A list of the worst examples of unfair government competition was released Thursday by a group hoping to bring attention to the problem.
The list by the Business Coalition for Fair Competition was designed to help bring attention to what they view as egregious examples of unfair government sponsored competition. Additionally they hope to influence lawmakers to end policies that cause such government overreach to occur.
BCFC argues that privately owned companies that rely on profits from consumers often have trouble competing with government agencies or groups receiving subsidies that produce similar products or services, but don’t have to rely on consumers to stay in business. The group also argues that by not having to rely on customers, these agencies or groups will often produce substandard products and services that pose a danger to the consumer such as flawed technology endangering the military and bad infrastructure projects in towns and cities.
Their top ten examples of unfair government competition for 2014 includes the Postal Regulatory Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation and even a state-owned gas station in Somerset, Ky.
As BCFC President John Palatiello noted, government agencies, universities and nonprofits with the assistance of government subsidies are all to blame.
“Our objective is to alert our members and allies,” Palatiello told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Palatiello hopes the list will bring attention to the issue so that it can be discussed more among the public and those in Washington.
“We have been very pleased with the response,” Palatiello also noted. “It was well received by members of congress.”
“The list can be a tool to help policy makers,” Palatiello added. “To help focus the government on those things only they can do.”
The release of this list also marks the 60th anniversary of when the Eisenhower administration established a policy that the, “government will not start or carry on any commercial activity to provide a service or product for its own use if such product or service can be procured from private enterprise through ordinary business channels.”
BCFC advocates for the “Yellow Pages Test” as a simple guideline for avoiding unfair government competition. The test simply states that, “any government activity that can be provided by private enterprise found in the Yellow Pages should be subject to commercial market competition, rather than performance by a government monopoly.”
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