The FT has the best mainstream media take I have seen on something I have been saying for a long time.
The two key points are these:
- Business friendly is not the same as market-friendly: in fact they are usually opposites. Given that Adam Smith pointed this out a long time ago, one would have thoughts governments might have noticed by now…
- Rent seeking though lobbying, and the “business friendly” policy of governments around the world, has seriously undermined free markets.
Producers are intrinsically anti-market: or rather, everyone wants a free market, but not in their own industry (and people are endlessly ingenious in coming up with reasons why their own industry should be an exception).
Big businesses have the clout to influence regulators to do things their way. They are not unique in this respect: consider the EU region of origin rules which are designed to make it harder to compete with wine makers and farmers. However, it is the influence of big business that is most damaging and dangerous, because it reaches all parts of the economy.