Business: Inflation's Sacred Cows

To the longtime despair of critics, the American political system often functions like a gigantic lubricating station for squeaky wheels. Responding to the skillful pressure of special-interest lobbyists, Congress and successive U.S. Administrations have put into effect myriad federal laws and regulations that stifle competition and tend to raise prices to consumers for the benefit of groups ranging from fruitgrowers in Florida to maritime unions in San Francisco and New York. Regulatory agencies, too, frequently act as guardians of the industries that they are supposed to regulate rather than as protectors of...

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