The following are selections from the many John Locke Foundation discussions of “price gouging,” going back to 1996:

Natural Disasters: Gouge Away,” John Hood, Reason magazine, December 1996

Stumping Aristotle — and the General Assembly,” John Hood, Carolina Journal, June 23, 2003

Price Gouging: A Cure for Gas,” Karen Palasek, “Free Market Minute,” Carolina Journal, September 2, 2005

Defusing the Fuming Over Gas Prices,” Roy Cordato, Carolina Journal, November 10, 2005

North Carolina’s Price-Control Laws: Harming Those They’re Meant to Help, Roy Cordato, Macon Series report, November 2006

N.C. price-gouging law promotes gas lines, shortages,” JLF press release, September 14, 2008

Give thanks to ‘price gougers’,” Fergus Hodgson, The Locker Room, August 26, 2011

How McCrory and Cooper differ on the gasoline problem,” Jon Sanders, The Locker Room, September 19, 2016

Unpacking Cooper’s comment on price gouging,” Jon Sanders, The Locker Room, September 21, 2016

Keep your eyes on the Gulf and the governor, and plan ahead,” Jon Sanders, The Locker Room, August 23, 2017

Price Gouging Laws,” Roy Cordato, The Locker Room, August 27, 2017

Mike Munger on Anti-Gouging Laws,” Mike Munger, Shaftesbury Society lecture, August 28, 2017

Price-gouging laws as Blue Laws,” Jon Sanders, The Locker Room, September 12, 2017

JLF’s Roy Cordato explains why price-gouging laws are counterproductive,” Carolina Journal Radio, September 15, 2017

North Carolina’s anti–price gouging law makes things worse, not better,” Jon Sanders, Carolina Journal, September 13, 2018


It shouldn’t surprise readers we have been so consistent on this topic over the decades. The case is founded on basic economics.

If you are compassionate and want to make sure your friends, neighbors, and fellow citizens can still have access to necessities during a crisis, don’t impose a good-sounding government policy that ignores basic economics. It’ll make things worse, not better.