Saturday, May 06, 2006

Now this is getting out of hand

Congress is taking a hard line on price gouging, even if they aren't quite sure what it is. According to today's Washington Post:

Congress Tells FTC to Define Price Gouging

If there's one thing that members of Congress can agree on when it comes to energy it's this: They're opposed to price gouging. American motorists aren't crazy about it either.

The only problem is figuring it out what it is.

In a measure passed overwhelmingly by the House this week, lawmakers proposed penalties for price gouging -- to $150 million for wholesalers, $2 million for retailers and two years in jail for either -- and ordered the Federal Trade Commission to put a stop to it. The House measure also called for the FTC to define price gouging.

Economists aren't making much progress elucidating the issue, so maybe it is time to bring in the cartoonists.