Price Controls

Arab Oil Embargo Would Not Be a Threat to a Free Market Economy

If the United States had had a free market in oil when the Arabs imposed their embargo, its oil supplies could not have been seriously jeopardized.

The Politics of the Minimum Wage

The politics of the minimum wage are simple. No congressman or president owes his office to the poorly educated black and Latino youth vote.

Swiss Reject To Limit Executive Pay

Justice demands that people are compensated on the basis of performance, not on the basis of their need or of the egalitarian ideal dominant in today’s culture.

Minimum Wage Madness: Part II

Labor unions have been supporters of minimum wage laws in countries around the world, since these laws price non-union workers out of jobs.

Minimum Wage Madness

Countries with minimum wage laws almost invariably have higher rates of unemployment than countries without minimum wage laws.

The Fallacy of “Living Wage”

The fundamental issue is not wage rates, but productivity. If a worker desires a higher wage, he must produce more in a given period of time.

Rent Control Hypocrites

Those who benefit from government coercion seldom like it when the gun is turned around and pointed at them. They have no hesitation to demand that government use compulsion for their benefit, but complain when compulsion is directed at them. As an example,...

The Temperamental Minimum Wage

The first fundamental law of demand postulates that the lower the price of something, the more will be demanded, and the higher the price, the less will be demanded. To my knowledge, there are no known exceptions to the law of demand. That was until last fall when 650...

No Drug Price Controls

The Democrats who now control Congress want to change President Bush's Medicare drug benefit to require government officials to negotiate drug prices with the pharmaceutical companies. Under the current program, competing insurance companies cut the deals and offer...

The Price of Capping Insurance Premiums

To the extent that the government simply “caps” premiums it will result in no insurance at all as it makes for an unprofitable bet for any insurance company.

The Minimum Wage Vision

There are decent people, without a selfish hidden agenda, who support increases in minimum wages as a means to help low-skilled workers, and there are other decent people, with the identical goal, who strongly oppose increases in the minimum wage. So the question is:...

A Glimmer of Hope: The Unusual Backlash Against Minimum Wage

It was a common political move when Chicago's city council voted recently to impose a $10 an hour minimum wage on big-box retailers. There is nothing that politicians like better than handing out benefits to be paid for by someone else. What was uncommon was the...

Minimum Wage, Maximum Folly

About a fortnight ago, Mrs. Williams alerted me to an episode of Oprah Winfrey's show titled "Inside the Lives of People Living on Minimum Wage." After a few minutes of watching, I turned it off, not because of the heartrending tales but because most of what was being...

Gas Prices and Price Controls

With all the recent hype and demagoguery about gasoline price-gouging, maybe it's time to talk about the basics of exchange. First, what is exchange? Exchange occurs when an owner transfers property rights or title to that which is his. Here's the essence of what...

Price Controls

I first became aware of the law of gravity as a small child when I pedalled by tricycle off the porch and crashed into the yard. Gravity was of course operating all along, whether I was aware of it or not. Economics is a lot like that. Many people who are completely...

Minimum Wage, Maximum Folly

Senators Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Rick Santorum, R-Pa., both introduced proposals to increase the minimum wage from its current $5.15 an hour. Sen. Kennedy's proposal would have raised the minimum wage to $7.25 in three steps over 26 months, while Sen. Santorum's...

Price Controls, Unemployment, and World Hunger

A recent front-page story in the Wall Street Journal told of rising hunger and malnutrition amid chronic agricultural surpluses in India. India is now exporting wheat, and even donating some to Afghanistan, while malnutrition is a growing problem within India itself....

The Economic Effects of the Minimum Wage

Ladies and gentlemen, it is understandable to want to help out poor families, and toward that end it has been suggested that Congress increase the minimum wage, from the current $5.15 an hour to $6.65 an hour. Well, I have good news and bad news for you. The bad news...

Why Racists and Unions Support Minimum Wages

Presidential aspirant Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., unwittingly performed a public service in his address to the Teamsters Local 238 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, last month. He revealed the true agenda behind so much of the support for minimum wages. He pledged that if he...

Killed by the ‘Living Wage’

Businessmen in Santa Fe, New Mexico, are going to court to defend their most basic economic right--the ability to voluntarily negotiate wages with their employees. Last month, the Santa Fe city council voted to raise the minimum wage to $10.50 per hour over the next...

An Ancient Fallacy: Price Controls

When Hawaii recently passed a law controlling how high the price of gasoline can go in that state, it was the first law controlling the price of gasoline since 1981, when President Ronald Reagan ended federal control over oil prices. What was unusual about the...

Forty Centuries of Wage and Price Controls

Even the Department of Energy's study found that price caps -- which, let's not forget, are what got California into this mess in the first place -- won't improve the energy situation. In fact, they'll likely make it worse. The study concluded that a $150 "hard cap"...

Price Controls and the Electricity Crisis in California

It was only a passing news item when the financial information service Standard & Poor's lowered the rating it gave to bonds issued by the state of California. But it has big implications and it also shows the big difference between economics and politics. At the...