A Bit on Anti-Trust

Friday, July 22, 2005
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In regards to my recent post on the latest Randian video/book on anti-trust, I got a great letter from Skip Oliva, a genuine anti-trust guru. Says Skip:

I recently read Gary Hull’s book of the same name as his lecture (“Antitrust is Immoral”), and found it solid, although one essay,
written by Richard Salsman, contains a somewhat random attack on Mises
and Austrian economics. Salsman is hell-bent on proving that nobody
but Rand understood free markets, and he claims Mises’ theory of profits
renders him no better than a socialist. It’s a bizarre departure for an
otherwise useful book.

That a Randroid (Salsman) would imply such a thing does not surprise me. Even when Randroids manage to be right, they manage to make a mockery of things.

Remember, anti-trust legislation was the result of an attack on the trust breakout of the 1880s, and especially, it was a direct attack on the Standard Oil trust of John Rockefeller. The Sherman Antitrust Act passed the combined Senate/House vote at 294 to 1, in favor thereof. The original Act was limp and powerless, and only became empowered via further legislation. The limited ability to form trusts and holding companies – because of the Act – turned corporate America toward a merger mania that lasted into the early 20th century.

Thus, as usual, the government accomplished the opposite of what it intended.

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