Indeed, I try really hard. But sometimes, I can’t resist.
Today’s word is inevitable:
Analysis of the Russian attack on Ukraine has rightly focused on the strategic, military and humanitarian considerations of the conflict itself. Soon, however, domestic implications will begin to impinge on the geo-political. Maintaining public support will be critical as President Biden and other democratic leaders around the world ask their citizens to sacrifice for the cause of countering Russia’s war.
The pressing nature of this challenge is made obvious by the ban on Russian energy imports that Biden announced on March 8. Cutting off the revenue that Russian oil and gas sales generate for the Kremlin is of clear strategic importance, but most analysts agree that it will raise gasoline and other energy prices for American consumers. Such hikes will come on top of the existing inflation problem with which the Biden administration has struggled for months.
So far, just the sort of pro-war obfuscation expected from the types who want us to look anywhere but at our own troubles. But here’s the Sunday punch:
Most mainstream economists today oppose price controls, although in recent months a sometimes-intense debate has emerged over the issue. Critics point to the pitfalls of the policy, such as the way that they can exacerbate shortages by preventing price signals (i.e., price increases) from inducing producers to increase supply. There is also the problem that controls cannot by themselves fix underlying structural causes of inflation.
Defenders of the approach note that a nuanced regime of “administered prices” has worked in the European Union, and that China relied on a system of price management during the early stages of its rapid economic development in the 1980s and 1990s. They also argue that controls can prevent corporate profiteering.
Whatever the drawbacks of price controls, however, the issue is no longer one of economic policy alone. It is now a strategic problem too, as the Biden administration’s other options for cushioning the impact of the Russian energy ban have their own downsides.
PRICE CONTROLS! Great God in heaven, are the people who write this bilge stupid, evil, or both? The history of price controls is entirely black. They create shortages of the very things the controls supposedly make “affordable!”
Yet it was inevitable that the Usurpers would seek to impose price controls. Price controls are actually people controls. They say to the producer and the vendor, “We the Rulers will decide what your goods and your labor are worth” — while those same Rulers go on merrily inflating the currency, rendering it worthless, and arrogating huge chunks of the price-controlled items to themselves. “The needs of the State come first,” don’t y’know. There’s no more effective method for reducing a society to poverty, black-market dependency, and dog-eat-dog savagery.
The suggestion of price controls is always accompanied by insinuations that producers are “profiteering.” People must be provided with a villain to blame other than the regime. It’s worked in the past; it would probably work today.
Did Nixon’s price controls on gasoline increase the supply of gasoline? If you’re not old enough to know about that episode, allow me to provide the answer for you: NO!
One of the reasons FDR seized all privately held gold was to allow him to conceal what he intended to do to the dollar. Today the dollar’s purchasing power is down to about 4% of what it commanded in 1913. Think about it.
It’s time to hunker down:
Fill your pantry and freezer to bursting.
Advance anticipated purchases of clothing.
Keep your oil, gasoline, and propane tanks full.
Buy gold and silver, and tell no one that you have it.
Beware, Gentle Reader. This won’t be the last time you hear about price controls as a “remedy” for what the Usurpers’ radically inflationary policies are doing to us.