Mr. Biden’s ‘shocking ignorance’ about business
President Biden’s executive order calling for more government involvement to stimulate private sector competition has quickly become a ripe target for advocates of limited government and free markets. It’s not just the hubris of it all that’s drawing fire. It’s how weirdly disconnected from real economic forces the Biden order seems to be.
Elizabeth Nolan Brown writes that Biden’s missive:
…[wades] into territory he doesn’t actually have the power to control and, therefore, much of his executive bloviating is technically toothless. There’s a lot of the word encourages thrown about. The bad news is that presidential encouragement to federal agencies still has a way of becoming bureaucratic policy.
Because a good bureaucrat knows that finding ways to make their agency relevant are also excellent ways to build job security.
But John Tamny notes that Biden’s focus on issue like competition in railroads an ocean-going shipping shows a deeply flawed understanding of economic dynamism:
Up front, the last significant rail mergers took place during the George W. Bush administration, thus raising a question about what has Biden et al concerned. After which, where does one begin?
Really, the statement about ocean and rail shipping and presumption of monopoly power inside the rail industry is pregnant with non-knowledge, and a lack of basic economic understanding more broadly. Most of all, those inside the Biden administration plainly lack an understanding of business history.
The Administration ignores what’s true about economic progress in any dynamic economy: the natural course for prices is downward. Crucial about the previous truth is that the businesses most capable of pushing down customer costs are the ones that attract the most investment. See Silicon Valley if you’re still not convinced.
Maybe it’s just Mr. Biden’s rail nostalgia showing through. But Tamny isn’t going to let Mr. Biden off so easily:
In short, Joe Biden’s latest pivot against “Big” reveals shocking ignorance about how businesses remain in business.
Which makes sense considering Biden has been a politician his entire adult life.