Sunday, January 2, 2011

A History Lesson on Nixon Interventions

Prices soared in the 1970's thanks to money printing by then Fed Chairman Arthur Burns. The climb became so alarming that President Nixon tried a political stunt. He imposed price controls. Looking back, it's hard to believe the totalitarian measures that have often been implemented and the mad propaganda that goes with it.

West Wing Report reminds us about the era:
On This Day. 1974: To save energy, President Nixon signed a bill lowering the maximum speed limit in the U.S. to 55 m.p.h....

Nixon asked Americans to drive less & for gas stations to close for 27 hours on weekends as gas shortages grew...

The energy crisis was so severe Nixon also warned of limits on air travel; he also urged citizens to stop hanging Christmas lights.
Well, gas shortages grew because of the price controls! Put price controls on diapers that restrict diaper prices from climbing to free market levels and you are going to have a shortage of diapers

The Nixon controls and warnings, of course, look absurd to us now, but I wonder how many bought the nonsense back then.

Let's hope that in a few years, the TSA warnings and gropings look as absurd, rather than further TSA creeping into our freedom and privacy.


  1. It's scary. And all those controls are rediculous. Why not let the economy free? Print more, inflate more, etc. That's the government for you.

  2. Trying to stop demand by force is so pathetic. This seems to be the present claim from keynesians to argue against price increases:

    If wages do not raise, people wont be able to afford food, and food prices wont rise...

    Stop eating so prices dont rise. Brilliant.