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  1. Hey all, my name is Roger. I’ve been an objectivist since graduate school (philosophy at Boston University), and now run my own company. I've never participated in an objectivist organizations since I didn’t want their help in building my own thing. I’ve build my own thing now, so it’s time to join the community. happy to connect with everyone!
  2. Aren’t all Businesses Coercive Monopolies in Today’s World? The title of Ayn Rand’s Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal holds a profound meaning. I think she was an extraordinary visionary who understood the world we live in now would have absolutely no resemblance to a different world in which government had never intervened in the economy. I share her vision. Maybe we wouldn’t even be driving cars on roads! According to Ayn Rand, “A coercive monopoly is a business concern that can set its prices and production policies independent of the market, with immunity from competition, from the law of supply and demand.” I accept the premise that interference with force by government is the direct cause of coercive monopolies. By force, the government imposes controls on all business today, large and small, hindering their ability to act completely on their own behalf with licensing, subsidies, incentives, regulation, etc. Even the relatively less unfettered businesses must buy a license and are subject to restrictions on zoning, safety, etc. There would be no coercive monopolies, only healthy beneficial ones, in a completely free market economy. That is the point I’m having trouble with because I also hear from ARI that it is possible to compete fairly and do business morally in today’s economy. But how can that be so in light of the fact all business today is controlled in one way or another with force by government? Doesn’t that make all business, regardless of its nature or size, inherently a coercive monopoly in some way? For example, in Canada, the system is so corrupt that many government friendly businesses who have accepted an incentive, for example, to use the Maple Leaf in their logo or add the phrase “Proudly Made in Canada” in their store window or another example, to incorporate a green message into the business logo, or ad, etc. The businesses who take up the incentive are then favored, i.e., they may be privy to a preferred location with, for example, easy access of traffic flow (i.e., merge lanes into that mall instead of left hand turning light or a preferred location like a government registries office or the post office). Would that not give those businesses a coercive advantage over other businesses who chose not to take the same incentive? If some businesses have advantages over others due to government intervention, doesn’t that make the whole economy inherently corrupt and more difficult for other potential businesses to enter the market and to compete fairly. Wouldn’t that mean all existing business are coercive monopolies? It seems impossible for a true level playing field to exist now in our mixed economies and that all businesses who currently exist have an unfair advantage over those potential new innovations and businesses. If there weren’t any government involvement, I believe there would be so many more businesses competing. I agree completely with ARI in striving for the Ideal which Ayn Rand articulates. However, my concern is the way ARI frames the message. Currently it appears to be somewhat confusing.
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