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Antitrust and Monopoly: Anatomy of a Policy Failure (Independent Studies in Political Economy) Paperback – January 1, 1996

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"For anyone wanting to know what’s behind today’s headlines . . . should be required reading by every Congressman." -- Yale T. Brozen, Professor Emeritus of Economics, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago

"Should be on the reading list of every antitrust course. Clearly stated, rigorously developed . . . for professors as well as students." -- Donald Dewey, professor of economics, Columbia University

"Skillfully honed, eloquent . . . Professor Armentano’s book must be mastered by all who would be heard on this issue." -- Business History Review

"The . . . best book-length treatment of this issue . . . should become a, if not the standard in economics, history, and political science." -- Public Choice

"Written in a very clear, concise, and declarative manner, which makes it accessible to students as well as interested professionals." -- Antitrust Bulletin

About the Author

Dominick T. Armentano is an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute and professor of economics emeritus at the University of Hartford.
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Product Details

  • Series: Independent Studies in Political Economy
  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Independent Institute; 2 edition (January 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0945999623
  • ISBN-13: 978-0945999621
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #590,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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First, I will provide context of my reading level. As an armchair intellectual, I enjoy reading books on economic philosophy for pleasure. I have read several books by Milton Friedman (i.e., Free to Choose, Capitalism and Freedom, Money Mischief) a few Mark Skousen Books (e.g., the Big Three in Economics, Vienna and Chicago: Friends or Foes?), a few Thomas Sowell books (e.g., On Classical Economics, Marxism: Philosophy and Economics), Henry Hazlitt's book Economics in One Lesson, Brian Simpson's Markets Do Not Fail!, the collection of essays on the Austrian Trade Cycle and many more. However, despite my established interests, I found this book to be informative but very boring and a chore to read.

However, my criticism of the enjoyability of the book does not extend to the value of the author's scholarship. Armentano makes a compelling case that anti-trust laws are arbitrary, are unjust, do not lead their intended results and *never* were moral or practical. The last point is especially important since many anti-trust critics still concede that it was worth busting trusts such as Standard Oil back in the day. In addition to moral and economics arguments, Armentano presents a extensive history of anti-trust cases as he analyzes over 30 cases up until the time of this books publication (late 1970s).

For the reasons stated above, I recommend this book as a reference but I do not recommend it for recreational reading for laymen.
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Format: Paperback
I remember reading this book in an advanced micro economics course at the University of Maine. It struck a chord and helped me turn the page to start questioning the standard fare served up by my professors. The Austrian analysis continues to make the most sense with respect all economic situations and it is books like this that need to be distributed to serious students of economics and philosophy.
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This book cuts through the confusion, fallacies and ignorance surrounding antitrust policy. With scholarship and rigor, it analyzes classic antitrust cases to argue convincingly that antitrust law is wrong in theory and disastrous in practice. Its argument is nothing less than that antitrust laws should be repealed.
A summary of its contents may be helpful to prospective buyers: Its first fifty pages are concerned with theory, first discussing the rationale, legality and legitimacy of antitrust policy; then presenting and critiquing neoclassical competition theory, offering alternative theories, based in Austrian economics, in the process. The next 220 pages (including endnotes) are taken up with studies of more than 35 classic antitrust cases, organized into six topical chapters: monopoly under the Sherman Act; monopoly in busines history; price conspiracy and antitrust law; price discrimination and the competitive process; tying agreements and public policy; mergers, competition and antitrust policy. In each chapter, subsections explain the theory behind the analysis that follows and restate the chapter's conclusions at the end. The last chapter (ten pages) reviews the book's major findings, critiques both antitrust's enthusiasts and conventional critics and arrives at a radical conclusion from its examination of theory and history: "Nothing less than an extreme opposition in principle to all antitrust laws appears justified by the facts." An appendix (three pages) excerpts relevant sections of the Sherman Act, the Clayton Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act.
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Government privilege is the soul author the damaging practice of monopoly. Private monopolies are formed temporarily from cutting prices and improving service. Private monopolies cannot last long otherwise because there is an invulnerable difference between no competition and no possibility of competition. This is the standard work in opposition to these government privilege rent-seeking laws of "anti-trust".
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