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Ryan Bourne reports on the war on prices. A slice:

The long sweep of history, from ancient Egypt to modern America, shows us that price controls can’t quell inflation, because they don’t fundamentally change the money supply or aggregate production. What controls on market prices guarantee is inefficiency. They squelch the delicate coordination mechanism that prices and their movements provide to encourage economical action. Price ceilings, the most common incarnation, are thus a tried-and-tested recipe for shortages, declines in product quality, and black markets.

Speaking of the war on prices, John Stossel tells of the damage done by California’s minimum wage for workers at fast-food restaurants.

If you want to learn more about where prices come from and what roles they play, this opportunity is excellent.

And Brian Albrecht explains that its not price-only theory.

el gato malo corrects Paul Krugman.

Michael Strain shows that “the American dream is alive and well (and the problem of U.S. inequality greatly exaggerated).”

The Wall Street Journal‘s Editorial Board ponders the antitrust paradox of Lina Khan’s case against Amazon. A slice:

The Biden Administration’s antitrust policy is an intellectual and legal mess these days, and look no further than the Federal Trade Commission’s curious move last week to oppose booksellers that want to join its lawsuit against Amazon. FTC Chair Lina Khan doesn’t want the booksellers contradicting her arguments in court.

The American Booksellers Association (ABA) is seeking federal Judge John Chun’s permission to intervene in support of the FTC lawsuit. The independent bookseller group says Amazon unfairly leverages its size to negotiate better deals with publishers. As a result, Amazon sells books at low prices that they struggle to match. “We believe the facts we bring to the table will significantly bolster key arguments made by the FTC in their already strong and compelling case,” says ABA CEO Allison Hill.

Strange but true, Ms. Khan doesn’t want those allies. The booksellers’ intervention “would essentially create a ‘whole new suit’” because their claims are “different from those in this case,” the FTC wrote last week in a brief opposing the ABA’s request. Translation: Booksellers contradict the FTC’s arguments.

Start with their conflicting views of market competition. The FTC narrowly defines the market in which Amazon competes as “online super stores”—namely, Walmart, Target and eBay—to argue that it has monopoly power. But small booksellers rightly argue that they also compete with Amazon. As do thousands of other retailers.

Bryan Caplan has a better understanding of “luxury beliefs” than does Rob Henderson. A slice:

The fundamental flaw here, as I’ve explained, is that crazy political beliefs are a “luxury” that no one is too poor to buy. The vast majority of individuals, Harvard-Princeton-Yale grads included, have near-zero ability to change government policy. This is the foundation of the central thesis of my The Myth of the Rational Voter: Since the same policies prevail no matter what you believe, you can embrace even the most absurd political views, free of charge.

If bad policies are broadly popular, of course, the social consequences are often catastrophic. Popular belief that “National Socialism means peace” (an actual 1932 Nazi election slogan) eventually devastated Germany along with much of the known world. The point, however, is that Germans who disbelieved this slogan perished just like their most fanatical Nazi neighbors, so the marginal selfish cost of folly was still pretty much nothing.