Adam Smith On Monopolies, Rents, And Airports In Switzerland

Lynne Kiesling

Kevin Brancato’s post on easyjet and the Basel airport prompts me to offer up this quote from The Wealth of Nations that was in the sections we read for class today:

The legislature, were it possible that its deliberations could be always directed, not by the clamorous importunity of partial interests, but by an extensive vew of the general good, ought upon this very account, perhaps, to be particularly careful neither to establish any new monopolies of this kind, nor to extend further those which are already established. Every such regulation introduces some degree of real disorder into the constitution of the state, which it will be difficult afterward to cure without occasioning another disorder.

Citation: Book IV, Chapter ii, paragraph 44.