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Give the Abusive Force More Scope to Abuse (But Hope that Next Time It Will be Unabusive)

Here’s a letter to the Washington Post:

Apart from the irony of Adbusters’s Kalle Lasn and Micah White receiving for their essay the imprimatur of publication in today’s Washington Post – one of the world’s most famous media brands – their call to replace market forces with greater government power is naïve in the extreme (“Why Occupy Wall Street will keep up the fight“).

Increases in government power expand, rather than shrink, producer-groups’ access to unwarranted privileges – privileges that are unavailable in competitive markets.  As the economist and historian Deirdre McCloskey notes on page 35 of her 2006 book The Bourgeois Virtues: “When American steel producers get tariffs or when sugar beet growers get import quotas it is not because of their market power but because of their political power, their access to an all-powerful state.”

Donald J. Boudreaux