Why the Government Should Not Impose Price Controls

A sign stating limited purchases allowed hangs from empty shelves at a Target in Port Washington, N.Y., March 14, 2020. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)
Market signals, including price increases, allow resources to be allocated where they’re needed most.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE F acing surging prices amid a global pandemic, Kansas attorney general Derek Schmidt told reporters last week that his office intends to prosecute profiteers and “prevent opportunistic greed from overcoming the public need for necessary virus-response products and services during this time of emergency.” New Jersey’s lead prosecutor, Gurbir Grewal, struck a similar tone, warning corporations that “price-gouging laws will be strictly enforced to protect consumers trying to stay safe and take measures to protect themselves and their loved ones from the spread of the disease.” In both cases — and many others springing up in states and localities across the


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