25 Oct 2008

"If You’re So Scared, Why Don’t You Stockpile Water?"

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So asks Pete Leeson in a provocative blog post (see the opening thread, and then in this one a bunch of us [ex] Hillsdale profs tag team the poor pirate pedant*).

In response, I pointed out that we don’t need to do that yet, because so far (except for gasoline) the government hasn’t imposed price controls. And on the gas situation, I’m referring to the “anti-gouging” measures in some states that kept stations from raising their prices after the hurricanes. In Nashville, we really did have maybe 40 – 50% of the gas stations closed for a few days, and then long lines–spilling out onto the roads–at the remaining, open stations.

Anyway, it would not surprise me in the least if, a few years from now, there is a black market in bottled water. Check this out (HT2 Dan Simmons):

BTW, it occurs to me that because Google is inexplicably flashing pro-Obama ads all over my blog, I should clarify for newcomers that I do NOT endorse the views in this trailer. My point is, there is a growing campaign to demonize bottled water. Even a relatively free market guy like David Zetland has blog posts calling bottled water “evil.” (In fairness to David, I should mention that he opposes government restrictions on bottled water.) So my fairly alarmist views on the Paulson heist etc. don’t imply a rush to stockpile canned goods (contrary to Leeson’s caricature), but some of this other garbage might, a few years down the road. Specifically, what could happen is that the recent shenanigans will lead to massive price hikes, and then a solidly liberal Democrat federal government will “protect the poor” with various measures. Then you might want to stockpile on water and tuna while they’re still on the shelves.

* “Pedant” is a word with negative connotations, which I didn’t really intend. I couldn’t think of a better word that started with “p” though.

One Response to “"If You’re So Scared, Why Don’t You Stockpile Water?"”

  1. ctilde says:


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