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State officials across the country are proposing price controls to help fix the economy, riling economists who warn they can harm the economy and even destroy cities.
It isn't only the federal government that is trying to fix the economy. Across the country, from Vermont to Alaska, state and municipal governments are doing what they can to ease the burden for Americans who are increasingly out of work and unable to pay their bills. One controversial solution being considered is a move back to price controls. The New York Legislature and the San Francisco City Council are considering expanding rent controls. Some politicians in Vermont are trying to limit the price of milk. And in Alaska, a bill to cap oil prices is pending in the state legislature. Proponents say the government has an obligation to provide relief for consumers during these trying economic times. But many economists say controlling prices and rents has failed in the past, and it often has bad consequences. "Economists widely agree that price controls often lead to shortages. There are many examples throughout history, and we have seen more recent demonstrations of this principle of economics in Venezuela and Zimbabwe," said Dr. N. Gregory Mankiw, a Harvard University economics professor and former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush. Dr. Edward Glaeser, a Harvard economics professor who researches the effects of rent control, said price controls have "a whole litany of problems that make them among the most foolish forms of economic populism known to man."
1) "Our economy is in turmoil and our families are struggling with rising costs and falling incomes; with lost jobs and lost homes and lost faith in the American Dream."
) "We've always had a faith that the days of our children would be better than our own. Our people are losing that faith, not only in government itself but in the ability as citizens to serve as the ultimate rulers and shapers of our democracy."
3) "In little more than two decades we've gone from a position of energy independence to one in which almost half the oil we use comes from foreign countries, at prices that are going through the roof."
4) "Back then, we imported about a third of our oil. Now, we import more than half."
5) "Will we allow ourselves to be held hostage to the whims of tyrants and dictators who control the world's oil wells?"
6) "Our excessive dependence on OPEC has already taken a tremendous toll on our economy and our people."
7) "These efforts will cost money, a lot of money, and that is why Congress must enact the windfall profits tax without delay. It will be money well spent. Unlike the billions of dollars that we ship to foreign countries to pay for foreign oil, these funds will be paid by Americans to Americans."
8) "I believe we should immediately give every working family in America a $1,000 energy rebate, and we should pay for it with part of the record profits that the oil companies are making right now."
9) "In just ten years, these steps will produce enough renewable energy to replace all the oil we import from the Middle East."
10) "I am tonight setting the further goal of cutting our dependence on foreign oil by one-half by the end of the next decade."
11) "Think about how World War II forced us to transform a peacetime economy still climbing out of Depression into an Arsenal of Democracy that could wage war across three continents."
12) "Just as a similar synthetic rubber corporation helped us win World War II, so will we mobilize American determination and ability to win the energy war."
13) "I'll also extend the Production Tax Credit for five years to encourage the production of renewable energy like wind power, solar power, and geothermal energy."
14) "I am asking for the most massive peacetime commitment of funds and resources in our nation's history to develop America's own alternative sources of fuel -- from coal, from oil shale, from plant products for gasohol, from unconventional gas, from the sun."
15) "Think about when the scientists and engineers told John F. Kennedy that they had no idea how to put a man on the moon, he told them they would find a way."
16) "We ourselves are the same Americans who put a man on the Moon."
17) "We will set a goal of making our new buildings 50 percent more efficient over the next four years."
Being comparable to Jimmy Carter is a dubious honor at best. I don't know all that much about Carter...as he was elected the year I was born....although what i do know is definitely not good.