Friday , December 15 2017
Home / Carpe Diem / Electrical workers in FL are paid 2-3X the normal hourly wage and regarded as heroes. But aren’t they price gougers? – Publications – AEI

Electrical workers in FL are paid 2-3X the normal hourly wage and regarded as heroes. But aren’t they price gougers? – Publications – AEI

Summary:
AEI Electrical workers in FL are paid 2-3X the normal hourly wage and regarded as heroes. But aren’t they price gougers? This morning I received this email from a “powerless University of Miami professor”: I am a loyal reader of your blog and have enjoyed reading your coverage of price-gouging. Since I’m in Miami, still without power from Hurricane Irma, I thought I’d share something that you may find amusing. Florida Power and Light, our power company, is employing thousands of line workers from as far away as Illinois to fix the power lines in the wake of Irma. These line workers are being paid double or triple their normal hourly wages, which provides them with the financial incentive to drive to Florida and work 12-16 hour shifts in sweltering heat. The economics is clear, but why do

Topics:
Mark Perry considers the following as important: ,

This could be interesting, too:

Mark Perry writes Jeffrey Tucker on Trump enraging the center-left by defiling the sanctity of Big Government, the sacred religion of the progressive left – Publications – AEI

Mark Perry writes Tuesday evening links – Publications – AEI

Mark Perry writes The Candlemakers’ Petition: Revised and modernized for today’s climate of rising trade protectionism – Publications – AEI

Mark Perry writes Quotation of the day on the fallacy of weak productivity….. – Publications – AEI

AEI
Electrical workers in FL are paid 2-3X the normal hourly wage and regarded as heroes. But aren’t they price gougers?

This morning I received this email from a “powerless University of Miami professor”:

I am a loyal reader of your blog and have enjoyed reading your coverage of price-gouging. Since I’m in Miami, still without power from Hurricane Irma, I thought I’d share something that you may find amusing. Florida Power and Light, our power company, is employing thousands of line workers from as far away as Illinois to fix the power lines in the wake of Irma. These line workers are being paid double or triple their normal hourly wages, which provides them with the financial incentive to drive to Florida and work 12-16 hour shifts in sweltering heat. The economics is clear, but why do the press and public not accuse them of price-gouging for charging higher wages and exploiting the suffering masses of hurricane victims? Instead, they are regarded as hard-working heroes. Go figure!

Anyway, since I still don’t have power, I would prefer to remain anonymous.

MP: It’s a great point, and will be relevant for many months in the future as rebuilding takes place Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. According to this article, Hurricane Harvey destroyed 9,407 single family homes in Texas and more than 44,000 experienced major damage, so there’s going to be a lot of rebuilding for many months. If the average hourly wage nationally for a carpenter or electrician or roofer is $25, how much will those workers be allowed to charge by government officials in those states without violating anti-price-gouging laws? And like the case for electrical workers in Florida, there will be no financial incentive for construction workers from around the country to temporarily (and at great personal cost and inconvenience) travel to Texas or Florida unless they can charge a premium wage for their services that might be double or triple the normal rate. But if anti-price-gouging laws prevent those higher wages necessary to attract workers for rebuilding, the choice for many Texans and Floridians won’t be between construction workers at $25 an hour vs. $50 an hour, but between construction workers who would have been available at $50 an hour and construction workers at $25 an hour who are now NOT available.

Electrical workers in FL are paid 2-3X the normal hourly wage and regarded as heroes. But aren’t they price gougers?
Mark Perry

Mark Perry

Mark J. Perry is concurrently a scholar at AEI and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus. He is best known as the creator and editor of the popular economics blog Carpe Diem. At AEI, Perry writes about economic and financial issues for American.com and the AEIdeas blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *