The Problems of Price Controls | Cato Institute

The effects of price control in japan - Byrnes Hardware

A shortage of fleet tankers was a continuing limitation on the mobility of the Japanese fleet and contributed to its defeat in the two crucial battles of the Philippine Sea.

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The controlling opinion, however, was that any estimate of the effects of bombing on the Japanese social fabric and on the political decisions of those in control of Japan was bound to be so uncertain that target selection could safely be made only on the assumption that ground force invasion would be necessary to force capitulation.

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The strangulation of Japanese overwater movement, thus begun, could be continued both by the submarine and by attack from the air.

Competition is a better tool than price controls for protectingconsumers; the Puritans appear to have realized that and graduallyceased using them. As Rockoff writes, “One would expect that asmarkets grew, producing a smoother flow of information…the need forregulation would have decreased. Indeed, that seems to havehappened.”

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The Convention passed another law later in 1793 extendingmaximum prices to other essential supplies. Those price controls,in combination with government requisitioning and corruption,created chaos in the French economy. Merchants responded byreducing the quality of their goods and the black market blossomed,Bourne noted. “It was the honest merchant who became the victim ofthe law. His less scrupulous compeer refused to succumb. Thebutcher in weighing meats added more scraps than before…othershopkeepers sold second-rate goods at the maximum [price]…. Thecommon people complained that they were buying pear juice for wine,the oil of poppies for olive oil, ashes for pepper, and starch forsugar.”

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Objectives were seized for one or more of four purposes: To provide forward air fields so that shore-based aircraft might maintain and project forward United States control of the air; to furnish advance bases for the fleet; to secure land areas for the staging of troops in succeeding advances; and, in the case of the Marianas, to provide bases for long-range air attacks on the Japanese home islands.

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Due to the geography of the Empire, the Japanese ground forces depended for their effectiveness upon overseas support in all areas except the main home islands, and even there, overseas imports of raw materials were required.

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The last century provided many examples of pricecontrol-generated economic problems in communist Europe. EconomistDavid Tarr noted some of these problems in his study of thedistribution of domestically produced television sets in communistPoland. Because the Polish government kept TV prices artificiallylow, demand far outstripped supply and televisions became scarce. Aconsumer who wanted a TV had to sign on to a waiting list. In mostcases, the consumer had to visit the store every day to keep hisplace on the list. Tarr calculated that the social cost of thequeue for television sets was 10 times the size of the standarddeadweight loss and that the cost of the price controls ontelevisions to the Polish economy was more than the industry’stotal sales.