Thursday, September 22, 2005

Russ is wrong on rights

I don't know squat about economics. Especially not in comparison to someone like Russ Roberts, who's an econ professor at GMU. But I think he got this wrong in his latest entry on gouging:
By what right (asks the critic) can a gas station owner or the oil company charge so much more?

Right has nothing to do with it.
Whoops. I think right has everything to do with it. Property rights are what permit the gas station owner, or the oil company to charge whatever price that they want. Imagine I had a cherished family heirloom. I'm not willing to sell it except for ridiculous sums of money. Am I gouging? No, I'm exercising my property rights. So are the gas stations and oil companies.

Until you pay a mutually agreed price, it's not your gas. You have no right to it.