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Price Controls

Price control is mandated certain price level per unit. Governments or private entities might enforce price controls on a variety of goods and services including residential rents, food stuffs, wages for labor, and many more. Price controls can dictate either minimum or maximum prices. When the government enforces a minimum price, it can create a surplus of a good or service if that price is higher than the market price. Likewise, if the government enforces a maximum price that is lower than the market price, it will create a shortage of a good or service. In the former case, the government might initiate a program to buy the excess. In the latter case, the government might initiate a rationing program that limits consumer access to said goods and services. 

 

 

Paul Cwik - Problems and Prices

 

Anthony Carilli - Austrian Economics: Praxeology, Supply, and Demand

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Zimbabwe Cracks Down on Price-Gougers

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"Plain-clothes police sought to enforce Zimbabwe's new price controls by raiding shops yesterday as President Robert Mugabe's regime waged a desperate struggle against soaring inflation. They roughed up shop owners and staff and arrested 20 businessmen. Shoppers swarmed over supermarket shelves in the capital, Harare, intent on grabbing 'bargains.'" (Telegraph, Tuesday)

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"The House Ways and Means Committee yesterday approved a modest package of tax breaks for restaurants and small businesses that would be affected by an increase in the federal minimum wage, breaking a logjam with the Senate that has delayed passage of one of the Democrats' top legislative priorities." (Washington Post, Tuesday)

Who'd have thought the government would still be setting wages in the 21st century?

FEE Timely Classic
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Beware Excessive and Unreasonable Power

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President Obama wants to empower the government to block insurance rate increases deemed unreasonable or excessive. This would combine two bad ideas: price controls and rejection of the rule of law.

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The Two-Price System: U.S. Rationing During World War II

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Muting Messages

All Price Controls Silence Truthful and Useful Messages

OCTOBER 01, 2002 by DONALD BOUDREAUX

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What Price Control Really Means

APRIL 01, 1978 by LAWRENCE W. REED

The history of price control is the history of shortages, queues, and dissatisfied customers.

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