Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:
Marc Levinson offers a splendid history of A&P and of the Robinson-Patman Act’s assault on that company’s efforts to translate its superior efficiencies into lower grocery prices for consumers (“When Creative Destruction Visited the Mom-and-Pops,” Oct. 12).
The Robinson-Patman Act of 1936, although trumpeted as an act to enhance competition, is such a barefaced effort to protect politically influential producers from having to compete against more innovative rivals that it was called by the late Donald Dewey – a usually soft-spoken antitrust scholar at Columbia University – “an execrable concession to small business groups and an insult to the public intelligence.”*
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030
* Donald Dewey, Monopoly in Economics and Law (Chicago: Rand McNally & Co., 1959), p. 198.