March 17, 2020
I think he means “backlash.”
But he deserves whiplash.
A man who stockpiled 17,700 bottles of hand sanitiser to sell on Amazon is being investigated for price gouging.
Matt Colvin, from Chattanooga in Tennessee, told the New York Times he had faced a “huge amount of whiplash”.
Online platforms have cracked down on sellers listing coronavirus-related items at inflated prices.
Mr Colvin later said he would donate his goods but on the same day Tennessee’s attorney general opened an investigation, the Times reported.
Mr Colvin said that from 1 March, the day after the first coronavirus-related death in the US was confirmed, he and his brother had spent three days driving across Tennessee, buying up all the hand sanitiser they could find.
He then listed the bottles on Amazon, selling some for as much as $70 (£57).
Amazon then deleted listings of hand sanitiser, sanitising wipes and face masks with marked-up prices, while eBay outright prohibited the sale of any of these items.
After the initial article was published, Mr Colvin faced a major backlash, with many accusing him of attempting to profit off a global crisis.
He expressed remorse in a follow-up interview, saying he “had no idea that these stores wouldn’t be able to get replenished”.
Price gouging – the act of re-selling an item in high demand with a “grossly excessive” price mark-up – is prohibited in the state of Tennessee if the governor has declared a state of emergency.
This is a really fascinating story.
Because I’m pretty sure that no one in America could explain why this is morally wrong. Based on the morality we are taught as children, with regards to economics, this guy was a go-getter with a close eye on the markets.
The fact that he was trying to sell the hand-sanitizer for $70 means that he is actually literally retarded, and probably it can be assumed doesn’t himself understand the moral implications. We don’t really have any language in our culture as to why this would be bad, because it is assumed that taking advantage of situations in order to make money is “good business sense.”
Of course, when it is a time of crisis like this, everyone who isn’t a drooling retard who thinks he can sell a 99 cent bottle of hand sanitizer for $70 fundamentally understands that this is morally repugnant, but they can’t say why.
Nor could we ever explain why a behavior that is not okay during a crisis is okay during a time of non-crisis.
In fact, during a crisis things are more morally lax. For example, if there is a crisis happening and someone doesn’t obey traffic laws, or rapes a woman in an alleyway, no one is really going to judge them.
We should probably consider why this retard with his 17,700 bottles of hand sanitizer and his go-getter attitude are so offensive to us, and maybe consider trying to apply that to peacetime. Our society would probably be a nicer place to live if everyone wasn’t trying to slit everyone else’s throat for a buck.
I think we should be able to talk about things like this without talking about “capitalism” or “socialism.” We should be able to talk about how human beings who live in a society interact with each other.
By the way, price gouging is just an extreme form of hoarding. And both are about as anti-social as anything I can even think of.
Of course in real life, we actually can’t have a discussion about anything to do with a society, because we don’t live in a society. We live in a multicultural hell.
But how much of that multicultural hell was created by the fact that we lost touch with what it means to be human? If people still felt kinship with one another, would we really be flooding ourselves with all of these apes?