The news you're not supposed to know...

An Introduction to Austrian Economics: Understand Economics, Understand Everything
The Century of the Self: The Untold History of Controlling the Masses Through the Manipulation of Unconscious Desires
The Disappearing Male: From Virility to Sterility

The Obama Deception: The Mask Comes Off
Operation Gladio: The Hidden History of U.S. Sponsored False Flag Terrorism in EuropeThe New American Century: The Untold History of The Project for the New American Century
Article posted Jul 01 2010, 11:58 PM Category: Commentary Source: Mises Economics Blog Print

Random Acts of Government

by S.M. Oliva

Yesterday I posted the press release from the alliance of government agencies and Hollywood studios now patrolling the Internet to thwart savage, non-Johnny Depp acts of “piracy.” Led by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Copyright Cartel -- I can’t think of a more clever name -- vowed to “get the illegal choices out of the marketplace,” according to Hollywood lobbyist Mike Robinson, who thanked the Cartel for making the protection of intellectual property a “priority.” Because government values nothing more then the protection of property rights. And who can argue with that?

Still, I’m confused. Because on the same day the Copyright Cartel vowed to protect IP by eliminating “illegal choices” from the market, the Federal Trade Commission announced an order that violates the property rights of Pilot Corporation, a firm that operates travel centers catering to long-haul truckers. The FTC seized 26 travel centers from Pilot and gave them to one of Pilot’s competitors, whom the FTC said had “aggressive expansion plans,” which apparently required the FTC’s help to succeed. (Officially, the FTC justified its use of eminent domain by claiming Pilot’s recent acquisition of another rival illegally reduced the number of competing travel centers that customers were entitled to, thus requiring corrective action.) In this case, preserving competition took precedence over property rights -- a reversal of the Copyright Cartel’s position.

Then there’s the Justice Department’s announcement earlier this week that it successfully extracted $30 million in capital from a liquid-crystal display manufacturer -- part of a larger campaign that’s removed nearly $1 billion in capital from the entire liquid-crystal display industry -- in an effort to make that market more “competitive.” You see, several years ago a number of LCD manufacturers allegedly held discussions among themselves about prices; and even though such discussions were voluntary and involved the sale of the companies’ own property, the DOJ claims this violated the “rights” of consumers who later purchased LCD displays. The DOJ said customers were overcharged. (Of course, the DOJ won’t use any of the funds it seized from the companies to compensate “injured” consumers.)

Again, this is curious. LCD customers were supposedly overcharged for products they voluntarily purchased, while according to the Copyright Cartel, customers paid too little to view content hosted by certain websites. It seems only the government can determine the correct price for any good or service -- and “intellectual property” rights are consistently afforded greater state protection than old-fashioned tangible property rights.

Latest Commentary
- The War on Drugs Was Born 100 Years Ago
- What America Wannabe?
- Judicial Deference to the Torturers
- Ross Ulbricht Should Be Freed in a Fair Trial
- Government Save Us From "Overpriced" Chinese Food
- I Love Loosies and the People Who Sell Them
- Obama's Plan for Better Policing: The Good, the Bad, and the Body Cameras
- Statism: The Most Dangerous Religion (feat. Larken Rose)

No Comments Posted Add Comment

Add Comment


Verification *
Please Enter the Verification Code Seen Below

Please see our About Page, our Disclaimer, and our Comments Policy.

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which in some cases has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available for the purposes of news reporting, education, research, comment, and criticism, which constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the DMCA and other applicable intellectual property laws. It is our policy to remove material from public view that we believe in good faith to be copyrighted material that has been illegally copied and distributed by any of our members or users.

About Us - Disclaimer - Privacy Policy

Advanced Search


Remember Me
Forgot Password?

Florida Cop Gets Schooled in Law After Harassing Man for Playing Rap Song, "F**k tha Police" - 12/16Second Video Sheds New Light On Allegations Of Misconduct Involving Denver Police Officers - 12/16US Supreme Court Allows Traffic Stop Searches When No Law Violated - 12/16Police Using Social Media Posts to Determine "Threat Score" of Suspects - 12/16High Profile Witness In Alleged Excessive Force Case Records His Own Stop And Arrest - 12/16IRS Drops Its Asset Forfeiture Case Against Owner Of Small, Cash-Only Restaurant - 12/16Congress Proposes Bill to Address the Problem of Immunity for Killer Cops - 12/16Psychotic Vegas Cop Filmed Beating Man For Filming In Viral Video Queitly Hired By Another Dept. - 12/17

Rialto, CA Police Made to Wear Cameras, Use of Force Drops by Over Two-ThirdsCop Who Karate Chopped NY Judge In Throat Gets Off Scot-FreeFlorida Cop Smashes Compliant Woman's Face Into Car -- "Maybe Now You Can Understand Simple Instructions"VIDEO: Lapel Cam Reveals A Day In The Life Of A U.S. Police Officer (Tasing, Beating, Breaking & Entering, Stomping On Heads... and Laughing About It)Caught On Tape: Officer Sucker Punches Inmate In Face, Files Report Claiming 'Self Defense'Insult Person On Twitter, Go To JailSWAT Team Brings TV Crew To Film Raid Against Threatening Internet Critic -- Raids Innocent Grandma InsteadCop Karate Chops NY Judge In The Throat