roamed through the garment district like storm troopers. They could enter a man’s factory, send him out, line up his employees, subject them to minute interrogation, take over his books on the instant. Night work was forbidden. Flying squadrons of these private coat-and-suit police went through the district at night, battering down doors with axe looking for men who were committing the crime of sewing together a pair of pants at night.
A tailor from New Jersey was arrested, convicted, fined, and imprisoned for pressing a suit of clothes for 35 cents when the legally mandated price was 40 cents.
I’m not the sort of neo-Keynesian who believes that sticky prices cause recessions, but when prices are this sticky and with such a brutal enforcement mechanism (especially when going through massive deflation) I would argue that sticky prices, or price controls in this case, did contribute to the depth of the depression. (Not that they caused it, but were another factor.)