Competition & Lobbyists

Something else to be thankful for: this article forced me to re-visit some of the wisdom of Ludwig von Mises. Mises pointed out that in market societies, businesses compete with each other by offering better or cheaper goods and services. The alternative is for businesses to compete by courting the favor of those in power. We are seeing much more of the latter. As government takes greater and greater control of the economy, it is natural to expect businesses to spend more energy on lobbying and less energy pleasing consumers. Whatever the benefits of regulation might be, the downside is a reduced emphasis on improving conditions for consumers and an increased emphasis on lobbying. This is why, despite all the anti-lobbying campaign talk, the Obama administration has seen the great boom in lobbying.

 

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