The State and Corporate Power II

Here is an example of a libgressive policy recommendation that aims at securing heaven on earth with no regard for the constraints of the market,  the rational behavior of sub-state actors, and individual freedom:

We need a food equity law in this country, forcing large grocery chains to open stores in low-income areas. As part of this law, we need food regulators checking the produce and comparing it store to store, with large fines if stores in rich areas have significantly better access to fresh food and significantly better quality and freshness of the fruits and vegetables.

Healthy food is a right and should not be solely left to the profit motive.

Note what Prof. Loomis wants the state  to do to corporations with its coercive power – not nudging, but stomping them until they do what he wants them to do, and then stomping them some more if the leafy greens aren’t the color of the grass at Fenway Park.  So much for freedom!   

What is especially sad is that Prof. Loomis doesn’t seem to appreciate that the state itself (via zoning and other regulations) is frequently responsible for keeping large box grocery stores out of low-income neighborhoods.  And rather than Prof. Munger’s large corporate overlords working to entrench their power and profits against the public interest, it is often a baptist and bootlegger coalition of neighborhood activists and small (rent-seeking) businesses that stop the Wal-Marts of the world from doing what Loomis desires.  I don’t deny the capture model of politics – but it isn’t always the large corporations that win.  A bit too much Marx within Munger’s model, perhaps?  Very old school (and pre-Stiglerian?).

4 thoughts on “The State and Corporate Power II

  1. Do you suppose Prof. Loomis proposes this as the complete solution or could this be a half measure designed to deceive the anti-socialism crowd? What I mean is, why not have the State take over the grocery store business altogether? It seems to me that is really what he wants? If healthy food is a right, well why settle for mere regulation.

  2. It begs the question, “What is healthy food?” Who has the right to tell us what is healthy and force us to eat it?

  3. Loomis wants all of the control, but none of the responsibility or cost.

    He’s an economic idiot if he thinks investors will dance to his tune while he squeezes all of the profit motive out. Investors will and can do better. Investment capital will seek it’s best and highest use and return.

  4. It amazes me,that the Left always picks and chooses what are “rights.” This picking and choosing of “rights” when coupled with the control of the levers of power,in the end, always leads to coercion,corruption and eventual bankruptcy. A “right” to an education,to health care,to housing,to food,to a job,to a retirement to an abortion,to whatever the “rights” giver deems a “right.” The list is endless. Of course the idea of individuals living their own lives and keeping all the fruits of their labor is never spoken. Because the basis of all rights,property rights,are never defended by the Left. What hypocrisy.

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