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Competition and the Constitution – National Affairs

09/22/2011

Is there too much or too little competition in American life? Does competition promote growth and progress, or selfishness and inequality? Is it fair and efficient, or does it merely let the strong prey on the weak? And what is the alternative? Can competition be tamed and improved by government and union power, or is that a recipe for lethargy and self-dealing?

These questions lie at the heart of today’s policy debates over reviving the economy, restructuring the financial system, regulating energy production, and reforming health care, education, and pensions. Each debate is cast in terms of the desirability of some particular government intervention intended to pursue broad goals like economic growth, financial stability, retirement security, or access to medical care or schooling. In each case, though, an essential and prominent feature of the proposed intervention is the suppression of competition.  […]

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