Barack Obama has often modeled his policies on Franklin Roosevelt. Lately, though, he’s been coming across more as Richard Nixon Lite.
In 1971, fed up with the steady rise of wages and prices, Nixon had a big idea: Attack inflation by imposing strict controls on wages and prices. A federal board was created to establish guidelines and enforce compliance, on the assumption that government officials were wise enough to decide the correct price for millions of products and the right wage for millions of workers.
This analogy is not encouraging. As mentioned here last year, RN cknowledged in his memoirs that price controls had been a mistake:
What did America reap from its brief fling with economic controls? The August 15, 1971 decision to impose them was politically necessary and immensely popular in the short run. But in the long run I believe that it was wrong. The piper must always be paid, and there was an unquestionably high price for tampering with the orthodox economic mechanisms.