Tag: Monopoly and Antitrust

Heaven Help Us All: TSA Union Vote Ends Today »

It’s not a question of “If,” but “Which” union TSA employees will soon use as their armed representative against taxpayers and as protection against travelers who haven’t yet fully resigned themselves to treatment worthy of the Gestapo or KGB. From the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) “Welcome TSA Employees” web page urging TSA employees...
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A Conversation about Gasoline Prices »

According to yesterday’s weekly federal report, This Week in Petroleum, the average price of regular gasoline is up to $3.96 per gallon, just 15 cents shy of its July 2008 peak. A friend writes: So I’m deciding to ask an economist. It appears to me that the oil companies are really just gouging the...
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Felonious Massage »

The Wall Street Journal reports that the State of Michigan will soon make practicing massage without a license a felony. In the age of Yelp, why the explosion of state licensure? After all, if a masseuse is no good, word will soon get around, and it’s difficult to comprehend, in any event, just how...
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Can Markets Provide Police Services? »

While Americans spend a lot of money on private security, we generally associate police services with a local government monopoly. And indeed, government is where the buck stops. One of the conventional rationales for government provision of police services is that the market will under-provide it. After all, if I subscribe to a protection...
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Dave Barry’s Review of the Year 2009 »

Syndicated columnist and bestselling author Dave Barry’s provides an incisive and hilarious, month-by-month review of the year 2009, “Dave Barry’s year in review: 2009.” As he begins: It was a year of Hope—at first in the sense of “I feel hopeful!” and later in the sense of “I hope this year ends soon!” It...
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Three Views on Profit »

My semester is over and I’ve just turned in my grades. One of the courses I taught this term was “History of Economic Ideas,” and one of my final examination questions asked students to compare the views of Karl Marx and Joseph Schumpeter with the Marshallian-neoclassical view on profit. These views are very relevant...
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Antitrust Law: Another Bizarro World »

Peter Klein’s post about the bizarro world in which the SEC prefers not to define insider trading too carefully, lest that definition cramp the government’s prosecutorial style, reminds me of the similarly vague definition of price fixing for purposes of enforcing the antitrust laws. The best acccount I have seen of this matter comes from R....
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Make Summer Vacation Exciting and Enlightening! »

Attention High-school Students & College Undergrads: Don’t let your intellect atrophy! Make summer vacation a time to delve into new subjects or to probe topics that have sounded intriguing to you. The Challenge of Liberty Summer Seminar explores economics, liberty, and society using lectures, discussion, directed reading, and multimedia presentations. Students consistently give our...
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Stop Bailing Out Government Schools »

Across the country, politicians are responding to the inability of a population devastated by government-induced recession to support governments’ spending at levels they have grown accustomed to by threatening the closure of schools, firehouses, and other high-profile, highly-valued government “services.” I have opined elsewhere on the reasons that such high-profile programs—rather than the thousands...
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Franklin Roosevelt Rerevisionism »

Franklin Roosevelt biographer Conrad Black has a new article championing the 32nd president, and defending the man’s legacy against a number of critiques that have emerged since his time in office. This article comes at a time when many are demanding “another New Deal” and a resurgence in Rooseveltian governance in general. An interesting...
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