How Economics Can Ruin Christmas, In A Good Way

“Some time ago, I resigned myself to the fact that economists are the wet blankets of the world. We can ruin almost any proposal and almost any situation with just a couple of analytical tools and the words “unintended consequences.” Rent control? It causes shortages and hurts poor people. Minimum wages? They reduce employment and hurt poor people. Laws against “price gouging?” They also cause shortages and hurt poor people. Interventions, regulations, and subsidies that were supposed to make housing and higher education more affordable and thereby make the world a kinder, gentler, more prosperous place? We’re seeing how that’s working out right now. You get the idea: the list of dreams that have been dashed upon the rocks of the principles of economics is long indeed.”