Refusal to Price Fix = Price Fixing
Originally posted on the Mises Blog
The Federal Trade Commission announced another gunpoint “settlement” today against a physician group. What distinguishes this case is the FTC now expressly states that refusal to accept federal Medicare price controls is itself a form of illegal price fixing.
So it’s now illegal to simply refuse to sign a contract, because the buyer’s “need” for a service outweighs the seller’s right to control the disposition of their own labor. Remember, it’s not illegal for a federally-recognized labor union to coerce its members to work (or strike) under certain conditions, but it is illegal for a purely voluntary group to act out of shared self-interest.