Monday, August 11, 2008

Different Name, Same Game

C'mon kids, let's play Horizontal Market Power!

Since the word Monopoly has lost its sexy socialist appeal (the irony of using the word "sexy" right next to "socialist" should not be lost here), and its fallacy well understood, bureaucrats seem to be trying to resurrect the idea. The phrase Horizontal Market Power is used and defined in the Green Communities Act as:

a situation in which 1 or a few market participants combined have undue concentration in the ownership of facilities at the same level in the chain of production resulting in the ability to influence price to his or their own benefit.

This is not to be confused with the promoted channeling of public utilities* funds and the nudging of the market for the advancement of public interests, protection of the environment, creation of employment opportunities, stimulation of increased public and private investments, stimulation of entrepeneurial activities through regulations (all of which are explicitly listed as functions of the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust Fund under the emergency Act).

That's a real danger: not the failure of supposedly free markets, but rather our failure to recognize the destruction of government intervention and its violation of individual rights.

*further exploration of this term saved for a later date.

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