Cap'n Arbyte's



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Weekend Preview

Ahoy, me hearties! Yer Cap'n is, as usual, and sadly, only possessin' a tiny bit o' time for bloggin' through the week. Never ye fret, for even as I'm fighting the HWTEW pirates at work, I'm thinkin' of me next ethics installment.

Pirates, like businessmen, need philosophy. :)

I got an e-mail from Josh that anticipates where I've been headed with the recent series of articles about emergencies and obligations. It gives me the warm fuzzies — er, the pirate fuzzies — to get mail like this:

A couple of months ago, I think I remember you talking about how so-called 'price gouging' on gas, repairs, or other scarce resources in Florida after the series of hurricanes should be allowed, as it will lead to an influx of workers, sellers, etc eager to cash in leading to a return to equilibrium.

[Yup, I did.]

But aren't the government sponsored 'price fixing' laws that maintain the pre-disaster prices an example of an emergency context where the normal free market laws are suspended? If so, is it right or wrong to do so, and how do you arrive at the conclusion?

Maybe you've already addressed this — if so, sorry!

I haven't yet, but I've been inching toward it. :) The short answer is "no" but for the long answer, watch this space over the weekend when I have time to write at length. I haven't decided yet if I'll wrap this series up in only one or in two more articles… but repent, for the end is near!

(Writing takes a long time for me. I'm very deliberate about phrasing and trying to avoid ambiguity, so I tend to spend a lot more time re-writing sentences than creating them in the first place.)

Tiny Island