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Stabilizing” Commodities
jim.com ^ | 1979 | Henry Hazlitt

Posted on 10/16/2009 4:20:48 PM PDT by arthurus

Attempts to lift the prices of particular commodities permanently above their natural market levels have failed so often, so disastrously and so notoriously that sophisticated pressure groups, and the bureaucrats upon whom they apply the pressure, seldom openly avow that aim. Their stated aims, particularly when they are first proposing that the government intervene, are usually more modest, and more plausible.

They have no wish, they declare, to raise the price of commodity X permanently above its natural level. That, they concede, would be unfair to consumers. But it is now obviously selling far below its natural level. The producers cannot make a living. Unless we act promptly, they will be thrown out of business. Then there will be a real scarcity, and consumers will have to pay exorbitant prices for the commodity. The apparent bargains that the consumers are now getting will cost them dear in the end. For the present “temporary” low price cannot last. But we cannot afford to wait for so-called natural market forces, or for the “blind” law of supply and demand, to correct the situation. For by that time the producers will be ruined and a great scarcity will be upon us. The government must act. All that we really want to do is to correct these violent, senseless fluctuations in price. We are not trying to boost the price; we are only trying to stabilize it.

There are several methods by which it is commonly proposed to do this. One of the most frequent is government loans to farmers to enable them to hold their crops off the market.

(Excerpt) Read more at jim.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government
KEYWORDS: intervention; protection; subsidies

1 posted on 10/16/2009 4:20:48 PM PDT by arthurus
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To: arthurus

can you say ‘ auto insurance ‘ ?


2 posted on 10/16/2009 4:24:01 PM PDT by SF_Redux
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