It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
"Wealth of Nations," Book V, Chapter II, Part II, Article I, pg.911
"These conditions of perfect competition are widely known: numerous buyers and sellers, so that no one of them is big enough to “affect price”; a homogeneous good; and perfect information. One problem with the strict requirement that an industry meets these conditions, or else be consigned to government operation, is that there is virtually no industry in a real-life economy that would remain in the private sector! Almost every industry would have to be nationalized, were the implicit program of Haveman followed. This is easy to see once we realize how truly restrictive are these conditions. The homogeneity requirement, by itself, would be enough to bar most goods and services in a modern, complex economy. Except for thumb tacks, rubber bands, paper clips, and several others of this kind, there are
hardly any commodities which do not differ, even slightly, in the eyes of most consumers. Perfect information bars even the farm staples from inclusion in the rubric of perfect competition. This can be seen in a healthy, functioning, Chicago mercantile exchange. If there were full information available to all and sundry, there could be no such commodities market.
Not “affecting price” also presents difficulties. No matter how small a part of the total market a single individual may be, he can always hold out for a price slightly higher than that commonly prevailing. Given a lack of perfect information, there will usually (but not always) be someone willing to purchase at the higher price.
. . .
Under these conditions, competition in the usual sense of opposition, contention, rivalry, etc., would be completely lacking. Where is the need to attract the customers of other firms to oneself if each so-called “competitor” can “sell as much of its product as it wishes at the ruling market price?” Why go out and compete if one is guaranteed all the customers one could possibly want? If “competition” is supposed to indicate rivalrous behavior, one would think that “perfect competition” would denote a sort of super-contentiousness. Instead, through dint of misleading definition, it means the very opposite: a highly passive existence, where firms do not have to go out and actively seek customers.
. . .
In contrast to the passive notion of perfect competition, which has held center stage in the economics profession for the last few decades, there is a new comprehension of competition, in the market process sense, that is now drawing increasing attention. Instead of concentrating on the maximization of ends, assuming given scarce means, as does the Robbinsian notion of perfect
competition, the market-process view makes the realistic assumption that the means, although scarce, are in no way given; rather, knowledge of them must actively be sought out. The allocation of scarce means among competing ends is a passive procedure when the means and the ends are known. All that need be done can be accomplished by a suitably programmed computer. But the active seeking out of the ends and the means in the first
place is a task that can be accomplished only by entrepreneurial talent: active, not passive. The entrepreneur, denied his crucial role in the perfectly competitive world view, takes center stage in the market-process conception.
Instead of merely economizing, the entrepreneur seeks new and hitherto unknown profit opportunities; not content to allocate given means to already selected ends, the businessman blazes new trails, continually on the lookout for new ends and different means." - Walter Block
So let's not say that we need perfect competition in order for capitalism to work.
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully. Psalm 24
"True law is right reason in agreement with nature . . . Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature [and] will suffer the worst penalties . . ." - Cicero
Regarding the reporting issues, I know for a fact that the Recovery Act Board is a joke. Devaney just made some outlandish statements that were totally inaccurate and the WSJ is carrying the story about it. The man is completely out of touch. Many agencies were never made aware of the duplicate reporting requirements under the Recovery Act. The man is out of touch.
Devaney's job and the board he runs is little more than an ineffective bureaucracy and a waste of tax payer dollars. There was a reporting mechanism in place to track government grant dollars, and for all it's faults, it worked. Now recipients are having to duplicate reports that they are already doing in one system.
The man should be sacked and his board disbanded. There is no logical reason for their existence as a regulatory or monitoring agency. Those were already in place. Somebody created a bunch of high paying jobs for some reason.