Monopoly power and the decline of small business: big business vs democracy, growth & equality


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/08/10/monopoly-power-and-the-decline.html


#2

But… but…

Laissez faire capitalism, something something something!
Invisible hand, something something something!

/s


#3

Didn’t the “anti-trust” laws replace the supposedly less efficient “usury” laws way back in the old days?
Nowadays, “usury” is the term applied to people who default on loan payments.
It used to describe the crime of using the leverage gained by holding/loaning something essential to profit from someone’s distress/misfortune.


#4

Further, Monopolies are better than, um, Multoplies, because they save the American Consumer valuable time that used to be wasted deciding who would screw them. And since time is money, them paying more at the till is more than cancelled out by all the timemoney saved not deciding.

And if that doesn’t convince you, {link to bad-faith AEI paper with bad data, bad arguments and bad conclusions}.


#5

No, not really, no.

Usury technically means lending money at any interest rate at all. It is forbidden in the Old Testament because it oppresses the poor. Christians found a loophole in the Middle Ages, and I believe Muslims have a different but similar loophole.

Usury laws forbid interest rates over a certain limit. Most credit card companies are located in South Dakota, where that limit is “the sky.”

Anti-Trust laws are completely unrelated laws meant to prevent and punish industrial monopolies.


#6

One of the more poignant moments of my life was touching town in Alberta. It was my first time in Canada (which would later become my home), and while I wasn’t sure what I was quite expecting–perhaps Mounties skiing down the street after a moose or something–I don’t think I was quite ready for how deeply America’s strain of corporate and commercial had penetrated the fabric of the land.

If it wasn’t for the fact that many of the corporate overlords added a tiny maple leaf to their logos, I am not sure I would have been able to tell one stripmall from another.

Thankfully true culture runs deeper than commercial interests, and I was happy to discover that there was much more in Canada to fall in love with.


#7

Forgot “Trickle Down is good for everyone!!!”

wish I could be outraged…but my rage is pretty much gone after the last few months…


#8

You mean, making Jews do the usury for them?


#9

There was that, but there was also a combination of three “permissible” contracts for a combination of investment and insurance, which taken together, added up to loaning money at interest.


#10

There’s very little laissez faire here. That might end up being worse, but this here is the deliberate partnership of government and big business to load the deck in their favor by tax breaks, welfare to support low pay, barriers of entry, and even just ‘We’ll just look over here, so do what you need to, wink wink.’

Partly this persists because most people have to be binary and decide corporations are good and govt it’s evil, or vice versa, when they’re all out to exploit you. They’re partners.

Bill Clinton is the guy who convinced the Democrats that this was cool (Republicans were already convinced) because he’s a spectacularly successful grifter. As noted in the article this then becomes a vicious cycle. When both parties are openly corrupt like this it just reinforces itself, to the point where now Hillary’s back for another run at the golden trough. (Still better than Trump - she’ll lie to you and steal from you, but she won’t get you nuked.)


#11

“To restore competition and America’s entrepreneurial tradition, we can draw on our own rich antimonopoly history. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, reformers enacted policies to break up concentrated power and ensure a level playing field for small businesses. These laws are still on the books, and the principles they embody are still relevant. With a fresh look at how we enforce them, these policies can go a long way toward reviving competition and small business. This report concludes by outlining several specific steps for doing so.”

Not to be snarky or disrespectful, but how do these people really think you get a nearly completely corrupted state to do anything about this? Seriously.


#12

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