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March 23, 2005



Ronald Coase's remark is similar to author Ayn Rand's criticism of the antitrust laws:

"Under the Antitrust laws, a man becomes a criminal from the moment he goes into business, no matter what he does. For instance, if he charges prices which some bureaucrats judge as too high, he can be prosecuted for monopoly or for a successful 'intent to monopolize'; if he charges prices lower than those of his competitors, he can be prosecuted for 'unfair competition' or 'restraint of trade'; and if he charges the same prices as his competitors, he can be prosecuted for 'collusion' or 'conspiracy'. There is only one difference in the legal treatment accorded a criminal or to a businessman: the criminal's rights are protected much more securely and objectively than the businessman's." (Objectivist Newsletter, January 1962)

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