Opinion: The Costs of a $15 Minimum Wage

On the 1970s, when oil prices jumped, most liberals embraced a simple solution: price controls. It should be illegal, they thought, to sell oil or gasoline for more than a certain amount. Americans should be able to drive without being fleeced by oil companies and foreign governments.

The impulse was understandable. Gasoline is an essential commodity for most people. When the cost rises, it imposes a heavy burden on consumers, most of whom have few transportation options.

In 1971, in an attempt to tame inflation, Republican President Richard Nixon imposed controls on almost all prices. By 1974, he had lifted most of them. But those on gas remained. Under Democratic President Jimmy Carter, they led to widespread shortages and long lines at service stations—and didn’t keep prices from rising. But the controls lasted until his successor, Ronald Reagan, lifted them in 1981.

Liberals learned an unforgettable lesson: Price controls on gasoline don’t work. In recent decades, when gas prices have soared, Democrats have shown no desire to repeat the lesson.

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Posted by The NON-Conformist

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