Thursday, April 26, 2012

Price controls destroy wealth

When will they learn?  The latest lesson comes from Venezuela where Hugo Chávez’s socialist-inspired government imposes strict price controls that are intended to make a range of foods and other goods more affordable for the poor. Ironically, the controls have the opposite effect:
The shortages affect both the poor and the well-off, in surprising ways. A supermarket in the upscale La Castellana neighborhood recently had plenty of chicken and cheese — even quail eggs — but not a single roll of toilet paper. Only a few bags of coffee remained on a bottom shelf. Asked where a shopper could get milk on a day when that, too, was out of stock, a manager said with sarcasm, “At Chávez’s house.”
HT: Greg Mankiw

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