The Benefits of Corporate Greed

Crossposted on Annapolis Politics

On more than one occasion I have professed my platonic love of Walter Williams, and I can still say that I have not disagreed with him at any point during our affair. Mr. Williams usually writes about national issues, but his most recent column applies to some of the points that have been made on this blog.

(I wish that The Capital would publish a Walter Williams column every day. If he needs a day off, they can just publish one of his old columns backwards, and I will gladly read it using a mirror, because I am certain that such an exercise would be the most enjoyable use of my time.)

I have made the argument that businesses are not stupid, nor are they evil. Labor theory dictates that a person is paid roughly what they are worth, and I can assure you that if a business thought that it didn’t have to pay its CEO $20 million per year, it wouldn’t.

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Mr. Williams offers an elaboration:

(People display) the anti-market bias—the failure to believe that market forces determine prices. Many believe that prices are a function of conspiracies by the chief executive officers of corporations—that if a CEO wakes up feeling greedy, he’ll raise prices.

They also believe that profits are undeserved, failing to see that, at least in open markets, profits are incentives for firms to satisfy customers, cut production costs, and move resources to the most efficient uses.

I am an amateur economist, but this guy is a PhD economist. If you don’t believe me, listen to him.

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