Mises on a main thesis of the Left over Left

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Richard Epstein on the essence of progressive economic thought

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In the good old days, everyone agreed on the employment effects of minimum wage laws, even their supporters

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Thomas Sowell (former Marxist) Dismantles Leftist Ideology

Good monopolies and bad price cuts

A surprising number of well-meaning people want to protect consumers from the scourge of lower prices. These abominations come from imports, new entry or cost reductions.

Richard Epstein talked about how progressives think they can tell the difference between a good monopoly and a bad monopoly.

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There is one instance in which monopoly could arise in the free market – exclusive ownership of an essential input (Kirzner 1973):

Monopoly … in a market free of government obstacles to entry, means for us the position of a producer whose exclusive control over necessary inputs blocks competitive entry into the production of his product.

Monopoly thus does not refer to the position of a producer who, without any control over resources, happens to be the only producer of a particular product. This producer is fully subject to the competitive market process, since other entrepreneurs are entirely free to compete with him.

In all other cases, monopoly is the grant by government of an exclusive privilege to produce or sell a product (Rothbard 1962). This definition is from the common law as per Lord Coke:

A monopoly is an institution or allowance by the king, by his grant, commission, or otherwise . . . to any person or persons, bodies politic or corporate, for the sole buying, selling, making, working, or using of anything, whereby any person or persons, bodies politic or cor­porate, are sought to be restrained of any freedom or liberty that they had before, or hindered in their lawful trade.

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