Tuesday, March 24, 2015

An unjust price

The concept of a "just price," and by contrast of an unjust price, have sometimes been harshly criticized by libertarians. But it is really not too hard a concept to grasp, and I think even the critics know, in their heart-of-hearts, that it is possible for "voluntary" exchange to be unjust.

To offer an example: last night, while falling asleep watching Perry Mason, I caught an add for "pure gold" Buffalo "coins." There were charts about the price of gold, and history about the American Buffalo shooting up to $3000 in price. (I cannot see they ever actually were that high, but...)

Then, quickly mumbled, was a bit about the good for offer not being the American Buffalo, but a non-monetary copy. Louder again about the gold being 99.99% pure, and then something real quick about the actual amount of gold in these "coins," which turned out to be 14... milligrams! That is about 5/10000 of an ounce, or about 70 cents worth of gold.

And these curios were being sold off at the bargain basement price of... $9.95.

That, my friends, is an unjust price.

2 comments:

  1. Suppose that the ad had been very clear that the value of the gold in the coin was only about 60 cents, and that it wasn't a real American Buffalo coin but only a replica. If someone still wants to buy the coin for $9.95 is that an unjust price?

    ReplyDelete
  2. What were your beliefs about the notion of a just/unjust price when you were a libertarian? Did you think the idea possibly had some merit or did you think it was empty?

    ReplyDelete

An orgy

“The advancement of science and the rationality of politics are interwoven in a social process that, in the perspective of a more distant f...