Article by Ben Doolin on Feb. 22, 2016
The first time I attempted to explain freedom to a hard core Statist, the very first thing out of his mouth (in a condescending tone… intended to imply the vast ignorance I just displayed … in the face of his incredible education on the subject) was that “Ya see, without government, monopolies will just move in and take over.”
Clearly he was parroting propaganda… without having ever having considered the subject on his own. He wasn’t mentally retarded… so just a little bit of though on the subject would have reversed that position.
The reality is that it takes The State for monopolies to exist.
To start off with… The State is a monopoly on the ‘right to commit crime’ (to initiate violence against non-violent people for political ends in a geographical area). It takes a monopoly on the ‘right to commit crime’… to forcibly extract enough cash to pay for the violence required to enforce monopolies… including The State.
There are a few serious problems with an individual business attempting to enforce it’s own monopoly.
To start off with… the corporate structure in place today, would not likely be a viable business model in a free market. That is not to say there is anything particularly wrong with a fractionally owned business… that may have a ‘central office’ and many branch locations… but when companies get to ‘mid size’ the benefit of the economies of scale tend to shrink as growth continues… and size tends to work against quality. The mega corporations exist today because they have the ability to ‘buy politicians’. They use this ‘purchase’ to create regulations that make competition difficult or impossible. That allows the inflated prices necessary to support the model. I’ve seen statistics that show the return on ‘investment’ in politician… is more than 1000 to 1. This is an example of how it takes The State for monopolies to exist.
That brings up the second problem for a business that would like to enforce a monopoly in a free market… the cost. Violence is enormously expensive. A US combat soldier costs a million dollars a year. Could a mega corporation enforce a nation wide monopoly with a thousand troops? Seems an impossibly small number… having only twenty per state… but that would still cost a billion dollars a year. Which means you need to have prices massively higher than your competitors… meaning constant ‘actual war’ with the competitors… competitors that would never go away.
That leads to the third problem… reputation. People LOVE to hate bad businesses. Odds are you have a long list of businesses you hate. Is there anyone on earth that is not aware of how horrible the reputation of Cable providers is (no surprise they’re also a ‘legal monopoly’ which results in high cost and low quality)? These ‘bad companies’ would be forced to provide high quality and reasonable price… or go out of business. A business that was found to be murdering it’s competition… literally… would not only fail… it might trigger an armed rebellion with its ‘now former’ customers.
So, a free society would not likely have ‘mega corporations’… and if something like that did exist… it would have to be one of the most loved companies on earth… for providing such high quality and such low cost that other businesses just couldn’t compare. It would also have to stay on it’s toes… as any letting up in value would open the door to competitors.
A free society would not have the incredible wealth disparity that exists today… as it takes monopolies (which require The State) to produce profits so high without drawing in competition.
A free society would have higher quality, lower cost for the lack of monopolies and labor would always be in shortage (resulting in much higher pay and benefits)… because the absence of barriers to entry (paid for by existing corporations today would not exist, nor would the parasitical State Which leaves everyone poorer) leading to an upward spiral in wealth that would not easily be comprehended by most that are familiar with business today.
So, you want to be rich? End The State.