Four dollars for a can of coke. Five hundred dollars a night for a hotel in downtown Brooklyn. A pair of D-batteries for $6.99.
Price gouging around natural disasters is one of the things politicians on the left and right agree is a terrible, no good, very bad thing. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent out a press release warning warning “against price inflation of necessary goods and services during hurricane Sandy.” New Jersey Governor Chris Christie issued a “forceful reminder” that price gouging “will result in significant penalties.” Hotlines have been established to allow consumers to report gouging.
New Jersey’s law is very specific. Price increases of more than 10 percent during a declared state of emergency are considered excessive. A New Jersey gas station paid a $50,000 fine last year for hiking gasoline prices by 16 percent during tropical storm Irene.
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