's true price gouging and the real scam. Thus, beneficent price-increases (slandered as "price gouging") are banned so that socialists can commit true price-gouging and harm everyone by giving government more money for more violence. Rumor has it that the telephone hotline receives complaints against "price gouging" laws and complaints against the true price gouging scam: Taxes, fines, and the police state imposed by local socialists.  The turds answering the phone hotline are as confused as scammers Crist and Bronson because they attended the same government schools. 1-866-9-NO-SCAM (1-866-966-7226) .  P.S. Government schools (with their outrageous cost paid for by extorted taxation) are another example of a price gouging scam by socialists.

Government Schools keep Americans ignorant about economics and price gouging.

The need to hoard rises when government bans price gouging.

Laws that ban price gouging are laws that kill people.


I had planned on making a killing this week. Lease an 18-wheeler. Load up on gallons of gasoline, a gross of generators and enough bottled water to satisfy a dipsomaniac crawling in the Sahara. Then load up on speed, black beauties and bennies before double-clutching nonstop to hurricane-ravaged Florida. Sell to the highest bidders and then cruise home on easy street.

But before I could clean out Sam's Club, Charlie Crist, the Florida attorney general, put the brakes on my road trip. by Dimitri Vassilaros HERE:


Fight laws that ban "price gouging" - Laws against "price gouging" cause shortages, poverty, misery and even starvation and mass-slaughter.

PRICE GOUGING IS GOOD ! Repeal laws against Price Gouging. Price Gouging is good, and Capitalism saves lives. The libertarian Attorney Rex Curry shows how.

Price Gouging is benefits humanity.

PRICE GOUGING IS GOOD & ANTI GOUGING LAWS ARE BAD How to fight laws against price gouging by libertarian Attorney Rex Curry. Dr. Curry covers freedom, libertarianism

Welcome to the Pro Price Gouging Legal Defense Fund. Explore our website and see what you can do to provide a better life for everyone.

Daniel Ruth & Tampa Tribune defeated by Dr. Rex Curry, free-market advocate, in public debate challenge about "Price Gouging"

Price Gouging in the Auburn Plainsman - Despite complaints about paying extra for gas after Katrina, many people — not just gas station owners — believe the illegal action of price gouging is good.

price-gouging - The executive order activates a state law that makes price-gouging illegal. It defines the practice as "unconscionable" price increases for lodging etc

Price Gouging Saves lives

The only thing worse than Katrina's devastating destruction is government's horrific "help."

So-called "price gouging" in emergencies is also defended by Walter Williams HERE:

Frank Bubb HERE:

and by Sheldon Richman HERE:

Economics textbook chapters on price controls are excerpted here:

The Palm Beach Post exposes Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist with the help of Rex Curry

This is what Charlie Crist would do to Floridians:

Fascist Republican Governor vs. Gasoline - Posted by Lew Rockwell on September 27, 2008 at

Writes Don Printz: "My fearsome Governor Sonny Perdue in Georgia has just charged more than 130 gas station owners to produce invoices to justify their charging gasoline above 'normal' prices. (Guilty until proved innocent I guess.)

"Now at least 90% of gas stations in Atlanta have no gas at all. Plus the convenience stores who don't have fuel have lost almost 100% over their other business, because without fuel few come in to buy other items.

"An entrepreneur from outside the South would have tank trucks full of fuel heading to our area for $5-6/gallon. But since our Governor says that above $4.40 is 'unfair' it is 'fair' that we have none.

"Hope the 'fair' price lets me come to Auburn in one month. Maybe if I pay with gold..."

Charlie Crist Price Gouging is good. Charlie Crist Anti gouging laws are bad.

Insuring common sense.     20 February 2009
TO: Editor, The Wall Street Journal

To the Editor:

I enjoyed the letters taking issue with Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's demand for a “national catastrophic fund which would allow us to spread risk across a larger geographic area" (Letters, Feb. 20).  But the most obvious objection to his scheme went unmentioned: the market already provides a catastrophic fund that spreads risk across not only the U.S., but the entire globe.  It's called private insurance.  Anyone, even Floridians, may purchase it.

And among its excellent advantages is the fact that it does precisely what a government-run system would not do - namely, oblige more-risky persons to pay higher premiums in accordance with their risk profiles.  Not only does private insurance not force the more prudent amongst us to subsidize the less prudent, but by putting the cost of imprudent behavior where it belongs - on those who engage in it - private insurance reduces the frequency of such behavior.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Chairman, Department of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030