Rent-Seeking in New York

December 14th, 2011

Let’s see, which special interests won out here?

Mom-and-pop pharmacies will be better able to compete with mail-order companies because of a bill that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has signed into law. The bill barred insurers or employers from forcing patients to use mail-order plans for prescription drugs, except for plans negotiated by unions. Instead, consumers would be guaranteed the choice of having their prescriptions filled either through mail-order or at the local drugstore, without any added copayments or fee

Mom-and-pop pharmacists (heh, you mean Duane Reade and CVS!) and labor unions.

Even the FTC realizes this bald-faced protectionism is bad for consumers!

The staff of the Federal Trade Commission has warned that similar laws in Maryland raised prices for consumers. If fewer consumers use mail order, the commission staff said, the mail-order companies are less likely to provide discounts for volume.

This brings to mind a point Todd Henderson made about who the 99% actually is.

After all, there are many 99 percents. But so far, Occupy has absorbed or been co-opted by various one percents.

For example, in education policy, teachers are the one percent, while students and parents are the 99 percent. But it is generally the power of the concentrated teachers’ unions that drives decisions about education spending and policy. The fact that teachers unions support Occupy undermines its power. A true movement of the 99 percents would be on the side of students, not teachers. Examples abound that cut across typical ideological lines. For instance, military contractors are the one percent, while soldiers and the citizens they defend are the 99 percent.

In New York (gasp) pharmacies and labor unions are the 1%!