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Did Capitalism Create Terrible Monopolies?

Written By: Thomas Woods  |  Posted: Thursday, July 28th, 2011

            First of all, it is clear that my critic thinks unhampered capitalism is pretty much what we have now. We are supposed to overlook the 80,000 pages of regulation - all of which is innocently aimed at protecting the common good, of course - in the Federal Register added to the Code of Federal Regulations every year. We are not supposed to think about the hundreds of federal agencies (not to mention those of state and local governments), the millions of federal employees whose salaries are paid out of the productive labor of the rest of the population, and the trillions of dollars in taxes.

            She likewise thinks the banking system is pretty close to a free market - after all, hasn't she seen news reports about bank "deregulation"? To the contrary, the banking system is perhaps the least free-market sector of the entire economy. The whole system is overseen by the government-created Federal Reserve System, which presides over a system-wide cartel. It involves monopolistic legal tender laws, a monopoly of the note issue, artificial disabilities on other media of exchange apart from the depreciating dollar, and various forms of bailout guarantees. For a sense of what a free market in banking would actually look like, read Murray N. Rothbard's The Mystery of Banking.

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