Progess or Congress?
Q1: What's the opposite of "pro?"
Q2: Based on your answer to Q1, what's the opposite of "pro-gress?"
In the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, gas prices spiked due to significant supply disruptions, there were allegations of "price gouging," and Congress mandated that the FTC conduct an investigation. In its 222-page investigation relased last spring, the FTC found no instances of anti-competitive market manipulation that led to higher prices after the hurricanes.
The Department of Energy conducted a separate investigation and it also found no evidence of "price gouging."
Further, the FTC report outlined its official position that federal gasoline price gouging legislation would cause more problems for consumers than it solves, and that competitive market forces should be allowed to determine the price of gasoline.
In a separate report released in the last week by Charles Rivers Associates, researchers estimated how much price controls would increase the overall welfare losses associated with a supply disruption of the size of that caused by Katrina and Rita. The study estimates that for a supply interruption of that scale, total welfare loss from imposing price controls would have totaled $1.9 billion for the period following the hurricanes.
Never a group to be influenced by factual evidence, nor deterred by economic theory or common sense, Congress nevertheless relentlessly pushes forward for federal legislation that would impose serious criminal penalties for “price gouging." Fines up to $150 million and jail sentences could be imposed on those found guilty of "price gouging." Thanks partly to the Big Corn lobby, ethanol would be exempt.
Pro-gress or Con-gress?