Price controls are a spectacularly foolish idea, and that’s true whether they’re imposed by thugs such as Hugo Chavez in Venezuela or bureaucrats at the Department of Health and Human Services.
That’s why one of the 20th Century’s economic heroes is Ludwig Erhard, who unleashed the post-war German miracle by abolishing the price controls imposed by the allied powers.
Notwithstanding all this history, politicians oftentimes can’t resist doing the wrong thing, as you can see from this new Reason TV video.
A simple explanation for the stupidity of politicians is that there are more consumers than gas station owners. But I also think this is an example of their illiteracy about what Bastiat referred to as the seen and the unseen.
I hope you’re familiar with Reason TV, by the way. If not, you should peruse the great work they do. Some of my favorites include:
- Featuring Andrew Ferguson on the parasite economy of Washington, DC.
- Contemplating the absurdity of anti-obesity campaigns from the compulsive big spenders in government.
- Exploring the evil of Communism.
- The fight to break up the failed government school monopoly, over the objection of a teacher unions and a morally corrupt “civil rights” establishment.
- A much-needed victory over tyrannical thugs at the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Exposing bloated bureaucracy in California.
- A case study showing why the so-called stimulus was a wasteful failure.
- The despicable impact of urban renewal.
- Victory over revenue cameras installed by greedy local governments.
- Singing about the brutal War on Drugs.
- Why statists hate the idea of private money.
- High-speed rail and other boondoggles.
- The inspirational life of Walter Williams.
- Hillary Clinton’s economic illiteracy.
- On pilgrims and property rights.
- Richard Epstein discusses his former colleague, Barack Obama.
- How Obama resuscitated libertarianism.
- A silver lining from Hurricane Katrina.
- The filming of Atlas Shrugged.
- Why the Terminator failed as Governor.
And if you enjoy humor, here are some more great videos from Reason TV:
- Mocking Ms. Fluke, the 30-year old upper-middle-class student who wants the rest of us to subsidize her birth control.
- Merry Christmas from the Transportation Security Administration.
- Fun with the TSA the other 364 days of the year.
- A touching farewell to the 100-watt light bulb.
- A nanny-of-the-month contest.
Feel free to share these examples with friends and colleagues.