January 5, 2008

I need you!

Dear Stella and Dave,
Forgive me for such a hasty email. Im sure you are watching the news right now, im sure it is being watched on television sets around the globe. I am writing to you as i was able to secure a wireless transmission through globasystems telenetworking. Im on a bus right now, we were just able to make it out before the storm hit. Im so afraid right now Stella, what are these people going to do, the t.v. is showing pictures of them perched on their roofs. the levee is broken and the grief has begun, atleast in my heart and many others as well. Where were the sirens, the warnings from above, the evac decisions? I was sitting on the veranda reading Tim Harfords book, the undercover economist, and although it was very sentimental, i never thought i would witness what he was referring to when he laid down the framework for power scarcity and price gouging. As i am looking out the window, there are lines of cars at the nearbye petrol station. I wish i were with you right now, you are the only thing that could take the fear away. I miss you so much! I can remember laughing in your smokey apartment room, listening to your stories of wildness at Woodstock, trying to find a bottle of water for less than 20 $ before Metallica got on stage, although the psychotropics were in abundance. Harford is spot on with his optimistic assessment of a dire kernal of truth, that scarcity of resources determines the level of bargaining power. Everyone has somewhere they need to go, but how can i say that one person values a gallon of gas to that of another? In this case, the willingness to pay has become the ability to pay, and prices have gone up to twice the amount. This ain't no disney world, Stella. The sensitivity to price has been knocked onto its heels, so why can't there be price controls? Harford would say that by reducing the price from its natural level, the demand would be even greater, and the inventories of the stations would risk being depleted, hurting more people than helping. Thus, he says, in order to maintain social control and avoid long lines and potentially violent competition between those in line, gas stations, as Harford says, must "smoke" out those who are not willing to pay more for gas. Its the poor who die Stella, and it pisses me off! But how can i argue with that, if what he says is that the worth of a bottle of water to someone in the desert is priceless compared to someone down the street from you right now? What are these people going to do, i'm going to try and see if i can find a guy or girl to live with me at my aunts house up north. Its the least i can do. Hopefully they don't gauge the low-income renters who need to find housing. It would be wrong! I feel completely responsible for all of this. I should have seen it coming. People are saying as i write this that the president has ordered in shipments of food and water, blankets and cots, and is sending in the national guard. They better be right, because if they forget about us down here, then will have lost my trust. I will stay in touch. Much love. Josh

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