Panic Buying in China Over the Years, Netizen Reactions

From Baidu Tieba:

The Things We Scrambled to Buy in Those Years

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From table salt to cough medicine, from gold and luxury products to storefronts and housing, Chinese-style “panic buying” has never disappeared [consistently occurred], with the media claiming that there is nothing the Chinese won’t scramble over each other fighting for. Photo is of “panic buying” in the 80s.

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For many people, the earliest and most often seen panic buying was during the era of shortages where people scrambled to buy cabbage for the winter. This photo is of 1985, where Beijing residents scrambled to buy cabbage in preparation for winter.

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Photo shows people in the 90s scrambling to buy stocks.

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Panic buying spectacle.

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SARS and later H1N1 led to the shortage of Banlangen [a Chinese medicine, indigowoad root], with people considering it a “magical remedy”. This photo was taken in April of 2013, in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, where one pharmacy’s Banlangen had sold out.

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Panic buying during SARS

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During SARS, face masks became a “necessity/must-have”, with people lining up to buy them.

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A scene in a supermarket during SARS.

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An emptied-out supermarket during SARS.

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On 2011 March 11, a 8.9 Richer scale earthquake happened in Japan, which caused a radiation leak at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Cities across China witnessed wide-scale panic buying of salt, and salt prices soared. Salt flew off store shelves, and many supermarkets put up sold out signs one after another. People then turned their attention toward soy sauce… later the rumor of salt being contaminated was refuted by the government and both demand for and prices of salt returned to normal. However, this led to widespread salt returns across the country, inciting heated debate online.

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Salt sellers line up outside the store house belonging to Zhejiang Taizhou Jiaojiang Salt Corporation.

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The salt panic buying crisis.

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Edible salt supplies could not meet demand.

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Aunties [older middle-aged women] who had managed to buy multiple bags of salt.

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The cleared out salt shelves at a supermarket in Zhuji city of Zhejiang province.

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A supermarket in Wenzhou, Zhejiang, an employee puts up a sign that “all salt at this store has been sold out”.

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A supermarket in Kunming, where panic buying of salt by city residents happened.

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Edible salt piled up like a mountain in a warehouse in Zhuji city of Zhejiang province, an ample supple in the warehouse.

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In Hangzhou, salt sellers receiving new shipments of salt at night. In reality, salt was plentiful in the warehouses and were enough ensure a 3 month supply.

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In a supermarket in Jinghua, Zhejiang, certain brands of soy sauce also encountered panic buying.

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In a supermarket in Shanghai, consumers panic buying soy sauce.

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In Qionghai, Hainan, city residents lined up to buy iodized salt.

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Housewives scrambled over each other to buy [salt].

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Panic buying of edible salt throughout the country.

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In recent years, Chinese people have been buying up luxury goods around the world, and were considered a bright spot during the gloomy global recession.

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In London, on Boxing Day two days after Christmas, many luxury stores began large scale discounts and price-reductions to entice consumers to shop. In the masses of shoppers were many Chinese faces, struggling in the packed crowds perhaps only in the hope of buying a discounted LV [Louis Vuitton] bag.

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During shopping sales [like Black Friday], Chinese people in line waiting for the store to open.

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This photo shows consumers waiting in line at a Hainan duty free store.

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On 2007 July 25, international luxury brand Louis Vuitton opened its first store in Nanjing, with people rushing to buy LV bags where even the cheapest ones cost nearly 10,000 kuai.

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At the scene of the housing unit lottery for the Hukou Relocation Community [housing built for displaced rural villagers whose rural homes have been demolished in the course of urban expansion] on Fozuling Street in Wuhan Donghu Gaoxing district, due to there being too many people, and in order to prevent stampedes, the local police dispatched dozens of riot police and civil police officers to maintain order. Fozuling Street Demloition and Relocation Director Wu Meihao explained that the Hukou Community has 25 buildings with a total of 2553 units, and 1500 households totaling 3750 villagers participated in this lottery drawing to obtain housing.

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On the morning of 2009 August 8, in Hubei, Wuhan, hundreds of residents waited overnight to buy an apartment.

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In Jiaozuo, Henan, thousands of people fought for housing. In 2012 January 26, a housing development in Jiaozuo began sales of units, attracting nearly a thousand homebuyers. After the selection of units began at 9am, the scene spiraled out of control, and numerous guards had to maintain order. Just after 1 hour, all 104 units were sold out.

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Guiyang city residents lined up for 3 days and 3 nights to buy retail storefronts. A shopping mall in Guiyang began sales [of store units], and one after another the city residents and investors who had already lined up for three days and three nights got their numbers for choosing retail units, but because there were so many people and situation was tense, police too arrived at the scene to maintain order.

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2012 January, Beijing, people lined up overnight waiting to buy the new iPhone 4S.

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One of the customers who managed to get an Apple iPad.

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Mainland smugglers rushing to buy milk powder before Hong Kong enacts purchase limits. 2013 February 28, several smugglers from Shenzhen brought in nearly a hundred can of milk powder. The “limits on infant milk formula exiting [the HK] border” announced by the Hong Kong SAR government were to be formally implemented on March 1st, limiting individuals 16 years and older to bringing only two cans of of milk powder or soy milk powder out of the region for infants and children 36 months or younger.

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When Maoming’s chicken prices plummeted, city residents drove there to buy them up. Due to the impact from the H7N9 bird flu, Maoming’s live chicken prices began to tank. Reporters visited Maoming’s various farmers’ markets and discovered endless stream of customers buying chicken, even leading to a buying frenzy.

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Employees distributing gold jewelry. 2013 April 25, in a nearly 1000 square meter gold showroom at a Hangzhou jewelry company, an employee who has plugged her ears to avoid hearing gold store owners begging her to distribute more gold to them [to resell] just barely evaded a gold store owner from “grabbing” some gold jewelery.

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4000kg of fresh fish from the Diaoyu Islands was snatched up. A batch of fresh fish caught near in the waters around the Diaoyu Islands arrived in Shanghai, 4000kg of filefish, mackerel, anvil fish, and red fish were all snatched up by buyers.

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When the Central bank issued 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party commemorative coins, city residents lined up to buy them.

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On 2008 July 24, at the Beijing Olympics ticket center, city residents lined up to buy Olympic tickets.

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In 2007, the Chinese stock market entered an era of stock speculating by the general public. This photo shows the lobby of a Hainan Haikou securities exchange, as city residents lined up to open accounts.

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2013 January, continuous days of smog in Beijing made face masks a hot selling item. Photo is of the front desk of a hospital in Beijing, where city residents are purchasing disposable face masks.

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2013 March, after new regulations were issued, a new wave of second-hand home buying occurred in various parts of the country. This photo shows Jinan residents lining up to register to buy new apartments.

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Residents in Hangzhou buying bottled water at various major supermarkets. It was reported that after Hangzhou’s water supply was contaminated by phenol on the evening of June 4th, Hangzhou residents began rushing to supermarkets to buy drinking water. According to reports, at around 10:55pm on the night of June 4th, a tanker truck en route to a chemical plant crashed on the highway and spilled chemical phenol. Due to the thunderstorm at the time, some phenol washed into Xingan River leading to a partial contamination of the river.

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Hong Kong residents lined up to buy salt. After the Japanese earthquake and nuclear power plant radiation leak, there was one rumor that radiation would contaminate ocean waters, and that sea salt produced from now on would also contain radiation; another rumor was that the iodine in salt can protect against radiation. Either way, after the rumors spread, many city residents panicked and all followed others to buy salt.

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Lanzhou Transportation Corporation began to issue the long awaited Public Transit Card. At 1am residents already began to arrive to preorder the card from the Lanzhou Transportation Corporation in the hope that they can obtain the cards earlier. By 8am on the day the Lanzhou Transportation Corporation was scheduled to begin issuing preorders for the IC card, over 10,000 city residents were on at the scene to get their preorders. As the number of city residents in line increased, by about 8:40am, disorder at the scene in the face of exceptional demand prevented sales from continuing.

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When Kingsoft antivirus software promised to give away 100,000 free copies to consumers, Beijing consumers waited outside major electronic shops. As time dragged on, order deteriorated.

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A shopping mall Anhui Lu’an packed with shoppers. A shopping mall in Anhui province Lu’an city held a massive night sale and attracted over ten thousand residents. Cooking oil, toilet paper and other daily necessities were all snatched up in less than 2 hours.

Comments on Baidu Tieba:

虎思斡尔朵:

Look at what Americans are panic buying. Whenever there are debates about gun control, guns and ammo fly off the shelves. Now look at China. I have nothing to say.

相声词:

I remember in the 80s people were panic buying household appliances. Now that was really crazy, appliances being bought even without first opening the packaging.

ebara0025:

The planned economy times went on for too long, there is still a fear of shortages. On the whole, it is an anxiety due to a sort of insecurity.

幺四零零炮:

First: Only when the generation that lived through the planned economy era and are nervous about shortages has died off can panic buying disappear. Second: Only after a bunch of people are executed in a crack down on government-business collusion and corruption can the import of luxury goods cease.

骑士基:

I remember someone hoarding over 3 tons of salt.

l1997919:

Several years ago in Jilin, when the local chemical plant spilled into the Songhua River, one bottle of Wahaha water cost 5-6 kuai, and during H1N1, even thermometers were expensive.

冷雪与热火:

What is the point of lining up for electronics? The price drops after a few months!

吃榴莲的人:

That time, I actually unexpectedly participated in panic buying salt. That morning, I went to buy groceries. We actually were out of salt at home, so I went the supermarket and discovered that there weren’t any, and even stupidly asked the cashier why there was no salt. Only after I got home and went online did I learn that all the salt had been bought up by people.

Comments on Baidu Tieba:

海市蜃樓v:

Chinese aunties [older middle-aged women].

lhl121_2009:

Actually, it’s the same abroad too. Human nature.

LoooooongDD:

China has always been a place of many people but limited resources; since we were small, we’ve had to compete to get into schools, compete for jobs, compete for girlfriends, etc… Ever since we were young, we’ve had the notion of “[fighting, scrambling, competing for things]”, so whenever something happens, the first reaction is to [panic buy].

巴黎在水里:

All of this is embarrassing.

大灰羊1号:

They also scramble to loot things from overturned trucks on the highway.

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  • bang2tang

    Hysteria at LV store ㅋㅋㅋ

  • christina

    haahahah this doesn’t look too different from black friday lines in nyc to me.
    I remember one time when I was walking home at 3 am with a bunch of my friends after a huge thanksgiving party, the line outside best buy wrapped around the block.

    • YourSupremeCommander

      Then you realized you should have not gone to the thanksgiving dinner and should have waited in line too.

    • Webster

      Keyword: Line

      • Guest

        You clearly haven’t seen a black friday sale. Line my a$$.

      • Pharenheit

        You clearly haven’t seen a black friday sale. Line my a$$.

        • Webster

          I used to work at Best Buy…

          • Pharenheit

            Well then you should know better shouldn’t you.

          • Webster

            Better than most…
            But then again, why shouldn’t I take whatever pops up on the news as the rule?

          • Pharenheit

            Post as many pics as you want. The ‘better than them’ point you were trying to make with your comment is, refuted.

          • Webster

            I made no such point.
            I simply pointed out that it was a line.

          • Pharenheit

            If you don’t know how to anticipate the contextual implications of your comments, perhaps don’t post.

          • Wa

            If “Keyword: Line” presents such overwhelmingly objectionable contextual implications, implications that you alone drew out, perhaps you shouldn’t post.

          • Pharenheit

            “overwhelmingly objectionable contextual implications” Drama much?

          • Wa

            5 posts and counting in response to “Keyword: Line”. A declaration of victory and a spurious attribution of a “better than them” point. Yet my comment is drama?

          • Pharenheit

            You. Are. Exhausting. Get. Lost.

  • Angry_African_man

    A similar thing happened in our country in 1999, an astrologer predicted great famine in our country and everyone was buying rice and maize like crazy, farmers got rich that year because they tripled the price of those items. The famine didn’t happen and the farmers were hit with crisis the next year because no one was buying their rice and maize, they were hit pretty bad, I remember my grandpa laughing his ass off because he told everyone that no famine is going to happen.

    • Tom

      Cool story bro ;_;

      • Angry_African_man

        Thanks Tom

  • Irvin

    From what I heard from my parents about cultural revolution, I can empathize with these people, running out of rice is a scary thing.

  • hess

    “Actually, it’s the same abroad too. Human nature.” I agree, at least at liquor shops here in Sweden during major holidays

    • ClausRasmussen

      In Denmark people were panic buying yeast during a major labour conflict 15 years ago. Yeast ?! What were they thinking ? lol

      • hess

        Haha, yeast is a thing I could live without I guess. Especially since I can make pizza dough with baking soda

        • Dick Leigh

          BLEGH. Don’t you DARE try to make focaccia with baking soda!

          • hess

            It’s not bad at all (it’s thin-crust though, not the american kind). Never made focaccia in my life.

  • videmus

    Some of these are just extreme bargain hunting (genuine demand), not panic buying (naive demand).

    • Rick in China

      The only situations I’ve seen were extreme bargain hunting – but I think the article is referring more towards the situations where some news story or environmental situation causes people to freak out and stock up (even at higher price) on whatever item they think they need to ‘weather the storm’…especially when it makes no reasonable sense to do so.

      • Teacher in China

        Yeah, totally. I think that’s the difference between here and at least my country anyway. I can’t remember any incidents when people were panic buying because of some news story of contaminated goods and the like. But Boxing Day? 32″ TV for $100 at Best Buy? You’d better bring riot gear….

  • Markus Peg

    Makes me think of zombie movies…

    • YourSupremeCommander

      Chks bum rushing LV is just as nasty as Nggrs bum rushing Walmart. Sad sad world we live in.

  • Rick in China

    I saw something similar in an Auchan a few months ago – for tissues of various sorts. It was tissues by “Vinda” I think.

    There were wet-bag tissues in larger plastic bags in two varieties and toilet paper. *EVERY* cart had a few bags of toilet paper in it. Many had entire carts full of toilet paper, stacking well above the cart. The employees were just going back’n’forth to fill up the area with the tissues. I wouldn’t say this is a panic buy on the scale of the panic buys that make headlines, just a normal ‘wow what a deal’ thing – but when I asked what the normal price for that toilet paper was just out of curiosity, it was about 11rmb/12roll or whatever difference each. WTF.

    It was really fun just to watch, so much excitement and eagerness in a huge mob of people just to get some toilet paper. Then they’ve got to stack that shit and keep it at home for months.

  • death_by_ivory

    For sure that was a rumor created by salt farmers to buy salt and triple their income.What do you do with so much salt?I bought one box over a year ago,I still have some and we cook home everyday.Most ingredients are already salty why add so much more?Not healthy.

    • chandlerpatrick

      Same for me – I cook for my family all the time, and I never use salt. If I do, it’s literally just a pinch. I’m not a health freak, but all foods have natural flavors, and if you do it right, you need little or no salt.
      The Chinese thought it could prevent radiation poisoning… I’m not sure how though…

      • ex-expat

        They falsely believed the iodine in iodized salt would protect them from radiation.

    • Wa

      *Looks up while salting his dog carcass* Oh, hi there. While laboring to preserve my food for the next 3 months, I couldn’t help but notice your post. Perhaps there are questions you have about the miraculous powers of salt? As a marinade, a desiccant, to it I admit affinity; what need for freezers or formaldehyde when one has salinity? *Turns on The National’s “I Should Live in Salt” and clutches his heart*

  • YourSupremeCommander

    As I had predicted all along, no one will give a shit about MH370 anymore in about 2 months time.

    • Paul Schoe

      disagree, the fact that that there is limited news (the satellite papers have just been released) doesn’t mean that ‘no one gives a shit’.

  • Mob mentality…a nation of followers…void of independence and creativity

    • Pharenheit

      STFU. What a mentally retarded intellectually spastic comment.

    • angry laowai

      i must agree with your comment

  • mr.wiener

    Maybe they can change the names of the Chinese astrological years to whichever panic hit that year [in the past] “Year of the salt panic”, “Year of the housing bubble’
    ..etc.
    That said, What Christine et al have already said is correct, this type of panic buying can, and has happened anywhere….but the greater population density in asia makes these events more frequent and noticeable. Through necessity perhaps asian thinking has put the interests of family above others [more so than the west] . Westerners get very uncomfortable and critical when the see things like this as I think it reminds them that the layers of civilization and civility are very thin indeed.

    • Insomnicide

      “It was many winters ago, in the year of the great salt panic….”

  • SonofSpermcube

    “Second: Only after a bunch of people are executed in a crack down
    on government-business collusion and corruption can the import of luxury
    goods cease.”

    Only when this presents an existential threat to the party will this happen.

  • ScottLoar

    In the 70’s a dock strike on the West Coast of the USA prompted residents in the state of Hawaii to buy up – are you ready? – toilet paper. In no time toilet paper could not be had, public toilets were raided for the stuff and the University asked that people respect the rolls in the campus restrooms by using only what was immediately needed. This is the human condition, not peculiar to any nation or people, but always prompted by what people perceive as great demand for limited supply: Cabbage Patch Kids, I-Pads, discounted wedding dresses, vinegar to protect against SARS, the list goes on and on and on. People have been trampled and killed in the scramble for discounts, rock concert seats…

  • Ke Da Fu

    Song of the Article

    Flight of the Bubblebee
    -Rimsky-Korsakov

    Now and Always
    -50c

  • diverdude7

    salt? wtf?

  • B*tches, Leave

    I’ve seen worse … black friday *ta-dam-ta-daammmmmm*

  • chandlerpatrick

    I honestly have so little respect for people who will wait in line all night to get a LV bag… Same for those who wait to get ipads and iphones… But then again, I waited in line to get Red Hot Chili Peppers tickets once, and got the new Harry Potter book at midnight when it came out… It’s not like I waited 12 hours and pitched a tent to sleep in. It was like 3 hours… Material things mean nothing to me, and I would never EVER wait in line all night to get something which I could simply buy at my leisure days/weeks later. Like I said, material things hold little meaning for me, so Boxing Day and Black Friday type deals mean nothing to me, because I wouldn’t be buying that crap anyway. Chinese measure success by the material junk that you have compiled over the years. Pathetic.

    • ScottLoar

      Boxing Day and Black Friday type deals mean nothing to you yet you admit to waiting in line for Red Hot Chili Peppers tickets and the new Harry Potter book, waiting three hours no less. So, what’s the difference between you and your concert tickets you hold dear and women wanting a discounted LV bag? If those same women were to wait behind you at the Harry Potter sale they’d be redeemed with your respect?

      • chandlerpatrick

        Oh dear, you clearly did not notice the words “But then again”… I have acknowleded my hypocrisy. Furthermore, these were things done almost 15 years ago – My views and priorities have changed, and I would not do the same thing today. I think that concert tickets are one thing, but a LV bag so you can show it off to your peers is quite another.

        • ScottLoar

          You don’t convince me of the difference but do hope one day you’ll find yourself in long line for concert tickets with at least one woman toting an LV bag.

          • chandlerpatrick

            Thankfully, I don’t need to wait in line for concert tickets anymore – because I have a credit card, and would buy online. But nice try. Go be smarmy elsewhere Loar.

    • loki

      let me paraphrase for the people who hate reading shit posts…

      Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah.

      Material things mean nothing to me,

      Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah

      Pathetic.

    • Teacher in China

      “Chinese measure success by the material junk that you have compiled over the years. Pathetic.”

      Replace “Chinese” with virtually any and every other nationality on the planet, and I’m in complete agreement with you.

      • Zappa Frank

        however not every other nationality on the planet use to spend one month of salary to buy an iphone or an ipad like among Chinese..

        • Alex Dương

          What does “Vivere al di sopra dei propri mezzi” mean?

          • Zappa Frank

            I know the meaning of the sentence and than? what do you imply?

          • Alex Dương

            Come on, Frank. Living beyond your means, which is apparently what that translates to English, is hardly a Chinese thing.

          • Zappa Frank

            I did not say is just Chinese. But paying the salary of 1 or 2 months for an ipad or an iphone is a completely different level that I’ve seen only in china on this scale.. As well as people with luxury cars and crappy houses. It is not that doesn’t happen elsewhere, but really I’ve seen just in china even people with a salary of 2000-3000 yuan having an ipad and an iphone..

          • Alex Dương

            I don’t know anything about Italian consumption culture. But if you know what I mean by “vivere al di sopra dei propri mezzi,” then I think the difference here is not as large as you think it is. In the U.S., of course there are very few people earning 2000/6.24=~320 dollars a month on a salary basis, but relatively speaking, it’s not surprising to see working-class people with smart phones.

          • Zappa Frank

            my point is that although It may exists somewhere else, I’ve never seen so many people willing to spend one month of their salary for an iphone or ipad.
            “vivere al di sopra dei propri mezzi” is not strictly related with brands and objects, but usually with vacations, locals, bars having a life in a certain way and other things… of course is not any better, but here we were arguing about people that are obsessed with material junks and on this point I’ve never seen someone more obsessed than Chinese. It is not that in wester country no one buy an iphone even while unemployed, but apparently in china is pretty common to buy it spending one month of salary and even when people talk about buying an iphone or and ipad as “a dream” as I heard more than one time, I do not see the social stigma and look down upon that I usually see in other listeners in western countries.

          • Alex Dương

            Consumerism (“consumismo”) might be worse in China compared to Italy or the U.S. I certainly grant this possibility. But I disagree with Patrick, who seems to suggest that only the Chinese are consumerist.

          • Rick in China

            Of course consumerism is a global phenomenon. I think it’d be silly to think it’s as widespread and stretched as it is in China. Maybe living one side or the other too long can blind people to this but, my buddy visited me in China for the first time a few weeks ago, after a few days, was just *floored* by the materialism and consumerism here, the malls and floods of people buying shit daily everywhere, so many empty malls even…

            I agree with Frank about the iPad/iPhone thing – and “working class” with smart phone isn’t necessarily a big deal in some countries, but I think Frank’s point is the % of salary spent on _unnecessary luxuries_ is far higher here.

            One thing Frank isn’t taking into consideration though is: the % of disposable income from, even the low wage earners, is relatively high compared to most western countries. They may not earn much, but many maintain such a tiny cost of living that out of their meagre earnings they can still save quite a bit (relatively) at the end of the day. I don’t think that, in this case, it’s unreasonable for some younger people to want to have some ‘luxury’ thing, I remember when I was a kid I’d always be saving up to get whatever newest gaming console or video card or some nerdy shit like that, not _much_ of a difference in that regard I suppose.

          • Germandude

            Rick, when well-established branding and marketing hit consumers that are new to consumption, that’s what happens. Marketing 101 and nothing much to feel curious about.

            We should be happy that we were born into societies that have passed this consumerism extreme already (without forgetting that we still have enough brand-whores still).

            I am happy that I know that a BMW 7 looks great, grants a certain quality standard and is a funny toy around with. I also know that no matter the marketing propaganda thrown at me, a BMW 7 is not free of failure, does not usually cook meals for me and comes with high fuel costs additionally to the high initial bill.

            Some people still have to learn this but let them do their own experiments to figure. No harm done.

          • Rick in China

            “No harm done.” — there sort of is…

            I agree with your analysis, though.

          • Alex Dương

            Consumerism could definitely be worse or even much worse in China than Canada / the U.S. I agree with that. I only disagree with Patrick that consumerism is a Chinese thing. Just because he isn’t materialistic doesn’t mean he can speak for everyone else in his country, much less the West as a whole.

          • Rick in China

            Absolutely. I’d love to know what country lacks consumerism, that’s a pretty indefensible position.

            Thing is – in China, I don’t think the ills of consumerism and materialism are commonly taught as a value. Growing up my mom would always tell me stories with the intent of basically, those who waste all their money on shit end up with nothing in the end, or something to that extent.. and those who are financially conservative are the ones who end up with nice homes (I don’t consider a nice home to fit in with materialism, even though it sort of is). I don’t know that in China, grandparents (often) raising children have anything near that sort of story to tell, perhaps the difficulties China has had through the 20th century give them more of a “get what you can while you can” perspective, because at some points – if you didn’t fight through the crowd for the rice being handed out, you’d be the family with none. Either way, hopefully it will change.

          • ClausRasmussen

            >> Of course consumerism is a global phenomenon

            I think it also belongs to a certain stage of the development of a society. If you have been poor most of your life and then suddenly got wealthy enough to buy stuff, you would be prone consumerism. Although this example is on individual level, it aggregates into how a society acts.

            My grand grandparents were poor landless farmers, and while they were not starving, food was a limited resource and certainly so for quality food. I still remember the beaming and the almost childish glee they displayed at the diner table in their old age in a now much richer country. All that food ! They felt they were the luckiest people in the whole World.

          • Rick in China

            Right. Lotto winners being a prime example..

          • Germandude

            The problem that @zappa_frank:disqus is pointing out is the discrepancy between income and the willingness of spending the equivalent of 1-2 months salary on a single product such as an iPhone.

            Personally I think it’s weird and in a sense, an extreme thing you can see here. Many people are willing to purchase extremely expensive brand products to “show face”. Especially the people in the middle class.
            It does look weird if you compare the middle class spending of China with the spending of the middle class in Europe as of today, where in Europe, people spent into more meaningful goods such as houses, travelling (=education) and healthy food. (of course there are exceptions).

            It looks weird here, yes, I think so too. However, considering the speed of development and “riding on the wave of success and showing it” is probably sth we don’t understand in the west, because we were usually born into better conditions with a more steady growth of wealth in the last couple of decades.

            Consumer behavior in China will change over time.

          • Alex Dương

            The average middle class German, for example, has a much higher income than the average middle class Chinese. They’re not really showing off by buying iPhones. Also, for all I know, Germans might be much less consumerist than Americans.

            http://www.joplinglobe.com/dailybusiness/x1800096357/US-consumerism-a-sharp-contrast-to-German-frugality

            So maybe what you see is very different from what you remember back home. This type of behavior, while still possibly worse in China, isn’t so different from what I see in the U.S.

          • harvz

            I guess since we’re making ignorant sweeping statements, now would be a better time than any to ask why Italy just can’t seem to have a stable government?

          • Zappa Frank

            Because we have elections and not a dictatorship I guess

    • Science Patrol

      Well at least you have the self regard to feel superior to complete strangers.

  • ESL Ninja

    Dumb fuckers.

    • Dr Sun

  • Tom

    From my own experience as a laowai, I can only say, that Chinese love gathering with crowds, they simply like presence of other people, and they don’t mind personal space (there’s no “personal space” in China, as there’s almost no privacy), so no wonder they won’t hesitate to participate in any kind of activities like that. Moreover Chinese culture seems to be strongly compete oriented. Not only to buy a particular good because they need them, but mostly to have fun in the tide. It is a human nature – a quest for social acceptance.
    In Europe “panic buying” isn’t really that popular anymore, I guess… But pretty much the same scenes (in smaller scale, of course), we can observe when it comes to a sales or new hot product release (mostly artificially driven by brand company).

  • Le chat

    The principle of economics…China will make so many good case studies.

  • Surfeit

    Some parts of a Chinese mindset are understandable, given history and society. I think panic buying is one of those things, no matter how uncivilised and stupid it seems on the surface.

    • Alex Dương

      http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/Panic-buying-burst-pipe-Forest-town/story-21061646-detail/story.html

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/9810245/UK-snow-panic-buying-hits-supermarkets-as-shelves-stripped-bare.html

      http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/london-riots-baseball-bat-sales-184712

      The baseball bat one is my favorite, by the way :) Of course, my country isn’t immune either. There have been several instances of ammunition shortages in the past few years due to panic buying.

      • Surfeit

        What’s your point here?

        • Alex Dương

          Damn, you can be really dense at times. Panic buying isn’t a Chinese thing. It happens everywhere.

          • Surfeit

            Err.. did I say it didn’t?

          • Alex Dương

            Some parts of a Chinese mindset are understandable, given history and society. I think panic buying is one of those things, no matter how uncivilised and stupid it seems on the surface.

          • Surfeit

            You haven’t answered the question.

          • Alex Dương

            Oh, I answered it. If you want to act dumb, though, that’s your choice.

          • Surfeit

            I’m not acting dumb, I’m trying to understand how you got from A to B.

          • Alex Dương

            You said panic buying is a part of the Chinese mindset:

            Some parts of a Chinese mindset are understandable, given history and society. I think panic buying is one of those things,

            You then implied that panic buying was not universal insofar as people who are not “uncivilized and stupid” do not do it:

            no matter how uncivilised and stupid it seems on the surface.

            I then pointed out that panic buying has happened in the U.K. fairly recently. In typical Surfeit fashion, you act as if the dots here can’t be connected.

          • Surfeit

            The article being ‘Panic Buying in China Over the Years’ I was certainly directing my comments at Chinese.

            The uncivilised and stupidity I see in it is people clambering over each other, knocking people down, cutting queues and rushing desks. Again, my point was directed at the Chinese, but certainly not exclusive. (I’ve seen some crazy bitches in Selfridges, London.)

            That kind of behaviour is a lot more apparent in China though. When the supermarkets open in the morning, train station ticket offices, people stealing cabs, panic buying, even in hospitals! This I put down to Chinese history and society. There’s certainly a ‘take or be taken from’ thing going on. I think that’s something you have to learn to understand about Chinese people, and that’s why I used the word ‘seems’ before calling it outright uncivilised and stupid.

            There certainly are people who don’t act like this. You used the word ‘shortages’ actually, and I think that a key difference. An image of an empty shelf doesn’t quite compare to people packed like sardines to get their hands on things. Again, not to say panic buying is exclusive to China, nor that nauseating behaviour is. Just that my words were directed at Chinese panic buying, because that was the topic in discussion.

          • Alex Dương

            The uncivilised and stupidity I see in it is people clambering over each other, knocking people down, cutting queues and rushing desks. Again, my point was directed at the Chinese, but certainly not exclusive. (I’ve seen some crazy bitches in Selfridges, London.)

            That has nothing to do with panic buying. Chinese people do that even in “normal” times. You yourself recognize this:

            That kind of behaviour is a lot more apparent in China though.

            That’s certainly bad behavior that I don’t condone or defend. My comment is that you are trying to say that panic buying is part of the Chinese mindset, which is ridiculous. Your fellow Brits desperately tried to tell me otherwise, but all they could do was say that I didn’t pick good examples of British panic buying (and thus acknowledge that panic buying does exist in the U.K.) or that panic buying that is done for “legitimate” reasons isn’t panic buying (which is just a lame attempt at redefining the act because Wa likes to overexaggerate cultural differences).

            Uh, OK.

            An image of an empty shelf doesn’t quite compare to people packed like sardines to get their hands on things.

            Gee, could the fact that China has 20x the population of the U.K. have anything to do with imagery of people being packed like sardines?

          • Surfeit

            That has nothing to do with panic buying. Chinese people do that even in “normal” times.

            It is relevant because that is what people do, which I understand to be a result of the mindset I was taking about. It couldn’t be any more relevant.

            you are trying to say that panic buying is part of the Chinese mindset, which is ridiculous.

            I said ‘a’, not ‘the’. Which isn’t so ridiculous given the article subject.

            could the fact that China has 20x the population of the U.K. have anything to do with imagery of people being packed like sardines?

            Yes. The size of society is different. One of the two reasons I highlighted for my understanding of the mindset in discussion is society.

            You’re adamant on disagreeing, and you’re now beginning to sway towards other arguments in order to ratify this one. I never said panic buying was exclusive to China. I never said seemingly uncivilised and stupid behaviour was either. I’ve reiterated these points and you’re still steadfast that I have done something wrong.

            Take a breath, man. Just read through things and see that I didn’t say the things you think I did.

          • Alex Dương

            I never said panic buying was exclusive to China.

            You said panic buying is a part of *cough* “a” Chinese mindset, and then you doubled down on this twice. No. Panic buying is not Chinese behavior. It’s human behavior.

          • Surfeit

            It is part of a Chinese mindset. I didn’t double down, I tried to explain to you that I never said it was exclusive to Chinese. You think I implied something, so I tried to further explain the meaning behind my original words.

            Recap.

            The reason I specified a Chinese mindset is because the article is about Chinese panic buying. I commented on how I can understand it being part of a Chinese mindset, given Chinese history and society.

            Not once have I said panic buying is solely a Chinese thing.

          • Alex Dương

            It is part of a Chinese mindset.

            OK, we’ve established that these are your words, and you accept them. Two questions:

            1. Is panic buying part of a British mindset?
            2. Is panic buying part of a human mindset?

          • Surfeit

            Panic buying is innate in many mindsets regardless of ethnicity and/or race, and/or nationality. I tried to explain this after you insisted I intimated otherwise.

            my point was directed at the Chinese, but certainly not exclusive. (I’ve seen some crazy bitches in Selfridges, London.)

            Again, not to say panic buying is exclusive to China, nor that nauseating behaviour is. Just that my words were directed at Chinese panic buying, because that was the topic in discussion.

          • Alex Dương

            So in the end, panic buying is a part of “a Chinese mindset” because it is a part of “a human mindset,” and the Chinese are human. It has nothing to do with Chinese “history and society.” Great.

          • Surfeit

            In the end? I never said anything to the contrary during this entire episode.

            I used Chinese history and society to explain how I can understand panic buying in a Chinese mind. As per the topic at hand.

          • Alex Dương

            I used Chinese history and society to explain how I can understand panic buying in a Chinese mind.

            Since panic buying is a human thing, why do you need Chinese history and society to “understand panic buying in a Chinese mind”? Do you need Chinese history and society to understand why the Chinese need to breath air, drink water, eat food, use the bathroom, and sleep?

          • Surfeit

            Those are essential functions in humans, panic buying is not.

            Again, the article was about panic buying in China, so I was referring to that.

          • Alex Dương

            No, it isn’t. But you agree that it’s a part of “a human mindset.” If you don’t need Chinese history and society to understand why Chinese do essential things, why do you need Chinese history and society to understand why Chinese do non-essential things that everybody else does too?

          • Surfeit

            Panic buying is innate in many mindsets regardless of ethnicity and/or race, and/or nationality.

            Some parts of a Chinese mindset are understandable, given history and society.

            I think a mindset can be affected by a great deal of things. Chinese history and society can provide insight into the mindset behind panic buying within China. The article is ‘Panic Buying in China Over the Years’, so that was what I commented on.

          • Alex Dương

            I don’t see how. Panic buying happens because people fear shortages and price increases. Chinese history and society doesn’t change that at all.

          • Surfeit

            The uncivilised and stupidity I see in it is people clambering over each other, knocking people down, cutting queues and rushing desks. Again, my point was directed at the Chinese, but certainly not exclusive. (I’ve seen some crazy bitches in Selfridges, London.)
            That kind of behaviour is a lot more apparent in China though. When the supermarkets open in the morning, train station ticket offices, people stealing cabs, panic buying, even in hospitals! This I put down to Chinese history and society. There’s certainly a ‘take or be taken from’ thing going on.

            I think there are elements of fear behind some Chinese panic buying that goes beyond that of others. China has such a huge society, and in the past many Chinese have suffered. There as been ruthless undercutting and corner cutting with ordinary people falling victim. Other countries have better infrastructure, welfare, and compensation schemes, and they’ve had it for a while now. Chinese people have suffered, and I think that gives them an extra impetus or incentive to protect themselves.

          • Alex Dương

            As I already mentioned, the bad behavior you described happens even in “normal” times. I don’t defend or condone it at all, but it is not limited to panic buying. Both the U.S. and the U.K. have much, much, much better infrastructure and social safety programs than China do, yet you still see panic buying in these countries (and others).

            You don’t need Chinese history and society to understand why the Chinese do a non-essential thing that everybody else does.

          • Surfeit

            It’s generally done in a different manner. In the UK, people won’t usually be pushing and shoving to get things. You wait your turn. It’s not very often you see people acting so intensely to get things. It is different, and for different reasons.

          • Alex Dương

            Like I said, if you want to say that people in the U.K. are much better behaved when it comes to panic buying, I completely accept that. No dispute whatsoever. My dispute is only that you are trying to use Chinese history and society to explain why the Chinese do something that everybody does. That makes no sense.

          • Surfeit

            I’m not using Chinese history and society to explain why the Chinese do something that everybody does. I’m using it to explain why I can understand it within a Chinese mind, because that is what the article is about.

            It makes more sense to me than a Brit panic buying, because basically there is nothing essential that can’t easily be had in the UK.

          • Alex Dương

            Again, when everybody does this, what’s so special about how this is done “within a Chinese mind”?

            It makes more sense to me than a Brit panic buying, because basically there is nothing essential that can’t easily be had in the UK.

            That the U.K. is a much wealthier nation per capita than China is doesn’t change that when people fear shortages or price increases, essentials get bought out very quickly. When it comes to behavior that can be observed in all humans, you really don’t need to look at history or society.

          • Surfeit

            Like I said, if you want to say that people in the U.K. are much better behaved when it comes to panic buying, I completely accept that.

            This is a difference, and that difference is a result of effects upon the mindset of different people. Sure things get bought out very quickly, at the motivations are the same in essence, but what drives that motivation is noticeably different in different people.

            Since the article is about panic buying in China, I thought about why a Chinese might panic buy.

          • Alex Dương

            Dude, if you want to say that British people panic buy with more class and better manners than Chinese people, go for it. I’m 100% sure that’s true. But British people are motivated to panic buy for the same reason Chinese people are motivated to panic buy: they’re afraid that a shortage or a price rise might be coming.

          • Surfeit

            The comment before last it was behaviour, now it’s motivations.

            I think it can be assessed beyond the simplistic ‘they’re afraid that a shortage or a price rise might be coming.’
            Fears are driven in different ways, since the article is about panic buying in China, I commented on that, and not upon Britain, or anywhere else.

          • Alex Dương

            It really is just that simple: people panic buy when they’re afraid of a forthcoming shortage or price rise.

          • Surfeit

            Yes, but I think in a Chinese mindset not having something (i.e. Fresh water) can result in serious repercussions, such as death. There was famine in recent history, and people still fight for things. In the UK it’s simply not possible to think that way, because we have a different history and society. There are different driving forces behind the simplistic action.

          • Alex Dương

            And yet, Cinderford residents thought in that same exact way, as they rushed to buy bottled water when their main water pipe burst.

          • Surfeit

            They panic bought, arguably yes. Did they fear death? No.

          • Alex Dương

            Death? No. A shortage of bottled water? Yes.

            As for “arguably yes,” OK, fine, but I really don’t get this extreme reluctance from you, Boris, and Wa to admit that even residents of first-world countries panic buy. How about I talk about my country so you don’t feel defensive about your country?

            http://www.thewire.com/national/2013/02/supermarket-apocalypse-upon-us/61941/

            Did any of these people fear death if they didn’t rush to buy groceries? No. Did they fear a shortage of groceries? Yes. They did this even though they all have cars and can “easily” drive to a nearby town to buy groceries.

            If people panic buy in the wealthiest, most developed country in the world, why would people not panic buy in China?

          • Surfeit

            ‘Arguably’, because all you showed to me was empty shelves. I didn’t see any ‘panic’. I’ve never actually seen that in the UK, but I’ve witnessed it in China.

            I have never denied panic buying in western countries, but that is not the topic at hand. So quite why you make this quip, I’m unsure. You seem to consistently change your quandary to fit your rebuttal of my previous statement.

            Your insistence is monotonous, though, given some of the things said, I understand your angle.

            I haven’t denied panic buying at all. I’ve simply said, given the history and society within China, I can understand why some Chinese people panic buy.

          • Alex Dương

            ‘Arguably’, because all you showed to me was empty shelves. I didn’t see any ‘panic’.

            You really can’t connect the dots here? Really? It doesn’t occur to you that the empty shelves are the aftermath of the panic?

            You seem to consistently change your quandary to fit your rebuttal of my previous statement.

            No, my disagreement with your statement has remained constant: panic buying is universal, therefore there’s no need to rely on “Chinese history and society” to explain why the Chinese do something that everybody else does.

          • Surfeit

            So I should suppose evidence based on your perception, despite the fact I’m a native to that nation and never witnessed what you perceive, and that the evidence you put forth doesn’t support your perception either?

            Are you dizzy? You should be.

            Damn, you can be really dense at times. Panic buying isn’t a Chinese thing. It happens everywhere.

            Err.. did I say it didn’t?

            It was in fact 2 days until you mentioned “Chinese history and society” in your argument.

          • Alex Dương

            Um, those photos of empty shelves are from the U.S., not the U.K. As I thought, talking about the U.K. exclusively makes you defensive, so I started talking about my country, though it didn’t seem to help.

            If you think there was no panic because you didn’t “see” it, and it isn’t incredibly, almost painfully, obvious that the empty shelves are the aftermath of the panic, OK. What caused the empty shelves then?

          • Surfeit

            Initially you gave me images from the UK, they were empty shelves. I didn’t look at your most recent link, but I assume they are pictures of empty shelves too. (In the US, apparently.)

            Now, stop talking around the fact you changed your argument, as you have again.

            you think there was no panic because you didn’t “see” it,

            …and you think there was, because you didn’t see it. (?) This is literally an astonishing argument!

            Have you ever seen panic buying? Does it matter? Does that have anything to do with my initial premise that I understand why a Chinese person would panic buy, based on my understanding of Chinese history and society?

            Did I deny panic buying in foreign countries? Did you initially argue otherwise?

            You don’t have to answer these questions, but I’ll enjoy hearing it!

          • Alex Dương

            Now, stop talking around the fact you changed your argument, as you have again.

            I haven’t changed anything. You can keep repeating this lie if you like, but it won’t magically become true. Ever.

            …and you think there was, because you didn’t see it. (?) This is literally an astonishing argument!

            I invite your explanation as to why the shelves were empty. While you’re at it, you might want to reread that article:

            Frantic scenes were reported across the West Country, Home Counties and south Wales, in what officials described as worse than peak Christmas shopping periods.

            Supermarkets reported a “frenzy” as people stampeded along the aisles, filling their trolleys with bread, milk, vegetables and other essentials, leaving stores “virtually empty”.

            Shopper Rhiannon Griffiths, 38, said: “It was a real scrum – people were grabbing loaves and milk and dashing to the tills.

            Let’s see, now, could “frantic scenes,” “frenzy,” “stampeded along the aisles,” “real scrum,” and “dashing to the tills” describe a “panic”? Hmm, I think it’s really fucking obvious, but then again, you’re the kind of person who thinks it’s possible that someone who didn’t meet a standard exceeded the standard, so maybe I shouldn’t say it’s obvious.

          • Surfeit

            So what, that whole 2 days until you mentioned history and society (that you have so far ignored the existence of) didn’t happen? That isn’t magic, that isn’t me repeating a lie, that’s here. On this page.

            I invite your explanation as to why the shelves were empty.

            The stock is gone. People made the purchases. That doesn’t indicate if it was panic buying or not, which I have neither denied nor confirmed anyway, because those images are still irrelevant to what you claimed… that I said panic buying was explicitly Chinese.

            Suggest all you want, prior to these words you were banking on the images, now you’re banking on a news report. You’re changing things again to ignore the fact that I never once said the things you accused me of.

          • Alex Dương

            So what, that whole 2 days until you mentioned history and society (that
            you have so far ignored the existence of) didn’t happen?

            My saying that Chinese history and society is irrelevant in this case does not contradict or change my so-called “original” argument that panic buying is universal.

            The stock is gone. People made the purchases.

            But people make purchases everyday, and the shelves usually won’t be empty. I could go to my grocery store right now, and I can be sure that I can leave with bread, milk, and eggs.

            That doesn’t indicate if it was panic buying or not…
            Suggest all you want, prior to these words you were banking on the images, now you’re banking on a news report.

            LOLOLOL. It’s not like I pulled pictures from one article and a story from another article; they came from the same article! You simply didn’t bother to read it.

            Look, like I said, if you want to say that on average, the British are much better behaved than the Chinese when they panic buy, yes, I agree. Absolutely. No dispute whatsoever. But I simply do not understand this extreme reluctance bordering on denial from you three Brits that yes, even people in first-world countries are prone to panic buying.

            Man, mr.wiener was right: “Westerners get very uncomfortable and critical when the see things like this as I think it reminds them that the layers of civilization and civility are very thin indeed.”

          • Dude, let it go. You won’t hear the end of it if you don’t let Alex Dung have the last word. You’re not likely to enlighten him anyway. Speaking from personal experience.

          • Surfeit

            I know, but I broke my ankle and have time to kill. It’s cool watching someone adjust their quandary just to refute my words, because I haven’t a clue what I’m talking about.

          • WFH

            Hopefully one day UK folks will start panic buying dental care…

          • Surfeit

            HAHA! Right! You wont believe this but it’s mostly costless. I like that stigma though, that we have bad teeth. I’m sure it’s not unfounded.

        • moop

          Alex’s point is: although your comment is about the chinese in an article on panic buying in china, on a website about what’s popular on the chinese internets, you still have to preface any remarks relating to china with some pc disclaimer pleasing to alex’s sensibilities. poor little fella

          • Alex Dương

            Nope. My point’s very simple: treat people equally. If you’re talking about a human behavior, it doesn’t make sense to say that it’s a part of “a Chinese mindset.” That’s like saying breathing air is a part of “a Chinese mindset.”

      • WFH

        so did this disease start in the UK and spread to China?

        • Alex Dương

          To the extent that humans have an African origin, it started in Africa and spread everywhere else.

          • Boris

            That’s it. Blame it on the black folks!

            (and in case you got your knickers in a twist – it’s a bloody joke).

  • Dr Sun

  • samuk1000

    OFF TOPIC: has anyone seen this? http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=409_1400991964 This site lags too much!

    • Dr Sun

      Pretty stupid to film yourselves beating someone to death.

  • Science Patrol

    We don’t have shortages in America. We have capitalism.

    • Alex Dương
      • Science Patrol

        Yep. Thanks for the post. It completely supports my point. Price controls create shortages. That’s basic economics. Your whole video explains that very clearly. Want to efficiently allocate scarce resources? Avoid shortages of basic goods? Capitalism. I mean, really, that’s basic.

        • Alex Dương

          You didn’t say “there are no shortages under capitalism.” You said, quote, “We don’t have shortages in America. We have capitalism.”

          I gave you examples of shortages in America. You say those were caused by price controls. Well, that means we don’t have “pure” capitalism. No one does, not even Hong Kong or Singapore.

          • Science Patrol

            Don’t mess with Science Patrol!

          • Alex Dương

            k dood

          • Kai

            Hm…I think Science Patrol is on your side in your battle here, and you just took his comment as denying something when he was actually trying to slyly criticize (satirize).

          • Alex Dương

            I agree with him that price controls aren’t capitalist. I personally think there’s nothing wrong with “gouging,” which he may or may not share. I simply don’t like the “no true Scotsman” fallacy in discussions about capitalism (and communism). It always ends up being too black and white: “price controls aren’t capitalist; there are no shortages under (real) capitalism!” / “(real) communism has never been tried!”

  • Zen my Ass

    All of a sudden, I feel like I need salt, heaps of salt, a ton of salt, where’s my fucking salt?

  • Foreign Devil

    Perfect environment for the ol’ pump n dump! If I have to do business in China I will start rumors to make panic buying of some product I am selling. Lack of open media makes rumors easy to spread.

  • Gerhana

    cant come up with any joke for this. I have lost my sense of humor. I wanted to say something about Sun Tzu art of war,panic buying and first in line but for the life of me, I just cant come up with anything. Maybe its for the best.

  • KamikaziPilot

    I just shook my head at the salt buying panic. I mean there was no solid evidence that salt would protect you and people still bought it. Buying water after supposed pollution I can see, but the salt was ridiculous, especially when people bought whole bags of it. I mean what did they think they would do? Eat half the bag to protect themselves from radiation?

    • ClausRasmussen

      There is some reason to it: Potassium Iodine is often added to salt for health issues, the human body needs a certain amount of it to function.

      Iodine has this nasty property that it is concentrated in the thyriod glands, so if you digest radioactive iodine, your glands will be exposed to much more radiation than the rest of the body, and you risk dying. For this reason non-radioactive potassium iodine is often distributed in pill form in case of exposure to radiation or radioactive waste.

      However, you would have to eat 3 pounds of salt to reach the protection of a single potassium iodine pill.

      http://realsalt.com/sea-salt/real-salt-iodine-and-radiation/

      • David

        Good point. The first thing emergency responders do when your exposed to radiation is give you a PI pill because the thyroid is especially susceptible to this.contamination. I have found often that people in China will do something “because my mother told me that it was right” or “this taxi guy told me that was what happened to him”. I am certainly no putting people down for listening to their mothers but there does seem to be a lack of questioning and an instinct to simply ‘do’ when told something (my older sister told me that our mother told her not to lift her arms above her shoulders while she was pregnant or she would miscarriage). Some of the silly things I have been told by Chinese friends boggles the mind, but seems to be more in the realm of “uneducated people will believe anything” than that it is a characteristic of Chinese (after all, there are plenty of stupid uneducated people in America who believe crazy stuff they hear on T.V.).

        • KamikaziPilot

          I still haven’t figured out why they think eating chicken when you have a cold is bad, I mean no one can even come close to giving me an explanation. The best explanation is “it will hurt your body”. At least there’s been some research on chicken soup being beneficial to those fighting colds but I haven’t heard any studies suggesting eating chicken is bad when you’re sick.

          • Rick in China

            Any fan of “MythBusters” will tell you that there are plenty of stupid and unreasonable beliefs common in western society too :D I can’t get over some of the beliefs I find in China without frustration in trying to explain, like drinking cold water with a hot meal, but ‘old wives tales’ exist everywhere.. it’s just slow going to weed them out.

          • KamikaziPilot

            True, but don’t you think the belief in so called “old wives tales” are more prevalent in China (and other developing societies) than the West? I mean if Japan were positioned right off North America when the tsunami struck do you really think Americans and Canadians would be mass buying salt? I just googled “salt poisoning” and read that about 40 teaspoons would kill an adult. I think the questioning about whether to ingest something hot or cold has to do with Chi right? I guess the bottom line is there are dumb, gullible people everywhere, maybe it’s human nature.

          • Rick in China

            Maybe not buying salt, but definitely condemning each other for sinning and praying for forgiveness. :D

          • Kai

            I haven’t heard of the “don’t eat chicken when you have a cold” yet. I better ask around.

            I thought science merely proved that chicken soup is simply an excuse for ingesting more liquids and doesn’t otherwise help your cold by virtue of being “chicken” or “soup”.

          • KamikaziPilot

            I thought the chicken thing was common, but let me know if someone says otherwise. I believe chicken soup, in addition to providing liquids, is also effective in cleaning out the sinuses and the broth has some qualities that fight illness too. I remember reading about research but my memory is kind of foggy on the exact details, I just remember the study said there were actual benefits and it was more than just more liquids.

          • Kai

            Maybe this is it?

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_soup#Medicinal_properties

            Yeah, have to remember to ask about the chicken thing. There is no shortage of Chinese old wives’ tales. Most of them annoy me to no end when people accept them unquestioningly. Some of the worst are the post-partum stuff, like not washing your hair.

          • David

            Or don’t drink anything cold when our having your period. lol I sometimes think they have a sever lack of understanding of basic physiology.

      • KamikaziPilot

        Yeah I know there was that reasoning behind the panic buying but that’s like saying if I eat 10,000 oranges, the Vitamin C in them will protect me from a deadly disease sweeping through the country. It’s just not logical. You’ll kill yourself before even getting close to getting the benefit the iodine supposedly provides. It’s not even close to practical yet people were buying bags of salt. This is different from buying things when there’s a big sale or even the water since those are more logical but that salt buying was almost comical.

        • Kai

          Yeah, the problem is that these people didn’t know that. All they knew was that it would help, and it’s easy to reason that something is better than nothing.

          Also, only some of the people panic buying salt were doing so for the iodine. A lot of others did so because they mistakenly thought salt came from the sea and thus future salt products would be irradiated. It’s just general ignorance.

          Keep in mind that the run on salt wasn’t limited to mainland China either. It happened in HK and South Korea IIRC as well, both places where the average level of general education is arguably much more developed and higher than in mainland China.

      • Warren Lauzon

        You are actually much better off eating seaweed for the Iodine, but of course they probably figured that was radiated also.

    • Warren Lauzon

      I use maybe a total of 3-4 pounds of salt a year at most, and if I don’t do any pickle canning and similar, maybe a pound. Even at 10 pounds a year some of those bought a 20 year supply.

  • Science Patrol

    Actually I’m trying to cut back on the salt. Switching to a largely vegan diet after reading the China Study. Can be nonfat without having to exercise like a professional athlete? Check. Sounds good. Avoid heart disease blah blah blah? Check. Sounds good. Here we go.

    http://www.amazon.com/The-China-Study-Comprehensive-Implications/dp/1932100660/ref=pd_sim_b_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=0DSJS4DFTTDCZH1CQ5CP

  • HKer

    Locusts…

    • Alex Dương

      Let me guess. This auntie is actually a mainlander, right?

  • Alex Dương

    Uh, what’s your point? You seem to be extremely grudgingly acknowledging that the U.K. does, in fact, have instances of panic buying. All you’re doing is nitpicking: apparently, I didn’t choose the “most suitable” examples of British panic buying.

    Suppose I didn’t. So what? Does it change anything? No. You’re still admitting that panic buying can be seen in the U.K., which means it isn’t a Chinese thing, unless you want to be a moron and claim that all panic buying in the U.K. is done by British Chinese. But please be my guest if that’s your thing.

    • Wa

      The point is, Alex, that there is a meaningful difference between panic buying of salt in China as a response to a nuclear disaster in Japan, the panic buying of vinegar as a response to SARS, and buying all the bottled water on the shelves because local water taps were actually dry. Just as there is a meaningful difference between someone who states “parts of a Chinese mindset are understandable” and someone who claims panic buying is ONLY part of THE Chinese mindset.

      Equally so, there is a meaningful difference between posters whose desperate search for equivalence leads them to argue on the basis of a superficial Google search absent all other intelligence, and those who are actually able to assess differences rationally. There was simply no rational reason to believe vinegar would inhibit the contagion of SARS. The panic buying was the result of pervasive rumor and rampant irrationality. The same could not even be said of bats in the UK, which would provide a conceivably advantaged form of defense in a civil society largely bereft of more potent weaponry.

      I’ll ask the relevant question here: why must you be such a sensitive asshole so intent on finding equivalence that you speak on matters of which you have no understanding? And you call this nitpicking?

      • Surfeit

        Alex just gone got done.

      • Alex Dương

        Oh, it’s Mr. “Huckabee was acting Chinese.” Hello again, Wa.

        The point is, Alex, that there is a meaningful difference between panic buying of salt in China as a response to a nuclear disaster in Japan, the panic buying of vinegar as a response to SARS, and buying all the bottled water on the shelves because local water taps were actually dry.

        There was simply no rational reason to believe vinegar would inhibit the contagion of SARS. The panic buying was the result of pervasive rumor and rampant irrationality. The same could not even be said of bats in the UK, which would provide a conceivably advantaged form of defense in a civil society largely bereft of more potent weaponry.

        No, there isn’t. You’re trying to say that panic buying that is “justified” is not panic buying. No. Panic buying is is the act of people buying unusually large amounts of a product in anticipation of or after a disaster or perceived disaster, or in anticipation of a large price increase or shortage, as can occur before a blizzard or hurricane or government decree banning a particular popular product such as incandescent light bulbs. It doesn’t matter whether it’s done for legitimate or illegitimate / irrational / superstitious / misinformed reasons.

        Just as there is a meaningful difference between someone who states “parts of a Chinese mindset are understandable” and someone who claims panic buying is ONLY part of THE Chinese mindset.

        Uh, Surfeit said panic buying was an “understandable” part of the Chinese mindset. So, no idea what “point” you’re trying to make here.

        I’ll ask the relevant question here: why must you be such a sensitive asshole so intent on finding equivalence that you speak on matters of which you have no understanding? And you call this nitpicking?

        First, go fuck yourself. Second, while Boris was definitely nitpicking insofar as he grudgingly acknowledged the existence of panic buying in the U.K., it’s a bit different for you. Your nitpicking is more about redefining words: “oh, legitimate panic buying isn’t panic buying. Panic buying is only when people buy things en masse for illegitimate reasons.”

        • Wa

          “Oh, it’s Mr. “Huckabee was acting Chinese.” Hello again, Wa.”

          Hello again, Alex. I see you are still smarting from me taking away one of your superficial Google searches for equivalence. If you want to reference another example of your gormless logic, I could not be more pleased.

          “No, there isn’t. You’re trying to say that panic buying that is “justified” is not panic buying. No. Panic buying is is the act of people buying unusually large amounts of a product in anticipation of or after a disaster or perceived disaster, or in anticipation of a large price increase or shortage, as can occur before a blizzard or hurricane or government decree banning a particular popular product such as incandescent light bulbs.”

          Yes, there is. Your attempt to rely on a socio-economic definition of a term purposefully defined as broadly as possible to open up avenues for research is as cognizant as arguing that Chinese people love sports because so many play badminton and ping pong. Yes, if you define a term as broadly as possible, I’m not surprised one should find many examples of it. Nevertheless, within that broad definition meaningful differences apply, and one must look into further research and pursue further inquiry in order to recognize what they are. Your attempt at finding equivalence by labeling events with as broad of a definition as possible provides no insight at all (your typical “No, it’s the same!”). You have one string, and you are playing it.

          So let’s apply the terms of the definition you cited. What amounts to “buying unusually large amount of [bottled water]” in a situation when the taps run dry? The definition relies strictly on what stores previously sold and what they typically carry on the basis of need. In short, it is an issue of logistics. But it must address the motivations of purchasers or the psychology behind their behavior, hence the inclusion of an event which prompted the buying. Now, this behavior and psychology is precisely at issue. If people make a rational decision to buy the same amount of water they would use from their now non-functional taps over an extended period of time, the term socio-economic term “panic buying” may in fact become a misnomer as there is no panic (Boris also noted this is true in some of the cases cited in China above), there is only a logistical problem. Since both Surfeit and Boris both referenced people’s motivation and Surfeit specifically their psychology (to which you acutely objected), clearly you are arguing for *equivalence* on the basis of an obliquity and eschewing a line of inquiry that might yield meaningful comparison. If you really want to compare examples for the purpose of finding equivalence, it would be in your best interest to find something approaching the completely irrational Chinese purchase of massive quantities of vinegar as a way to ward off a contagion. I’m sorry if logic eludes you, but I trust you can control yourself and act more disciplined.

          “Uh, Surfeit said panic buying was an “understandable” part of the Chinese mindset. So, no idea what “point” you’re trying to make here.”

          Surfeit was actually showing sympathy and understanding as to the origin and prevalence of Chinese panic buying. You ridiculously attempted to twist his words into arguing that panic buying was only something done in China. Then you called him dense and claimed he was acting dumb because he didn’t … acknowledge the argument you inaccurately accused him of. My point is that you willingly conflate whatever implications you hope to find in another poster’s comments with what he actually said. A person who does so repeatedly is neither percipient nor reliable as one able to assess distinction. Of course, you can prove me wrong by showing how the following claim you made is logical:

          “YOU: [Surfeit] then implied that panic buying was not universal insofar as people who are not “uncivilized and stupid” do not do it:

          SURFEIT: no matter how uncivilised and stupid it seems on the surface.

          “First, go fuck yourself. Second, while Boris was definitely nitpicking insofar as he grudgingly acknowledged the existence of panic buying in the U.K., it’s a bit different for you. Your nitpicking is more about redefining words: ‘oh, legitimate panic buying isn’t panic buying. Panic buying is only when people buy things en masse for illegitimate reasons.’

          Now now, Alex. Repeatedly showing anger might just get you cast as a type.

          • Pharenheit

            Jesus christ dude, get a life, go do your homework, watch some porn or something. No one is going to read this shit. At least give us a TL;DR mmmk?

          • Alex Dương

            I read it. Wa is a fucking joke; when you strip away his unnecessary word choices, there’s really nothing of substance that remains. Seriously, this is the kind of guy who instead of saying “I went to the grocery store” would say “I embarked on an excursion to obtain my weekly sustenance.”

          • Boris

            I read it. Alex Dương is a fucking joke; when you strip away his unnecessary word choices, there’s really nothing of substance that remains. Seriously, this is the kind of guy who instead of saying “I went to the grocery store” would say “I embarked on an excursion to obtain my weekly sustenance.”

            Pot. Kettle. Black.

          • Alex Dương

            Hello again, Alex. I see you are still smarting from me taking away one of your superficial Google searches for equivalence.

            Oh, the delusion. Are you talking about how the supposed “huge cultural difference” between face and honor turned out to be that face doesn’t consider the self whereas honor does? Now I understand how a former Arkansas Governor who knows nothing about China was acting Chinese!

            Your attempt to rely on a socio-economic definition of a term purposefully defined as broadly as possible to open up avenues for research is as cognizant as arguing that Chinese people love sports because so many play badminton and ping pong.

            If you don’t like that definition, how about I use one from your very own Oxford English Dictionary? Panic buying is the action of buying large quantities of a particular product or commodity due to sudden fears of a forthcoming shortage or price rise.
            Notice the role of “fear” in the definition; it doesn’t matter whether a shortage or price rise actually happened. It only matters that people think it MIGHT happen. Even your own vaunted OED doesn’t define panic buying as “unjustified large scale purchases based on misinformation or superstition.”

            Dunno what your gripe about badminton is. That just seems to be a really fail attempt at a comparison considering that badminton does, in fact, require quite a bit of athleticism that I’m sure you don’t have.

            If people make a rational decision to buy the same amount of water they would use from their now non-functional taps over an extended period of time, the term socio-economic term “panic buying” may in fact become a misnomer as there is no panic (Boris also noted this is true in some of the cases cited in China above), there is only a logistical problem.

            God, your pseudo-intellectualism is so cringe-inducing. Do you think you’re actually giving any insight here? All you’re saying is “in a perfect world, there are no problems.” Wow, you don’t say!

            Since both Surfeit and Boris both referenced people’s motivation and Surfeit specifically their psychology (to which you acutely objected), clearly you are arguing for *equivalence* on the basis of an obliquity and eschewing a line of inquiry that might yield meaningful comparison.

            No, what I objected to was Surfeit stating that panic buying is a part of the Chinese mindset. Panic buying is human.

            Of course, you can prove me wrong by showing how the following claim you made is logical.

            What’s your confusion? Perhaps a reordering of Surfeit’s words is necessary? Here you go: “No matter how uncivilized and stupid it seems on the surface, panic buying is an understandable part of a Chinese mindset.” Surfeit is implying that people who are “civilized and intelligent” (i.e. not “uncivilized and stupid”) don’t panic buy, with the connotion that these people are non-Chinese.

            Pretty simple.

            Now now, Alex. Repeatedly showing anger might just get you cast as a type.

            Do you get a kick out of a being a hypocrite or something? Anyway, this will all go in one ear and out the other, but I don’t care; I’ll still let you know anyway. You are a fourth-rate wannabe pseudo-intellectual. Your posts are laden with poorly chosen vocabulary that you think makes you appear “smart.” In reality, your posts contain almost no actual content and certainly no true insight. A sentence I quoted previously perfectly illustrates the point: all you said was “in a perfect world, there are no problems,” and then you acted as if you were actually delivering some unbelievable, hitherto-unknown insight.

            Your own Oxford English Dictionary defines panic buying in a way that makes it clear that the practice is universal. I’m very sorry that you aren’t as sophisticated as you think you are and that you are much closer to the Chinese than you care to admit. But it’s the truth. Now go fuck yourself.

          • Surfeit

            …Surfeit stating that panic buying is a part of the Chinese mindset. Panic buying is human.

            My comment was directed at a Chinese mindset, as opposed to a human mindset, because I was raising Chinese history and society as a influence upon a Chinese mindset. Likewise the article I was commenting on is about Chinese panic buying, not human panic buying.

          • Wa

            “Are you talking about how the supposed “huge cultural difference” between face and honor turned out to be that face doesn’t consider the self whereas honor does?”

            Yes, a self that formed a focal point for philosophical and religious inquiry in the West from Plato’s Phaedrus to the late Foucault. Your continued attempts to make your self abject really won’t refute the relevance of that point.

            “If you don’t like that definition, how about I use one from your very own Oxford English Dictionary?”

            My very own Oxford English Dictionary? To begin with, Alex, what you cited was not the OED but the more mundane series of Oxford Dictionaries (these are not the same). I’m not especially shocked that you’d make this banal mistake, though, because it fits your “Google search for help before I have to think, even if I’m not correct” approach to a T. Now, lets look at the new definition you’ve provided:

            “‘Panic buying is the action of buying large quantities of a particular product or commodity due to sudden fears of a forthcoming shortage or price rise.’ Notice the role of “fear” in the definition; it doesn’t matter whether a shortage or price rise actually happened. It only matters that people think it MIGHT happen.”

            Sure, first notice the role of “fear” in the definition. Now go back to the example of the water main in Cinderford you cited and point to any fear reported. There is no such indication. Further, you claim it doesn’t matter whether a shortage or price rise actually happened, but that claim is not justified by the Oxford Dictionary definition, only by the clause “after a disaster” in the prior definition you cited. Indeed, your argument is clearly not accurate according to the Oxford Dictionary definition which stipulates “sudden fears of a *forthcoming* shortage or price rise”. Not only does that clause suggest your reading here is utterly devoid of aptitude or logic, it also shows how contorted your argument has become, relying on a definition you do not understand in order to label a behavior you clearly do not understand (this despite your touchy objection that I am “redefining words”).

            What you are asking us to accept, Alex, is the relevance of a definition panic buying wherein the prospect of a shortage takes precedent over an actual shortage of a necessary good and a full assessment of behavior of a people who already experienced that shortage. You are doing all of this simply because you mindlessly linked to any result for “panic buying” you found on Google, just as you did for the Huckabee video you tried to base your previous argument on. You should know by now this is an idiotic tactic because in each case the conditions and application of the material to which you linked undermined your argument. A general point for the rabid equivalence seekers to keep in mind: understanding two situations and the prospect of their correspondence often requires more intelligence and subtlety than understanding one. Of course, this is lost on simpletons who cry “the same”.

            “Even your own vaunted OED doesn’t define panic buying as “unjustified large scale purchases based on misinformation or superstition.”

            My own vaunted OED? Are you becoming such an angry little man that you can’t recognize the OED is a neutral reference text? Will you soon start addressing your tirades to it?

            In this passage we see another one of your personal problems: you suffer from some sort of category displacement. I’m sorry, Alex, are you trying to exclude instances of Chinese panic buying which may be properly characterized as “unjustified large scale purchases based on misinformation or superstition” from your definition of panic buying? If not, then this refers back to what I stated earlier:

            “Nevertheless, within that broad definition meaningful differences apply, and one must look into further research and pursue further inquiry in order to recognize what they are.”

            There is no reason why panic buying may not incorporate extreme irrationality based on misinformation or superstition, particularly when those features of a civil society become prevalent during a crisis. If that is true, and it is, then a distinction holds between Cinderford and the instances of Chinese panic buying I alluded to. You have a choice here: you can acknowledge the meaningful differences between the behaviors, or you can continue to argue that the only real issue here is whether we call them both panic buying. I’m sure if you take the latter route we can dispense with the notion that you are not fixated on definitions and thereby eschew your projection.

            By the way, the passage above is not the only instance of you displaying that awkward dementia of category displacement. Another appears above where you suggest that Surfeit must state panic buying is part of the human mindset, not the Chinese one…despite Surfeit’s objection that these are not exclusive claims. That, interestingly enough, leads you into a peculiar obsession with bodily functions as an explanatory model.

            To address the rest of your objections:

            All you’re saying is “in a perfect world, there are no problems.”

            No, Alex. But I am saying you are an angry simpleton. There are problems in Cinderford and there are problems like we are having. What is critical is our assessment of how people respond to those problems. Do they completely lose their shit like you and the SARS vinegar purchasers have done, or do they try to make rational judgments based on relevant circumstances?
            Where were you during SARS?

            “Surfeit is implying that people who are “civilized and intelligent” don’t panic buy, with the connotion that these people are non-Chinese.

            Pretty simple.”

            Simple indeed. A simply idiotic interpretation. He never implied panic buying was not universal. He has gone on at length to explain that point to you, yet your inveterate stubbornness leads you to continue making this spurious accusation. There is no such necessary connotation. It is your fabricated justification to take offense and an index of your paranoia. You regularly do this Alex, and it’s about time you take responsibility for it. When even Kai, who has been sympathetic toward you in the past, had to point out that you displayed a fundamental misunderstanding of Science Patrol’s post and strangely thought you had to refute his comments, despite his agreement with you, you know you are a shadow boxer.

            “Dunno what your gripe about badminton is. That just seems to be a really fail attempt at a comparison considering that badminton does, in fact, require quite a bit of athleticism that I’m sure you don’t have.

            I’m really impressed by all the “smashing”. Got anything else? Vert? Standing broad? 40 time? 10 yard split? Please tell me something.

            “Your posts are laden with poorly chosen vocabulary that you think makes you appear ‘smart.'”

            You know, you can attempt to prove this rather than use your typical tactic of baseless claims, otherwise it just sounds like 4th rate whining. And do control that anger.

          • Alex Dương

            Another long, rambling, incoherent post from the master of overexaggerating cultural differences, Wa. I only have two things to say. First,

            My very own Oxford English Dictionary? To begin with, Alex, what you cited was not the OED but the more mundane series of Oxford Dictionaries (these are not the same).

            OK, if you think that definition is somehow inferior because it merely came from the creators of the OED and not the OED itself, no problem. Panic buying is the action of buying large quantities of a commodity in sudden alarm at an anticipated shortage.

            Once again, there is no requirement that panic buying be done for unjustified / illegitimate / irrational / superstitious reasons. All that is required is “sudden alarm at an anticipated shortage,” which is another way of saying “sudden fears of a forthcoming shortage.”

            No doubt you will still try to squirm your way out of this and insist that your definition is more appropriate.

            And second,

            Further, you claim it doesn’t matter whether a shortage or price rise actually happened, but that claim is not justified by the Oxford Dictionary definition, only by the clause “after a disaster” in the prior definition you cited. Indeed, your argument is clearly not accurate according to the Oxford Dictionary definition which stipulates “sudden fears of a *forthcoming* shortage or price rise”. Not only does that clause suggest your reading here is utterly devoid of aptitude or logic, it also shows how contorted your argument has become, relying on a definition you do not understand in order to label a behavior you clearly do not understand (this despite your touchy objection that I am “redefining words”).

            Being afraid that something might happen doesn’t mean it will actually happen. I can’t believe I had to just write that to a supposed adult; you are really fucking stupid. I can’t let this point go; how stupid do you have to be to think that these two statements are equivalent?

            A: A shortage is forthcoming.
            B: I’m afraid that a shortage is forthcoming.

            I’ve given you three definitions of panic buying: one from Wikipedia, one from the “mundane” Oxford Dictionaries, and one from the “real” Oxford English Dictionary. None of them defined panic buying with a reference to unjustified, illegitimate, irrational, or superstitious behavior. All of them defined panic buying based on fear or anticipation of shortages or price increases. That describes a human behavior that can be seen everywhere, including in your own beloved United Kingdom.

          • Wa

            “Being afraid that something might happen doesn’t mean it will actually happen. I can’t believe I had to just write that to a supposed adult; you are really fucking stupid.”

            This is why your comments are worthless. You can’t let anything go, even if it is your limited reading, and you can’t admit a mistake. The shortage actually did happen. Do you want us to leave the most relevant issue out of the discussion because it is convenient for you? The taps ran dry. The link you posted states that clearly. The Oxford Dictionary definition you chose does not include that factor. Nor does your most recent selection (“anticipated”). You really can’t help yourself.

            When I already addressed fear and I write:

            “What you are asking us to accept, Alex, is the relevance of a definition panic buying wherein the prospect of a shortage takes precedent [sic] over an actual shortage of a necessary good and a full assessment of behavior of a people who already experienced that shortage.”

            You are able to determine that our debate is not whether it is a fear of a forthcoming shortage (though I did ask you to show me any evidence of fear) or the forthcoming shortage itself, but the importance of the fact that it actually happened. The link you provided had people go to the market and purchase water after they could not get any from their taps. And for some reason, instead of examining the relative difference of their potentially rational behavior, which I suggested repeatedly, you think the real issue here is the definition of panic buying and its application to these people so you can feel justified in saying it is “the same”.

            “I’ve given you three definitions of panic buying: one from Wikipedia, one from the “mundane” Oxford Dictionaries, and one from the “real” Oxford English Dictionary. None of them defined panic buying with a reference to unjustified, illegitimate, irrational, or superstitious behavior. All of them defined panic buying based on fear or anticipation of shortages or price increases. That describes a human behavior that can be seen everywhere, including in your own beloved United Kingdom.”

            And I have already addressed this point several times. I will restate what I said above because it seems like you are too thick to get it on one pass:

            “There is no reason why panic buying may not incorporate extreme irrationality based on misinformation or superstition, particularly when those features of a civil society become prevalent during a crisis. If that is true, and it is, then a distinction holds between Cinderford and the instances of Chinese panic buying I alluded to. You have a choice here: you can acknowledge the meaningful differences between the behaviors, or you can continue to argue that the only real issue here is whether we call them both panic buying. I’m sure if you take the latter route we can dispense with the notion that you are not fixated on definitions and thereby eschew your projection.”

            Let me give you a short version of your problems as seen on this thread, Alex.

            1) You are a sensitive asshole.
            2) You are paranoid and overreact to neutral or even innocuous comments.
            3) You link to things you don’t properly research or understand.
            4) Your understanding of logic is limited to a great convenience.
            5) You enter a discussion thinking what you have is always going to prove your point, but because of 2), 3) and 4), it frequently doesn’t.
            6) You get frustrated by 5), return to 1) and believe your interlocutor is responsible for problems 1)-4).

          • Alex Dương

            The shortage actually did happen.

            Do you even remember what your argument was? Here, let me remind you and copy & paste your idiocy in all its faux-glory:

            Indeed, your argument is clearly not accurate according to the Oxford Dictionary definition which stipulates “sudden fears of a *forthcoming* shortage or price rise”.

            Really, how fucking stupid do you have to be to think that “a shortage is forthcoming” and “I’m afraid a shortage is forthcoming” mean the same thing.

            You are able to determine that our debate is not whether it is a fear of a forthcoming shortage (though I did ask you to show me any evidence of fear) or the forthcoming shortage itself, but the importance of the fact that it actually happened.

            Uh, yes, I’m well aware that you are trying to redefine panic buying as requiring that a shortage / price rise actually happen. Did you forget that I have mocked you for doing this several times now?

            And for some reason, instead of examining the relative difference of their potentially rational behavior, which I suggested repeatedly, you think the real issue here is the definition of panic buying and its application to these people so you can feel justified in saying it is “the same”.

            Buddy, it was you who insisted that the first definition I gave was, quote, an “attempt to rely on a socio-economic definition of a term purposefully defined as broadly as possible to open up avenues for research is as cognizant as arguing that Chinese people love sports because so many play badminton and ping pong.” Translation: the Wikipedia definition makes it obvious that panic buying is a universal behavior, and I, Wa, am a pretentious douchey asshole who likes to overexaggerate cultural differences to the extreme, therefore I do not accept this definition.

            Why don’t you provide a source of your definition of panic buying wherein shortages / price rises must actually occur for the action to be considered “panic buying”?

            “There is no reason why panic buying may not incorporate extreme irrationality based on misinformation or superstition, particularly when those features of a civil society become prevalent during a crisis. If that is true, and it is, then a distinction holds between Cinderford and the instances of Chinese panic buying I alluded to. You have a choice here: you can acknowledge the meaningful differences between the behaviors, or you can continue to argue that the only real issue here is whether we call them both panic buying. I’m sure if you take the latter route we can dispense with the notion that you are not fixated on definitions and thereby eschew your projection.”

            All that’s required for panic buying is a fear of a forthcoming shortage or price rise. What motivates or causes this fear or whether the shortage / price rise actually happens is completely irrelevant.

            In the course of our discussions, you have said some mindblowingly stupid things.

            1. Apparently, I can change my ancestry by changing my culture.

            2. A former Governor of Arkansas who has never been to China and has never studied Chinese history or culture can nevertheless “act Chinese” in front of a right-wing American crowd when he’s trying to get elected to the U.S. Presidency.

            3. In a perfect world, there’s no panic buying; therefore in our imperfect world, there’s no panic buying.

            4. “I’m afraid that a shortage is forthcoming” means the same thing as “a shortage is forthcoming.”

          • Wa

            “Do you even remember what your argument was? Here, let me remind you and copy & paste your idiocy in all its faux-glory:”

            I do. Now let’s see how your reactionary psychosis once again reveals your inability to comprehend basic logic.

            “[ME:] Indeed, your argument is clearly not accurate according to the Oxford Dictionary definition which stipulates “sudden fears of a *forthcoming* shortage or price rise”.

            [YOU:] Really, how fucking stupid do you have to be to think that “a shortage is forthcoming” and “I’m afraid a shortage is forthcoming” mean the same thing.”

            Alex, there is absolutely no justification for the assumption you’re making. This is another fabrication of your own idiocy and your inability to read. If the shortage already happened, and people responded to it, it is lunacy to believe that “fears of a forthcoming shortage” apply. I asked you for evidence of any such fear. You offered none, and your link included none. Yet for some reason you keep bashing your head against the wall (which means you even shadow-box ineptly), pretending that I left that out of consideration.

            The only thing left for you to argue is that “fears of a shortage that has already happened” is equivalent to “fears of a forthcoming shortage”. Note that you’ll still have to provide evidence of such a fear. Note also, and this is the point of the passage you cited above, that such a claim in not included in the very definition you relied on. Oxford leaves such a moronic argument of equivalence to you alone.

            “Translation: the Wikipedia definition makes it obvious that panic buying is a universal behavior, and I, Wa, am a pretentious douchey asshole who likes to overexaggerate cultural differences to the extreme, therefore I do not accept this definition.”

            Well, nothing says you are not a pretentious douchey asshole than pretending (see the etymological link?) to be someone else when unable to prove your own point. Right, Alex, I should acknowledge Wikipedia’s verity in all respects, not audaciously question the empirical value of its definitions. Your insecurity is rank, and your basis for argument is laughable. Again, where were you during SARS? Is your entire knowledge of the Cinderford event limited to that article?

            “Why don’t you provide a source of your definition of panic buying wherein shortages / price rises must actually occur for the action to be considered “panic buying”?”

            Ah…because I never suggested such a definition? After having your face rubbed in shit for the illogical mess you made on Surfeit’s statement above, are you really that eager to go on another “implication” and “connotation” binge? Many, many animals learn faster than you.

            “In the course of our discussions, you have said some mindblowingly stupid things.

            1. Apparently, I can change my ancestry by changing my culture.

            2. A former Governor of Arkansas who has never been to China and has never studied Chinese history or culture can nevertheless ‘act Chinese’ in front of a right-wing American crowd when he’s trying to get elected to the U.S. Presidency.

            3. In a perfect world, there’s no panic buying; therefore in our imperfect world, there’s no panic buying.

            4. ‘I’m afraid that a shortage is forthcoming’ means the same thing as ‘a shortage is forthcoming.'”

            As I observed above, you really can’t help yourself. Apart from the first, which I still stand by under the qualifications I indicated, every one of these comments are fabrications of your psychosis. I have reviewed our discussions and state clearly that I’ve made no such claims as you attribute to me in points 2-4. I cannot be more unequivocal than that. I’m patient enough and sufficiently sympathetic to your serious personal problems that I will go through them with you at length should you wish to pursue this further. Consider that.

          • Alex Dương

            If the shortage already happened, and people responded to it, it is lunacy to believe that “fears of a forthcoming shortage” apply.

            Wow, you are REALLY stupid. You don’t even know what “the shortage” refers to. Read the definitions again:

            Wikipedia – the act of people buying unusually large amounts of a product in anticipation of or after a disaster or perceived disaster, or in anticipation of a large price increase or shortage

            Oxford Dictionary – the action of buying large quantities of a particular product or commodity due to sudden fears of a forthcoming shortage or price rise

            OED – the action of buying large quantities of a commodity in sudden alarm at an anticipated shortage

            “Shortage” always applies to the product or commodity. Thus, in the case of Cinderford, the “shortage” applies to bottled water (i.e. the product), not the taps. The residents fear that if they don’t rush to buy bottled water as soon as possible, then there won’t be any left when they need it. It’s so fucking obvious, but your head is stuck so far up your ass that you can’t even make such a simple connection.

            Right, Alex, I should acknowledge Wikipedia’s verity in all respects, not audaciously question the empirical value of its definitions.

            Thanks for making me ruin my monitor. I spit my water in laughter at “audaciously question.” If you don’t like Wikipedia’s definition, you don’t have to. That’s why I gave you a definition from the Oxford Dictionaries. And if they’re too “mundane” for you, despite being the creators of the OED, that’s fine too. The “real” OED defines panic buying in the same way that the “mundane” Oxford Dictionaries defines it, which is how Wikipedia defines it.

            Ah…because I never suggested such a definition?

            Uh huh, that’s why you called the Wikipedia definition an “attempt to rely on a socio-economic definition of a term purposefully defined as broadly as possible to open up avenues for research is as cognizant as arguing that Chinese people love sports because so many play badminton and ping pong,” right?

            I’m patient enough and sufficiently sympathetic to your serious personal problems that I will go through them with you at length should you wish to pursue this further. Consider that.

            Go fuck yourself, read Politics and the English language, and then read this paper so you understand that your writing style does not make you look intelligent but rather makes you look like a clueless pompous dumbass.

          • Wa

            “Wow, you are REALLY stupid. You don’t even know what “the shortage” refers to. Read the definitions again:

            “‘Shortage'” always applies to the product or commodity. Thus, in the case of Cinderford, the ‘shortage’ applies to bottled water (i.e. the product), not the taps.”

            SMH…No, Alex. The “shortage” refers to *water*–which, absent a private well, is always a commodity (you realize it is a burst water main, right?). Bottled water is simply a replacement or stand-in for the water they were unable to get from their taps, hence my point earlier about this being a matter of logistics. The *typical* reason bottled water is a part of panic buying is its storage potential (not immediate consumption), which is why it is purchased in anticipation of a disaster rather than as a replacement for standard consumption. Here we see it only as a replacement for standard consumption, purchased to fill in for a commodity in daily use, of which there has already been a shortage, and thus outside the bounds of your Oxford definition.

            How do we know the shortage does not refer specifically to bottled water but to water generally? Well, a “fear of a shortage of bottled water” could be easily assuaged in Britain by driving or taking the bus to a neighboring town. To Gloucestershire, it’s about a half-hour. How would that even be a fear? Because they would have to do it daily, because of the inconvenience? Some fear, that. And why would Severn Trent have bothered bringing in 10 tankers and pumping water directly into the pipe system instead of ….just handing out as much bottled water as possible? So if there is any fear at all, it is of a shortage or water, not bottled water.

            “The residents fear that if they don’t rush to buy bottled water as soon as possible, then there won’t be any left when they need it. It’s so fucking obvious, but your head is stuck so far up your ass that you can’t even make such a simple connection.”

            If it is so obvious, show me any evidence you have of this. I’ve already noted that there is no indication of fear or disturbance in your link, and you have avoided this point time and again. An equally likely scenario is that the daily water use for a town of thousands could not be covered by the stocks of bottled water in a local shops. A problem of logistics.

            “Thanks for making me ruin my monitor. I spit my water in laughter at ‘audaciously question.’

            Then perhaps there will be one less idiot on the internet who doesn’t understand sarcasm and who resorts to this trite vignette.

            “In the end, you’ve yet to provide any source that defines panic buying in a way that suggests that the practice is not universal.”

            You really have a psychosis. Why would I have to do that? I’ve repeatedly pointed out that the label panic buying is questionable in specific instances of its application and does not begin to broach the real differences between Chinese cases I cited and the ones you ignorantly linked to. Neither Surfeit nor I have suggested at any point that the practice of panic buying is not universal. As I stated earlier, that does not mean meaningful differences in the behavior and considerations of people panic buying in different areas or under different conditions are not observed. Are you so deranged that you have to keep arguing Chinese people are human? You do realize how pathetic this makes you look.

            “Uh huh, that’s why you called the Wikipedia definition an “attempt to rely on a socio-economic definition of a term purposefully defined as broadly as possible to open up avenues for research is as cognizant as arguing that Chinese people love sports because so many play badminton and ping pong,” right?”

            Your attempt to incorporate this quote doesn’t make sense grammatically or logically. Since you are convinced this statement is evidence, tell me why this comment means I have a “definition of panic buying wherein shortages / price rises must actually occur for the action to be considered ‘panic buying’.” Come on, it should be easy.

            “Go fuck yourself, read Politics and the English language, and then read this paper so you understand that your writing style does not make you look intelligent but rather makes you look like a clueless pompous dumbass.”

            Alex. Control that anger. So in the end, you have no justification for your claims. Only accusations, febrile fabrications, links and more links that you don’t understand. Great. I’m sure we can trust you.

            Again, where were you during SARS? Is your entire knowledge of the Cinderford event limited to that article? You seem to have a problem answering these questions. It can’t be because you think they are irrelevant.

          • Alex Dương

            SMH…No, Alex. The “shortage” refers to *water*–which, absent a private well, is always a commodity (you realize it is a burst water main, right?). Bottled water is simply a replacement or stand-in for the water they were unable to get from their taps, hence my point earlier about this being a matter of logistics.

            Here we see it only as a replacement for standard consumption, purchased to fill in for a commodity in daily use, of which there has already been a shortage, and thus outside the bounds of your Oxford definition.

            The “shortage” refers to the bottled water, not the nonexistent water from the dry taps. The Cinderford residents panic bought bottled water because they feared that if they did not purchase bottled water immediately, then there might not be any left when they need it. That was the “forthcoming shortage” that they feared.

            An equally likely scenario is that the daily water use for a town of thousands could not be covered by the stocks of bottled water in a local shops. A problem of logistics.

            Uh huh. And do you know why local shops don’t store enough bottled water to cover the daily water use for a town of thousands? Gee, maybe it’s because normally, people just use tap water, which in a first-world country like the U.K. is perfectly safe for human drinking and use.

            It’s really not a problem of logistics. That you’ve said this repeatedly shows that you have no understanding of even the basics of inventory management. Shops stock bottled water based on their expectations of normal sales. They don’t stock bottled water based on abnormal events like a burst water pipe.

            In normal times, people in first-world countries buy bottled water for use when they’re traveling, at the gym, and so forth. They don’t buy bottled water for survival reasons. So why would the stores always carry enough bottled water to supply the “daily water use” of a town of thousands? Do you even think through the bullshit that you write, or do you just shit on your keyboard and rearrange it to act as if you know what the fuck you’re talking about?

            Then perhaps there will be one less idiot on the internet who doesn’t understand sarcasm and who resorts to this trite vignette.

            Oh, that was sarcasm? I thought that was just your normal attempt at trying to sound smart, which in that particular case backfired spectacularly and hilariously. You’re really much, much, much dumber than you realize.

          • Wa

            So you don’t understand that tap water is a commodity in Britain. You don’t understand that the non-existence of something that was regularly there is, in fact, a shortage of that thing. You don’t understand that you still haven’t shown any evidence of fear other than absent water. You haven’t show any evidence for people buying far more than they need for daily use. And you don’t understand that simply replacing a water source with another water source which was held in much less supply makes the application panic buying an utterly ridiculous misnomer.

            But you did do a Google search and found the term “panic buying” in the article, so that’s what you are sticking with. You don’t mind being this transparently vapid.

            “And do you know why local shops don’t store enough bottled water to cover the daily water use for a town of thousands? Gee, maybe it’s because normally, people just use tap water, which in a first-world country like the U.K. is perfectly safe for human drinking and use.

            It’s really not a problem of logistics. That you’ve said this repeatedly shows that you have no understanding of even the basics of inventory management. Shops stock bottled water based on their expectations of normal sales. They don’t buy bottled water for survival reasons. So why would the stores always carry enough bottled water to supply the “daily water use” of a town of thousands?”

            No shit. Which is a perfectly natural reason for them to run out of bottled water in this situation. People needed more water; and bottled water at local shops was the most immediately available. This naturally could not meet the needs of the entire town. No other salient detail about consumption or behavior is stated in the article, and there is no need and no evidence to introduce fears of a shortage. And you think not only do these facts justify the label “panic buying”, but that label itself is sufficient to equate the behaviors and motivations of people in Cinderford with the ones I cited in China.

            *Again, where were you during SARS? Is your entire knowledge of the Cinderford event limited to that article? You seem to have a problem answering these questions. It can’t be because you think they are irrelevant.*

            Logistics is the procurement and distribution of products. It is nearly impossible to discover people are in need of significant quantities of water and fulfill that demand immediately, but that is precisely a logistical problem. The fact you don’t recognize it as such is simple idiocy. A logistical problem doesn’t turn every shortage into panic buying. Consumers would be able to temporarily supplement water supply by traveling outside the town. Where is the fear? Can the local shops order a larger shipment of water for the following days? Certainly, but how much larger? Given how quickly the problem was addressed, would they be stuck with an excess of bottled water? No doubt you would call that panic selling.

            “Oh, that was sarcasm? I thought that was just your normal attempt at trying to sound smart, which in that particular case backfired spectacularly and hilariously.”

            Your inability to recognize sarcasm, particularly directed toward an individual freighting Wikipedia as much as you do, is my problem and backfired on me? Your face is so thick you are addressing these comments to yourself and don’t even know it. Get help, man. Seriously. People will help you.

          • Alex Dương

            So you don’t understand that tap water is a commodity in Britain. You don’t understand that the non-existence of something that was regularly there is, in fact, a shortage of that thing. You don’t understand that you still haven’t shown any evidence of fear other than absent water. You haven’t show any evidence for people buying far more than they need for daily use. And you don’t understand that simply replacing a water source with another water source which was held in much less supply makes the application panic buying an utterly ridiculous misnomer.

            I’m obviously arguing with someone who has completely subordinated what little intelligence he has in favor of defending his pride (i.e. saving face). You can have the last word, Wa, because I didn’t think it was possible, but you seem to be getting more stupid with each reply.

            Let’s take a look at the OED definition again: panic buying is the action of buying large quantities of a commodity in sudden alarm at an anticipated shortage. Now, what happened in Cinderford? From the article, Shops in the Forest of Dean town ran out of bottled water as residents began to panic buy and emergency water supplies were brought into the town.

            Someone who isn’t a complete idiot should be able to easily understand what happened. The Cinderford residents panic bought bottled water because they were afraid that if they did not immediately rush to buy bottled water, there wouldn’t be any left when they needed it (i.e. the purchases were in sudden alarm at an anticipated shortage).

            You, in your inimitable idiocy, are desperately and pathetically trying to argue that the “commodity” is actually tap water and since the taps were already dry, the shortage “actually” happened and is therefore not “forthcoming.” Uh, no. Read the definition again. What did the residents seek to obtain during the panic buying? Bottled water. Therefore, the commodity is bottled water, and the shortage refers to the Cinderford residents’ fear that there would not be enough bottled water if they didn’t rush to buy it immediately.

            No shit. Which is a perfectly natural reason for them to run out of bottled water in this situation. People needed more water; and bottled water at local shops was the most immediately available. This naturally could not meet the needs of the entire town…

            Good to know that even you have your limits regarding how far you’re willing to debase yourself to save face.

            …No other salient detail about consumption or behavior is stated in the article, and there is no need and no evidence to introduce fears of a shortage. And you think not only do these facts justify the label “panic buying”, but that label itself is sufficient to equate the behaviors and motivations of people in Cinderford with the ones I cited in China.

            Unfortunately, your limits aren’t high enough. If you yourself agree that the Cinderford residents “needed more water, and bottled water at local shops was the most immediately available,” then guess what? You just agreed that this was panic buying.

            Thank you. Come again the next time you’d like to grotesquely overexaggerate some cultural difference and show everyone what a retard you are.

          • Wa

            “If you yourself agree that the Cinderford residents
            “needed more water, and bottled water at local shops was the most immediately available,” then guess what? You just agreed that this was panic buying.”

            No, Alex. Like your argument that Surfeit should state “panic buying is part of a human mindset” above, this is a simplistic and inane attempt to foist an ill-considered and illogical conclusion on someone who is actually addressing the complexity of the situation, not merely striving for tautological definition match.

            The buying of bottled water would almost certainly be panic buying of bottle water if the taps had not run dry, but they did and it isn’t. You still do not understand the significance of that, and you are unable to make any reference to the behavior of the citizens except that they bought bottled water. I’ll show you why your entire approach is erroneous.

            Researchers of panic buying regularly address the phenomenon as consumer hoarding. There is a reason
            for that: when considering the panic buying of bread,
            for example, additional loaves are not immediately consumed and are set aside in storage in anticipation of a shortage “just in case”. One’s daily consumption of bread is not directly correlate to the amount of stock one has except for a possible decrease in consumption should the stock be viewed as insufficient or the shortage be perceived as potentially prolonged. Hoarding has a clear definition, and panic buying’s dangerous effects on distribution, including exacerbating shortages, are viewed in this light: “Hoarding exists when the consumer’s current inventory of an item exceeds his inventory in previous periods while his expected consumption rate (taste) remains constant.”

            http://www.acrwebsite.org/search/view-conference-proceedings.aspx?Id=5764

            The claim that residents of Cinderford are panic buying (hoarding) bottled water, that they are responding to a specific fear of a *shortage of bottled water*, would therefore necessitate the argument that inventory of an item like bottled water increases dramatically while the consumption rate of the same item, i.e. bottled water, remains constant or is even diminished. Whereas the former clause is true, in a situation in which bottled water stands as a substitute for tap water in all of its uses, the latter clause is obviously inaccurate. The consumption of bottled water in such circumstances *increases dramatically* as well, not only for its use as drinking water, but for hand washing, bathing, and a host of other activities. The “unusual amount” purchased is directly
            correlate to these activities as bottled water is being used for a far larger range of applications than typically obtain.
            This is irrefutably true because the purchase of bottled water is a response to *a shortage of tap water (or: water)*, not a sudden alarm at the *anticipated shortage of the bottled water* for its standard consumption. Even if consumers moderate their use of bottled water in expectation of a prolonged shortage, they are still doing so within the parameters of the use of previously supplied tap-water, which necessarily exceeds the regular consumption rate of bottled water, and which therefore does not amount to hoarding.

            This is why it is necessary for you to acknowledge the
            importance of the already established shortage of tap water (or water generally) and its effect on consumer behavior. I pointed this out several times above when I stated:

            “Now, this behavior and psychology is precisely at issue. If people make a rational decision to buy the same amount of water they would use from their now non-functional taps over an extended period of time, the socio-economic term “panic buying” may in fact become a misnomer as there is no panic (Boris also noted this is true in some of the cases cited in China above), there is only a logistical problem.”

            And

            “The *typical* reason bottled water is a part of panic buying is its storage potential (not immediate consumption), which is why it is purchased in anticipation of a disaster rather than as a replacement for standard consumption. Here we see it only as a replacement for standard consumption, purchased to fill in for a commodity in daily use, of which there has already been a shortage.”

            And

            “You haven’t show any evidence for people buying far more than they need for daily use. And you don’t understand that simply replacing a water source with another water source which was held in much less supply makes the application panic buying an utterly ridiculous misnomer.”

            A application of the term panic buying which relegates citizen concern strictly to the domain of a *fear of a shortage of bottled water* is one which essentially sees bottle water like bread, purchased for the same consumption habits, and *does not take into account any alteration of people’s behavior caused by the *shortage of (tap) water**. This is precisely your approach, and despite the fact that I frequently asked whether you had any evidence for the assumptions you are making about the citizens of Cinderford, you have not provided evidence and you continue making those same assumptions:

            “Cinderford residents panic bought bottled water because they were afraid that if they did not immediately rush to buy bottled water, there wouldn’t be any left when they needed it (i.e. the purchases were in sudden alarm at an anticipated shortage).”

            “and the shortage refers to the Cinderford residents’ fear that there would not be enough bottled water if they didn’t rush to buy it immediately.”

            You have not provided any evidence of this fear or alarm. You have not answered my question whether the entirety of your knowledge of the Cinderford event was located in that article (because it is). The entire basis for your claim that consumers were panic buying is merely that *the stock of bottled water was sold out*. Yet, as I stated several times, if the purchase of bottled water merely acts as a replacement of tap water, this alone would be sufficient to cause the depletion of bottled water stock.

    • Boris

      Happens in every place. But your examples are poor.

      Lets look at one example. The homes without water. The homes have no water and people naturally go out to buy water. Shops naturally in the UK will not hold that much water in stock as people usually drink from the taps. Unlike places in Asia, where it is more usual to drink from bottled water than tap water. Also, water is not just used for drinking, other instance would be for cleaning. I am sure you know that. That may seem to you to be panic buy, but it seems more reasonable that is was a logical thing to do.

      You could have easily used better examples. I have even give comparables in my comments. Lining up for the latest gadgets like an iPhone, or games console or those games like COD. Those are comparable with some on the list in the article above.

      But you haven’t listed anything that can be compared to the panic salt buying or the ‘magic herb’ that has been listed above. And Wa has owned your arse so there isn’t really much for me to add.

  • christina

    hahahaaaa your little post displays more ignorance than the queue-less chinese people you’re talking about

  • Rick in China

    It’s getting way better at a lot of places. It used to be much worse. I see lines queuing and I’ve seen locals bark at less-civilised locals trying to butt queues more and more, and I like it.

    Some highly-trafficked ticket offices have guards specifically instructed to ‘keep the line’ – they wander the lines making sure nobody butts in. Maybe it’s too slow going for your liking, but it’s _absolutely_ improving.

  • 5000 years of history

    Rule # 1 Mob rules
    # 2 see # 1

  • angry laowai

    those people who line up to get the new iPhone are the most pathetic human beings on this planet….get a fucking life!!

  • Surfeit

    I don’t even think he’s dumb, just stubborn.

  • Our western conception of things might make this phenomenon very hard to contemplate and even harder to give proper judgement, whether you are european or from the Americas you could never tell what it was like to grow up without telephones, tv, radios, or anything…except for particular cases. Until 10 years ago around 80% of Chinese people lived in the countryside without being able to afford almost anything… Even chocolate was something only affordable by the rich. My wife told me when she was a child she would save the chocolate she got in New year for months before eating it… now China has this giant machine they have created but they still can’t change the way they are and the way they were brought up. I was in Sanlitun the day the iPhone 4s came out and what I saw was pretty awful… people getting mad and shit… but then I put it into context and finally realized all I just wrote. Just imagine having fuck-all nothing all your life and then from one day to another being able to buy pretty much anything, at a very low price. I’d go crazy too. Think black friday is bad? go to a mall in China… in Valentine’s day… I dare you.

  • Kai

    Wimmin’…

    :D

  • Warren Lauzon

    This seems to be something that is much more common in some countries than others. Most commonly in communist or ex-communist countries with a “planned” economy or a history of one. I have never seen any kind of mass panic buying in most Western countries (though some occurs locally, like in hurricanes). I saw a mild form of it in Japan in the late 70’s when a toilet paper shortage was rumored, but it never got to mass panic with stores bought out. China seems especially vulnerable to it because of it’s past history, and have also heard of similar panics in Russia over the past few years.

  • PS

    Not to be picky, but I’m almost certain that one of the picture above is from Japan… (The one with people queing for facemask)

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