The National Recovery Administration: An Analysis and Appraisal

By Leverett S. Lyon; Paul T. Homan et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXIII
TRANSFER OF POWER OVER PRICES

The transfer of power over the determination of prices which the NRA has effected takes a number of clearly distinguishable forms. For purposes of convenient discussion these forms may be considered under the following headings: (1) minimum price determination; (2) cost protection; (3) loss leaders; (4) destructive price cutting and emergency price fixing; and (5) waiting periods in open-price systems. The various types of code provisions by which such transfer of power has been brought about and the numerical frequency of each are set forth in the table on pages 580-83.


MINIMUM PRICE DETERMINATION

The most extreme form of transfer of power over the determination of prices which has been brought about by the NRA is found in those cases in which it has authorized something approximating a complete license to fix minimum prices.1 Such grants of power are made where an industrial group, through the code authority, is given the power to determine prices at which individual members of the group shall sell, without there being established any criteria of guidance or with criteria so vague that they are ineffective.

Examples of such grants of power are found in provisions which authorize the code authority to initiate price

____________________
1
It would seem hardly necessary to explain that, for all practical purposes, the power to fix a minimum price is in effect the power to fix price. Yet inasmuch as there has been, even within the NRA itself, some confusion on the point, the fact should be stated. Obviously even monopoly groups do not object if members offer products at higher than the fixed minimum.

-578-

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