Another friend of the free market hated the business-government alliance: Adam Smith. In "The Wealth of Nations" Smith wrote, "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the publick. . . . But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary."
There's where things went wrong. The government does facilitate such assemblies. More than that, it provides big business something it can't have in the free market: the power to restrict competition by force. Anyone worried about the power of big business should remember real coercion comes only from government.
The voluntary, competitive marketplace is better for us all.
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