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“Price Gouging” vs. Hoarding: Why Premier Doug Ford Owes Pusateri’s An Apology

March 26, 2020 by · Comments Off on “Price Gouging” vs. Hoarding: Why Premier Doug Ford Owes Pusateri’s An Apology 

Pusateri’s is a Toronto retailer that is being attacked on social media for reportedly charging $30 for one package of Lysol disinfectant wipes. Critics of the decision to set that price call it an instance of “price gouging” – i.e., charging more than the usual price during a time of usual-supply and unusually-high demand – and condemn it morally. Asked to weigh-in on what Pusateri’s was doing, Ontario Premier Doug Ford was “furious”, exclaimed that the pricing was “absolutely disgusting”, and advised that his government was “gonna come after [“price gougers”] hard” using emergency powers he has given himself in response to the spread of the Coronavirus. “They’re done! They’re gonna be gone!”, he exclaimed, referring to Pusateri’s as a “bad actor”. He, and the self-righteous anti-“price gouging” scolds, should have been thanking Pusateri’s for performing an essential function. Read more

The Coronavirus’ Dark-siders, Straddlers, and Light-siders: The Ethics of Good Public Policy

March 22, 2020 by · Comments Off on The Coronavirus’ Dark-siders, Straddlers, and Light-siders: The Ethics of Good Public Policy 

As the spread of the latest Coronavirus (SARS coronavirus 2, or “SARS-CoV-2”) continues, two purportedly opposing camps of policy wonks are forming, which I herein name “Dark-siders” and “Straddlers”. However, though their policy proposals differ, their respective proposals are founded upon the same ethical philosophy. For that reason, the policy proposals of the two camps ultimately will facilitate the same end. And, because the ethics underpinning their policies treats human nature as a thing to be defeated, rather than defended, their policies will be every bit as destructive as the illness they seek to address. There are collectivists who hope to take political advantage of the destruction caused by the government’s response to the Coronavirus. If the collectivists are to be thwarted – if individual freedom and capitalism are to prevail – the government must be careful to found its Coronavirus policies on a better ethical footing. It must come over to the Light-side. Read more