Out of Control Regulations

This time at the state level.  The Daily Caller has the story of Louisiana overregulation.

Fresh Markets was selling gallons of milk for $2.99 as part of a weekly promotional deal.  Louisiana requires that retailer price markups be at least six percent above the invoice and shipping costs of the product.

You read that right.  It turns out that $2.99 was less than 6% above the state-allowed minimum price for milk.  Louisiana regulators actually put a floor under the price at which milk is allowed to be sold.  No matter what the private business’ imperative might be for setting a lower price.  No matter how much forcing inflated prices hurts the poor.

State Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain said this with a straight face:

They can sell it six percent over cost all day long.  It’s when they sell it below cost that it becomes a problem[.]

Because selling at cost is actually selling below cost.  Because selling below cost—below actual cost—is a decision poor, dumb businessmen shouldn’t be allowed to make—even as a loss leader.

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