Rand Paul wants to legalize cooperation
There's an old economics joke about three guys sitting in a jail cell together, asking what the others are in for. The first one says, "I'm in for price gouging. My prices were too high." The second guy says, "I'm in for predatory pricing. My prices were too low." The third guy says, "I'm in for price fixing. I charged the same as everyone else."
This sounds absurd, because it is. Antitrust laws make all sorts of pricing behavior illegal, usually based on arbitrary criteria. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) thinks this is silly, and has introduced legislation that would essentially roll back more than a century of antitrust laws. His point is that voluntary economic transactions, where free people get together and choose to cooperate, shouldn't be prohibited by the U.S. government. That just doesn't make any sense from either a liberty, or an economic, point of view.
In reality, while antitrust laws seem well-intentioned, they actually cause a lot of problems that make it harder for people to compete or to innovate. Let's take a look at a few of these.