Thursday 4 May 2006

One for the cartel

From Slashdot:
"I am not a big fan of legislation, but..."

I've read this a few times on Slashdot now. It's usually followed by some comment about a special case (or special interest?) where legislation is a Good Thing. This bugs me, because it's hypocritical.

As an example, the entire concept of laissez-faire (free-market) economics (thank you, Adam Smith!) is based upon assumptions that do not hold in the real world. If we want an economy that even approximates a 'free-market', then we need legislation.

Look at Microsoft, or AT&T. Were it not for legislation, there's be no check to their anti-competitive practices. In my opinion (FWIW) the natural end-consequence of a totally free market (in the absence of any control) are cartels - massive companies bribing (what remains of) the government, and helping their cronies and friends.

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