Subject: Re: ARM: The Non-Evil Monopolist
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2004 13:45:59 +0900

>>>>> "Lawrence" == Lawrence Rosen <> writes:

    Lawrence> Monopoly is not "intrinsically bad" if only because many
    Lawrence> forms of it are government sanctioned (i.e., copyright,
    Lawrence> patent). Antitrust law focuses

We have the cart pulling the horse here.

The notion that "monopolization, not monopoly, is the problem" is a
legal heuristic, not an expression of intrinsic values.  I'm +1 on the
argument that it's a very useful heuristic, and that stability of the
legal environment, including the reasoning used to create and modify
laws, is a value that we should avoid injuring.

But there _are_ intrinsic bads associated with monopoly, and current
antitrust and intellectual property law is, as far as I know, an attempt
to balance reduction of bads due to monopoly with reduction of bads
due to side effects of production distributed among several firms.
Aka "two wrongs make a workable compromise."  It's not an expression
of the intrinsic ethical or economic neutrality of monopoly.

Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences
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