My apologies for a harsh reply, as well.
Heh I work in open-source all day. A good flaming is good for my thick skin.
Any instance where government restricts private entities from taking actions that they would otherwise be able to take in a fully free (laissez-faire) market.
I think setting rules to keep competition healthy is great, particularly with companies that incorporate. They exist under the law for the benefit of the state in exchange for protection under that same law.
Example of indirect intervention would be government-run companies entering the market alongside private ones...
IMHO this is a conflict of interest because they _ARE_ rule setters. They can always change the rules to their benefit.
What about natural monopolies?
No choice, you have to regulate natural monopolies. I guess the difficulty here is defining what a natural monopoly is, I think you are talking about utilities and the like.
"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"