When a person buys a loaf of bread he probably has no idea how the price of that bread came to be. He notices when it is different from last week. Some may have a vague idea that it is being impacted by inflation, whatever that is. Yet prices, and how they are set, are central to economics.
While it wouldn’t make economic sense to drive around comparing bread prices to save 2 cents, it would make sense on something that saved, say, hundreds of dollars. And, as one might suspect, people do generally drive around looking for the best deal on a new car. Consequently, the lowest priced dealership sells more cars.
We experience the same thing as sellers. We must offer what we are selling for a competitive price or no one will buy it. However, most don’t see themselves as sellers even though that is exactly what’s happening when someone’s looking for a job. He is offering to sell his back or brains. That’s also why someone who can do brain surgery is able to sell his services for much more than someone who can cut your grass. If brain surgery knowledge and skill were as easy to come by as lawn mowing knowledge and skill, why you could probably have that tumor removed for 30 bucks.
But what if a politician sets prices on bread, cars and brain surgery? What would he set them at? How would he be able to know the intricate and myriad details of availability, want, and how his price will affect both? The answer is that he can’t. But that won’t stop him from trying because he’s a politician, and as such he’s selling you something in his own right, which is a line. It’s much easier to legislate the illusion of wealth than it is to create it, and sadly, man never tires of buying the line that such can be done.