Shortages = Market Failure = ?

In recent months, I have experienced something I have never before encountered in a first world country: shortages.

My definition of shortage is “an item is unavailable at any price.”

There is no discernible rhyme or reason to it. Different stores are simply “sold out” of various things. In one store, it may be gadgets. In another, gidgets. In a third, widgets.

But no milk… in Walmart? That’s a fundamental product in a store whose market strategy is to sell fundamental products on a very large scale in response to fundamental demand on a very large scale.

Walmart is out of milk. It is also rationing ammunition.

The diversity (hah) of unavailable items suggests to me that, at least in areas of the USSA, there is a failure of the financial system. After all, it doesn’t take a brain scientist or rocket surgeon to figure out that if you sell widgets and there’s a huge demand for widgets, you should arrange for delivery of lots of widgets. Presumably, widget producers, their financiers, your financiers, your lawyers, etc. also see this and are motivated to work together to maximize income and minimize risk.

And yet shortages are increasing, not decreasing, at least where I live.

In recent weeks, I have begun to notice this in grocery stores…

We live in interesting times.

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2 thoughts on “Shortages = Market Failure = ?

  1. Ammunition rationing has been going on for about three years now, especially in .22LR. I expect gun and ammunition manufacturers to donate heavily to the Hillary campaign — the Obama administration has been very very good for consumer demand.

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  2. Pingback: This Week in Reaction (2015/07/19) | The Reactivity Place

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