Matt Simpson
But these aren't the same as the price-control induced lines from the 1970s. According to the Post-Dispatch, Rhodes 101 Service Station in Poplar Bluff, Mo., offered gas for $2.69 per gallon on Tuesday as part of a promotion with Big River Telephone. People waited in lines for nearly 45 minutes to get the savings, which amounted to $10–$25 per customer, according to one commenter. That comes out to $13.33–$33.33 an hour. This probably isn't a very good deal for the average middle class American, who probably earns more than than that.

However, unlike the gas lines of the 1970s, which were induced by price controls, these people still had the option of spending a bit more money to get their gas immediately. If the lines had been induced by price controls, and thus existed nationwide, they would be much longer — and the lower price almost certainly wouldn't be worth the extra wait. That is the lesson of price controls: The posted price of gas, or anything else, may be lower under price controls, but the price consumers have to pay skyrockets once you take into account their lost time and search costs.

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Matt Simpson