Prices are Always Present

There is a price for everything, and nothing can change that price.  Government legislation cannot lower it.  Personal wishes cannot change it.  The price of a good is based off of its relative scarcity compared to other resources, and thus rations.  Just as no act of Congress can repeal the law of gravity, no act of Congress can change a price.

Sure, Congress could change a monetary price, but the price of a good is more than just its monetary price; that is merely a rationing tool.  When the monetary price of a good is unnaturally forced down (say, via legislation), then other non-monetary aspects of the price will rise.

By way of example, assume we have Good X. Free from interference, the total price (monetary + non-monetary) of Good X is $30.  At this point, the market is supplied.  However, some legislative body decides that $30 for Good X is too high, so they pass legislation to lower it to $15. Since rationing via monetary price can no longer occur, and nothing has changed to decrease the scarcity of the good, other forms of rationing, such as queuing must occur.  People’s willingness to accept these other forms of rationing will depend on their value of such a good.   In other words, if a person earned $15/hr and they valued the good at $30, they’d not be willing to spend more than an hour in line ($15 monetary price + $15 opportunity cost of standing in line = $30 total cost).  Any more than that, and they’d be worse off than prior to the price injunction.  The total price of Good X has not changed, just the monetary price.

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