Monopolies Created By Government

April 9, 1999

Maybe the government's trustbusters should shift their attention from Microsoft to monopolies which the government creates and empowers.

Here are a few:

  • Taxi monopolies created by city and state officials who limit the number of cabs allowed to operate -- and laws which require a potential competitor to prove that his services are needed.
  • Unions which use collective bargaining to extort monopoly wages from employers -- at a premium which has been estimated at 15 percent to 20 percent.
  • Monopolistic professional licensing requirements which protect incumbents at the expense of would-be professionals ranging from lawyers to hair dressers and manicurists.
  • States which run their own liquor stores and forbid private businesses from competing.

Then, of course, there is the public education monopoly. Parents can send their children to private schools if they can afford it. But in the vast majority of states they had better not plan on getting any of their education tax money back to defray the costs.

Source: Dan Seligman, "Ten Evil Monopolies," Forbes, April 19, 1999.

 

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