The natural goal of every business is monopoly. Why? Because the goal of every business is profit and the way to maximize profit is to achieve a monopoly.
Of course, a start-up business detests a monopoly. That business wants to get a foot in the door and give the big guys a run for their money.
But most every business wants to grow* and eventually they become one of the big guys**, in which case, all things being equal (i.e., no government regulation), the inevitable happens. Organizing a cartel/oligarchy is much easier than enduring the rigors of competition day after day.
So for the common good (monopoly benefits few, if any, beyond the monopolists) I hereby once and forever more acknowledge the need for governmental intervention in the marketplace, else the free market will not long remain free.
Having acknowledged the need for some government intervention in commerce, the discussion turns inevitably to how much?
Here the analogy of a race track is useful. To run a good race, a horse needs a jockey. But not just any jockey. Two primary requirements come to mind:
- Light weight (a 300 lb. jockey defeats the purpose).
- Knowledgeable about how to get the best from his horse AND how to run a successful race.
All too often government ends up being a well-intentioned but overweight jockey who does not understand the difference between a Clydesdale and a thoroughbred.
That government governs best which governs least.
* If a business is not growing, it is all too easy to start dying. True steady-state balance is hard to maintain, entropy sets in, and the downward spiral begins.
** Can we say Microsoft? The Biggest Bullies in Software? That’s just my humble opinion; please don’t sue me, Bill.