Price controls are a spectacularly foolish idea, and that’s true whether they’re imposed by thugs such as Hugo Chavez in Venezuela or bureaucrats at the Department of Health and Human Services.
That’s why one of the 20th Century’s economic heroes is Ludwig Erhard, who unleashed the post-war German miracle by abolishing the price controls imposed by the allied powers.
Notwithstanding all this history, politicians oftentimes can’t resist doing the wrong thing, as you can see from this new Reason TV video.
A simple explanation for the stupidity of politicians is that there are more consumers than gas station owners. But I also think this is an example of their illiteracy about what Bastiat referred to as the seen and the unseen.