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Prices and civilization

Posted By Russ Roberts On November 1, 2012 @ 3:36 pm In Prices | Comments Disabled

It is easy to forget the role prices play in creating a civil society where people can make plans and my plans are somehow consistent with your plans.

In New Jersey [1] (HT: Drudge [2]), where gasoline is suddenly scarce, tempers are fraying and so is civility. The state has waived some regulations that make it hard to buy from out-of-state suppliers. But I suspect there are laws against so-called price-gouging in New Jersey that are being enforced. If you have seen such stories in the news about the evils of raising the price of gasoline, please add them in the comments or email them to me.

My book, The Price of Everything [3], tries to explain how prices let us make our own plans peacefully and weave our dreams together peacefully, even though there is no weaver of dreams. You can read the first six pages at the Amazon link [3] by searching inside. The first six pages deal with a crisis in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

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[1] In New Jersey: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/11/01/tensions-boil-over-at-gas-stations-as-pumps-run-dry-in-wake-sandy/

[2] Drudge: http://www.drudgereport.com

[3] The Price of Everything: http://www.amazon.com/Price-Everything-Parable-Possibility-Prosperity/dp/0691143358/invisiblehear-20

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