Markets are most advantageous to individual participants in a state of perfect competition, where we find fair wages, fair prices, and fair opportunities. Perfect competition is unattainable in any market. However, this does not mean our society should not strive to attain it. With the passing of Sherman Anti-Trust legislation in 1890, Congress first recognized the public’s need for competition. Congress recognized that some extremely large corporations were creating insurmountable barriers to entry for competitors. The government knew that the best way to promote competition in a market is by minimizing that market’s barriers to entry, and therefore passed anti-trust laws. Current Anti-Trust legislation protects against the abusive strangling of competition that was prevalent in the pre-income tax days of the late nineteenth century; but today, competition’s adversaries are subtle, suffocating forces, that the old competition laws do not address. These newer anti-competitive forces, though subtle, are undeniably more numerous, more pervasive, and more restrictive than the old tactics of the “robber barons.” Moreover, these anti-competitive measures have used and seek to further use the government, which exists only for the benefit of the public, as a means for stifling competition. Why would a corporation seek–even write–legislation that restricts its own industry, but for the restriction it puts on its competitors and the protection it provides itself?
It is still true, as any economist or well-educated politician will admit, that maximizing competition involves recognizing and breaking down barriers to entry; in order to walk the proper path, we must first blaze and cut the trail, and we will find it necessary to dispose first of the largest and thorniest impediments. When the task is so simple as cutting a literal trail in the woods, the greatest obstructions are visible to all; but when we are asked to clear the severely mangled path of the invisible market, the prickles and roots must be uncloaked, and the path’s participants (the public) allowed full view of them. They might be surprised to learn that the largest obstructions are called “taxes” and the most vexing weeds “regulations,” which multiply so quickly that the eye cannot watch them, and the mind cannot fathom their extent. In almost every market’s path, individuals will find–upon diligent examination–that the elimination of only taxes and regulations would leave a clearing so starkly contrasted to the brush that currently lies before them, that it would be cause for celebration. They could imagine themselves skipping where those obstacles once stood.
After this honest presentation, market participants are left with real choices: they may try to maneuver through the cramped, bladed monstrosity; they may become frazzled, and sit in their place as eternal sideliners, watching with amazement or amusement as others awkwardly navigate the improper market; but eventually, having their unoffending humility tortured to action, they shall realize the utility of hatchets and chainsaws, and choose a delegation to take up axes or machete, and begin destroying the offensive contrivances that stand in their path, replacing tax and regulation with opportunity and innovation–economic revolution.