I'm a one issue voter

Geoffrey Manne —  1 November 2007

Ok, that’s not really true.  In actuality, I don’t generally vote.  But if I did vote, I think the time is right to be a one issue voter on the issue of antitrust policy.  Seems like everyone has a view on the topic these days.  And on that one issue alone, Hilary Clinton resoundingly and conclusively loses my vote:

Senators Kohl, Biden, and Clinton introduced a bill that would prohibit manufacturers and retailers from contracting on price:

The Discount Pricing Consumer Protection Act (s 2261) will … simply add one sentence to Section 1 of the Sherman Act–the basic provision addressing combinations in restraint of trade–a statement that any agreement with a retailer, wholesaler or distributor setting a price below which a product or service cannot be sold violates the law. No balancing or protracted legal proceedings will be necessary. Should a manufacturer enter into such an agreement it will unquestionably violate antitrust law.

Thanks, Luke, for bringing this to our attention.  Of course I already knew I would be staying far, far away from John Edwards on this score, as well.  Yep, and Obama, too. 

I wouldn’t want to read too much into this, but these positions on antitrust issues are likely indicative of the candidates’ real views on markets and government’s relationship to them.  And they tend to suggest that the leading (well, in Edwards’ case, trailing) Democratic candidates are generally highly skeptical (at best) of free markets and believers in the government as the protector of “fair markets” and other Wonderful Things like children and puppies.  But then I guess we already knew that about the Democrats.  And, unfortunately, the Republicans, too, for that matter.

So on my one issue, who’s the best candidate?       

Geoffrey Manne

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