Can We Stop Pretending to Take Libertarians Seriously, Now?
Paul Constant
2K40

I haven’t personally delivered any bottled water to the people of south Texas.

Here’s another way to look at it; those who have delivered bottled water there, and sold it at higher prices than usual have helped those affected by the disaster somewhat (we know that because in each sale, both parties were willing to make the trade).

Ceteris paribus, those who have not delivered bottled water, or anything else, have helped the victims less. So you might want to put your distaste aside and think twice before criticising them.

I argue that making water too expensive for impoverished people to afford in disaster zones will end in death — and therefore that economic decision is frowned upon.

It sounds like you don’t yet have a good grasp about how price signals work. Unusually high prices because of a shortage are a signal that generates greater supply. Greater supply creates downward pressure on prices. This dynamic tends towards (crucially) ending the shortage and returning to regular market prices.

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