Aaron Bilger has an excellent article at LewRockwell.com explaining what happens when government interferes with the price mechanism – shortages. Citizens of Georgia have been protected from “price gougers” but are finding little comfort.
“Yes, Georgia drivers do not pay $5/gallon. Instead they are apparently to be comforted by the “$3.99” signs on twenty gas stations with “out of order” bags over their pump handles they must drive past before finally finding a station where they may wait in line for half an hour, in hopes that gas remains when they reach the pump.”
Besides the injustice of taking the property of the gas station owners by fiat, when you tinker with the price mechanism you foul up the works for everybody.