As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been a strong effort to curtail price gouging on items such as hand sanitizer and medical face masks.
What doesn’t get said enough, however, is that forcibly restricting prices from rising above a certain threshold will not in itself influence the market conditions that drive prices up.
Price gouging encourages competition by pressuring manufacturers and distributors to increase production, which over time, would actually drive down costs. Price controls during a time of crisis, however, do nothing to address the shortage problem.
Last week, Professor Jeffrey Miron joined us on Reddit for an “Ask Me Anything” conversation as part of the Learn Liberty Reddit AMA Series. The conversation focused on Dr. Miron’s 30+ years of study on the effects of drug criminalization. Check out some of the highlights below. GPSBach While there seems to be an emerging consensus on […]
Dr. Miron has written over 100 op-eds and several books, including Drug War Crimes: The Consequences of Prohibition (2004) and Libertarianism: from A to Z (2010).
Venezuela is an unfolding story of the chaos resulting from government intervention in economic affairs. President Maduro faces a political crisis, and violent protests pose real threats to his desperate attempts to retain power. The economy is collapsing in front of our eyes, but the real tragedy is not the macro indicators that we read […]
Recent arguments against cutting federal health care spending — and letting states handle insurance regulation — reveal just how unaffordable the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is.
Once again, the United States government is rapidly approaching a fiscal debt ceiling. After March 16, 2017, Uncle Sam is not legally allowed to borrow any more money to cover its budget deficits, unless Congress votes to raise the debt limit like it has every time in the past. Uncle Sam’s debt has been growing […]
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently released the “The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2017 to 2027.” This annual report provides the federal government’s most comprehensive analysis of the current state of federal spending, taxes, and debt. It also provides a framework within which to analyze the President’s budget proposal and upcoming Congressional legislation. The news is […]
Republican reformers have repeatedly promised affordable healthcare for all Americans — doubly affordable, in fact. They promise sufficient subsidies to put premiums and out-of-pocket costs within reach of low- and middle-income consumers. At the same time, they promise that the plan will be affordable to the federal budget, even given the constraints their most conservative […]
Without substantive entitlement reform, it will be exceedingly difficult to address the country’s long-term fiscal problems, and it will only get harder if needed changes are delayed.
The Pentagon suppressed a 2015 study exposing $125 billion—yes, billion—in administrative waste, over a five year period, in order to protect its own budget from being slashed.
As the Mercatus Center’s Scott Sumner often says, one ought never to reason from a price change. Interest rates, like other prices, can change for all sorts of reasons; the implications of the change generally depend on the particular reason for such a change.
Let’s say that you’re a policymaker interested in reducing the size of government. Strategically, is it easier to cut government regulation or roll back the welfare state (thereby reducing government spending)?
In 1930, total government expenditure was 10% of GDP. Of that, approximately 3% was federal spending, and 7% was state and local spending. Today, government expenditure is about 40% of GDP, with 25% of that spending federal, and the remaining 15% state and local.
Politicians have never met a new taxpayer-funded government program they didn’t like.
Cumbersome, top-down aid policies are not agile enough to effectively respond to the diverse needs of our communities.
Local communities have a better understanding of their communities’ needs than far off centralized government anti-poverty directives.