• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."
  • Community Question: What makes a good motherboard?

Capitalism and the Art of Hand Sanitizer

Page 3 - Seeking answers? Join the AnandTech community: where nearly half-a-million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.
Nov 8, 2012
17,671
3,436
126
I have a question for those who constantly demonize socialism, while extolling the virtues of capitalism. Capitalism all the way baby!

One on the tenants of capitalism is the economic model called supply and demand. Simply put high demand along with short supply begets higher prices. Because of the spread of COVID-19 regardless of its rationality demand for hand sanitizer has shot through the roof. For all you pure capitalists, why shouldn't manufacturers/suppliers of hand sanitizer jack up prices 2-3x following the rules of capitalism?

I used this example in the past, capitalism allows rolling into Florida after the passing of Hurricane Andrew charge $20/lb for ice and get it.

Using the example of hand sanitizer and ice we don't price gouge during a time of dire need. We take into account the needs of society and refrain from taking advantage. Wait a second!! We take into account the needs of SOCIETY?? Refrain from practicing pure capitalism in times of need?

Socialism has many definitions. Too many to expound on but here is one of the tenets simplified


While not advocating for the change of this countries economic model I will point out the quick leap to demonize any form of socialism when we are executing a form of it right now. Suspending the rules of supply and demand because of our shared responsibility to society.

We choose to enforce our humanity and not practice pure capitalism in times like these. Remember, there is no humanity chapter in the encyclopedia of capitalism.
They should jack up the price as far as capitalism is concerned.

Is that moral? Is it against "the rules" (or laws) ? That is up for debate.



But the point being is that the scarcity of the product (lack of supply) and the high demand (even though it's mostly irrational similar to masks) - is what is setting the stage for competition and mass production by other means.

Remember when companies started jacking up the prices of drugs? There was mass scrutiny - and competition came and developed alternatives. Here is when CVS made an alternative to the EpiPen: https://www.pharmacytimes.com/sap-news/cvs-offers-2pack-adrenaclick-for-fraction-of-epipen-price




It seems people here are just too ineptly dumb to understand the basics of capitalism.
 

glenn1

Lifer
Sep 6, 2000
25,388
1,013
126
It seems people here are just too ineptly dumb to understand the basics of capitalism.
They understand them just fine. It's that they only want them selectively applied when it benefits them or the stakeholders they champion and want them ignored when inconvenient. Heaven forbid that someone who never buys hand sanitizer otherwise needs to spend $5/bottle instead of $1 so there's enough to go around. Nope shortages are much preferred over anyone earning an extra few bucks, that automatically makes them "subhuman" according to some.
 

HomerJS

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
25,091
9,965
136
They understand them just fine. It's that they only want them selectively applied when it benefits them or the stakeholders they champion and want them ignored when inconvenient. Heaven forbid that someone who never buys hand sanitizer otherwise needs to spend $5/bottle instead of $1 so there's enough to go around. Nope shortages are much preferred over anyone earning an extra few bucks, that automatically makes them "subhuman" according to some.
Capitalism does not care about the social good. Socialism does. 5th grade version.
 
Nov 8, 2012
17,671
3,436
126
Capitalism does not care about the social good. Socialism does. 5th grade version.
Capitalism SO BAD!

SOCIALIST SO GOOD! This economic system MAKES people care about social good. (Holy FUCK I'm laughing my balls off just thinking of an economic system that magically makes people care about social good somehow)

Why aren't you smart fellas in your socialist utopia at this point? Go on - I'm sure they are accepting new applicants with open borders.
 

glenn1

Lifer
Sep 6, 2000
25,388
1,013
126
Capitalism does not care about the social good. Socialism does. 5th grade version.
Yeah those 10s of millions killed by socialism or sent to gulags really speak to the social good. Even if you define "socialism" to only include welfare states like the Sweden then shortages due to price manipulation are already a longstanding feature of their economy. Again if you prefer shortages over "price gouging" by "subhumans" attempting to bring additional supply online then you accept the results of your beliefs.

 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
70,180
18,981
136
They should jack up the price as far as capitalism is concerned.

Is that moral? Is it against "the rules" (or laws) ? That is up for debate.

But the point being is that the scarcity of the product (lack of supply) and the high demand (even though it's mostly irrational similar to masks) - is what is setting the stage for competition and mass production by other means.

Remember when companies started jacking up the prices of drugs? There was mass scrutiny - and competition came and developed alternatives. Here is when CVS made an alternative to the EpiPen: https://www.pharmacytimes.com/sap-news/cvs-offers-2pack-adrenaclick-for-fraction-of-epipen-price

It seems people here are just too ineptly dumb to understand the basics of capitalism.
Going to go out on a limb and say that prescription drug prices might not be the best place for you to extol the virtues of capitalism.
 
  • Like
Reactions: darkswordsman17

HomerJS

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
25,091
9,965
136
Capitalism SO BAD!

SOCIALIST SO GOOD! This economic system MAKES people care about social good. (Holy FUCK I'm laughing my balls off just thinking of an economic system that magically makes people care about social good somehow)

Why aren't you smart fellas in your socialist utopia at this point? Go on - I'm sure they are accepting new applicants with open borders.
I didn't make a judgment on good vs bad I just made a clinical definition.

What did I say that was in error?
 

glenn1

Lifer
Sep 6, 2000
25,388
1,013
126
Basically every single time where an attempt is made to artificially suppress prices below where the supply/demand curve would indicate should be the equilbrium point, the attempt fails. Music artists can't do it with concert ticket prices, doesn't work for "rent control." it won't work for Twinkies, won't work for gas or diesel in natural disaster zones, won't work for hand sanitizer now.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
70,180
18,981
136
Basically every single time where an attempt is made to artificially suppress prices below where the supply/demand curve would indicate should be the equilbrium point, the attempt fails. Music artists can't do it with concert ticket prices, doesn't work for "rent control." it won't work for Twinkies, won't work for gas or diesel in natural disaster zones, won't work for hand sanitizer now.
I agree, price controls like rent control and prop 13 (which is basically rent control) just encourage bad behavior and help make things worse. There may be some case I'm not thinking of but at the moment I can't think of any historical examples of price controls working well - it seems to be basically a political move that's not intended to actually fix the problem.

If the government actually thinks this is an issue it should buy/seize the things itself and distribute them as it deems appropriate. Price controls are just going to lead to hoarding/avoidance/etc.
 

thilanliyan

Lifer
Jun 21, 2005
11,121
977
126
Yeah those 10s of millions killed by socialism or sent to gulags really speak to the social good.
They were killed by despotic psychos, not because of socialism.

How about all those slaves killed by capitalists?

I don't think the former USSR or Venezuela or Cuba, etc are anything to aspire to, but unchecked ("FREE MARKET!!!!!!") capitalism ain't great either unless you're in the 1%.
 

glenn1

Lifer
Sep 6, 2000
25,388
1,013
126
They were killed by despotic psychos, not because of socialism.

How about all those slaves killed by capitalists?

I don't think the former USSR or Venezuela or Cuba, etc are anything to aspire to, but unchecked ("FREE MARKET!!!!!!") capitalism ain't great either unless you're in the 1%.
You missed quoting the very next part of my post talking about Sweden and it’s current medicine shortages due in large part to its price controls. Since Sweden is part of the “good socialist” bloc you might want to explain why they’re failing at this as well. You can’t “no true Scotsman socialist” your way out of the inherent flaw with trying to suppress prices.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
67,830
2,928
126
You missed quoting the very next part of my post talking about Sweden and it’s current medicine shortages due in large part to its price controls. Since Sweden is part of the “good socialist” bloc you might want to explain why they’re failing at this as well. You can’t “no true Scotsman socialist” your way out of the inherent flaw with trying to suppress prices.
Let's just ignore the US Shortage of Medicine, for the Poor.
 

glenn1

Lifer
Sep 6, 2000
25,388
1,013
126
Let's just ignore the US Shortage of Medicine, for the Poor.
Saying the poor can't afford a specific medicine is most definitely not the same thing as saying there's a shortage of it. The poor can't afford to buy a Lamborghini Aventador either that doesn't mean they're unavailable to buy which is what happens in a shortage.
 

[DHT]Osiris

Diamond Member
Dec 15, 2015
8,009
3,827
146
Saying the poor can't afford a specific medicine is most definitely not the same thing as saying there's a shortage of it. The poor can't afford to buy a Lamborghini Aventador either that doesn't mean they're unavailable to buy which is what happens in a shortage.
If the end result is the same (people dying due to lack of medicine), what's the material difference?
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
67,830
2,928
126
Saying the poor can't afford a specific medicine is most definitely not the same thing as saying there's a shortage of it. The poor can't afford to buy a Lamborghini Aventador either that doesn't mean they're unavailable to buy which is what happens in a shortage.
What good is Surplus, if one can't have it?
 

thilanliyan

Lifer
Jun 21, 2005
11,121
977
126
You missed quoting the very next part of my post talking about Sweden and it’s current medicine shortages due in large part to its price controls. Since Sweden is part of the “good socialist” bloc you might want to explain why they’re failing at this as well. You can’t “no true Scotsman socialist” your way out of the inherent flaw with trying to suppress prices.
I never said socialist countries are a utopia, they all have problems, even Canada where I live if you consider that socialist. I was mostly addressing your point about a body count.

Regarding Sweden's drug shortages, it's not only caused by their "socialism". Where did you find that it's due in large part to price controls?

"The causes of shortages are understood to be multifactorial, including problems in production, global consolidation of manufacturing, unintended impacts of pricing and tendering policies, as well as problems within the supply chain,” "
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY