Will monopoly devour democracy – again?

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  • A recent profile of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in The Atlantic magazine argues that he is accumulating too much power in a way that is reminiscent of previous powerful business owners such as Rockefeller and Flagler of Standard Oil
  • It argues that there seems to be an ‘incapacity of the political system to ponder the problem of his power’
  • Yet, while the US has started to take political action to tackle monopoly – as it has successfully done in the past – and the EU is also showing more muscle, the UK political and regulatory systems remain asleep at the wheel
  • The US Senate is moving towards banning the future use of non-compete clauses to ’empower our workers and entrepreneurs so they can freely apply their talents where their skills are in greatest demand.’
  • Chicago school economists, long the bastion of monopoly denial, have swung against tech monopolies arguing that the “concentration of economic, media, data, and persuasion and political power is incredibly dangerous for our democracies.”
  • Concentrated financial power and consumerism transformed American politics, resulting in the emergence of populism and authoritarianism …’ ‘…We are in a moment where capitalism is being seriously questioned.’ Some of the conclusions in a new book by Matt Stoller titled ‘Goliath: The 100 year war between monopoly power and democracy’

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