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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/22/16

Laissez-faire: Free or Fair Markets? Price Fixing - Part 2

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A good place to start looking at price fixing is the pharmaceutical industry. This industry is but one important example of where we see that the consumer is at the mercy of the producers. So too are patients of many of the health care professionals who are protected by qualification that restrict entry of competition: education, licensing and board qualification requirements, and institutions privileges such as hospital privileges needed to provide their services.

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Limitation on competition, for whatever reason, will give the price advantage to the providers; this was one of the strongest arguments made against health licensing laws in the eighteenth century. Today it is even used by supposed "Pro-Lifers" to block access to, and make more expensive, legal terminations of pregnancies.

Outside of the political rhetoric, there is no hesitancy in either of our major parties to limit the market so neither truly supports a Free Market.

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Thom Hartman reminded us on March 14, 2016 that Henry Wallace, former vice president under Franklin Delano Roosevelt wrote i n the New York Times in 1944 saying that fascists:

"...claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection."

Thus, the propaganda of fascism in disguise is another reason to be on guard against those who promise a "Free Market".

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Price Fixing is an agreement between participants on the same side in a market to buy or sell a product, service, or commodity at a fixed price; or to maintain the market conditions such that the price is maintained at a given level by controlling supply and/or demand. In the United States, price fixing can be prosecuted as a criminal federal offense under section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

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AB 1959 and JD 1963, University of Missouri, Columbia. 50 years active member of Washington State Bar Association, mostly civil and commercial office, trial and appellate practice and Superior Court Arbitrator for about 40 years or so, since the (more...)
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