"I had one fundamental question about economics: Why do some places prosper and thrive 
while others just suck?"  -- the first sentence in Chapter 1 of Eat the Rich by P.J. O'Rourke
Some brief explanations of what happens when people in government manipulate markets through mandated price ceilings and/or price floors*

"The existence of a price doesn't imply a supply." -- Don Lloyd

Here's where you'll find price controls examined -- in excerpts from these books:

1. "Government Price-Fixing" excerpted from ECONOMICS IN ONE LESSON by Henry Hazlitt

2. "The Power of Incentives" excerpted from THE ARMCHAIR ECONOMIST: Economics and Everyday Life
by Steven E. Landsburg

3. "Price Controls" excerpted from THE CONCISE GUIDE TO ECONOMICS
by Jim Cox

4. "From Beatnick to Business Major, or, Taking Econ 101 for Kicks"excerpted from EAT THE RICH: A Treatise on Economics
by P.J. O'Rourke

5. "Price Controls Are Back!" excerpted from MAKING ECONOMIC SENSE
by Murray N. Rothbard

6. "Rules vs. Prices" excerpted from BIONOMICS: Economy as Ecosystem
by Michael Rothschild

7. "Price Controls" excerpted from BASIC ECONOMICS: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy by Thomas Sowell

8. "The Market" excerpted from ESSENTIALS OF ECONOMICS: A Brief Survey of Principles and Policies by Faustino Ballvé 

9. More resources for the study of price controls are HERE.

See: "it is becoming increasingly clear that most politicians don’t have a clue about what causes gas prices to rise" HERE.
An open letter to Congress from a huge number of economists
How Price-Gouging Laws Make Hurricanes WORSE
Backwater of Economic Development With Price Controls
The First Law of Economics
"Some years ago, shortly before the collapse of the Soviet Empire, I was an invited speaker at a conference of company CEOs and presidents in Acapulco, Mexico. Another of the speakers was Gennady Gerasimov, who you may remember was Gorbachev's spokesperson to the West. I went to hear his talk, which he opened with a joke. And the joke went like this: The Soviet Union has invaded and successfully conquered every country on the planet, with one exception: New Zealand. The Soviet Union has chosen not to invade New Zealand. Question: Why? Answer: So we would know the market price of goods. And of course everybody in the audience got the joke, and everybody laughed, and I sat there stunned. ..."   -- Dr. Nathaniel Branden at http://www.cato.org/pubs/policy_report/pr-jf-nb.html HERE
"Just recently I came across one number which should have destroyed the whole notion of central planning. And it was that there were 24 million prices in the Soviet Union. Now, there’s no human being capable of setting 24 million prices, especially when you realize that each price has to be set properly in relation to the other 24 million prices.  So you can’t even break it down and have, say, 24,000 people, each one with 1,000 prices..." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell at http://www.qanda.org/Transcript/?ProgramID=1019 HERE.
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*(as old world countries have done for millennia)
"Every citizen who has produced or acquired a product, should have the option of applying it immediately to his own use or of transferring it to whoever on the face of the earth agrees to give him in exchange the object of his desires.  To deprive him of this option . . . solely to satisfy the convenience of another citizen, is to legitimize an act of plunder and to violate the law of justice." -- Frédéric Bastiat

Contrary to popular belief, market prices are not arbitrary terms of exchange that determine how wealth is distributed.  Instead, prices reflect underlying realities.  And prices reflect underlying realities in a manner that causes consumers and producers to act consistently with the underlying realities and that cause these underlying realities to change over time in ways that improve human well-being.  Although this analogy is unoriginal, it remains powerful: price and wage ceilings, and price and wage floors, are economic lies that cause economic malfunction in the same way that an artificial restriction on the ability of a thermostat to accurately register the room temperature is a temperature lie that causes the central heating/air-conditioning unit to malfunction.   -- from Cafe Hayek, HERE  

The following is from page 102 of Matt Ridley’s superb 2015 book, The Evolution of Everything:

No central direction is required to tell the economy how many woollen coats, laptops or cups of coffee are needed.  Indeed, when somebody does try to do so, the result is a miserable mess.  Or North Korea.  Prices, if allowed free to rise or fall, will gravitate under competition towards the cost of production, as demand matches supply.  Suppliers will direct their efforts to the products most valued at any one time, driving down price and satisfying the most intense demand.  The system is run by the decisions of millions of individuals

"Most voters lack elementary understanding of economics.  They resist even ideas as simple as 'In the long run, preserving obsolete jobs reduces production.'  When prices change, vague conspiracy theories -- not supply and demand -- are their default explanation." -- Bryan Caplan

"It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a 'dismal science.'  But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance."  -- Murray N. Rothbard
"One of the most important reasons for studying history is that virtually every stupid idea that is in vogue today has been tried before and proved disastrous before, time and again." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell
"Bad and discredited ideas, it seems, never die.  Neither do they fade away.  Instead, they keep turning up, like bad pennies or Godzilla in the old Japanese movies." -- Murray N. Rothbard
"There is no error so monstrous that it fails to find defenders among the ablest men." -- Prof. John E. E. D. Acton
"The study of history is a powerful antidote to contemporary arrogance. It is humbling to discover how many of our glib assumptions, which seem to us noble and plausible, have been tested before, not once but many times and in innumerable guises; and discovered to be, at great human cost, wholly false." -- Paul Johnson 
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." ~ George Santayana, The Life of Reason, 1906
“Americans are fed a steady diet of idiotic commentary and specious 'analyses' most of which flow smoothly down the gullets of unsuspecting nightly-news, viewers, newspaper readers, and National Public Radio devotees. But for those of us vexed with some comprehension of supply and demand, comparative advantage, the role of prices, the nature of money, and other economic insights, most of what is uttered or written by the news media on economic topics is so ignorant that it hurts to hear it.” --  by Donald J. Boudreaux
"Never -- and I mean never -- blindly trust the statistics you read [or hear] about the economy." -- Don Luskin, HERE
“In America today the same nuclear physicist who would laugh uproariously at the thought that the average businessman should have a vote on whether to allow physicists to study the atom would immediately turn around and insist that he as a citizen and nothing more should have the right to vote on whether the owners of Texas gas wells should have the right to set their own prices for their gas, whether the Federal Reserve should increase the money supply at a faster rate, or whether the federal government should 'stimulate' the international economy by running budget deficits and 'talking down' the dollar in exchange markets. 

"The same sociologist who asserts with contempt that the average politician knows nothing about the realities of drug use and their effects would assert with aplomb, and without thinking to consult a single study or learning economic theory, that the government should 'solve' the problem of inflation by imposing wage and price controls upon all those businessmen who 'set their prices to rip-off obscene profits.' 

"And the average citizen voter, who can barely read at the so-called tenth grade level, asserts blandly that his votes justify the politicians’ use of police powers to dictate to doctors the standards of medical care and the maximum charges they can ask for their services.” -- Jack D. Douglas

"Economics has an extreme problem ... because essentially everything in economics has policy implications. Far too many economists let their policy preferences interfere with the conduct of their science (rather than changing their preferences in response to their scientific findings). That says nothing about economics, only something about the integrity of the economists in question." -- John Seater
"Economic downturns reduce economic literacy. Just when people need their economic common sense the most, they open their hearts to the crackpots. Perhaps the best example is the Great Depression, when every breed of nut got his fifteen minutes of fame." -- Bryan Caplan
"No 'middle class' worth the name aspires to economic benefits without bothering to acquire the skills to produce the wealth to make those benefits sustainable." -- Holman Jenkins
"Talk is cheap. Supply exceeds Demand." -- Bill Goffe
"[It's vital to develop analysis on] how proposed changes to U.S. tax policy would affect economic activity.  Inside the Beltway, this type of analysis is called 'dynamic scoring.' Outside the Beltway, this is called 'economics'.” -- William W. Beach
PROOF that economics has entered the realm of the cool:  CLICK THIS!
"... in terms of morality -- the right of every individual to trade freely with any other of his choosing ... ought to exist independent of whether its exercise maximizes anyone's or everyone's welfare." -- Donald L. Luskin
The Karl Marx Treatment Center presents: Ask the People's Economist HERE.

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