Sicko In Texas Wants To Make A Buck Off Harvey Disaster, And It Might Land Her In Hot Water

Late Monday night, CNN’s Don Lemon had a phone guest who called in to the show from the apartment she was trapped in with her cousin and a one-month-old baby. Ices Bragg, in a pronounced southern drawl, described the scene around her: Rising water, fires visible from the window nearby, and perhaps most disturbing of all, an upstairs neighbor taking advantage of the situation.

Lemon asked the woman to repeat what she had told him previously about the neighbor:

Lemon: You told us last hour that one of your neighbors was trying to go upstairs to another apartment, and what happened?

Bragg: Um, the lady had told her that if she had three hundred dollars to come in to her apartment, she would let her.

Lemon: Wow. Unbelievable.

Bragg: Yes sir, it is.

The exchange was heart-stopping. We saw price-gouging on gas after Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, but watching big companies take advantage of desperate consumers is almost nothing new in this country. To hear an account of a neighbor, with the advantage of higher ground, threatening to let people die unless they pony up is nothing short of shocking.

An economy based on unbridled capitalism like we see in America almost guarantees that there will be price-gouging in some areas during times of heightened demand for whatever someone’s selling. But at the very least, there are laws prohibiting the practice during a state of emergency. That’s little comfort to the poor, but it does mean that this upstairs neighbor could — no pun intended — pay a price.

This is not the first report of price-gouging in the state. Houston is currently deluged with trillions of gallons of water. When those waters recede, the complaints that have been pouring in to the Texas Attorney General’s office will likely result in serious trouble for those they hold to account.

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Watch the CNN clip here:


Featured image via video screen capture