Antitrust Laws are Anti-Competition, Anti-Consumer, and Anti-American: Repeal Them

by Chuck Donovan

Capitalism is either a viable economic system or it is not.  An active policy of government intervention in a free market business system is a contradiction in terms.  Trades of private property are either voluntary or they are not.  One cannot legislate the free market or create competition.  To have a free market the government must leave the markets alone.  To have the state make markets free is again a contradiction in terms.  Critics of antitrust policy who pretend to be concerned with the free enterprise system have either not realized or have refused to realize this fundamental issue.

Is there business monopoly in the present economic system?  Of course there is – government favors, privileges, patents, subsidies, tariffs, and franchises can and do allow certain corporations to hold and to employ monopoly power, i.e. governmental power for economic advantages.   Such “plutocratic devices” as William Graham Sumner termed them, are the essence of monopoly and they are absolutely improper in a free market system and should be ended.  The monopolies of the FCC, the CAB, and the ICC maintain could not last a day without government support, but this kind of monopoly has nothing directly to do with antitrust.  Antitrust supposedly was aimed at free market monopoly problems and the marginal competitive problems that would arise when business was left to pursue its own self-interest.  Yet ironically the essence of the monopoly in the market place is governmental.  Certain elements of the business community have never desired free competition and the uncertainties and irrationalities often associated with it.  They have sought and gained economic subsidy and protection through the political system.  They have been anxious to use the government to regulate competition because it was supposedly tending toward monopoly.  Antitrust therefore, may be an even bigger hoax than anyone has imagined.“ – The Myths of Antitrust, later revised and  published as Antitrust and Monopoly: Anatomy of a Policy Failure, by Dominick  Armentano https://mises.org/store/Antitrust-and-Monopoly-P296C1.aspx

“The rhetoric and imagery of American antitrust law has always been procompetition and proconsumer. However, the reality has always been the opposite. As demonstrated by Dominic Armentano, Tom DiLorenzo, and others, it has been not only a pervasive violation of property rights but also anticompetition and anticonsumer.

Antitrust keeps superior products and marketing strategies from harming rivals, but since every innovation that benefits consumers takes business away from rivals, halting such innovation harms consumers. It inhibits superior firms from passing on their efficiencies to consumers in lower prices; it does so by restricting their ability to cut prices for some (without enabling them to raise prices for others), or by invoking the mythical bogeyman of predatory pricing. It also restricts their growth, even when consumers will be better served by moving more production into the hands of lower cost firms. And the list goes on.” – Revealing the Reality of Antitrust, by Gary Galleshttp://mises.org/daily/4864/

CHUCK’S COMMENTS

Americans fear monopolies.  They are told that greedy, profit-centered, unscrupulous business owners are out to hurt consumers.  Their evil plan is to reduce prices in order to lure in consumers and to simultaneously destroy competitors who get damaged by unsustainable financial losses.  Eventually the competition is crushed and consumers are at the mercy of any price the monopolist decides to charge.

That is the myth.

Reality is quite different.  There has never been such an event.

“It is an ‘economic unicorn’.” – Joe Salerno, ‘The Myths of Anti-trust’ 40th Anniversary

America’s so-called Anti-trust Laws do nothing to protect consumers.  In fact, they hurt consumers and protect competitors who cannot keep up with better run, more efficient, and higher quality companies.

Government tells us Anti-trust laws are for consumer protection, but such laws violate business freedom of trade, association, and contract.  They damaging to the market and to consumers.

The real monopoly Americans should fear is government.  Government continuously violates our freedoms of choice and trade, violently cuts out their competition, forces us to buy their overpriced “products”, and viciously increases prices and costs to all Americans.

Let’s stop trusting government to save us from the lower prices businesses want to offer to us.  We should not be afraid to let freedom win.

MORE ON ANTITRUST

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  • ‘The Myths of Anti-trust’ 40th Anniversary, Presented at the Austrian Economics Research Conference. 23 March 2013 at the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama.                                                                http://mises.org/media/7912/The-Myths-of-Antitrust-40th-Anniversary

 

 

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