[Avodah] economics 101

Zev Sero zev at sero.name
Thu Jan 10 08:36:19 PST 2013

On 10/01/2013 3:42 AM, Arie Folger wrote:
> There is a din Torah of prohibiting onaah. That concept is NOT RELATED TO
> PROFITS, but to market proces, which is set by supply and demand. On items
> for which there is a market price (milk, flour, fuel), one may not
> overcharge or underbid by more than 1/6th.

Correction: One may not deliberately overcharge or underbid *at all*.
Up to 1/6 is acceptable error, because everyone understands that it's
impossible to get it exactly right, and is mochel the difference.
At exactly 1/6 the money must be refunded, but the transaction stands.
At more than 1/6 the transaction is void.  But this is all bediavad,
after a good-faith error has been made; lechatchila one has an obligation
to get the price as accurate as one is able.

> Then, there is a different sugya, which is no longer in force,

Since when is it no longer in force?   It's of no practical effect because
it's no longer possible to make so high a profit as the halacha allows, but
at least in principle who abolished it and how did they have such a power?
AFAIK it's still in Shulchan Aruch, and is still binding halacha.  It's
just very easy to keep nowadays.

Zev Sero               A citizen may not be required to offer a 'good and
zev at sero.name          substantial reason' why he should be permitted to
                        exercise his rights. The right's existence is all
                        the reason he needs.
                            - Judge Benson E. Legg, Woollard v. Sheridan

More information about the Avodah mailing list