A Confused Guardian

Higher prices may sometimes be justified, but a conspiracy of producers against the public is always the wrong way to bring them about.


In a report on alcohol last month, the home office proposed changing the law so supermarkets are no longer forced to respond to cut-throat competition by selling cut-price liquor. The idea of imposing competition with an eye on the wider public interest could have more general application. Regulators guard their independence jealously, but they need the freedom to apply it more flexibly, because there are times when lower prices come at a high cost.

Eh? So with the justification of higher prices being needed you\’ll agree to a conspiracy of producers against the public?

And I thought Leaders were written by the bright people?

6 comments on “A Confused Guardian

  1. “So with the justification of higher prices being needed you’ll agree to a conspiracy of producers against the public?”

    Of course. When it’s for the right cause

  2. Once you believe that you know the price that something “should” be sold at it opens the Pandora’s Box of price control, regulation and corruption.

  3. Tim – this is your view as well though, isn’t it? You don’t believe in price-fixing, and you do believe in Pigovian taxation.

    Tim adds: Umm, not really. I’m against price fixing by collusion (Adam Smith, businessmen seldom meet together….conspiracy against the public) while entirely happy with hte idea that taxation should be used to incorporate externalities into market prices. There’s not a contradiction there that I can see.

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