Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sometimes the local option is better

Most of my posts are about how small, local businesses aren't as efficient as larger companies and can't compete. Imagine my surprise when the Institute for Justice took up the cause of the monks in Saint Joseph Abbey of Saint Benedict in Louisiana.

The funeral industry capitalizes on peoples reluctance to shop around when planning a funeral and sells expensive caskets and the monks have been building and selling cheap caskets.

Enter the lobbyists for the funeral industry and resulting laws:

Under Louisiana law, it is a crime for anyone but a licensed funeral director to sell “funeral merchandise,” which includes caskets. To sell caskets legally, the monks would have to abandon their calling for one full year to apprentice at a licensed funeral home, and convert their monastery into a “funeral establishment” by, among other things, installing equipment for embalming.

The State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors is now going after Saint Joseph Abbey for the “sin” of selling caskets without a government-issued license...

The only reason the state of Louisiana is preventing the Abby from selling its caskets is to protect the profits of the state’s funeral directors. The law is on the books, and the State Board is enforcing it, because licensed funeral directors want the funeral merchandise market to themselves.
Remember, corporations are not in the business of protecting the free market.

No comments:

Post a Comment