My friend John Chapman has an article at RCM that explains why “price gouging” is good:
In fact, popular anger over price gouging is misplaced, and dangerous if it leads to price controls or taxes on producer profits. Public officials need reminding that the fundamental, inescapable economic problem is scarcity. All economic goods require rationing, and the price mechanism is by far the most efficient, wealth-inducing, and impartial method for this. Rising prices instruct consumers to conserve, exactly the behavior required in times of supply disruption or increased demand. The market mechanism of freely moving prices conveys seminal information, signaling consumers to alter plans while simultaneously inducing helpful changes in supplier output. All this happens with immediacy, without any government dictates, and serves to optimally coordinate consumer and producer use of scarce resources.