The Democrats Confront Monopoly

The Washington Monthly has the article The Democrats Confront Monopoly.

Taking on corporate concentration has gone from a fringe idea to a key plank of the party’s strategy. Here’s how that happened—and why it matters.

I have been saying for years that the recent failure to aggressively enforce the anti-trust laws was leading to a lot of our economic and societal ills. I never did understand all the forces that led to this abandonment of the policy that had done so much for the world.

This article explains the academic forces that were arrayed against anti-trust to drive it from the field of economics and thus law and politics.

As I was reading the article, I was waiting for some hint that the Democratic Party was serious about this. Toward the end of the article I was getting bored and tried to skim through to the punchline. I don’t think there is a punchline.

The Democratic Party, as now constituted, will never truly face the issue. Their donors won’t allow it. Senator Elizabeth Warren has shown her true colors by willingly trying to sell us Hillary Clinton, when Warren knew that Clinton was nothing like what Warren was trying to sell us.

It’s a lot to ask of a political candidate, in the midst of a campaign, to simultaneously run on an issue and teach voters what it is.

The above belief was the weakness of the Clinton campaign and most other Democratic candidate campaigns. Not believing this was the strength of Bernie Sanders’ campaign. A weak politician tries for what is politically possible in the current political climate. A strong leader knows that it is her or his job to change the current political climate.

The counter to the Bork argument that monopoly or oligopoly is good for the economy is the failure to understand how monopolies work. Monopoly wannabes may lower prices to drive their competition out of business, but when that job is done, the prices go way up.

The way Amazon and Walmart got to be so powerful was that for years their investors subsidized the low prices so that they could get to the promised land of monopoly. Now Amazon is going after the grocery market via Whole Foods’ drastic price cuts.

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