… is from pages 63-64 of Leonard Read’s 1970 volume, Talking to Myself :
This way – price and exchange controls – is the intellectual level of mirror smashing. It keeps others from seeing what we have to offer and us from seeing what they have to offer in exchange.
Price controls – any government-imposed price controls, be they price ceilings (such as prohibitions on so-called “price gouging” in the aftermaths of natural disasters) or price floors (such as minimum wages) – blind us to the full range of reality that we would see and respond to absent such controls. Price controls distort and restrict our vision. They misrepresent reality. They spread lies about the relative values that buyers attach to different goods and services and about the relative sacrifices that suppliers must make to exchange different goods and services with buyers.
Price controls reflect the economic misunderstanding of everyone who endorses them – the failure of such people to adequately understand the process by which prices are formed on markets and the role that such prices play. Price controls are a form of government censorship of people’s ability to communicate to each other information about economic reality.
Price controls are the economic equivalent of fraudulent reporting – the economic equivalent of arrogant, idiotic, and brutish government officials ordering newspapers and magazines and websites to report that X occurred when in fact X did not occur, and also of such government officials threatening to cage or kill journalists who report truthfully that Y occurred.
People who support government-imposed price controls believe that society is made more prosperous, harmonious, or fair by institutionalized deceptions.