Thursday, January 01, 2015
Ruling in Kentucky puts a stop to barriers of competition and protectionism through "rent-seeking"
New Year’s Day, George Will has a column, p. S17 of the Washington Post, “An overdue halt of a CON game” (“A strike against rent-seeking” online), link here , regarding an opinion from a US District Court in Frankfort, KY, striking down a Kentucky state law that required a moving company, as well as many other businesses, to file for a “certificate of necessity” (or “CON”) before doing business in the state. The law, as Will points out, had functioned as an obvious exercise in crony capitalism and protectionism, of already established companies from competition.
Artificial barriers to entry have always been a bone for libertarians, and were a frequent topic of conversation in the late 90s when I was active with the Libertarian Party of Minnesota. Imagine how this could work in publishing if allowed to. Some of the concerns over piracy (as with SOPA back in 2011) have more to do with low-cost competition from newbies to legacy content providers than actual piracy.
Will’s use of the term “rent-seeking” seems based on Thomas Piketty’s notion of “rentier” in his book “Capital” (Book reviews, July 22, 2014).
Fist picture is north of the TN-KY border on I-65, personal trip, May 2014.