Friday, October 22, 2010

Michael Moore Almost Gets It Right

Amplify’d from

Michael Moore, writing at Alternet (“Why Republicans Are Always Worried About Their Pet Corporations Facing Any Real Free Market Competition,” Oct. 21),  makes a very acute observation:  “whenever corporate executives begin talking about how they support ‘free markets’ and ‘competition,’ check to see if you still have your wallet.”  The reason is that “nobody” — not even Marxists — “hates competition more than corporations.”

Moore was so close — but he just missed it.  Moore frames the issue as one of big corporations trying to suppress competition by weakening the antitrust laws.  “When corporate executives start pushing for ‘free market policies,’ what they mean is a government that lets them become a monopoly.”

If he’d said they want “a government that HELPS them become a monopoly,” he’d have had it just right.  The main factor behind monopoly isn’t whether government lets it exist by failing to enforce antitrust laws.  It’s whether government enables it by erecting entry barriers, suppressing competition with cartelizing regulations, and enforcing legal monopolies like “intellectual property.”  Government doesn’t “allow” monopoly.  It props it up.