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« American Decline | Main | Root Causes »

April 06, 2010



It's so painfully obvious that price caps only serve to depress supply. The answer ought to be to remove the price caps, but instead it typically is to demonize the suppliers in hopes of forcing them to cough up more supply -- which doesn't work unless you think you can enslave the suppliers.

Removing the price caps puts the commodity out of the reach of some consumers. Strangely, in every decade, we decide on a new list of commodities that "no one ever should be required to live without," such that we feel we have to step in and supply the commodity, either for free or at a subsidized or controlled price. This would make more sense if it were the same rock-bottom necessity from decade to decade, but it obviously changes with fashion instead. Often that's because what really bugs us is not the idea of making people do without something, but the idea that some people can afford it and others can't. The biggest problem with free markets, for many, is that they don't produce absolutely uniform prosperity.

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