“Scumbag Hoarders” Cause Shortages, Anger

Angry consumers are taking to social media to vent their anger at people who are stripping supermarket shelves. This Disqus post appeared on Headline Health on March 22.

Have you observed hoarding in your area? What can be done to stop it? Post below. |

“Hoarding only makes the shortage more acute”

Mar 16, 2020

Global News Hour at 6 – A local woman is pleading with British Columbians to stay calm and work together, after witnessing a couple hoarding meat at her local Save-On-Foods.

Taylor Born has shared a short snippet of video of the Sunday-night incident on her Facebook page, which appears to show a middle-aged couple taking two shopping carts filled to the brim with meat through the checkout.

“They were laughing and being quite boastful about filling up the carts and having everything and ‘cleaning the house’ as they said,” Born told Global News.

“It was quite clear they had a motive when they were entering the store.”

Born said she saw the couple in the meat aisle cutting other people off and grabbing all of the remaining product at the Lake Country store.

She said she was left shocked, upset and angry.

“You selfish, hoarding, bastards.” – Reddit user icecubed13, New Braunfels, TX 

In a statement, Save-On-Foods acknowledged there was “no doubt” that some panic buying was going on in its stores, describing Born’s video as “unfortunate.”

The company said it was taking measures to mitigate hoarding, including putting limits on some in-demand items …

The incident comes after weeks of images of “panic buying” flooding social media, with empty shelves and shopping carts stacked with toilet paper now a common sight.

As for the meat hoarders, Born had a simple message: “Get a grip.” Read more.

Tips For Buying Groceries During Pandemic: Keep Your Distance, Don’t Hoard

March 21, 2020

A San Antonio-area Reddit user posted this notice from grocery chain H-E-B, with the comment: “How you like them apples, you selfish, hoarding, bastards.”

Oregon Public Broadcasting – Grocers and Gov. Kate Brown have simple, clear advice for people headed to the grocery store in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic: Stay calm, keep some distance and remember other people need supplies, too.

Brown said Friday:

“I want to ask Oregonians to be respectful of your neighbors and your communities.

“I know folks are going in, first thing, to the grocery store and clearing the shelves, but that really does a hardship on your friends and neighbors. Honestly, it’s not necessary.”

Many grocery stores in Oregon and Southwest Washington have seen big crowds and a run on certain products – including nonperishables and toilet paper.

The pandemic, and concerns about supplies, have led to long lines. Markets have responded by setting up special hours for seniors and limiting the number of people allowed inside at one time … Read more. 

How to limit hoarding and keep America’s hands clean

March 23, 2020

Twin Cities Pioneer Press – “What happened to the soap?” That’s what many Americans may be thinking as they wander forlornly through the aisles of local grocery stores (always careful, of course, to maintain a 6-foot distance from other customers).

Fresh food may be abundant, but the necessities of a disease quarantine — hand soap, sanitizer, toilet paper and so on — are increasingly hard to find.

For some items, such as peanut butter, this isn’t much of a problem. But for soap, hoarding could set back the country’s ability to suppress the coronavirus by making it harder for people to clean their hands — which medical professionals say is important to prevent the disease from spreading.

As it happens, economists have been thinking about the problem of hoarding for a while.

In 1991, the late Harvard University economist Martin Weitzman wrote a paper called “Price Distortion and Shortage Deformation, or What Happened to the Soap?”, in which he tried to model why stores in the Soviet Union seemed chronically low on this crucial consumer good. (The USSR didn’t need a pandemic to run out of the basics!)

To analyze shortages, Weitzman tossed out the classic assumption that supply and demand simply match each other as if by magic.

Instead, he modeled a more realistic process in which consumers buy a certain amount of something and then use it up over time, then go buy more.

He found that shortages caused by government price distortions can be self-reinforcing — the more people have to wait in line or hunt around to find soap, the more soap they’ll stock up on when they finally do get a chance to buy. Hoarding only makes the shortage more acute … Read more. 

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