Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Business War against Competition

Mises Daily: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 by Butler Shaffer

Until relatively recent times, the symbiotic relationship existing between economic and political institutions has only been vaguely comprehended. It has been popular to view these two major sectors of American society as having a generally antagonistic relationship, with political institutions serving as a countervailing force to economic influence.

Paralleling this view of history, however, is a recognition that government regulation has generally served to further the very economic interests being regulated. The economist — and later United States senator — Paul Douglas was not the first to become aware of this fact when, in 1935, he observed with some bewilderment, “Public regulation has proved most ineffective. Instead of the regulatory commissions controlling the private utilities, the utilities have largely controlled the regulatory commissions.”

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