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Re: Antitrust Is Global 'Protectionism'?

  IMHO, the reason why people are misunderstanding you is because you do not write
  clearly, your sig notwithstanding..
  I find myself skipping most of your posts because you word yourself so vaguely it's
  tough to determine what you are saying.
  Scott K. McGrath
  charles mueller wrote:
  >         I mentioned in an earlier post (below) that a nation's encouragement
  > or acceptance of monopoly in its own industries--within its own national
  > borders--on the theory that IMPORTS can supply all the competition it needs
  > to assure competitive prices for its consumers, is a costly policy mistake.
  > In response, I first received a communication that attributed the following
  > to me:
  >                                        ...................................
  >             "Charles wrote (see below):
  >             "We should not bother about monopolies. It simply means we miss
  > the real
  > culprit - privilege (private law)."
  >                                       .......................................
  >         I am not the author of that sentence.  I "bother" rather
  > consistently about monopolies.
  >         Next, I received a reply that suggested I was advocating "tariffs,"
  > though I had of course said nothing of the sort.  (Again, see my original
  > post, below.)
  >         This was followed by a communication in which the author detected a
  > whiff of 'Buchanism' in what I had said there, i.e., protectionism.  Again,
  > I had said nothing of the sort.
  >         All of these replies are, to say the least, inaccurate.
  > Antimonopoly policy (antitrust) is the antithesis of tariffs/protectionism.
  > It is no less true today than it was a hundred years ago that "the tariff is
  > the mother of trusts."  Antitrust, on the other hand, is the
  > opposite--"anti" trust.  One should not confuse things with their opposites.
  >         Every sovereign nation has the choice of opposing or accepting the
  > monopolization of its domestic industries.  If it encourages domestic
  > monopoly, then it will typically want to protect them from import (foreign)
  > competition.  Japan is a notable example today.  Monopoly, collusion, and
  > the corporate bloat they bring have saddled that country with inflated
  > domestic prices (and costs) that are a disgrace to civilized economic
  > society.  That scandalous level of corporate inefficiency and consumer abuse
  > owes its existence first to the failure of the Japanese government to
  > enforce a meaningful antitrust law within its borders.
  >          Secondly, that government also shields its domestic monopolies by
  > throwing up tariffs and other barriers to competition from abroad.  Imports,
  > if freed from those pro-monopoly restrictions, would collapse Japanese
  > prices instanter and on an unprecedented scale.  Its citizens--and its
  > society--would benefit immensely.  But it won't happen because, in that
  > country as in the rest of our 200 societies worldwide, there is no POLITICAL
  > constituency for an effective antimonopoly policy.
  >         Tariffs (and other forms of protectionism) are generally shields for
  > domestic monopolies that oppress their peoples and enrich their
  > elites--including their politicians.  A 30% tariff on a product, for
  > example, is simply another way of saying that its domestic producers--if not
  > blocked by the nation's own internal antitrust laws--can get away with
  > OVERCHARGING its consumers by 30% without triggering a flood of competing
  > imports.
  >         The ideal national policy, then, is:  A tough antimonopoly program
  > backed up by a zero tariff.  (The two go together.)  The worst possible
  > national policy is:  Encouragement of domestic monopoly supported by a high
  > (e.g., 30%-plus) tariff on imports--and further propped up by all the other
  > anti-consumer means of keeping out higher-quality, lower-price products from
  > the rest of the world.
  >         Charles Mueller, Editor
  >         http://webpages.metrolink.net/~cmueller
  >                                              ...............................
  > ....
  > My earlier post:
  >         I recall a suggestion here that imports can supply the needed
  > competition and nullify domestic monopoly, thus bringing competitive prices
  > to consumers--and thereby obviating the need for a domestic antimonopoly policy.
  >         First, only some 15% of U.S. industry is subject to import competition.
  >         And it carries some high costs:  (1)  The JOBS are transferred to
  > the exporting countries; (2) the profits go there; and (3) the
  > technology--and its new developments --remains in those exporting countries.
  >         Tolerating monopoly in one's home industries via a lax or
  > nonexistent antitrust policy--and then 'buying competition' from abroad--is
  > one of the more costly policy mistakes for virtually any country.  There's
  > still no free lunch.
  >         Charles Mueller, Editor
  >         http://webpages.metrolink.net/~cmueller
  >                                             ************************8