Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Gravediggers Gouging?

So, there was a heat wave in Pakistan, and 750 people died.  That's terrible.  Many were desperately poor, and for a heat wave to be a problem in Pakistan, it has to be hot.

And it was hot:  45 degrees Celsius.  That's 113 degrees Fahrenheit.  Or a "Real Feel," if you can trust that, of about 140 F.  More than uncomfortably hot, in other words.  Dangerous.

Well....the folks were trying to get their family members buried.  Again, terrible.  I can't imagine how awful that would be.

But here's the thing, from EE perspective.  Consider this quote:
Some said those in Karachi couldn’t find cars to carry the coffins of their dead to the cemetery and even if they made it, gravediggers overcharged them. “I literally wept when I heard a poor man didn’t have money to pay to a grave digger,” opposition lawmaker Abdul Rashid Godil said.
 Hard to say just what happened.  Was it fraud, where the charge was higher after than agreed on before?  If so, why pay?

Was it "gouging"?  That is, did the price go up in the face of scarcity?  That's kind of a different thing.
"Opposition lawmakers" are not really very reliable, even if they "literally weep."  People who use "literally" like that make me weep, frankly.

But let's take it all at face value.  There is a huge number of bodies, more than usual.  It's really hot, with a Real Feel over 135.  Is it "overcharging" if the price goes up, for extremely hard physical labor?  Would you dig a grave for the usual price if the temperature was 113, and the person had died because it was so hot?  Or would you charge more?

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Do you have suggestions on where we could find more examples of this phenomenon?