Sunday, April 16, 2006

Food And Agricultural Global Cartels

I've been arguing lately over at Jeffrey Alan Miron's "The Case for Small Government". The author makes innumerate arguments of the "4 reasons for government, 6 reasons against" style, recycling totally standard libertarian talking points. No imagination, no new ideas, and he doesn't defend his positions: he lets libertarian idiots defend his assertions. Why do I bother? Well, he's supposed to be a Harvard economist, teaching a course in this twaddle, and that's just 2 miles down the street from me. Think globally, act locally. :-)

Another reason though is to incite me to find new resources for the Critiques site. So after Miron's usual innumerate criticism of antitrust, I decided to find some numbers because of the enormous fines I'd heard about for price fixing in lysine, antibiotics, and other commodities.

The Food And Agricultural Global Cartels Of The 1990s: Overview And Update
John Connor at Purdue details roughly 13 billion dollars of customer overcharges due to price fixing in just one industry sector. An excellent argument for the continued importance of antitrust law.

Added to my Privatization and Deregulation index.

Also there, and well worth reading:

Liberty! What Fallacies Are Committed in Thy Name!

1 comment:

Glen said...

You know how reluctant I am to agree with you :-), but in this case you're right - the post you reference is pretty weak. There do exist good arguments against the current state of antitrust law, yet the post you reference fails to make much of a case. By far the weakest line is:

Antitrust policy also distracts attention from cases where governments, not markets, create monopoly or market power.

Sure, let's not have any laws that distract attention from other areas of concern! Heaven forbid!