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This just out in email to a group of business colleagues and associates.

Bill wrote:

Why do we keep talking about fee caps?  TASC should be taking the position that free enterprise, for-profit companies don't have to have price controls.  Do collection agencies have fee caps?  COMPETITION will keep fees down IF SETTLEMENT COMPANIES ARE GIVEN THE FREEDOM TO TAKE ROOT AND GROW without price controls.

Bill is absolutely right, of course. And he's right on two levels, the first of which can be summed up in the phrase "this is America," and all it used to imply. Unfortunately, one is sooner going to hear an argument for freedom on the basis of individual rights and private property in the parliaments of Russia and India than in the legislative halls of "enlightened" America--or Europe for that matter--anymore.

So no one wants to hear about that, anymore. It's a dead, DEAD horse. We have come to accept that literally anything and everything is perfectly subject to regulation, legislation, 'governation,' 'bureaucraticization' ... and instead of a battle of ideas--individualism vs. collectivism--we have the battle of the slide rules: which side can calculate "the greatest good for the greatest number."

And, so, if we must break out the slide rules, let's do so; even if it means trampling down a few for the "greater good" of the many. After all, making that luscious social omelet shall require cracking a few skulls; but we oughtn't be too worried about that.

Price controls don't work on a practical level, which is to say: they have always failed to achieve the desired ends; since the dawn of human civilization. Where they are intended to do "good for many" at the "expense of a few" (well, that is the intention) they have never achieved it. Instead, they do worse for the many at the expense of the few. Of course, they keep getting tried time and time again because of the one constant: the expense of the few. That's always a hands-down 'good' political move, dontcha know.

http://www.mises.org/econsense/ch34.asp

http://www.mises.org/etexts/Modig.pdf

http://www.mises.org/story/1894

http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/PriceControls.html

In fact, it's very difficult to find any scholarly work that argues for price controls.

Alright, then. There you have it.

--
Richard Nikoley, CEO
Provanta Corporation
www.provantacorp.com