As tropical storm Isaac takes direct aim at my hometown of New Orleans, I predict two inevitable occurrences.
First, depending on the severity of the damage done by Isaac, prices of staple goods such as gasoline, bottled water, and plywood will spike in south Louisiana and Mississippi – price increases that will (here’s the prediction) spark a litany of economically uninformed laments about greed and “price gouging.” So this New Orleans native offers here his thoughts, from April 2005, on price gouging. No need to thank me.
Second, again depending on the severity of the destruction caused by Isaac, faux-wise commenters – some of whom are on economics faculties – will advise us all to understand the upside of Isaac’s destruction: a ‘stimulated’ economy. My vanity nudges me here, as above, to share with you some earlier thoughts on this matter.