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Friday, August 26, 2011

The Hurricane Irene Thread

There was the Swine Flu thread, so why not the Hurricane thread. Isn’t that right, New York Mets and the rest of the Northeast teams?

The New York Mets say they have postponed Saturday and Sunday’s games against the Atlanta Braves because of Hurricane Irene.

Both games will be rescheduled as a single-admission doubleheader on Sept. 8 beginning at 4:10 p.m.

Major League Baseball already had moved Sunday’s games at Philadelphia and Boston to Saturday to make them part of day-night doubleheaders. The Phillies play the Marlins and the Red Sox play the Athletics.


So to the primates on the Eastern coastal regions- stay safe.

Gamingboy Posted: August 26, 2011 at 08:49 PM | 912 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   701. formerly dp Posted: August 30, 2011 at 11:12 AM (#3912095)
The only steak I can stomach is milk-steak.

Boiled over hard, and a side of your finest jelly beans, raw.
   702. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 30, 2011 at 11:41 AM (#3912099)
What stores could do, instead of gouging, is limit the # of an item they will sell to a customer. They do this all the time at Christmas when there's a hot toy or electrical gadget. There really is no excuse for gouging.
   703. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 30, 2011 at 11:52 AM (#3912106)
Never saw the link, and I have no idea what you're talking about. Price gouging exists in the real world, and anyone with eyes can usually see when it's taking place, but the best way of dealing with it is by making loud and public note of it with specific facts to back the charge, and spreading the name of the offender so that he might think twice about it the next time.

Well, my question is why it's bad, such that you'd want to tar and feather someone who did this. Increasing prices will stop the schmucks from stocking up on batteries they don't need (such as that woman McCoy linked to), and will mean that more people who DO need batteries will get them.


If that's your only worry, then you can also use temporary rationing. For situations like Irene that'd be total overkill and impossible to implement, but when it's a truly a case of long term short supplies of necessities, as in WWII, it's one way of keeping speculators from controlling the market in key goods.

Plus, if enterprising individuals see a "gouging" opportunity, they will rush in to help in order to make money, such as by offering supplies to people at marked up prices. Is that so bad?

Yes, because it then becomes a zero sum game, and because you can then get into the situation where necessities become auctioned.

Now supplies are available that wouldn't otherwise have been, because the "gougers" won't be around if they have to do it out of the goodness of their hearts. I know people who see gouging as Evil would rather fool themselves into believing that everyone should be doing Only Good Things That Help People, but at some point you might want to wake up and join the rest of us here in the real world. Gouging DOES help people.

You're seeing this as a matter of positive incentives where everyone wins, but in the real world the practical results will be (a) a few "shrewd" Shylocks will make a killing; (b) well-off people will be guaranteed their supplies with less waiting in line; and (c) other people will be out of luck or out of more money than they can afford.

Admittedly when you're talking about a pack of D-batteries or a loaf of bread, this is relatively small change to anyone, so (c) isn't really much of a factor. But since the social utility of (a) and (b) is nonexistent, there's no real benefit other than to the Shylocks and the lazy well-off. I see nothing wrong with identifying and publicizing this sort of Shylockian behavior.

Especially you, Andy -- someone who lived through the gas crisis of the '70s. Were those government-induced long lines for little gas really that much fun or productive? Having no memory of it I can't say. Maybe everyone was dancing on the hoods of their cars, singing, partying, having a grand old time waiting to get no gas because the government put a ceiling on the prices.

Ray, the gas crises of the 70's (1973-74 and 1979) were caused by hoarding of supplies and price gouging, in this case on the part of the Shylocks in OPEC----the very model of shrewd economic activity that you seem to be in love with. What followed in the United States (and later elsewhere), panic-driven and flawed as it may have been, was entirely in reaction to that gouging.

We didn't have gasoline price controls, and gas prices varied widely from region to region, state to state, city to city, block to block, and station to station. What we did implement was alternate day rationing, with odd-numbered license plates allowed to fill up their tanks one day and even-numbered license plates the next, with exceptions for key commercial vehicles. For a short period of time it was a pain in the butt, but its root cause was overseas.

EDIT: Thank you, Shooty.
   704. catomi01 Posted: August 30, 2011 at 11:53 AM (#3912107)
moving onto day 3 of no power...according to LIPA I am one of 56 customers (out of 3421) in Port Jeff Station without power - which basically means my apartment complex and a couple of surrounding blocks, are the only things out...which I'd have to think means I'm low on their priority list given the stated intention to restore lines affecting the largest number of people first. I agree with that logically...but its still not comforting to drive home from work and see power lines lying across the road.
   705. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 30, 2011 at 11:59 AM (#3912108)
I see nothing wrong with identifying and publicizing this sort of Shylockian behavior.

What about the greedy consumers buying up a bunch of supplies they don't need, keeping their fellow man from having what they need? Are you going to "publicize" that, too?

You haven't seemed to fully internalize the fact that people were buying up stuff they didn't need.
   706. formerly dp Posted: August 30, 2011 at 12:32 PM (#3912112)
You haven't seemed to fully internalize the fact that people were buying up stuff they didn't need.

You don't really understand your own argument.

You're all worked up over something that was a non-issue. Supplies of important items, or items people thought were important, dwindled in the face of a potential crisis, and were quickly replenished afterwards. Your "empty shelves are inherently bad" premise isn't one that anybody seems compelled to defend, other than Ray, ordinarily resilient in the face of catastrophe, but in this case really upset that his Sunday night trip to the grocery store didn't go as planned.
   707. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 30, 2011 at 12:37 PM (#3912113)
I see nothing wrong with identifying and publicizing this sort of Shylockian behavior.

What about the greedy consumers buying up a bunch of supplies they don't need, keeping their fellow man from having what they need? Are you going to "publicize" that, too?


I'll let you handle that sort of retail level stupidity, SBB.

You haven't seemed to fully internalize the fact that people were buying up stuff they didn't need.

I haven't said a word about the wisdom or un-wisdom of panic buying, and since I didn't engage in it myself, I haven't even felt much of a need to think about it one way or the other. OTOH I'm genuinely sorry that Ray wasn't able to buy his loaf of bread on Berlin Standard Time, because I can only imagine just how scrump-diddily-licious those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches of his must be.
   708. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 30, 2011 at 12:49 PM (#3912118)
A burger with nothing on it is ridiculous. Do you (Ray, not snapper) eat salad without dressing? P&J sandwich is just two slices of bread? Strange.


I don't eat salad often, but when I do it's without dressing, yes.

Steak is eaten without cheese, unless it's a cheesesteak. sandwich
   709. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2011 at 12:55 PM (#3912121)
But seriously guys, have you never the expression "De gustibus non est disputandum"?


Um, no? I can honestly say I have not.


It mean you can't argue tastes.

What tastes good to you may taste bad to me.
   710. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 30, 2011 at 01:16 PM (#3912135)
I'll let you handle that sort of retail level stupidity, SBB.

So if a few people go in and buy up all the bread and batteries, even though they don't need them, leaving the shelves barren for others, that's just being prepared.

But if a store owner raises his prices on bread and batteries to try to maintain an inventory for all his customers, that's Shylockian evil.

Got it.

You don't really understand your own argument.

You're projecting again.
   711. formerly dp Posted: August 30, 2011 at 01:22 PM (#3912139)
One more detail that seems to have gotten lost in the discussion about the woman who purportedly "overbought" batteries-- the 48 AAs she purchased were for her and her 12 guests. I'm not good at math, but if they each have their own flashlights, that's less than 4 AA batteries each. Not really excessive if you're planning on the power being out overnight or longer (AA-powered flashlights really aren't your best option, but that's the NYC effect of never spending a night sleeping in the woods). She overbought stuff for her party. That's the anecdote you're using to press your case?

FWIW, parts of the NYS Thurway are still flooded/closed. That's rare even during blizzards.
   712. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 30, 2011 at 01:29 PM (#3912143)
But if a store owner raises his prices on bread and batteries to try to maintain an inventory for all his customers, that's Shylockian evil.

Got it.


I honestly don't understand why you think gouging is the answer to hoarding. Limiting the # of items you will sell to a customer is the common sense response. If a hoarder wants to go from store to store and wait in line at each one in order to accomplish their hoarding, well, good luck to them. Gouging AND hoarding are both dickish things to do in the time of emergency.
   713. BDC Posted: August 30, 2011 at 01:33 PM (#3912146)
I personally can't eat salad without dressing or hotdogs without relish, but I can relate to the "less-is-more" philosophy. Several years ago I cooked some of my standard recipes (ratatouille, e.g.) and simply forgot to add salt. The results were so much nicer that I started removing salt from every recipe I make. (Particularly if there's already soy or fish sauce, or cheese, in a recipe; there may be lots of salt anyway.) My sense of smell is almost nil, so the salt was a compensation for not being able to taste much – but when I took it away, I could sort of remember what an eggplant intrinsically tasted like, and it was a nice surprise.
   714. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 30, 2011 at 01:40 PM (#3912154)
I'll let you handle that sort of retail level stupidity, SBB.

So if a few people go in and buy up all the bread and batteries, even though they don't need them, leaving the shelves barren for others, that's just being prepared.

But if a store owner raises his prices on bread and batteries to try to maintain an inventory for all his customers, that's Shylockian evil.

Got it.


I'll take that a bit more seriously when you show me any evidence that Ray's bread problem was caused by "a few people" hoarding supplies, rather than many people buying a week's worth.

As for my own response to these few retail level hoarders, I'd say that their punishment has already begun, in the form of food and batteries that will expire before they can be used. If you want to stigmatize them beyond that, just laugh at them.
   715. Greg K Posted: August 30, 2011 at 01:45 PM (#3912160)
The results were so much nicer that I started removing salt from every recipe I make

I got my mom to show me some of her favourite recipes before I went off to college and found through experimentation I liked them all better without salt. I haven't bought salt in almost 10 years now.

EDIT: I should say, those recipes as done by me are better sans-salt. I'd still take my mom's home cooking any time.
   716. formerly dp Posted: August 30, 2011 at 01:46 PM (#3912161)
But if a store owner raises his prices on bread and batteries to try to maintain an inventory for all his customers, that's Shylockian evil.

A quantity limit would have the same effect, without making goods inaccessible to those without the means to afford them.

You don't really understand your own argument.

You're projecting again.

No, you're just struggling to explain your position. That's why no one is rallying behind your "poor shop keepers sold all of their batteries and Fig Newtons!". The Wal-Mart article I posted was about how they track consumer behavior around natural disasters and allocate inventory appropriately. When you post facto argue that all supplies people bought were unnecessary, then there was no such thing as rationally accumulating supplies in advance of the storm. So you're upset that people prepared for an event. You're assuming that the storm could not have been worse, when we have evidence that it was worse than expected for other regions, and better than expected for NYC (winds didn't gust quite as high as expected, NYC didn't get as much rain as expected-- predictions and projections are ranges, not statements of certainty).

When we got to the southeast coast, we were told to have some staples on hand during hurricane season, because when 600,000 people start buying up supplies in anticipation of a major storm, those supplies can become scarce on the shelves of local stores just from normal and rational purchasing-- a lot of people don't normally buy batteries and bottled water, or first aid kits, ect. Like Andy said, you haven't shown us that supplies ran short because of hoarding. Even the battery-buying woman was going to have 13 people at her home.
   717. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 30, 2011 at 01:53 PM (#3912169)
When I read SBB's defense of price gouging, it's hard not to remember his actual anger at the "sucker" who didn't take the Jeter 3000th hit ball and turn it over to an auction house. It's almost as if everyone with the opportunity to do so has some weird sort of moral obligation to maximize his short term profit, to the exclusion of every other consideration.
   718. Greg K Posted: August 30, 2011 at 01:54 PM (#3912170)
You're assuming that the storm could not have been worse, when we have evidence that it was worse than expected for other regions, and better than expected for NYC

This is what I don't get. I havne't been following too closely, but are the "prepataion is stupid" people saying that there was absolutely no way New York City was going to experience significant difficulties? Were they also absolutely sure that the places that did get hit hard would? Is there something about New Jersey or Connecticut or wherever it was that got hit, that makes it especially susceptible to hurricanes, and similarly something about New York City that makes it impervious? As I understand it, it's not that the storm dissipated, but that it simply hit different locations. I just don't get what the absolute certainty it wasn't going to hit New York is based on.
   719. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 30, 2011 at 01:54 PM (#3912172)
May have been posted earlier, but much of Vermont is under water.
   720. McCoy Posted: August 30, 2011 at 01:54 PM (#3912173)
How is rationing the answer?

If you have to feed 6 people but they only let you buy food for 2 people how is that a solution? The supply isn't scarce. The problem is that the demand is out of whack. People didn't know what they needed but were told they needed to prepare so they overbought stuff.

Rationing creates a black market, scarcity, and runs as well.

As for the lady with the houseguest, are you suggesting that each member of her party decided to bring a flashlight as well but not batteries and all the flashlights run on AA batteries? I seriously doubt her houseguests brought flashlights.

That's the anecdote you're using to press your case?


The entire article is about people over buying stuff not just one crazy lady who bought 48 batteries. Secondly she bought all of her supplies based on her view that her guests might have to spend one night at her place.
   721. McCoy Posted: August 30, 2011 at 01:56 PM (#3912176)
I'll take that a bit more seriously when you show me any evidence that Ray's bread problem was caused by "a few people" hoarding supplies, rather than many people buying a week's worth.

It isn't just about a few people. It could very well be millions. The point is that by adjusting prices you force people to prioritize and ration their supplies. People who really need/want the supply buy it while people who don't need/want it pass on it.
   722. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 30, 2011 at 02:05 PM (#3912180)
So people who need supplies but are also priced out of getting them are SOL? You sure that's not going to head to a problem or two?
   723. base ball chick Posted: August 30, 2011 at 02:05 PM (#3912181)
i guess if manhattan didn't have any real trouble then whatever else happened somewheres else is like, whatever. anyhow, manhattan can't flood or have blackouts or problems with getting water supplies from their source on the other side of the bridges so there ain't never nothing to worry about so no reason to be prepared in case shtt happens. got it

sort of like all the places in houston hadn't never been flooded so people didn't think about it - untill TS allison came and stopped moving and dropped like a couple feet of rain in a couple of hours and all KINDS of places/homes got flooded which weren't supposed to be places get flooded

shrug

it is not that tough to prepare - and like i said, the stuff you actually NEED is LOTS of water, stuff you can eat without cooking, batteries for flashlights/battery fans (and trust me you WILL want this) and a LOT of off because when it's hot and there is no air in the house you are gonna want to open the windows after the rain stops.

because there's times that the electric does NOT come right back on the next day. storms happen

i live here in hurricane/TS country and i've seen what a lot of water and a little bit of wind can do

as for eating uncooked bloody meat - like whatever
   724. billyshears Posted: August 30, 2011 at 02:11 PM (#3912186)
I'm not a free market absolutist, but I'm with the price gougers on this one. The market isn't perfect but it is more efficient at allocating resources to the highest need. Rationing seems an unwieldy and inflexible solution. Who decides when rationing is appropriate and what should be rationed? If I have 4 kids, do I have to bring their birth certificates to the store so I can get more water? And consumers have a rational outlet to discourage price gouging - they can decide not to patronize stores that engage in it. Stores can decide if the benefit of price gouging when there is an opportunity is worth the risk of driving away loyal customers. Obviously this can lead to an inequitable distribution of resources, but I'm not sure why that really matters in situations where the state is already providing a baseline level of shelter for those who need it.
   725. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 30, 2011 at 02:12 PM (#3912188)
Obviously this can lead to an inequitable distribution of resources


Yeah, it's not like that isn't already the case.
   726. McCoy Posted: August 30, 2011 at 02:17 PM (#3912193)
So people who need supplies but are also priced out of getting them are SOL? You sure that's not going to head to a problem or two?

And these people who need the supplies are not SOL by rationing or by runs at normal prices?
   727. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 30, 2011 at 02:19 PM (#3912196)
I'm not a free market absolutist, but I'm with the price gougers on this one. The market isn't perfect but it is more efficient at allocating resources to the highest need. Rationing seems an unwieldy and inflexible solution. Who decides when rationing is appropriate and what should be rationed? If I have 4 kids, do I have to bring their birth certificates to the store so I can get more water? And consumers have a rational outlet to discourage price gouging - they can decide not to patronize stores that engage in it. Stores can decide if the benefit of price gouging when there is an opportunity is worth the risk of driving away loyal customers.

That's a defensible position, but your fellow price gouging fans will be all over you if you try to pass on information about price gouging to anyone else---because then you'll be "stigmatizing" the price gougers, and that's truly an immoral no-no.
   728. McCoy Posted: August 30, 2011 at 02:22 PM (#3912200)
sort of like all the places in houston hadn't never been flooded so people didn't think about it - untill TS allison came and stopped moving and dropped like a couple feet of rain in a couple of hours and all KINDS of places/homes got flooded which weren't supposed to be places get flooded

Houston has a long history with flooding. If people in Houston don't think they can get flooded then they are terribly mistaken.

batteries for flashlights/battery fans (and trust me you WILL want this) and a LOT of off because when it's hot and there is no air in the house you are gonna want to open the windows after the rain stops.


The NE isn't like the South. We don't get heatwaves with our hurricanes. It was 70 degrees in NYC on Sunday, 68 degrees on Monday, and today it will be around 75 with a high of 83 or so.
   729. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 30, 2011 at 02:26 PM (#3912205)
You're seeing this as a matter of positive incentives where everyone wins, but in the real world the practical results will be (a) a few "shrewd" Shylocks will make a killing; (b) well-off people will be guaranteed their supplies with less waiting in line; and (c) other people will be out of luck or out of more money than they can afford.


I don't understand why you're offering up (c) as a result particular to gouging. With no gouging, people were out of luck and had no access to batteries.

With gouging, people are able to prioritize, and so fewer people will hoard the batteries, and so more people will be able to get them.

And "well-off people" are going to waste money buying batteries they don't need at marked up prices? Really?

Also, you're missing another important factor, which is that in a market that allows gouging, outside suppliers will rush in to profit. After Katrina one guy bought a couple dozen generators and drove a few hours to a town that was out of power, and started selling the generators at twice what he paid for them. The cops arrested him, for "gouging." Is this not stupid government interfering? Without this guy, people had no access to generators. With him, they had access. And the government put a stop to it.
   730. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 30, 2011 at 02:28 PM (#3912207)
She overbought stuff for her party. That's the anecdote you're using to press your case?


Stores in Manhattan were out of batteries. That's the plain fact.
   731. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 30, 2011 at 02:29 PM (#3912209)
I'll take that a bit more seriously when you show me any evidence that Ray's bread problem was caused by "a few people" hoarding supplies, rather than many people buying a week's worth.

It isn't just about a few people. It could very well be millions.


Or billions! And all the evidence you need for that is to move your finger two spaces to the left on the bottom of your keyboard!

The point is that by adjusting prices you force people to prioritize and ration their supplies. People who really need/want the supply buy it while people who don't need/want it pass on it.

It's one thing if you do this on low cost items and raise the price to the point where people will notice it, and pause to think about the wisdom of buying more batteries or loaves of bread than they could possibly need for a week. It's another thing when you start raising prices to the point where the obvious effect is to ration higher priced necessities according to income level. That's pure Shylocking, and while the answer to that obviously isn't government-imposed price controls, it still deserves all the public censure that it gets.
   732. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 30, 2011 at 02:31 PM (#3912212)
I personally can't eat salad without dressing or hotdogs without relish, but I can relate to the "less-is-more" philosophy. Several years ago I cooked some of my standard recipes (ratatouille, e.g.) and simply forgot to add salt. The results were so much nicer that I started removing salt from every recipe I make.


I don't pay attention to salt or no salt when I'm eating out, but when I'm at home I don't use it and don't even own it.

People do like to dump the stuff all over their food. The best is when someone orders McDonald's fries... and then starts laying the salt on it. Really?
   733. formerly dp Posted: August 30, 2011 at 02:34 PM (#3912214)
The entire article is about people over buying stuff not just one crazy lady who bought 48 batteries.

People bought generators and their power didn't go out. Other people stocked up and then didn't end up needing the supplies because the storm didn't hit them that bad. None of this is unusual. Again, if this storm was a dud, you'd have a stronger case. But there are people right now who are wishing they'd stocked up more, and they don't live all that far away from you.

Secondly she bought all of her supplies based on her view that her guests might have to spend one night at her place.

48 AA batteries for 13 people isn't excessive.

I don't know anyone other than Ray and SBB who think hurricane prediction is an exact science. The Takeaway just had someone from Columbia talking about how they've gotten really good and predicting path, but still have a hard time accurately anticipating variations in intensity. Irene could have hit NYC harder than it did, and you're lucky it didn't.

The point is that by adjusting prices you force people to prioritize and ration their supplies

No, you force some people to behave that way. For people with wealth, they'll buy what they want regardless. For people in the middle income ranges, there will be choice and sacrifice involved. People on the lower end will just be shut out entirely.
   734. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 30, 2011 at 02:36 PM (#3912216)
That's why no one is rallying behind your "poor shop keepers sold all of their batteries and Fig Newtons!".

Actually, few are "rallying behind" it because the board is predominantly anti-business lefties (**) who have little to no understanding of incentives, prices, and production.

(**) Not that there's anything wrong with that.

When I read SBB's defense of price gouging, it's hard not to remember his actual anger at the "sucker" who didn't take the Jeter 3000th hit ball and turn it over to an auction house. It's almost as if everyone with the opportunity to do so has some weird sort of moral obligation to maximize his short term profit, to the exclusion of every other consideration.


Exhibit A.

Though I'm not crazy about society continuing to expect little more from adults than arrested development, my "actual anger" -- a loaded and fictitious term -- was aimed more at Levine and (probably) Jeter, who conned the guy into giving up the ball for a few trinkets to people much better off than he.
   735. formerly dp Posted: August 30, 2011 at 02:38 PM (#3912220)
Stores in Manhattan were out of batteries. That's the plain fact.

So? People who don't normally buy batteries bought them in anticipation of being without power. This happens during every hurricane, when there's a sudden spike in demand for a product that stores don't normally stock an excess of. That's a plain fact. Just because it rarely happens in NYC doesn't mean that people were "hoarding".
   736. Swedish Chef Posted: August 30, 2011 at 02:38 PM (#3912221)
People on the lower end will just be shut out entirely.

No, for them the rational response to gouging is torching and looting. There are extra-market (extra-legal goes without saying) means to keep merchants in check.
   737. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 30, 2011 at 02:41 PM (#3912223)
So?

Exhibit B.
   738. formerly dp Posted: August 30, 2011 at 02:42 PM (#3912224)
Actually, few are "rallying behind" it because the board is predominantly anti-business lefties (**) who have little to no understanding of incentives, prices, and production.

Or it could be because your argument is totally without merit, and you're showing a poor understanding of those principles you claim to have some divine insight into.

They sold their stuff. Again, that happens at the Lowes and Home Depot around here every time there's a big storm coming. Harris Teeter was all out of water. I'm not holding it against them.
   739. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 30, 2011 at 02:44 PM (#3912228)
and you're showing a poor understanding of those principles you claim to have some divine insight into.

Thank you for the concern trolling.
   740. formerly dp Posted: August 30, 2011 at 02:45 PM (#3912229)
Exhibit B.

Doesn't mean they were hoarding, it means millions of people went out to get supplies in anticipation of a storm. Jesus, you really don't get this stuff, do you?
   741. formerly dp Posted: August 30, 2011 at 02:46 PM (#3912231)
Thank you for the concern trolling.

English language not your strong suit?
   742. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 30, 2011 at 02:48 PM (#3912234)
When I read SBB's defense of price gouging, it's hard not to remember his actual anger at the "sucker" who didn't take the Jeter 3000th hit ball and turn it over to an auction house. It's almost as if everyone with the opportunity to do so has some weird sort of moral obligation to maximize his short term profit, to the exclusion of every other consideration.

Exhibit A.

Though I'm not crazy about society continuing to expect little more from adults than arrested development, my "actual anger" -- a loaded and fictitious term -- was aimed more at Levine and (probably) Jeter, who conned the guy into giving up the ball for a few trinkets to people much better off than he.


No, there's no underlying anger at all directed at the Jeter ball catcher in these comments you made in that thread, just a dispassionate economic analysis:

The guy's a complete sucker, entirely passive in the face of people trying to rip him off.


The guy's a microcosm of why the country's in the crapper, a telling example of the people who take out second mortgages for season tickets, sign up for subprime housing loans to buy ######## they don't need, and invest in Ponzi schemes with people they don't know after a five-minute phone call.


Oh, but I'm sorry, you later added this:

Though I think he was passive and a sucker, those weren't intended as denunciations and aren't fairly characterized as such.


Yeah, I don't see how anyone could have possibly interpreted your words that way....
   743. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 30, 2011 at 02:52 PM (#3912240)
As for the lady with the houseguest, are you suggesting that each member of her party decided to bring a flashlight as well but not batteries and all the flashlights run on AA batteries? I seriously doubt her houseguests brought flashlights.


Even as formerly dp presents this woman, she is a textbook case of hoarding. 12 people in a house all need to be running around with flashlights? 12 people had flashlights but nobody had batteries? What?

And last weekend, people already had batteries but were buying them anyway.
   744. Greg K Posted: August 30, 2011 at 02:52 PM (#3912241)
Though I think he was passive and a sucker, those weren't intended as denunciations and aren't fairly characterized as such.

I, for one, take pride in my passivity. Though I'd take offence if someone called me a "sucker". "Idiot" is the preferred nomenclature.
   745. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 30, 2011 at 02:55 PM (#3912243)
As to other posts above, even if the storm were a lot worse, what was going to happen on the upper west side of Manhattan? Flooding? I can't see how; the Hudson is some 30-50 feet below ground level. Loss of power? Maybe. Loss of power for 72 hours? Unlikely. Blown out windows? Highly unlikely. (Yes, the media had some scary graphic about how the winds are 60mph at 10 stories and 110mph at 20 stories.)

Certainly, the people in nice doorman buildings had no reason to panic and hoard and buy up batteries. But they were, anyway.
   746. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 30, 2011 at 02:55 PM (#3912244)
Yeah, I don't see how anyone could have possibly interpreted your words that way....

Though hardly alone, you have a tendency to see "anger" in points of view you disagree with, particularly when they're expressed in punchy, straightforward words.
   747. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 30, 2011 at 02:57 PM (#3912246)
I, for one, take pride in my passivity. Though I'd take offence if someone called me a "sucker". "Idiot" is the preferred nomenclature.

Or Canadian.
   748. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 30, 2011 at 02:57 PM (#3912247)
So people who need supplies but are also priced out of getting them are SOL? You sure that's not going to head to a problem or two?


First, as I said to Andy, a no-gouging policy _does not lead to everyone getting supplies_.

Second, people prioritize. If they need the supplies that badly, they'll spend the extra money. The point is they have access.

Nobody had access to batteries in Manhattan over the weekend after the crazies bought them all up.
   749. McCoy Posted: August 30, 2011 at 03:03 PM (#3912250)
48 AA batteries for 13 people isn't excessive.

It is when you only have one flashlight.

No, you force some people to behave that way. For people with wealth, they'll buy what they want regardless. For people in the middle income ranges, there will be choice and sacrifice involved. People on the lower end will just be shut out entirely.

Well, thankfully the wealthy are a small minority. Under any system the wealthy will buy whatever they want. You can't get around that.
   750. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 30, 2011 at 03:06 PM (#3912256)
That's a defensible position, but your fellow price gouging fans will be all over you if you try to pass on information about price gouging to anyone else---because then you'll be "stigmatizing" the price gougers, and that's truly an immoral no-no.


I don't care if you try to stigmatize them; I just think you look silly doing it because in so doing you betray a basic lack of understanding of the economics of the situation, for the reasons noted above.

For a successful business owner you have a surprising lack of understanding of how markets work. But I suspect it's just your ideology getting in the way.
   751. Howie Menckel Posted: August 30, 2011 at 03:17 PM (#3912264)
"A burger with nothing on it is ridiculous. Do you (Ray, not snapper) eat salad without dressing? P&J sandwich is just two slices of bread? Strange."

Peanut butter, no jelly.
Plain burger (but bacon or cheese on occasion is ok).
When I used to order salad with no dressing in the 1980s, people used to find it strange that I wasn't adding 300 calories worth of drek onto a 200-calorie healthful food. Not anymore.
I have never in my life bought salt, or used it since I was a kid. We don't get enough salt?

Re Manhattan: It is true that the geography is such that a direct hurricane hit is unlikely (but came close this time). The disconnect is that many people in Manhattan don't seem to realize that millions of people who don't live in the city get the same TV channels they do. So they get annoyed when there is so much reporting about things that didn't happen in their neighborhood. I have to run - and drive 15 miles out of my way to get to work, due to massive flooding in the area.
   752. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 30, 2011 at 03:21 PM (#3912269)
Peanut butter, no jelly.


Hersheys chocolate bar, dipped in peanut butter.

When I used to order salad with no dressing in the 1980s, people used to find it strange that I wasn't adding 300 calories worth of drek onto a 200-calorie healthful food.


This is what I don't get about people. If you don't think you're dieting when you have the salad drenched in 300-cal dressing, fine. But people seriously think they're eating lighter when they do this.

Re Manhattan: It is true that the geography is such that a direct hurricane hit is unlikely (but came close this time).


Yes. This is what a lot of people are missing. There's a reason we don't really get hit with hurricanes.
   753. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: August 30, 2011 at 03:26 PM (#3912276)

Yes. This is what a lot of people are missing. There's a reason we don't really get hit with hurricanes.


All your hot air blows them the other way.
   754. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 30, 2011 at 03:50 PM (#3912298)
That's a defensible position, but your fellow price gouging fans will be all over you if you try to pass on information about price gouging to anyone else---because then you'll be "stigmatizing" the price gougers, and that's truly an immoral no-no.

I don't care if you try to stigmatize them;


And in fact I would only do so in extreme situations, where it led to de facto rationing of basic necessities by income. I'm not thrilled with rationing by price gouging under any situation (any more than I'm thrilled with actual hoarding), and I'd still think it was a stupid idea in the long run, but I'm hardly losing any sleep over a temporary doubling of battery prices. We're not talking about emergency medical supplies, or bottled water in an area where the tap water is contaminated. Those would be concerns that would demand a much higher level of public attention, and in those cases both temporary rationing and temporary price controls would be entirely defensible.

For a successful business owner you have a surprising lack of understanding of how markets work. But I suspect it's just your ideology getting in the way.

The reason I've been a successful business owner over the years is that I understand the basic point that my customers appreciate value in deed more than value in words, and that I always had the long range view in mind in both buying and selling. I suppose you might call that an "ideology", but I see it more as simply treating your customers the way you'd want to be treated yourself.
   755. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 30, 2011 at 03:58 PM (#3912305)
And in fact I would only do so in extreme situations, where it led to de facto rationing of basic necessities by income.


It wouldn't be "by income" but would be by what they think the new temporary market would bear.

Selling batteries at 3X isn't going to price a whole lot of people out of the market. It will, however, lead to more sensible prioritizing.
   756.   Posted: August 30, 2011 at 03:59 PM (#3912306)

I don't eat salad often, but when I do it's without dressing, yes.


Crazy. And when you devour children, is it without HP sauce?

This is what I don't get about people. If you don't think you're dieting when you have the salad drenched in 300-cal dressing, fine. But people seriously think they're eating lighter when they do this.


Raspberry vinaigrette. Mmm
   757. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 30, 2011 at 04:05 PM (#3912314)

If you have to feed 6 people but they only let you buy food for 2 people how is that a solution?


There are two forms of rationing. One is the WWII kind with ration cards, and I don't think anyone is advocating that in this situation.

The other is simply putting a limit on what you can buy at one time. If you need more, you can stand in line again or go to another store. That puts an additional time cost in the equation which discourages people from buying on impulse but doesn't price out anyone who really needs more.

In your hypothetical, someone who has to feed people but can only afford enough for two because prices are 10x normal is in the same boat, except there is no alternative.

We're not talking about emergency medical supplies, or bottled water in an area where the tap water is contaminated.


I'm pretty sure most of us are talking about those things. Batteries makes a convenient shorthand, but it applies to any and all necessities.
   758. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 30, 2011 at 04:16 PM (#3912324)
And in fact I would only [stigmatize price gougers] in extreme situations, where it led to de facto rationing of basic necessities by income.

It wouldn't be "by income" but would be by what they think the new temporary market would bear.

Selling batteries at 3X isn't going to price a whole lot of people out of the market. It will, however, lead to more sensible prioritizing.


And that's why I don't really care that much about low end items like batteries, though I do think that informally limiting quantities would accomplish the same thing, the only difference being that time rather than money would become the key factor.

But as for your bread problem, you simply should have thought about it earlier and planned accordingly, if it really meant that much to you. It's not as if you hadn't had any advance notice. There wasn't much panic buying going on in New York City when Irene was still in the Caribbean, and you can always freeze a loaf of bread to prevent it from spoiling.
   759. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2011 at 04:22 PM (#3912331)

This is what I don't get about people. If you don't think you're dieting when you have the salad drenched in 300-cal dressing, fine. But people seriously think they're eating lighter when they do this.


Olive oil is good for you, and vinegar has ~0 calories.

Gotta have at least a little oil and vinegar.
   760. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 30, 2011 at 04:25 PM (#3912338)
But as for your bread problem, you simply should have thought about it earlier and planned accordingly, if it really meant that much to you. It's not as if you hadn't had any advance notice.


I could have, but who said it meant that much to me? I was in the store, went to the bread section, and noted that people were morons.

There wasn't much panic buying going on in New York City when Irene was still in the Caribbean, and you can always freeze a loaf of bread to prevent it from spoiling.


Thawed bread never tastes the same. Please with this.
   761. Chicago Joe Posted: August 30, 2011 at 04:40 PM (#3912352)
Here's a burger I had on Friday: Link


This piqued my curiosity: What and where?
   762. base ball chick Posted: August 30, 2011 at 04:53 PM (#3912364)
you really think that after the power goes out you won't want/need flashlights - even if you don't think there's gonna be heat and you don't want fans?

flashlights/batteries don't last real too long when they are KEPT on - and it's not real fun sitting around in the dark during storms, after storms.

and ray
- you don't think that hurricane force winds blow out windows of tall buildings? check out pics of downtown houston after IKE
   763. McCoy Posted: August 30, 2011 at 04:57 PM (#3912369)
The other is simply putting a limit on what you can buy at one time. If you need more, you can stand in line again or go to another store. That puts an additional time cost in the equation which discourages people from buying on impulse but doesn't price out anyone who really needs more.

Which causes a whole set of problems as well. Nothing is going to be perfect. Rationing is find if everybody is a single person living by themselves but it falls apart rather quickly if you have to buy for more than just yourself. Instead of each person having specific tasks they all have to go out and perform the same task over and over. Rationing can lead to hoarding since people tend not to want to wait in line and people will be afraid that they won't have enough thus having to go back in line. Finally rationing can and will leave product on the shelves which defeats the entire point of the system.
   764. McCoy Posted: August 30, 2011 at 04:59 PM (#3912372)
Is Houston that city just north of Boston?

flashlights/batteries don't last real too long when they are KEPT on - and it's not real fun sitting around in the dark during storms, after storms.

Luckily our planet is blessed with a sun in our solar system.
   765. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: August 30, 2011 at 05:20 PM (#3912392)
Luckily our planet is blessed with a sun in our solar system.

Are you seriously trying to argue that a flashlight is unnecessary during an extended power outage? I honestly don't get where you're going, here.
   766.   Posted: August 30, 2011 at 05:21 PM (#3912395)

Are you seriously trying to argue that a flashlight is unnecessary during an extended power outage? I honestly don't get where you're going, here.


I think that he's saying that 48 batteries is probably a bit excessive to power your flashlight through an 8-24 hr power outage.
   767. catomi01 Posted: August 30, 2011 at 05:22 PM (#3912396)
Hi friends in new york city...oh you can't see us, yeah thats cause we're the half million long islanders in the dark since sunday....yeah that storm really was a dud...listen - since you guys all apparently have a life-time supply of batteries and bread - can you send some our way? Or maybe recommend a utility company that hasn't spend the last 48 hours "evaluating" what do to when a tree falls across electrical wires?

Depending on reports, about a third of LIPA'S customers lost power - and the only promise they've made is that "most" of them will have it back by Friday....what exactly would have happened if something stronger hit us? A Cat 2 or 3 is not exactly an impossibility for long island (not likely, but certainly not impossible) - what would have happened if one did hit here? Don't know the answer to that, but given their performance to date, I'm pretty sure LIPA has no clue either.
   768. McCoy Posted: August 30, 2011 at 05:22 PM (#3912398)
Are you seriously trying to argue that a flashlight is unnecessary during an extended power outage? I honestly don't get where you're going, here.

I'm saying that the doom and gloom he is preaching is a tad overblown for people in Manhattan.
   769. McCoy Posted: August 30, 2011 at 05:23 PM (#3912401)
.yeah that storm really was a dud...listen - since you guys all apparently have a life-time supply of batteries and bread - can you send some our way?

Can't, they'll get arrested for price-gouging.
   770. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 30, 2011 at 05:32 PM (#3912411)
I think that he's saying that 48 batteries is probably a bit excessive to power your flashlight through an 8-24 hr power outage.


And that you're only in the dark for a few hours... and then you go to bed, and when you wake up, magically there's light.

Do people think the sun doesn't come out during a power outage?

There's no need to have a flashlight powered on continuously, anyway. Candles or a fuel-burning lamp work just fine. The flashlight is more for when you're going from room to room. Seriously now.
   771. BDC Posted: August 30, 2011 at 05:34 PM (#3912413)
I do own a flashlight, but there's nothing to look at in Texas anyway.
   772. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 30, 2011 at 05:37 PM (#3912419)
yeah that storm really was a dud.

It wasn't a dud, as noted above. The thing came through, remained a Cat 1 or practically Cat 1, and caused a bunch of damage all around NYC -- north, south, east, and west.

That's what makes the reaction in, and as to, NYC ridiculous. It was never going to cause the damage in NYC that the authorities alleged.(**)

(**) Ike was a high Cat 2 when it hit Houston.
   773. dave h Posted: August 30, 2011 at 05:39 PM (#3912422)
I don't know anyone other than Ray and SBB who think hurricane prediction is an exact science. The Takeaway just had someone from Columbia talking about how they've gotten really good and predicting path, but still have a hard time accurately anticipating variations in intensity. Irene could have hit NYC harder than it did, and you're lucky it didn't.


I've heard this meme a bunch lately, and I don't get it. If you were checking the NWS forecasts, they were pretty spot on. There was an uncertainty in the forecast, and that's why they gave various percentages. For days, they reported a 5-10% chance of hurricane winds in New England. It was about 50% that we would get 58 mph sustained. It was no great surprise that the storm weakened - in fact this forecast, with the associated uncertainties, seemed spot-on to me. The only problem was filtering out the nonsense coming from the Weather Channel and other sources.
   774. formerly dp Posted: August 30, 2011 at 05:45 PM (#3912429)
There's no need to have a flashlight powered on continuously, anyway. Candles or a fuel-burning lamp work just fine.

Then you would have whined that there were no candles.

The flashlight is more for when you're going from room to room. Seriously now.

Ray not getting his loaf of bread doesn't mean that people are morons. People buying batteries in anticipation of an extended power outage aren't hoarders.

Do you know where your electricity comes from? There's a lot of redundancy built into the system, but a lot of electricity flows through those big towers strung around the rest of New York State, and if those lines go down so does your power. New York City's a wonderful place, but it doesn't magically generate it's own power.

I think that he's saying that 48 batteries is probably a bit excessive to power your flashlight through an 8-24 hr power outage.

I think the assumption that NYC could not have a power outage longer than 24 hours is a nice mix of arrogance and ignorance.
   775.   Posted: August 30, 2011 at 05:46 PM (#3912430)
Yeah I don't know. I mean I get what people are saying and there's nothing wrong with being prepared I guess, but thinking about it, if I were to lose power today...even if I remained powerless to the weekend I'm pretty sure I'd do fine, having not prepared ahead of time at all and despite the fact that there's little in my fridge besides sauces and white wine.

I'd be bored as #### but I'd probably just spend most of my time sleeping.
   776. base ball chick Posted: August 30, 2011 at 05:54 PM (#3912436)
SBB

you can't say "it would never" cause any damage in manhattan - the storm could have changed course, stalled, youneverknow

i really do NOT get why youse guys think that nothing terrible could ever happen to manhattan - no floods, no power outages

as for flashlights - power usually goes out DURING the storm, it's dark and gray inside. and i know you don't think about how other people live, but if you got little kids/Dogss, you do NOT want stuff like candles/oil lamps around.
   777. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 30, 2011 at 05:55 PM (#3912438)
I think the assumption that NYC could not have a power outage longer than 24 hours is a nice mix of arrogance and ignorance.

It could, one supposes, but not simply because of a Category 1 hurricane like Irene. That much is clear. The question is why it wasn't clear before.
   778. McCoy Posted: August 30, 2011 at 06:02 PM (#3912444)
I think the assumption that NYC could not have a power outage longer than 24 hours is a nice mix of arrogance and ignorance.

The assumption isn't that NYC can't lose power for longer than 24 hours. I was disputing the notion that you need to have your flashlight on at all times as if one's life depended on it.

But yeah even if the power was knocked out for three days the lady with one flashlight and 48 batteries had way more than enough for her to cope with that kind of an outage.
   779. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: August 30, 2011 at 06:03 PM (#3912446)
I am kind of hoping a natural disaster befalls NYC just to see these big internet tough guys cry like the little soft babies they are.
   780. McCoy Posted: August 30, 2011 at 06:03 PM (#3912447)
About 10 to 15 years ago I was living in the Hyde Park-Poughkeepsie area when a bad storm came through and shut down power for about 2 days or so. I was living in a dorm and you were not allowed to light candles. So we spent the night in the dark. The county that night and the next day shut down the roads because of all the fallen wires and debris. We had no flashlights and no electricity. Not having a flashlight meant virtually nothing.

That isn't to say no one should own a flashlight. But I do disagree with the notion that you need a flashlight that you can have on for something like 24 to 48 hours.
   781.   Posted: August 30, 2011 at 06:03 PM (#3912448)

I think the assumption that NYC could not have a power outage longer than 24 hours is a nice mix of arrogance and ignorance.


Whatever, 24, 48, 96, pick a number.
   782. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 30, 2011 at 06:07 PM (#3912454)
I am kind of hoping a natural disaster befalls NYC just to see these big internet tough guys cry like the little soft babies they are.

It just did -- a Category 1 hurricane or something barely short.

I can see your confusion, though; everyone's talking like the thing just skipped past the city altogether.
   783. McCoy Posted: August 30, 2011 at 06:09 PM (#3912457)
I am kind of hoping a natural disaster befalls NYC just to see these big internet tough guys cry like the little soft babies they are.

I didn't know you live in NYC.
   784. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 30, 2011 at 06:17 PM (#3912463)
I am kind of hoping a natural disaster befalls NYC just to see these big internet tough guys cry like the little soft babies they are.

Bernal, you should get a hold of The Coming Dark Age, a highly entertaining 1971 apocalyptic vision by Roberto Vacca about how a traffic meltdown on the BQE led to a widespread power outage----and the eventual collapse of world civilization! I just googled it and found that the author has revised it and published it on the web. I'll admit that after reading some of the comments about heroic price gougers on this thread, the idea of putting NYC on its begging knees is a pleasant vision, but OTOH I wouldn't want to see the Yankees' schedule get disrupted....
   785. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2011 at 06:34 PM (#3912482)
Hi friends in new york city...oh you can't see us, yeah thats cause we're the half million long islanders in the dark since sunday....yeah that storm really was a dud...listen - since you guys all apparently have a life-time supply of batteries and bread - can you send some our way? Or maybe recommend a utility company that hasn't spend the last 48 hours "evaluating" what do to when a tree falls across electrical wires?

Depending on reports, about a third of LIPA'S customers lost power - and the only promise they've made is that "most" of them will have it back by Friday....what exactly would have happened if something stronger hit us? A Cat 2 or 3 is not exactly an impossibility for long island (not likely, but certainly not impossible) - what would have happened if one did hit here? Don't know the answer to that, but given their performance to date, I'm pretty sure LIPA has no clue either.


Why is LIPA (nee LILCO) so horrible?

ConEd is wildly overpriced, but they do seem to do a better job keeping the lights on. ~150K of ~190K who lost power are aparently back.
   786. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 30, 2011 at 06:40 PM (#3912489)
It could, one supposes, but not simply because of a Category 1 hurricane like Irene.


Are you so sure? New York has experienced blackouts without any kind of severe weather event whatsoever.
   787.   Posted: August 30, 2011 at 06:46 PM (#3912496)

Are you so sure? New York has experienced blackouts without any kind of severe weather event whatsoever.


That wasn't longer than 24 hours, for most.
   788. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 30, 2011 at 06:46 PM (#3912498)
Hi friends in new york city...oh you can't see us, yeah thats cause we're the half million long islanders in the dark since sunday....yeah that storm really was a dud...listen - since you guys all apparently have a life-time supply of batteries and bread - can you send some our way? Or maybe recommend a utility company that hasn't spend the last 48 hours "evaluating" what do to when a tree falls across electrical wires?


Love the comment, and feel sorry for you guys.
   789. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: August 30, 2011 at 06:51 PM (#3912505)
I think the assumption that NYC could not have a power outage longer than 24 hours is a nice mix of arrogance and ignorance.

It could, one supposes, but not simply because of a Category 1 hurricane like Irene. That much is clear.

It's nothing of the sort, and this could be the dumbest thing I've ever read on BTF. Because it didn't happen this once it can never happen?

Sheesh.
   790. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 30, 2011 at 06:59 PM (#3912525)
The silly thing about batteries is that they really are almost pointless in power outages. Just get an LED crank flashlight. They don't require batteries. And yes, while you may use batteries in remotes, have fun controlling your TV that isn't on...because you don't have any power.

Seriously, the damn things are about as expensive as 24 AA batteries: LED Flashlight w/ radio
   791. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: August 30, 2011 at 07:13 PM (#3912539)
you don't think that hurricane force winds blow out windows of tall buildings? check out pics of downtown houston after IKE


Or downtown Ft Lauderdale after Wilma. The windows in Manhattan may be as strong, but I doubt they are stronger.
   792. CrosbyBird Posted: August 30, 2011 at 07:19 PM (#3912546)
I personally can't eat salad without dressing or hotdogs without relish, but I can relate to the "less-is-more" philosophy. Several years ago I cooked some of my standard recipes (ratatouille, e.g.) and simply forgot to add salt.

Salt is delicious, but it also serves a purpose for cooking. You definitely want to salt a steak before cooking it (and let it sit for a bit), in order to draw moisture to the surface of the meat.

If you season properly in advance, you should pretty much never need to use table salt. I have some that I use to salt water for pasta or to put on crappy store-prepared food, but I never salt after cooking.
   793. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: August 30, 2011 at 07:25 PM (#3912551)
The silly thing about batteries is that they really are almost pointless in power outages. Just get an LED crank flashlight. They don't require batteries.

From a practical standpoint you are absolutely correct.

However, every now and then places like woot.com have Cree 3-watt LED flashlights for, like, $6. They look just like MAGs. They give off crisp, bright light, and your family can while away the hours holding them above your shoulders and flicking them on/off pretending to be cops.
   794. McCoy Posted: August 30, 2011 at 07:25 PM (#3912552)
History of NYC hurricanes:

Reaching the City on September 3, 1821, the storm was one of the only hurricanes believed to have passed directly over parts of modern New York City. The tide rose 13 feet in one hour and inundated wharves, causing the East River to converge into the Hudson River across lower Manhattan as far north as Canal Street. However, few deaths were attributed to the storm because flooding was concentrated in neighborhoods with far fewer homes than exist today.

In 1893, a category 1 hurricane destroyed Hog Island, a resort island off the Rockaways in southern Queens.


1938 HURRICANE
The most powerful hurricane known to have made landfall nearby — a category 3 hurricane — occurred in 1938. Its eye crossed over Long Island and into New England, killing nearly 200 people. The storm killed 10 people in New York City and caused millions of dollars in damage. Its floods knocked out electrical power in all areas above 59th Street in Manhattan and in all of the Bronx, the new IND subway line lost power, and 100 large trees in Central Park were destroyed.

Fortunately, New York City experienced the weaker "left side" of the 1938 hurricane — the City was 75 miles from the eye when it passed over Long Island. The hurricane could have caused far more deaths and damage if it passed closer to the five boroughs.


CAROL
In 1954, Hurricane Carol made landfall in Eastern Long Island and Southeastern Connecticut. With sustained winds over 100 mph and gusts of 115 to 125 mph, it was the most destructive hurricane to hit the Northeast coast since the Long Island Express in 1938. Fortunately for City residents, the storm's track was forty miles further east, and spared it a direct hit, but did result in major flooding throughout the City.

DONNA
In 1960, Hurricane Donna created an 11-foot storm tide in the New York Harbor that caused extensive pier damage.

CONNIE & DIANE
Leftover rains from hurricanes Diane and Connie caused significant flooding in the City in August 1955, even though the eye of those storms did not cross directly over any of the five boroughs. Diane caused more than 200 deaths in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. Connie dropped more than 12 inches of rain at LaGuardia Airport.

AGNES
In June 1972, Tropical Storm Agnes fused with another storm system in the northeastern U.S., flooding areas from North Carolina to New York State, causing 122 deaths and more than $6 billion dollars in damage (when adjusted for inflation).

GLORIA
The US Army Corps of Engineers has said that 1985's Hurricane Gloria could have been catastrophic if it arrived at high tide and just a little closer to the City.

FELIX
Hurricane Felix lingered off the East Coast for nearly a week in 1995, menacing the northeastern US before it finally drifted out to sea.

BERTHA
A weakening Tropical Storm Bertha brought heavy rain to the City in July 1996.

EDOUARD
Hurricane Edouard veered out to sea after tracking toward New York City around Labor Day 1996.

FLOYD
In September 1999, Tropical Storm Floyd brought sustained 60 mph winds and dumped 10-15 inches of rain on upstate New Jersey and New York State over a 24-hour period.

Flash flooding from this tropical storm — one of the most powerful to affect New York City in a decade — forced hundreds of people to leave their homes in counties just outside the five boroughs. Floyd caused New York City's schools to close for the first time since 1996 and led the city to open emergency storm shelters as a precautionary measure.






   795. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 30, 2011 at 07:31 PM (#3912563)
That wasn't longer than 24 hours, for most.


No, but it wasn't exacerbated by hurricane-force winds and flooding.
   796. McCoy Posted: August 30, 2011 at 07:41 PM (#3912578)
So if there is ever a historical computer glitch and a hurricane at the same time NYC is screwed and people should buy 48 double A batteries. Gotcha.
   797. billyshears Posted: August 30, 2011 at 07:43 PM (#3912581)
Why is LIPA (nee LILCO) so horrible?

ConEd is wildly overpriced, but they do seem to do a better job keeping the lights on.


Well, ConEd has an easier job. Power lines in NYC are below ground, so they're not vulnerable to wind, like the above ground power lines in Long island are. My understanding is that for NYC to lose power in a hurricane, flooding would have to be the culprit, and even in that case, it would have to be very severe before it affected more than a small portion of the city (of course, even a small portion of the city is a lot of people).
   798. BDC Posted: August 30, 2011 at 07:51 PM (#3912593)
New York has experienced blackouts without any kind of severe weather event whatsoever

That wasn't longer than 24 hours, for most


Here's a blackout in Queens that lasted a week, just five years ago. (I was living on Long Island at the time, is why I remember it.) It was really weird, it was like something had pitched a large part of the borough into pre-modern conditions and it was very hard to see why the problem couldn't be solved.

A considerable part of the infrastructure of NYC runs on sheer optimism.
   799. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: August 30, 2011 at 07:52 PM (#3912594)
So if there is ever a historical computer glitch and a hurricane at the same time NYC is screwed and people should buy 48 double A batteries. Gotcha.

Exactly. You've got it exactly right and you are totally not distorting anything anyone has said.

Gad ####### zooks.
   800. McCoy Posted: August 30, 2011 at 07:57 PM (#3912601)
Exactly. You've got it exactly right and you are totally not distorting anything anyone has said.

Gad ####### zooks.



Oh, I'm sorry. Were we writing a new Bible here?
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