Back to top

Knowledge Base

Price Controls: Still a Bad Idea

What are price controls?

Price controls are a government regulation that forces sellers of the designated good to sell their property at a set price. Price controls are dangerous, as they invalidate the right to personal property.

Proponents typically push to use price controls for “essential” goods and services, or “public” goods. These terms are intentionally subjective and could be just as easily used to argue that labor is an essential service and therefore the government should set the wage of every employee.

What is inflation?

Inflation occurs when the general costs of goods and services rise. Inflation is the result of either supply shortages or demand increases. Both supply and demand are short term and do not cause prolonged inflation. Continual inflation is the result of government monetary policy, whereby the government enlarges the money supply and artificially increases demand.

While inflation is typically discussed as a general rise in prices, it is important to note that inflation originates in select markets before spreading across the economy as a whole.