Who Is Really Serious About Monopolies? [new The Good Life column]

The opening of my latest column at EveryJoe:

“Raise the topic of monopolies, and the ensuing discussion will quickly highlight ideological blind-spots.

“A colleague with whom I’ve taught courses in business and capitalism sent to me, enthusiastically, this article by Paul Krugman, a Nobel-Prize-winning economist. Krugman attacks Amazon and calls for it to be cut down a few notches. Amazon, he says, has too much power and is abusing its power. Raising the specter of the ‘robber baron’ era, the Nobel-Prize-winning economist invokes the precedent of Standard Oil’s being broken up by the government’s antitrust warriors of the time.

“There certainly are parallels between Amazon and Standard — though not the ones Krugman has in mind — but his pattern of thinking about how markets work is common to many casual and professional economists, so his reasoning is worth a closer look …” [Read more here.]

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Last week’s column: Will the Real Scrooge Please Stand Up?

One thought on “Who Is Really Serious About Monopolies? [new The Good Life column]

  • January 1, 2015 at 11:18 pm
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    Great article. For me the case for private vs. public enterprises comes down to squeamishness about guns. Seeing as the state is the one institution mandated to back its decrees by violence I think one has to ask: why is the threat of violence necessary to run a postal service? Or a good school? Or…

    Btw remember reading decades ago, when Chinese authorities began to loosen the economic screws, administrators looked to America as a model of nomenclature for newly formed corporations. Noting ‘Standard Oil’ they named a company ‘Usual Oil’.

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