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Another Reason For Resistance to Reform

By definition, all economic "agents" want to make money. What is not trivial, however, is the degree of preference for one way over another.

Economic equilibrium is founded on the so-called zero profit condition. Unlike what it sounds, that does not mean that profits (as the term is generally used) are equal to zero. What it does mean is that one way of making money is equally remunerative as another. Think of the zero profit condition as the economic baseline, which can be very high in a country like the United States, or very low, in a Third World country.

A situation where one way of making money is decidedly more remunerative than another is called economic rent. This is a NON equilibrium condition. Such a situation is NOT supposed to exist in a "free market" economy. In economic theory, all potential sources of economic rent are supposed to be competed away.

The dirty economic secret is that sources of economic rent appear from time to time. People who secretly enjoy such benefits naturally want them to continue. But in order to cover their tracks, they will coach their blessings in terms such as "the free market." Then they will (in most cases) fight as hard as they can to maintain their "rights."

Do not be fooled. The harder the fight, and the more widespread the lobbying the greater the economic rent, BY DEFINITION. A true "free market" is not generally fought for within a democracy. (This statement is not true if it's a case of America versus some external threat such as the former Soviet Union, which was basically a Third World dictatorship.) But as between one group of Americans and another, a situation of "methinks the lady doth protest too much" means that the market is NOT free.

Most people who have privileges want to defend them. That is their prerogative. A few will actually come out and say that they are "defending their way of life," or something to that effect. That, at least, is an honest admission of where they stand. But realize that others, who coach their motives in terms of the common good, or "doing God's work," even when they obviously stand against the same, are hypocrites.