Last week health economist Merrill Matthews of the Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI), based in Dallas, read my Hoover article on price controls and, on that basis, interviewed me for about half an hour.
Here’s the interview.
A few highlights:
7:28: Prices aren’t arbitrary.
9:13: Can corporations charge whatever they want?
10:48: What about monopolies?
12:20: Lina Khan seems unaware of this.
16:20: The X factor during WWII.
17:10: Milton Friedman’s observation on Congressmen’s self-interest during World War II.
17:50: Is there a case for price controls during all-out war. My answer and my (possibly imperfect) memory of Keynes’s view during WWII.
19:40: Demsetz’s findings on ads for rent-controlled apartments in Chicago during WWII.
21:45: Effects of minimum wage. Why unions pushed for minimum wages in late 1930s. Hint: To price out black people.
24:00: I highlight Richard McKenzie’s work and Jacob Vigdor’s work on Seattle minimum wage age.
25:40: Is a tariff a type of price control? HINT: No.
26:30: The famous case of favoritism during price controls by a famous Texas congressman.
27:45: LBJ’s phone line.
28:15: If price controls are not a good option, what should we do instead?