>From: Bryan Caplan <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
>Subject: Re: Airlines
>Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2001 15:06:00 -0400
>John A. Viator wrote:
> >
> > My (non-economist) take on this:
> >
> >   The federal government has an obligation to step in where the
> > assumptions of a free market fall short in practice.  I think a free
> > market model assumes that goods can be transported fairly easily.
>Not at all - transportation costs are just like any other cost.

I was just about to step in and say something to that effect, but then I 
thought, "No, wait, Bryan Caplan's the guy who wrote 'Why I'm Not An 
Austrian Economist'.  He'd probably pick a fight with me if I disagreed."  
Fortunately, my guess was in error.

I think Mr. Viator actually has something here - isn't one of the 
neo-classical assumptions about perfect competition (a prerequisite to a 
free market) that there aren't any exploitable transportation bottlenecks 
(e.g., a mother lode of natural resources that one and only one firm can 
access)?  Or am I making a strawman here?


>                         Prof. Bryan Caplan
>        Department of Economics      George Mason University
>         http://www.bcaplan.com      [EMAIL PROTECTED]
>   "Familiar as the voice of the mind is to each, the highest merit we
>    ascribe to Moses, Plato, and Milton is, that they set at naught
>    books and traditions, and spoke not what men but what *they*
>    thought. A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of
>    light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the
>    lustre of the firmament of bards and sages."
>                 --Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance"

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