A Wednesday opinion piece from The Guardian drew conservative and liberal critics after suggesting governments institute price controls to combat inflation.
The article was penned by Isabella Weber, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. While she acknowledged inflation has hit a near 40-year-high in the United States, she maintained “We have a powerful weapon to fight inflation: price controls. It’s time we consider it.”
“We need a systematic consideration of strategic price controls as a tool in the broader policy response to the enormous macroeconomic challenges instead of pretending there is no alternative beyond wait-and-see or austerity,” Weber wrote.
Several economists quickly critiqued and mocked the article on Thursday.
“Guardian gonna Guardian…Price controls are beyond stupid. But so is inflating away the currency to pay for nonsense, so expect Biden etc Al to give this a try,” Club for Growth senior analyst Andrew Follett tweeted.
Economist Daniel Lacalle wrote, “Price controls! No one thought of it before, LOL. Worked wonders in Venezuela and Argentina…”
New York Times liberal economist Paul Krugman attacked the article writing, “I am not a free-market zealot. But this is truly stupid.”
Reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that inflation has risen at a rate of 6.8% in the past year, the fastest pace in 39 years. The Labor Department also determined the producer price index, which measures inflation at the wholesale level before it reaches consumer, rose by 9.6%. This is the highest rate on record since the department began tracking the data 11 years ago.