Liberty Discussion on ‘How should price be determined’

Liberty Discussion Session for the month of October 2020 was instead held on 6th November 2020 as the last Friday of October was the festival holidays.
As usual, the discussion was held via the virtual platform of Google Meet. The discussion was based on the selected reader titled “How should price be determined” authored by Henry Hazlitt.
The selected article was a refresher regarding the role and the force of the market in price determination, and the negative implications that generate when the government regulates prices through price ceiling or flooring controls. As the discussion began, the participants of the discussion were quite receptive to the general idea of the market determining the price of goods and services, though some held reservations in letting the market completely determine the price of essential goods like water and life-saving drugs. Participants who desired a certain level of price monitoring and regulation in the price of essential goods illustrated how the big global pharmaceutical companies have been able to keep the price of insulin shots (i.e., a drug to control blood sugar level) incomprehensively high while earning supernormal profits. As such, some participants believed that the government should look out for companies trying to monopolize the market while attempting to earn supernormal profit by charging high prices of goods and services at least in the case of essential goods with no immediate substitutions.
As such, all participants came to the agreement that while price control can be very market disruptive, it is also the primary role of the government to ensure the prevalence of a competitive market and control monopolistic behavior.