September 7, 2007

The End of Competition

Filed under: Friedman, Politics — duncan @ 8:31 pm

Here’s a line from ‘Capitalism and Freedom’. If you listen closely when you read it, you can hear the collapse of neoliberal economics: a distant rumble and roar, like the sound of the sea within a shell.

“In a literal sense, if I have a property right to a particular piece of land, I can be said to have a monopoly with respect to that piece of land defined and enforced by the government.” (p. 127).

This is where even the idealised concept of perfect competition falls apart: there is no competition without property rights; and there are no property rights without a monopoly.

We’ll be spending some time on this, in the coming weeks and months.

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