Price ceilings and price floors

Food, housing, energy, education, health and arms cannot be left to the market. We need to control prices.

These are not consumer goods. They are commodities essential to human needs. The very reason for civilization is to be able to provide these necessities. They are not goods to enrich a part of the population. People must be assured of being able to live with dignity within their grasp.

People don’t need charity, they need a fair price. They have the right to decent housing, to food in an environmentally-friendly way, to energy for heating, to education, to healthcare and to the right to defend themselves. (Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

The price of a artillary shell has quadrupled since the war in Ukraine. Arms dealers are taking advantage and cashing in on public money. The Iris-T missiles that defend Ukrainian cities cost €150,000 to manufacture, and the manufacturer sells them for €430,000 to the German government and $4,000,000 to the United States, even though there are no development costs.

Without price controls, city rents are becoming unaffordable for some groups of the population. Landlords set prices without limits. They created nothing, they invent nothing. They represent 75% of the political staff. They are heirs. A maximum price on rents would improve people’s lives, lighten the burden on businesses, smooth the links between town and country, and cut a passive income, a rent that gives these people too great an advantage to enter politics. This has an impact on representative democracy.

Farmers need to be able to sell their products at their true cost, not at a cost lowered by subsidies. Foreign producers have no chance of escaping poverty. Products are bought at ever lower prices and sold at ever higher prices. Every day, farmers wonder whether their incomes are going to go down the drain due to the ups and downs of the market. It’s ruining their families, and the risk of suicide has tripled. We can’t tolerate this. We have to buy at a decent price.

We need price controls on energy. You don’t have to pay when it’s too expensive. It shouldn’t be a private resource. It is defended by wars so that some can appropriate it for their own private ends. In 2022, electricity rose by a thousand percent. This was not due to higher production costs, but to speculation on the pretext of the war in Ukraine.

Education should not be an income. In the West, the average schooling costs $25,000 a year. This puts unmanageable pressure on students and leads to a drug epidemic the likes of which we’ve never seen. It enriches the banks. It affects equality of opportunity. There has to be a maximum price. Not education grants where public money goes straight into the schools’ pockets.

Social security no longer reimburses many medicines. It is conditional on salary and excludes immigrants. Health care is subsidized. Laboratories set their own prices, thus recovering public money that bears no relation to manufacturing and research costs. Many effective drugs are no longer produced, on the pretext that they are no longer profitable. The laboratories are very rich and live off public health, i.e. tax money, and block certain scientific discoveries on the pretext that they would be less profitable. For example, curing diabetes with a single injection is less profitable than a lifelong patient. Patents should be in the public domain. Research should be public and financed by money no longer collected by the laboratories.

At the end of the 60s, there were price controls on these six pillars. It was a command economy. A farmer in the United States could sell at the public granary when the market was not favorable.

In the 1970s, we moved to the welfare state, where the market sets prices and the community provides a subsidy so that individuals can pay. The Nixon administration set up the subsidy system to keep workers in a situation of begging to break strikes by making them dependent on the state.

The situation has become globalized, as middlemen buying American products at lower cost have forced other countries to align their prices by providing subsidies themselves. Workers are no longer independent; they are forced to comply with state requirements in order to receive subsidies. It’s a tool of control.

Aurianne Or by Aurianne Or is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0