A Hidden Cost of Antitrust Regulation
Bryan Caplan argues that antitrust enforcement literally kills people. It’s a startling claim to make, but hear him out. One thing that people do when they have a lot of money is give to charity. Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world, has given away billions of dollars and saved countless lives. If not for the Microsoft antitrust case back in the 1990s, he would be able to save even more people:
If Gates’ philanthropy is as efficacious as most people think, there’s a shocking implication: The antitrust case against Microsoft had a massive body count. Gates saves about one life for every $5000 he spends. If the case cost him $5B, and he would have given away 48%, antitrust killed 480,000 people. If the case cost him $5B, and he would have given away every penny, antitrust killed a million people. Imagine how many people would be dead today if the government managed to bring Microsoft to its knees, and Gates to bankrutpcy. It staggers the imagination.