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Crime The Internet

NY Attorney General Subpoenas Craigslist For Post-Sandy Price Gougers 458

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-the-market-will-bear dept.
TheSync writes "In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the New York State Attorney General has subpoenaed Craigslist, demanding that the site identify more than 100 sellers whose prices on post-Sandy gas, generators and other supplies were of an 'unconscionably excessive price' during an emergency. AG Eric Schneiderman said: 'Our office has zero tolerance for price gouging [and] will do everything we can to stop unscrupulous individuals from taking advantage of New Yorkers trying to rebuild their lives.'"
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NY Attorney General Subpoenas Craigslist For Post-Sandy Price Gougers

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  • Supply and demand (Score:5, Informative)

    by JBMcB (73720) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @06:33PM (#41926077)

    If I remember the first thing we learned in Macro 101 correctly, if supply goes down, price remains the same and demand remains the same or increases, you run out of supply pretty quickly.

    If you increase prices, you can afford to resell more expensive gas, trucking it in from further out of state.

    What would you rather have: expensive gas, or cheap but non-existent gas?

  • Re:Morons. (Score:2, Informative)

    by causality (777677) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @08:35PM (#41927291)

    Umm, no. His crime was filling 30 5-gallon Home Depot buckets with gas, because Home Depot buckets are not made for or approved for holding/transporting gasoline. But don't let that get in the way of your (and the GP's) conspiracy theories.

    Conspiracy theories? Maybe there is a conspiracy preventing you from comprehending what you read. See the post I originally replied to? Well, you see, it contained this line:

    The big screw up on his side was putting it in non-gas approved containers, but the charge was actually hoarding supplies.

    Feel free to peruse the original post [slashdot.org] to which I replied, if you don't believe me. The charge was hoarding supplies. The charge was NOT incorrect containers for gasoline (which I agree is a bad, unsafe idea but as I have now spelled out for you, is completely irrelevant).

    And really, man, conspiracy theory? Really?? Are you so desperately clutching at straws as to pull out that one? You really cannot see how the irrational inability of so many people to deal with reality might make its way into law? No? You can't? Then why did (and do) so many states have laws against having sex in any position other than missionary? Why do so many old state laws define a blowjob as "sodomy" and punish it? Why was Prohibition ever enacted, and why does a form of it continue today in the War On (some) Drugs? Why do we have perpetual copyright laws that were bought and paid for?

    Conspiracy? Hardly. It is not a conspiracy to suggest that in a government which aims to be representative, some of the laws (especially the ones that make no sense) are going to reflect the irrational tendencies of many people. A bunch of powerful, wealthy men did not have to meet in a smoky room to make that happen. Unfortunately it happens all by itself unless carefully guarded against. It is, in fact, a form of entropy. You might as well tell me that your own aging process is a conspiracy.

    God damn, I remember when the average Slashdotter actually knew how to formulate an argument. Those were the days. Look, I will let you in on something you seem to be having problems seeing on your own. Your feelings are not to be trusted. That's right. Your feelings are emotions. Emotions are not rational by their nature. Some emotions are more valid than others, but emotions are in a different domain from reason. Reason is how you make good decisions and make statements worth reading. Yes, your emotions can feel SO REAL and SO CONVINCING to you... but if they are inconsistent with reason, that's your sign that you are about to make a bullshit argument.

    It's ridiculously, trivially, childishly simple. Unless you just don't want to accept it and want to get angry with me for pointing it out. Then you will complicate it and swear that its nature is inherently complex. It is not.

  • Re:Morons. (Score:5, Informative)

    by darkmeridian (119044) <william...chuang@@@gmail...com> on Thursday November 08, 2012 @08:35PM (#41927293) Homepage

    Please read this article, look at the picture, and tell me you think the cop was wrong. [nbcconnecticut.com] The charge was violating the law on the handling of gasoline. This moron poured 150 gallons of gasoline into regular Home Depot buckets. By the time he was arrested, the tops of the covers were bulging. Yeah, that's dangerous because gasoline burns ... and gasoline vapors EXPLODE.

  • Re:Morons. (Score:4, Informative)

    by guises (2423402) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @09:22PM (#41927687)

    The big screw up on his side was putting it in non-gas approved containers, but the charge was actually hoarding supplies.

    No...

    http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Two-Arrested-for-Gasoline-Hoarding-177184891.html [nbcconnecticut.com]

    "Both men were issued a misdemeanor summons for violation of regulation concerning flammable or combustible liquids."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 08, 2012 @10:07PM (#41928049)

    Or, you could, you know, not be a dick and sell it for what you paid for it when someone is dealing with an emergency. This argument doesn't hold water unless people act like the emergency is some opportunity for profit. Emergencies are opportunities to help out your fellow humans, not act like selfish pricks and take advantage of the misfortune of others.

    Your anecdotal example is also nonsense because if this kind of price gouging were allowed to occur "gougers" would buy up all the generators locally and just drive the price higher and scarcity even further causing even more harm to people in immediate need.

    Finally the shortage was not created because of some lack of a few people on Craigslist not being able to price-gouge, the shortages were caused by supply line problems. You being allowed to sell a generator for $2000 doesn't open the highways or remove downed trees.

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