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Forty Centuries of Wage and Price Controls: How Not to Fight Inflation Kindle Edition
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- Publication date : April 6, 2011
- File size : 4600 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 194 pages
- Publisher : Ludwig von Mises Institute (April 6, 2011)
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B004VHIIUC
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #559,288 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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What the book lacks is a deeper review of the ways used to apply the controls and how exactly it under performed to solve the problems. In some cases it is due the lack of information from very old scenarios and in other cases I think the authors tried to keep it simple enough to be readable.
The book is old and if you are looking for recent information, you won't find it.
In general, a very interesting and insightful book about a topic not yet understood by a lot of people and governments (e.g. Argentina)
In each case the author demonstrates how the government was trying to act to make the economy better but instead made it much worse. His case is very tight in most instances (not all).
The problem is the author repeats the same ideas over and over. It might have been easier to list the problems caused by wage and price controls then list the civilizations that tried it. Nonetheless, the specifics are important in several cases and well worth reading.
His case for the evils of wage and price controls falls apart, somewhat, when he discusses modern war. He doesn't talk cogently about the difficulties of modern societies and inflation associated with war. In war things are being constructed but not consumed by someone paying for them rendering a profit to the seller while lowering demand. They are paid for by the government with taxes or inflated money and then blown up on some battlefield. Lets face it, tanks and battleships are expensive. The result is uncontrolled inflation which cannot be allowed by nations involved in all out wars (WWI and WWII). Wage and price controls seemed to work during WWII, and the failure to enact them quickly enough hurt the warring nations in Europe during WWI. The author's own numbers appear to prove the point, but he uses those same numbers to argue the opposite. This is hard to understand and he has no ready remedy except to avoid printing money or using wage and price controls. The US Civil War offers a contrast in ways to handle money during a war (North v South), but the management methods were complex and the South had no ability to acquire overseas resources at any price so the comparison is difficult.
In wars resources become scarce and the price of the items used in war go up… way up. Steel is a good example. If the price is allowed to rise on its own the country would soon have to stop building battleships (or whatever). Then what? Losing the war doesn't seem to be a good substitute for inflation.
The book is short and fun to read, with the exception of the repeats, and I recommend it.
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