How To Handle Shortages In A Disaster

How To Handle Shortages In A Disaster

BY GARY POPKIN

The authorities have noticed the result of prohibiting price-gouging of gasoline–the early birds suck it all up and the late-comers find no gasoline available at any price. If price-gouging of gasoline were permitted, the early birds would buy only the least they could manage with, perhaps just enough to drive to where gasoline is cheaper, instead of filling their tanks. There would be some gasoline for all. The authorities propose some form of “rationing.” Well, price-gouging is rationing by price. What form of rationing do the authorities propose? One subject to favoritism and bribes?


Gary S. Popkin is a retired Professor of Computer Systems at New York City College of Technology and is a libertarian activist. He has written several college textbooks on the Cobol Programming Language. He has a Ph.D. from Polytechnic University. He produces Hardfire, a Libertarian Talk Show, which is broadcast on Brooklyn Community Access Television (BCAT). Popkin was a Libertarian candidate for Brooklyn Borough President in 2005 and received 2,143 votes. He was Treasurer of the Libertarian Party of New York from 2006 to 2009. The form of New York State nominating petition for public office called the “Popkin petition” derived from the Popkin v Umane court case.

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