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Capitalism - The creation of wealth and ownership of capital
Free Market - Most basic elements of supply and demand with little or no regulation

The two go hand in hand, but are not identical systems... And I don't really care.

The question is - can there be such a thing as price gouging in a pure free market economy? If You have IT, and I want IT, I will either pay what you ask, or not. In my state, the regulation (Statute) lays out some criteria for "Price Gouging". first, there has to have been an emergency declared (COVID is a catch all emergency ATM, but it could also be a hurricane or civil war). Second, the person selling has to be demanding more than 25% over common, average pre-emergency price. So if a box of ding dongs cost $10 pre-covid, $12.51 today would meet the legal requirement for "gouging". Unfortunately, the statue does not apply a timeline, or a mechanism to account for reasonable and standard rates of inflations.

The reason I'm brining this all up, is that IF the fed keeps printing and giving away money at their current rates, we will soon see inflation WELL IN EXCESS of 25%. Is it possible that the government could prosecute retailers for raising their price in concert with inflation, and call them price gougers? That would be one hell of a handy straw man for the government to blame the high prices on.

Oh by the way... Price gouging isn't possible in a true free market economy. The United States has a Capitalist Economy. No organized country has a true free market economy. My elementary school playground had a true free market economy. Lisa Thorsen charged one cookie for a kiss. Period. Take it or leave it.
 

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Yes there can be gouging. Sure one can pass but if someone is merely taking advantage of a short term crisis and worse hoarding the supply then it’s pretty criminal in my mind.
 

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Agree with Stowlin here.
10.00 for a bag of ice
20.00 for a case of bottled water
Plywood at 100.00 a 4x8 sheet
Prices like this after a hurricane are all fine examples of price gouging. Inflationary ups and downs are going to happen. A ten fold increase in prices to take advantage of suffering is another.
BoF
 

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buying a product to resell for profit is wonderful

buying products which you know will be in limited supply and urgently needed in order to survive or protect your life is criminal

good guy...drives down to disaster site and buys 4 generators while on his way down.. sells them for his cost plus enough to cover fuel or just gives them away
bad guys rushes out and buys all the local generators and sells them for 3x costs
 

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Price gouging isn't possible in a true free market economy.
I would appreciate some defense of this position.
A true post-apocalyptic SHTF scenario will be, without a doubt, a free market economy.
In such a world, the guy who controls the water can charge whatever he wants.
Is it your position that he isn't actually gouging just because he controls the price?
 
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