Capitalism vs. Price Gouging: How Much Would You Charge for a Bottle of Water?

In Texas, prices for water, gasoline and hotel rooms have skyrocketed in the wake of Tropical Storm Harvey, which flooded Houston and is expected to remain on the Gulf Coast for a few more days.

People are reporting that a case of water costs $99 and gas costs as much as $10 per gallon. This past weekend, there were more than 500 complaints about price gouging, or raising the cost of goods to an exploitative price, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told CNBC.

A Best Western near Corpus Christi was charging $321.89 a night, almost tripled from the room’s normal rate of $120, KXAN reported. The attorney general’s office has delivered a subpoena to the motel in question after finding that nearly 40 guests were similarly over-charged.

The state has a penalty of $20,000 for those found guilty of price gouging, and the fine can be as much as $250,000 if the victim is age 65 or older.

The state defines price gouging as:

  1. Selling or leasing fuel, food, medicine or another necessity at an exorbitant or excessive price; or
  2. Demanding an exorbitant or excessive price in connection with the sale or lease of fuel, food, medicine or another necessity.

While price gouging is illegal in Texas, it’s an undecided question for some conservatives who value the free market. On radio Tuesday, Glenn and the guys debated the ethics of price gouging and whether or not there is a benefit to letting the market stay unregulated even during a disaster.

Stu was alone in being certain in his opinion.

“Stu is just a pure capitalist, ‘screw ‘em all, let ‘em eat each other,’” Glenn joked about Stu’s perspective.

Estimating that a case of water had 24 bottles, Stu pointed out that you would be paying around $4 per bottle, which is roughly what you might pay at a baseball game. “That’s not even price gouging. That is event pricing,” he said.

Glenn couldn’t quite get past the fact that water is the most fundamental human necessity.

“I’m really torn on this because I mean, water is water. … It’s life-saving,” he said.

GLENN: So here's -- here's a -- if we may have an intellectual conversation about something that we are all really torn on, except for Stu. Stu is just a pure capitalist, screw them all, let them eat each other under the bridge.

STU: Not accurate in any way.

GLENN: I know.

PAT: He's a godless animal.

JEFFY: Right. Hates people.

GLENN: Hates people. Wants your children to die.

But there's a price gouging thing that's going on here in Texas with water and gas and everything else. And I'm really torn on this. Because, I mean, water is water. You got to have water. It's life-saving.

PAT: And they're charging $99 for a case of water.

GLENN: Okay. That's kind of a problem.

PAT: That's a lot.

STU: Is it? What's a case of water? Twenty-four? So let's say, you're at, what? Four bucks a bottle of water. I pay that at every freaking baseball game I go to. Every game I go to, $4 a water is a very reasonable price.

JEFFY: Absolutely, it is.

STU: That's not even price gouging. That is event pricing. That is legitimately event pricing. If I go to a movie, I'm paying $4 for a bottle of water.

GLENN: And you know what, that's actually what this is too, this is an event. It's a bad event, but it's an event.

STU: It's an event. It is.

GLENN: Okay. But I still have a problem.

PAT: What about rooms? Okay. A hotel room going from 120 a night to 321.89.

STU: I have no problem with that.

PAT: That's Best Western. That's not even a hotel. That's a motel.

GLENN: No, I have no problem with that.

PAT: No problem? Okay.

JEFFY: Don't look down on Best Western. Don't point your nose down at it.

PAT: Okay.

STU: There's an extreme scarcity and demand increase.

GLENN: Yeah. Yeah.

PAT: Gas at ten bucks a gallon. You can't get gas, you're going to pay ten bucks a gallon.

JEFFY: You know you are.

GLENN: Right. And here's the thing: Yes, should you have gas? But once that gas station runs out --

PAT: They're not getting anymore.

GLENN: -- how are you going to get the trucks to come in? You need some mercenaries to come in and to refill some things. You need some truckers who are incentivized to come in and say, "I'll get that water there. I'll get that gas there." I mean, there's a balance between humanity and the truth about our better angels.

PAT: Uh-huh.

GLENN: That capitalism needs to walk.

Megyn Kelly pulled her sons out of the private elementary school they attended after she learned that the boys were asked "weekly" if they were still sure they were boys. But that's not all that this "experimental transgender education program" taught.

Megyn joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to tell the story, which she thought had ended when the school apologized, and to talk about what's next for America as our leaders refuse to promote actual psychological support for our kids and instead "parade" transgenderism as the solution to their problems.

"When [my son] was in third grade, I found out they unleashed a three-week experimental transgender education program on these boys, with really inappropriate videos. The kids were confused. These are 8- and 9-year-olds, Glenn. They have no idea what the school is even talking about with the trans thing. They got really in-depth, with really in-your-face videos — and then parents complained. And the school did something it hasn't done in its 400-year history, which was they apologized. Even they realized they had done wrong," Megyn explained.

"But, then I said to my son a year later, so did they ever round back to the trans thing? Like, whatever happened with it? And he said ... they bring it up every week. ... [They ask] how many people here still feel confident that they're a boy? Do you still feel sure you're a boy?" she continued. "This is not support. This is not nonbullying. This is indoctrination. And it's deeply confusing to the children, and wrong."

Megyn went on to give examples of how she's seen trans ideology turn "support, nonbullying, kindness, friendship, allyship, on its head."

"The absolute surrender of the medical community to this insanity is a scourge on this nation. It's disgusting what is happening with our doctors," she added. "There are people who are legitimately transgender, or who have gender dysphoria. And for those people, we should be supportive and they should get the care that they need. But what we've done instead, is taken everyone who expresses any kind of gender confusion and said, you're trans. You're trans. And we have our psychiatrists doing this."

"It's crazy," Megyn asserted. "The fact that we're doing this so willy-nilly in the name of allyship and support, it's abusive. It's criminal."

Watch the video clip below to catch more of the conversation:

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"Never forget" is not only a tribute to those we've lost, it's a warning that it could happen AGAIN. On "Glenn TV" Wednesday, Glenn Beck looks back 20 years ago to the modern generation's Pearl Harbor moment. A day of infamy we're STILL feeling repercussions from.

But in remembering 9/11, we need to look toward the future because the Biden administration is setting us up for the NEXT 9/11. They bungled the Afghanistan withdrawal, and now we have video of top al Qaeda commanders — who served with Osama bin Laden — returning to the country. But could America survive another terror attack?

Glenn asks former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the leader who brought America back from the brink. He tells Glenn about the moment he learned the Twin Towers were struck, the actions he took to prevent more terrorism, and if he thinks NYC could survive another attack under Mayor de Blasio's leadership.

Glenn is also joined by Rev. Johnnie Moore, author of "The Next Jihad." He warns that Biden's policies in the Middle East are Obama 2.0, and "if you thought ISIS was bad, you haven't seen anything yet. We must keep our eyes on Iran."

Watch the full episode of "Glenn TV" below:


Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Glenn Beck and The Nazarene Fund have been working tirelessly to evacuate Americans and our allies from Afghanistan, thanks to the U.S. government's failure to do so. But it's been far from easy. A recent Newsweek article, titled "Taliban Holds Up Glenn Beck Group's Planes," addressed some of the most recent challenges. The article claimed that six planes — filled with Americans and SIVs ready for takeoff — were "grounded by the Taliban amid negotiations with the U.S. State Department." So, what's actually going on? Why is the State Department meddling in the rescue? And what are the next steps to get these Americans home?

Watch the video clip below to hear Glenn breaks down the whole story:

UPDATE: Leaked Email Shows State Department STILL Blocking Afghanistan Rescue Flights


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Bill O'Reilly joined "The Glenn Beck Program" Friday to discuss a recent House Homeland Security Committee briefing on the impact of the 9/11 terror attacks, during which "national security experts" claimed "right-wing" groups pose a greater threat to the United States than groups like the Taliban or Al-Qaeda.

Glenn played two video clips from the briefing that showed Senior Fellow Brookings Institute Center for Middle East Policy, Daniel Byman, and former National Intelligence Council Chair during the Obama administration, Christopher Kojm, in apparent agreement that "right-wing extremists" are a bigger threat to Americans today than "jihadists."

"I'm someone who has written extensively on both jihadist groups, but also right-wing, white supremacist groups," Byman says in the first video clip. "And in my mind, there's no question that today in the United States, the right-wing and white supremacist violence is a much greater risk."

"I agree with your assessment and those of my colleagues who have spoken already, there's little doubt that the domestic terrorist threat from white nationalists and right-wing extremist groups is greater than the jihadist threat today," Kojm states in the second clip.

"Who are those idiots?" O'Reilly exclaimed. "It's just unbelievable ... they're not even in the same universe. Yeah, there are bad neo-Nazi Americans running around, yeah, but there are very few of them. I mean, the jihadists are causing death and destruction, death and destruction all over the world. Not just in the United States. These people are so blatantly irresponsible and ignorant, it's just staggering."

Watch the video clip below to catch more of the conversation:

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