A great excerpt from an old essay by French economist Fredric Bastiat.
Whether we are advocates of free trade or proponents of restrictive measures, we are all obliged to make use of the expressions high prices and low prices. The former proclaim themselves in favor of low prices, with a view to the interests of the consumer; the latter declare themselves in favor of high prices, having regard for the interests of the producer. Others take a middle position and say: “The producer and the consumer are one and the same person”; thereby leaving it quite undecided whether the law should aim at high prices or at low.
The advocates of high prices have succeeded in making their system prevail, and it is incumbent upon the proponents of natural prices to prove the superiority of theirs.
In order to raise prices, the restrictionists have obtained protective tariffs; and, much to their surprise and disappointment, prices have fallen.
In order to reduce prices, the freetraders have sometimes succeeded in securing the adoption of their program, and, to their great astonishment, what followed was a rise in prices.