Liberty Discussion on “How should prices be determined?” by Henry Hazlitt

Continuing with the basics of liberal economic values from the last session, the liberty discussion for the month of October was held on October 29, 2021, on the reader ‘ How should prices be determined?”  by Henry Hazlitt. 

The discussion attracted participants who had a keen interest in economics and public policy. With participants’ interest and knowledge on both public policy and economics, the discussion floated around many real-life examples where the government has tried to control prices through subsidies and other policy measures. The examples were analyzed through various lenses which stirred discussions on situations that would prevail if governmental price control regulations were not in place. Understanding the side effects of controlling price systems the session tried to brainstorm reasons on why the governments would control prices if not controlling it was more advantageous. Conversing on the idea that consumer groups are not as unified as private players or lobbyists the consumer endurance threshold for inflated prices and its potential reasons were also discussed. The question of when could the consumers be unified was also raised. The examples of private monopoly and oligopoly for transportation and other sectors in certain areas of Nepal were explored along with a discussion on what could the government do to enhance competition and end monopoly. 

Overall the discussion was very informative and thought-provoking, it raised questions on various important topics which made participants ponder on the government’s role and activities.