≡ Menu

Bruce Caldwell on “If only there were a solution to this problem….”

Here’s an e-mail sent to me earlier today by Duke University economist Bruce Caldwell. I share it here with Bruce’s kind permission.


Yesterday there was a podcast from the WSJ talking about why the toilet paper shortage persists. A lot is made in Albany GA a town hard hit by the virus, and they also described a big machine that makes consumer toilet paper, having to bring people in to run it, all very interesting. But at the end there was a discussion with an expert who lamented how near impossible it is to stop panic buying – you worry about a shortage, you try to buy more, others do too – and the person actually said something like, there’s really no way to stop such a thing once it gets going. I nearly screamed at my phone, “What about letting the price rise?” Typical, but very disappointing that this was a WSJ podcast.