State Senator David Hansen – Sour Grapes?

Mr. Hansen is upset with the Republican Senate today because they would not take up SB 373. Most people will never look up the bill and take Mr. Hansen’s word that it would curb price gouging in this state but I actually read the bill and had quite a laugh! (HERE IS THE BILL)

SB 373 prohibits charging a price for products that “grossly exceeds the price at which similar goods or services are sold” or “that grossly exceeds the average price at which similar consumer goods or services were sold in the 12−month period immediately preceding a sale of the goods or services.” SB 373 goes on to define for us what products would not be able to be grossly overpriced and they include, in part, items such as transportation, food items, investment opportunities, and personal business opportunities.

So lets think about this for a moment…

  • Transportation: My SUV cost $35,000 but a Hummer H1 costs $150,000…similar products but is the Hummer dealership over charging?
  • Food Items: Has Mr. Hansen ever bought a bottle of water? The price ranges are huge…are they gouging or is it market forces determining the price?
  • Investment Opportunities: A share of General Electric right now is $33 but a share of 3M is $85…who can we sue…I think we are being gouged!!
  • Personal Business Opportunities: I’ve recently looked into opening an ice cream shop and found that similar businesses had very dissimilar prices for start up costs. They ranged from $100,000 to $1,300,000 does that mean someone is charging too much?

SB 358 which has been proposed by Senator Kedzie, and others, is meant to deal with real price gouging. It responds to acts of blatant price fixing in order to unduly burden people that have suffered a disaster and to profit from the loss. (HERE IS SB 358)

I am glad that SB 373 will never see the light of day. I’m ultimately thinking that Senator Hansen just wanted to “have his cake and eat it too” and since he can’t he is just suffering from sour grapes.

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