Milton Moore, who calls this inquiry into an effective Canadian competition policy “a polite polemic,” challenges the assumptions upon which combines legislation is based and questions the manner in which free enterprise operates in Canada. He addresses himself, not to the academic economist, but to the general public. Because realism and relevance inform his thinking, businessmen will recognize the world of business he describes as the one they inhabit. The author’s basic premise is that the consumer is entitled to commodities and services at a price equal to the lowest attainable cost. But as industry is now organized, there is a gross waste of resources, and if the usual solution advocated for this problem (free trade in manufactured products with the United States) were to be effected, most of what remains of our economic independence would be lost. Professor Moore makes some radical proposals on the subject, notably the subordination of tariff policy to competition policy and the removal of the firm’s right of refusal to sell, both to a degree not previously suggested. The work is infused with his view that the public good takes precedence over the right of the individual to pursue his economic self-interest. “Unless politically courageous decisions are made,” he warns, “… our competition policy will continue to be the charade that it now is.”
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