Pyrmonter: Rod Sims on pricing

Markets are rivalrous processes for facilitating exchange.  When they’re competitive, they tend to work well – often very well.  They facilitate the gathering of information, the mutually productive exchange of products, and the allocation of productive resources.  Many, but not all, Cats would think competitive markets are a foundation of an advanced, market economy.

Ostensibly to promote competition, the federation parliaments enacted the Australian Industries Preservation Act, though in practice it was a dead letter until we got something approaching a competition law starting with the Barwick Restrictive Trade Practices Act, followed by the Trade Practices Act of 1974 and now theAustralian Competition and Consumer Law.  Under each, we have created successively larger, and more imperial bureaucracies.  Their performance has been uneven: some (often the lawyers) have tended to miss the point of the cause, but on balance, doing more good than harm.

And then.  Now we have Rod Sims.

How can the following words have fallen from the lips of a bureaucrat ostensibly appointed to facilitate the very market processes he derides?

“So if I buy an apple for $1 and sell it to you for $10, I’ve ripped you off but that’s not against the law,” he said.’

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20 Responses to Pyrmonter: Rod Sims on pricing

  1. Confused Old Misfit

    ‘“So if I buy an apple for $1 and sell it to you for $10, I’ve ripped you off but that’s not against the law,” he said.’

    Dammit! You have not ripped me off!
    The bloody apple was worth $10 to me.
    It had a value that I placed at $10.
    No one forced me to pay $10.
    I wanted the bloody apple!
    What you paid for it is irrelevant except to you!

  2. Muddy

    ‘“So if I buy an apple for $1 and sell it to you for $10, I’ve ripped you off but that’s not against the law,” he said.’

    Even for an economic dunce such as myself, that’s a very simplistic statement. Perhaps I live in a remote location, and the apple has had to be transported a long distance? If the product has been truthfully advertised as an apple, and the price similarly advertised up front, and no-one has physically removed that $10 from my pocket against my will, what am I missing? If the price is too expensive for me, I’ll purchase a banana instead.

  3. a happy little debunker

    I buy brand name bottled water from colesworth @ around 25 cents each, but then on-sell them to you at your convenience for $1.00.

    I must be ripping you off by 75 cents each transaction and it is not against the law…

  4. Muddy

    “So if I buy an apple for $1, smuggle it into prison, and sell it to you for $10, have I still ripped you off, and is value-adding against the law?’

  5. Confused Old Misfit

    We look at the apple pricing as operating in a free market.
    Electricity pricing is done in a government created framework that is so convoluted and so poorly administered that it bears no resemblance to a “free market”.

  6. Bruce of Newcastle

    I’ll think of Rod Sims next time I pay my electricity bill.

  7. Ubique

    I may have bought it for $1 but it wasn’t cheap to get it in good condition to my store on Easter Island.

  8. TBH

    Did Rod Sims seriously say that? If so he needs to resign his commission, because he clearly doesn’t understand economics at all.

  9. John Bayley

    If so he needs to resign his commission, because he clearly doesn’t understand economics anything at all.

    FIFY

  10. Adelagado

    ‘“So if I buy an apple for $1 and sell it to you for $10, I’ve ripped you off but that’s not against the law,” he said.’

    Whats the big deal? I know what he means. There may be plenty of reasons to criticize the guy but this ain’t one of them.

  11. 132andBush

    The ABC article doesn’t mention the gouging of the taxpayer by “renewable” power companies.

  12. feelthebern

    Rod Sims only cares about certain kinds of price gouging.

  13. Diogenes

    Suppose the government paid me at least $323000 (1/20th of the 6.47 million for senior management) and you produced nothing of worth – I’ve ripped you off but that’s not against the law,” he said.’
    FIFH

  14. MACK

    The energy disaster results from laws enacted by incompetent politicians and enforced by incompetent regulators. No-one else is to blame.

  15. RobK

    Now, if he’d bought all the apples for $1……

  16. Pyrmonter

    @ Adelgado

    If you buy something for $10, I assume it was worth, at least, that much to you. How have you been ripped off?

  17. Empire 5:5

    Adelagado
    #2970168, posted on March 25, 2019 at 8:10 pm
    ‘“So if I buy an apple for $1 and sell it to you for $10, I’ve ripped you off but that’s not against the law,” he said.’

    Whats the big deal? I know what he means. There may be plenty of reasons to criticize the guy but this ain’t one of them.

    Sure it is.

    Sims is the head honcho tasked with applying the state’s monopoly on legal violence and extortion to ensure prices are freely set in the market. Yet he doesn’t understand how prices are freely determined between buyers and sellers in a free market. Contrary to his brief, he wants to play the role of the Fairness Fairy.

    Ultimately it’s the Treasurer’s responsibility to bitchslap him on twitter and pimp Adam Smith.

  18. MatrixTransform

    Now, if he’d bought all the apples for $1……

    Apples are perishable and renewable.

    …what he needs is something not perishable and renewable.

    and preferably something that is regulated.

  19. TPL001

    Good point, Confused Old Misfit. Indeed, according to Uncle Milton Friedman, you are free to choose. According to the Austrians, value is subjective. So, who cares if you pay $10 and I bought it for $1? The irony is that this is still making a market, which is better than what the statists and interventionists want to offer, which is penury. They will proscribe and prosecute that seller and nobody will grow or sell apples – apples will disappear from the market, all in the name of that nebulous of acquaintances, “social justice”.

    According to the statists, value is what they say it is. Their propositions come wrapped in a new ethics that eliminates the individual in the cause of some vague notion of the common good, and the individual suffers.

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