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The Reality Reflected by Prices

Here’s a letter that I sent last week to the Washington Post:

To the Editor:

of yore occasionally killed messengers bringing bad news.  By voting to
outlaw so-called "price gouging," the House of Representatives proves
that its members are just as irrational as these ancient monarchs
("Tipping-Point Shock," May 24).

Higher prices report an
underlying reality such as constrained refining capacity, rising
demand, higher taxes, and more regulations.  Statutes that prevent
prices from rising do nothing to improve the underlying reality.
Indeed, by silencing information about reality, restraints on price
hikes keep consumers and producers acting in ignorance – thus making
matters worse.

Donald J. Boudreaux