The following from http://positiveliberty.com/2008/03/cartelization.html
is well worth reading. It is a little off the beaten track of psychiatricnews but sheds light on how and why our mental health ‘treatments have degenerated to their abysmal current state. I personally found it a refreshing change to document the cause, rather than just the effects.
Jim Babka on Mar 11th 2008
“Big” can be a real problem here in the United States. Big Labor. Conglomerate Corporations. Military-Industrial Complex. Institutional Media. These are all part of that amorphous blob populists fear called, “Big Business.”
And the populists, particularly of the more progressive stripe, have a point: Big Business uses our Monopoly Government to spy on, suppress, and even, occasionally, destroy competition. Sometimes, Big Business even gets new laws passed that impose new inconveniences, restrictions, or taxes on all of us. The coming “Real ID” is a boon for companies who make various “security products.”
But Big Business has a specific tool that makes some of their bigness (and resulting treachery) possible. It’s Big Government. That is to say, if we reduced the size of government, Big Business would, by necessity, become leaner and most customer oriented. Big Business would be largely de-fanged if we Downsized DC.
Americans understand that OPEC provides a method for artificially increasing the revenues of Middle Eastern oil producing nations. It’s a cartel.
Cartels are the inevitable step-children of government bureaucracies. These boards oversee things in a particular arena, ostensibly for the public’s benefit. But soon, Big Business achieves regulatory capture, and the bureaucratic program that was supposed to be for the public’s benefit redounds to the benefit of Big Business and is used to drive out the competition.
Consider two industries: Banking and Pharmaceuticals.
The Federal Reserve (FED) and FDIC have driven out private banks. The FED set the rate of borrowing, the value of money, and profit tidily in so doing. Create an alternative banking system and federal agents raid your business saying you’re assisting in money-laundering or something. Every major alternative banking or money system from PayPal to e-Gold to the Liberty Dollar has experienced government force suppressing it. PayPal capitulated. e-Gold and the Liberty Dollar are both facing trouble due to government raids, seizures, and litigation; and in the case of the Liberty Dollar, possible prosecution.
In an odd sort of paraphrased way, Gresham’s Law applies to banks too. “Bad banks drive out good banks.” For even the banks appear to be staring at a potentially big crisis that could make the Great Depression look like a Sunday picnic.
The pharmaceutical industry (Big Pharma) was the driving force behind the single largest expansion of welfare in this country since the Great Society. Big Pharma is constantly trying to shut down alternative health care systems, preventative practices, and various elixirs, including vitamins and supplements. They are at war to make us buy their drugs. And the cure for every side effect is… another Big Pharma drug.
Big Pharma long ago captured the FDA (and, apparently, Congress). And, now, it costs between $400 million to $1 billion to get a drug through the process.
If an upstart scientist comes up with a drug and patents it, he can start a company to get it to market. But often his only hope of making it to the end of the tunnel is to be bought out by one of the major pharmaceutical companies. I mean, where does someone come up with a billion dollars? …especially if you have to go through a process owned by your competition?
I could come up with the drug to cure a disease, but might find that there’s no way I’m getting it to market — even if Buffet or Bloomberg or Perot back me. The cartel won’t permit it, unless they have an interest in it.
Now, destroy cartelization, and these companies would be compelled to compete. Competition in the free and open market would make them lean and customer-oriented again. New banks would spring up offering safer services. Scientists would be able to produce all kinds of miracles because the risk-profit ratio would be so much better.
The conglomerate banks and the major pharmaceuticals would, probably, be smaller and there would be more of them to choose from. But even if they were bigger, they’d be much less of a threat to our wallets and our liberty.
Hardball delenda est
(Ed… if anyone knows what ‘delenda est’ means please let me know!)