Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on March 16, 2014

in Competition, Crony Capitalism, Other People's Money, Prices, Seen and Unseen

… is from page 627 of volume 2 of The Collected Works of Armen A. Alchian (2006); specifically, it’s from Alchian‘s brilliant 1969 essay “Corporate Management and Property Rights”:

My impression is that moves toward an economy with less open-market competition reflect a diversion of competition to the political process, as resort is made to greater governmental control over economic access to markets and terms of exchange.  Much of what passes for the new corporate economy should more accurately be called the new mercantilist, or the new “political” or politically regulated, economy, since it involves more political competition and the greater use of political rewards and penalties.  And this move to political influence has occurred in both small and large firm industries.  The “solution” (if such a “political” economy is a problem) usually is more political controls and political competition.  This is beneficial to those most adept at political competition, for they would benefit from increased demand for their services as political competition displaces market competition in controlling economic activity.

Workers along Pennsylvania Avenue and K Street cheer.

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