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The Abolition of Antitrust Paperback – 15 Nov 2008


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Review

"The essays in this book present a sustained economic, historical, moral, and legal broadside against the various federal statutes known as antitrust doctrine. They explode the cherished myths underlying the antitrust laws, and expose their intellectual fountainhead in a morality of self-sacrifice that is incompatible with individual rights, free enterprise, and objective law. With the publication of this text, businessmen, lawyers, economists, policy makers, legislators, and judges finally have access to a systemic critique of the antitrust laws. From here on, if antitrust continues to violate the rights of businessmen and to ravage the American economy, it is not for lack of knowing how and why." --Adam Mossoff, Assistant Professor of Law, Michigan State University

About the Author

Gary Hull is director of the Program on Values and Ethics in the Marketplace (VEM) at Duke University, and has taught philosophy and business ethics at the Fuqua School of Business, Whittier College, and the Claremont Graduate School. He is coeditor of The Ayn Rand Reader.

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Amazon.com: 6 reviews
34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Something Everyone Should Read 14 July 2005
By Jonathan Awesome - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Each essay in this book is very well structured and very enlightening; going into depth on issues that the best books on general economics that I've read only touch the surface of.

Tearing apart the flawed philosophical foundation of many of the prevailing erroneous economic theories that plague us today; this book exposes a great deal of falsehoods widely accepted as fact. Such as the myth of the "robber barons".

I strongly recommend it to anyone with an interest in economics, history, politics and/or philosophy.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Abolish Antitrust Law: The complete case 3 Oct. 2005
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The book consists of a series of essays covering the economic, historical, legal, and philosophical cases for the elimination of antitrust law. Particularly noteworthy, in my opinion, was the chapter by Richard M. Salsman entitled "The False Profits of Antitrust" in which he traces the attitude of economics and economists to profits, capitalists, and entrepreneurs over the last few centuries. According to Salsman the attitude is largely negative and profits (and thus capitalists) are expected ideally not to be there. This obscene view appears to still be the norm today. Editor Gary Hull's essay is also important in that it shows in the clearest terms that Antitrust laws punish successful businesses for their virtues (increased productivity and innovation) and are therefore profoundly unjust.

Also helpful were Eric Daniel's historical tracing of the concept of monopoly in England and America, Thomas Bowden's detailed and informative discussion of contract law and its relation to antitrust law. Harry Binswanger reviews issues familiar to Objectivists in terms of the "economic vs political power" -- only the second can constitute a violation of rights.

If you want to read the best case for the abolition of antitrust look no further.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Why Your Government is Corrupt 30 Oct. 2005
By Russell W. Shurts - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just as a person cannot engage in immoral acts indefinitely without damaging his life, a government cannot continuously engage in immoral acts for over 100 years without becoming increasingly corrupt. If you want to understand why the men and women who run your government more resemble carnival hustlers than statesmen, read this book. In it Gary Hull and 6 other intellectuals ranging from economists to historians to philosophers examine and describe how the United States government starting in the 1880's changed from the protector of the individual rights of its citizens, it's only legitimate function, to the destroyer of those rights. For anyone interested in rational understanding Dr. Hull et al provide rock solid arguments for how and why Anti-Trust legislation came into being, why it was wrong to begin with, why it is so destructive and most importantly why it is so unjust.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Compelling Case for the Elimination of all Antitrust Laws 20 July 2008
By Doug - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is a collection of essays which argue that antitrust laws are subjective and immoral. Most of the contributing authors are Objectivists, so expect all of the moral arguments to be based on the philosophy of Ayn Rand.

This book contains seven essays:

Dominick Armentano's essay refutes several common economic fallacies, several of which are often cited as the impetus for antitrust laws.

John Ridpath's deeply researched essay discusses the Chicago Economist Frank Knight, whose theories of monopoly and perfect competition serve as the intellectual origins of antitrust law.

Richard Salsman's essay discusses the philosophically corrupt view of profit that is often assumed in the economic models that support antitrust regulations. Specifically, how such models often assume that profit indicates market inefficiency and how under "ideal" market conditions, no firm would profit.

Eric Daniels' essay delineates the history of American attitudes towards monopolies. Specifically, how Americans used to view monopolies entirely as government created phenomena until the age of trust-busting, when this view essentially became inverted.

Thomas Bowden's essay argues how antitrust laws are, in essence, a ban on a certain class of private transaction between two or more mutually consenting parties.

Harry Binswanger's essay discusses the crucial difference between economic force and political force, and how the significant error of equating the two leads to unjust laws such as antitrust.

Gary Hull's essay summarizes how antitrust laws are immoral, how there was never a "golden age" when antitrust laws were needed and how all of them should be abolished.

I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking a more sophisticated understanding on the moral necessity of abolishing antitrust laws. This book is also much more accessible than Dominick Armentano's Antitrust and Monopoly. Although Armentano's book contains a well researched compilation of facts on numerous antitrust cases, it is a very dry read and is probably more appropriate as a reference than as a book that one actually reads from cover to cover.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Generally good with one big flaw 28 Oct. 2008
By Walter J. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is generally an excellent summary of the cogent arguments against antitrust laws. As such, it should have a prominent place on the bookshelf of every advocate of free markets.

However, the third chapter, contributed by Richard Salsman, is flawed and should be read carefully and critically. First, Mr. Salsman incorrectly identifies "profits" and "production" as one and the same. In fact, although the two are related, and both are important to the operation of the free market, their relationship is not that of an "identity." Second, Mr. Salsman, in a mere footnote, dismisses the theory of profits propounded by George Reisman, Professor Emeritus at Pepperdine and author of the comprehensive work "Capitalism," as an inconsequential effort. Readers should read Reisman's work for themselves before taking Salsman's criticisms seriously.
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