Why No Charges Of Gouging When Prices Fall?

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From a friend:

It is hard not to notice an asymmetry in the way “price gouging” is alleged to work. When gas prices are rising, consumer advocates are vociferous about price gouging at the pump. There will be numerous items on the evening news about government efforts to crack down on price gouging gas stations. But when prices fall significantly, there is never any suggestion that consumers have somehow “gouged” gas station owners. When prices are low, everyone believes that the fair price is the prevailing price and that government should not intrude on capitalist acts between consenting adults. But when prices are high, suddenly we need to mobilize against the evil gas station owners who are “gouging” us.

Update

Peter Klein makes the same point:

“Please join me in support for poor, beleaguered gas station owners, the victims of unconscionable price gouging by ruthless consumers who are taking advantage of market conditions to reduce their demand for gasoline, driving down the price by nearly $2 per gallon over the last four months.”

9:10 am on December 23, 2008
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