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A Short History of Gasoline Price Controls EconLog

Library of Economics and History -- In the Weekend Interview in today's Wall Street Journal (WSJ editor Rob Pollock interviews George Shultz), Shultz says the following:

And one thing you know from experience is when you control the price of something, you end up getting less of it. So if you control the price of health-care providers, you will have fewer of them and that's gonna wind up as a crisis. The most vivid expression of that . . . was Jimmy Carter's gas lines.There's nothing incorrect about this statement. But it gives the reader the impression that Jimmy Carter was the president who introduced price controls. Shultz knows better. It was his boss, Richard Nixon, who introduced price controls on everything and kept them on gasoline.


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Submitted Jul 15, 2012 By: leemun
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honda0105
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Message Posted: Jul 18, 2012 6:06:23 AM

oil cartell dealings...
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sparky808
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Message Posted: Jul 16, 2012 1:33:13 PM

Thank you for posting.
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sjf238
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Message Posted: Jul 16, 2012 1:32:40 PM

Ok
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Alaydown
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Message Posted: Jul 16, 2012 2:07:04 AM

MAC48, that is ridiculous.
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MAC48
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Message Posted: Jul 16, 2012 12:56:13 AM

The simple key to regulating the commodity trading markets is to make it illegal to buy or sell future contracts relating to that commodity for anyone or any entity that is not engaged in the initial production of a commodity or uses that commodity for the production of goods or services. The penalty for US domestic persons or entities who buy or sell future contracts relating to a commodity that are neither initial producers of that commodity or do not use that commodity for the production of goods or services should be a fine equal to the face value of the illegal future trading contract or contracts plus incarnation for 1 to 5 years of that individual or the CEO of the entity that engaged in illegal future commodity contract trading.

In addition, any person or entity that engages in illegal future commodity contract trading whose legal residence is in a foreign country will have any assets within the US forfeited to the US government & that person or entity will be bared from future business dealings within the US or with US domestic individuals or business entities for a period of 5 years. These measures should be sufficient to keep all traders who are not involved in the actual use or production of any commodity out of any commodities future trading markets.
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jimpeel
Veteran Author Colorado

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Message Posted: Jul 16, 2012 12:37:12 AM

"Reagan finished the job within his first month in office."

At least one of them knew how to get something done.
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Dodge_Me
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Message Posted: Jul 16, 2012 12:33:42 AM

Hmm, sounds like we're between a rock and a hard place
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Cableman66
Champion Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Jul 16, 2012 12:31:36 AM

And your point is? Both parties are responsible. Get government out of the way and lets get on with moving the country ahead. This country is like a rudderless ship and is just floating around cause the Captain of the ship has no idea what to do about the economy.
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NorthglennBill
Champion Author Denver

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Message Posted: Jul 16, 2012 12:02:19 AM

Government meddling never seems to work. Now we have them messing with health care. Going to be a big mess.
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stopforgas
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:59:19 PM

What?? you mean someone actually admits a Republican was not perfect? That's heresy in today's ultra right wing USA.
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hatterasjack
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:58:13 PM

Controls never work.
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gsipper
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:56:55 PM

Huh ... government at it again.
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joel27nc
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:56:00 PM

okay
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giselmey
Sophomore Author El Paso

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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:54:52 PM

Okayyy...
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bowler360
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:52:26 PM

hmm.
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nobodyMO
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:51:31 PM

ok
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bobdec
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:50:28 PM

Very true
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Amtrgas
Champion Author Oakland

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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:49:48 PM

You can try to control the price of gasoline. But, you might not be successful.
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SandeeC
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:46:19 PM

Yeah, I agree with you DarthDadJr.
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jessek
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:45:38 PM

Price controls seem to work for State utilities such as nat gas, electricity, etc.
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WinderGuy
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:43:53 PM

Ok
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mstearno
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:43:46 PM

carter was an idot too
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DarthDadJr
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:41:53 PM

Price controls have never worked...
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fenster66
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:40:07 PM

ok.....
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nomad228
Champion Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:38:51 PM

yep the gov'ment will always try to control our gas prices while they have no problem filling their tanks on our dime....make that 50 dollars each tank. : )
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beachmanglen
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:36:34 PM

It's a basic law of economics. If you control prices, the producers will produce less, thus creating shortages. I remember the long lines of the 70's and early 80's.
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TheOneOkole
Rookie Author Tucson

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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:36:21 PM

control? really?
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kd5kpd
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:35:28 PM

Government control will always be a SNAFU!!
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naiiawah
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:34:04 PM

Interesting.
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Harry813
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:32:56 PM

Yep politics as usual
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drz614
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:32:34 PM

ok
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WIPACKERFAN
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:30:22 PM

SO
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papa56NC
All-Star Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:29:36 PM

Ok
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rf6480
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:26:04 PM

politics and greed
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goldrose1
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:25:17 PM

Gasoline Price Controls was big issue in presidential election. Congress wouldn't support dropping them under Carter.
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DEG
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:23:42 PM

Everything the government regulates gets more expensive. College education and health care are two of the biggest examples.
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ratboy1968
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:22:28 PM

Ok
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Jeeputtputt
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:17:20 PM

make it shorter
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250FORD
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:17:02 PM

We don't need price controls on oil and gas. We need speculators out and oil companies run by people who don't want to bleed everybody dry. GREED is what will destroy this country and the world for that matter.
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bikerchicklette
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:14:19 PM

WoW !!
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blazerbob91
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:13:54 PM

Government controls to much of our lives
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Goody2317
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:10:34 PM

Any time the government tries to control anything it always goes wrong.
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MRHONEST
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:10:12 PM

Alrighty then!
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serrog
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:06:46 PM

They don't work
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HDFXR1991
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:06:40 PM

Things that make you go Hmmm
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justmedc
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:02:27 PM

ok
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gasmack
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:01:40 PM

Interesting view.
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96sc1
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 10:58:11 PM

I vote against any price controls on anything for any reason.
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danlanman
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 10:56:43 PM

less government
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aggietim
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 10:51:04 PM

ok
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