What columnist fails to mention is obvious

John Stossel’s opinion piece (The Maui News, Sept. 5) demonstrates the “let them eat cake” attitude of libertarian economic theory. He opines that charging $99 for water (aka illegal price gouging) is a perfectly acceptable outcome of a natural disaster. He states that these higher prices will magically grease the economic engine, and eventually result in perfect distribution of water to all comers.

What he fails to mention is obvious — who is going to buy the $99 water? People with lots of money in their pockets. Who won’t get water? Poorer people. Who needs water to survive every single day? All people.

So, apparently Mr. Stossel thinks it is fine for poorer people to go thirsty while wealthier people quench their thirst; eventually capitalism will come to the rescue with lower prices (hopefully before the poorer people die of dehydration or cholera from drinking tainted water).

I have a better idea, Mr. Stossel. Give water away until the disaster is over to anyone who needs it. We can all chip in to the Red Cross and other relief agencies to help out and (gasp) even the federal government can provide needed aid.

Pat Gotschalk

Waikapu

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