Tag: Monopoly and Antitrust
France Fines Google: Is Atlas Shrugging?
In Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas Shrugged, published in 1957, businesses push government to pass law after law that aids weaker businesses by penalizing successful ones. There’s the “Anti-Dog-Eat-Dog Rule” to prevent destructive competition among firms in an industry, and the “Equalization of Opportunity Bill” that limits the number of businesses one person can own....
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Nobel Laureate Economist Ronald Coase Turns 101
On December 29th, the world-renowned economist Ronald H. Coase celebrated in Chicago his 101st birthday. Professor Coase received the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1991, and he is the Clifton R. Musser Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Chicago Law School and the former, highly influential editor of the prestigious Journal...
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Beyond Politics Exposes the Roots of Government Failure
Economic “stimulus” packages that don’t revive the economy and that increase federal deficits and undermine private investment and job growth? Check. Laws meant to protect endangered species but which incentivize landowners who have them on their property to “shoot, shovel, and shut-up”? Check. Anti-poverty programs that foster dependency and hinder participation in the job...
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Justice Done in Louisiana! Whuda Thunk?
In a shockingly unusual turn of events, a federal court in Louisiana has reached a just decision. This man-bites-dog decision involves my neighbors, the Benedictine brothers of St. Joseph Abbey and Seminary, about whose difficulties I wrote recently. The Louisiana funeral directors’ cartel was attempting to shut down the monks’ sale of the simple...
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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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