While Canadians and politicians alike become increasingly fed up with the price-gouging of everyday goods, the Fraser Institute is stepping up to defend the practice.

Price gouging refers to the practice of aggressively increasing the price of a good above what is deemed reasonable. Reports of price-gouging have flooded Canada during this pandemic. Everything from face masks to toilet paper has seen prices skyrocket.

That’s why governments have intervened to stop price-gouging and deter disaster profiteers.

The Fraser Institute article, however, argues that trying to stop price-gouging is no good. The argument is based on basic economic theory. If you let the “prices do their job” says the author, the market will correct itself.

The article goes on to defend “entrepreneurs” profiting from a crisis. Their profit-seeking behaviour is actually good for the citizenry according to the Fraser Institute. The real problem, the Fraser Institute posits, is the self-interested behaviour of the politicians that work to stop price-gouging.

Canadians of all political stripes have been infuriated by the ongoing price-gouging during this time of national crisis. 

John Horgan, the NDP Premier of British Columbia has said that there is a “special place for price-gouging profiteers.” Conservative Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, has called price gouging a “disgusting activity.” He has warned price gougers who are “hiking the price five times, ten times what it should be,” that his government is coming for them. 

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