- eBay just issued a ban on sales of face masks and hand sanitizer.
- Because economically illiterate journalists are on a crusade.
- “Price gouging” prevents shortages that make coronavirus deadlier.
eBay is banning all sales of hand sanitizer and face masks on its platform as coronavirus outbreak panic leads to shortages in the regions hit hardest by the COVID-19 disease.
It comes after CNBC previously found listings offering hand sanitizer and face masks at inflated prices. For example, a 20-pack of Gerson 1730 face masks was priced at $148, while a pack of five 2.5-ounce Germ-X hand sanitizer bottles cost $500. The listings were removed after CNBC asked eBay about them.
Economically illiterate, busybody journalists have spun up a media-driven moral panic over coronavirus “price gouging.”
As a result, platforms like eBay and Amazon have prevented the market from rationing vital medical supplies in the midst of a crisis.
“Price Gouging” Prevents Face Mask & Hand Sanitizer Shortages
The journalists are acting like they’re on a crusade against the Martin Shkrelis of the world. But what they’re really doing is enabling panic buying and hoarding. If we face a critical supply shortage of hand sanitizer, they’ll be partly to blame.
They’re so self-righteous on their high horses while pumping the coronavirus for outrage clicks, yet they don’t understand they’re on the side of the hoarders. They’re interfering with market forces that preserve critical supplies from shortages.
If people keep buying up cheap face masks and hand sanitizer to hoard, the doctors and patients who need them might not get enough. Further, if sellers can’t charge higher prices, suppliers won’t realize they should start ramping up production.
All the way around, CNBC, a leading outlet for market news, is completely misapprehending and subverting the market’s advantageous functions.