Thursday, September 01, 2005

Profiting From The Calamity Of Others

After The destruction of Gush Katif the only "insect free" vegetables available in my local grocery store were from the Cohen-Mann farm of Moshav Batzra. I was about to buy a head of lettuce, until I saw that the price went up from 4 NIS to 5 NIS.

I told the grocer that I do not believe that his costs or the costs of the Cohen-Mann farm suddenly jumped 25%, and I object to this kind of profiteering. He started to explain to me the rules of the market, supply versus demand etc. I taught the grocer a lesson in "price elasticity of demand" by not buying a head of lettuce.

Speaking of "insect free" vegetables, here's a picture (courtesy of Moshe X) of the last days of Netzer Chazani, a thriving Jewish community destroyed by Israel's corrupt government. The workers are packaging bug free celery.

netzer chazani

Update (Sept. 4): Alei Katif try to turn over new leaf


Avi said...

What's the problem? Supply down so price up. I think you knew that already, though.

If you want prices to go back down help the farmers (businesspeople! albeit who just went through a tragic situation ... but remember they also had about a year and a half to get ready, which may not have been enough but I don't think anyone is a year and a half into planning)

Jason H. Elbaum said...

He's right about supply and demand, of course. Expect prices of most staple vegetables in Israel to be higher for a while. The alternative to raising the price would be causing a shortage in the shops.

But, Am Echad, who had a year and a half to prepare? The bill only passed the Knesset three months before the implementation! You may say they should have prepared earlier, but they couldn't have known the terms and conditions with which they would have to contend.

Even today, few Gaza residents have received the compensation the law awards them. How long does it take to rebuild an entire farm?

Batya said...

There's only one thing to do:

Cosmic X said...

See this article from the Jerusalem Post on Alei Katif.

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