"The theory of natural monopoly is an economic fiction. No such thing as a 'natural' monopoly has ever existed. The history of the so-called public utility concept is that the late 19th and early 20th-century 'utilities' competed vigorously, and like all other industries, they did not like competition. They first secured government-sanctioned monopolies, and then, with the help of a few influential economists, they constructed an ex post facto rationalization for their monopoly power. ... The theory of natural monopoly is a 19th-century economic fiction that defends 19th-century (or 18th-century, in the case of the U.S. Postal Service) monopolistic privileges and has no useful place in the 21st-century American economy."
June 14, 1995 at the CATO Institute conference examining the question Postal Service in the 21st Century: Time to Privatize?
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Mary - MI      
Turn the mail delivery over to UPS or Fed X and you would see faster service at half the cost.
 -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
    I here agree with the observation. I also believe a postal service is a legitmate (lawful) segment of de jure government (being the required minimum of communication).
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    This is why Corporations and the Government need to be separated. If you're still naive enough to think that Monsanto, Bechtel and a host of others cornered the market (so to speak) all by themselves....then you need to take another look. The problem isn't business...the problem is Government getting in bed with business. The most offensive arrangement is still the one between the Government and the Federal Reserve / IRS. It is the underpinning of absolutely everything that manipulates us and our well being. Abolish the Fed!
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    Jefferson tried to amend the Constitution with a Bill of Rights that prevented monopolies -- that one didn't make it. And the 14th Amendment has since been perverted to mean that 'persons' protected in the amendment included corporations as 'persons.' What I think most conservatives forget is that corporations were to be taxed, not living breathing persons. Yes, the corp's would then pass on those costs to the people, BUT the people had the choice to buy or not. I say, tax the corporations, not the people -- that is what is authorized by the Constitution. Get rid of corporate personhood, and thus stop treating people as corporations. By merging the common law and commercial law jurisdictions into one, corporations are now powerful giants that individuals cannot defend against, and people are now subjected to the reams and reams of commercial regulations meant for corporations, not living breathing individuals. Corporations can live forever, theoretically, they are legal fictions that cannot be treated the same as the individuals that make them up. The line is blurred now, and thus only groups can be heard -- the individual alone is but an ant to be squashed. This is officially called collectivism, and results from giving groups 'rights' that individuals do not have.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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