The cost of living has surged more than 8% over the past year in the U.S. History shows that past attempts to rein in rampant inflation with such measures have sometimes worked. In the war against inflation, an old weapon is getting new consideration: price controls.

Cost of living has surged more than 8% over the past year in the U.S. Tightening the money supply, primarily by raising interest rates, often works frustratingly slowly. Fiscal discipline requires a far-fetched scenario of politicians suddenly agreeing to tighten their own belts.

The conventional wisdom that price controls have always failed is a myth. History shows that they have often been surprisingly effective as temporary measures in urgent crises. But controls have seldom worked during peacetime, probably because it takes a national emergency like war to summon enough public support. And jawboning almost always fails to stifle inflation.

President Joe Biden says tackling inflation is his top economic priority. The administration seems to be ruling out a formal program of price controls. Democrats in both houses of Congress, led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass), are pushing for such a program. What should the government do to get inflation under control? Join the conversation below.
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