State changes laws on setting mandatory prices

June 4, 2023
World Net Daily

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Capitalism has created more wealth around the globe than any other system, ever. And America has benefited hugely from the system where providers find a need, create a product or service, set a price, and watch their business boom.

Now in one state, it's getting even better – as officials have decided no longer to dictate to retailers what prices they must charge.

It is the Institute for Justice that explains Minnesota has changed its laws to allow discounts on gasoline and dairy products.

Two measures that eliminate state-ordered minimum price requirements were signed into law by Gov. Tim Walz. The IJ noted the bipartisan bills were part of the larger Omnibus Commerce Appropriations Bill and Omnibus Agriculture Bill.

The IJ had lobbied for both changes.

"Minimum markup laws are the result of outsized influence from special interests with a direct stake in keeping higher prices in place, no matter how much they hurt consumers and businesses," said Meagan Forbes, senior legislative counsel for IJ.

"As the Federal Trade Commission has long recognized, these laws protect individual competitors, not competition, and discourage pro-competitive price-cutting. These reforms will give businesses more flexibility with pricing and will help consumers at a time when many families are struggling with rising costs."

The organization explained minimum markup laws prohibit retailers from pricing their products below a state-mandated floor.

"Under Minnesota’s law, gas stations were forced to sell gas for 8 cents more than what they paid for it. Following the change in Minnesota, only seven states will continue to impose a minimum markup on selling gas. State law also prohibited retailers from selling dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cottage cheese below cost except for one month per year—June, national dairy month," the report said.

The IJ noted a 2017 study found minimum markup laws have had "no effect" on the number of gas stations in a state.

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