America's 40-year trial of big business is over.
US President Joe Biden has now announced that the 40-year "attempt" of the United States on big business has failed. "Capitalism without competition is not capitalism," he declared during the signing of the executive order. "Exploitation." (Reuters)
On Friday, President Biden signed a major order to curb corporate governance, improve business competition, and give consumers and employees more choice and power. The order has 72 news-based programs - complete neutrality and cheap hearing aids, Big Tech monitoring, and high tariffs for seafarers.The president called his order a return to Roosevelt's presidency's "anti-infidelity traditions" at the beginning of the last century. This may surprise some listeners, as the order does not provide a quick call for the split of Facebook or Amazon - none of the trust is an antitrust signature concept.
But Mr. Biden's top management does something far more important than trust. It returns the United States to a major antimonopoly process that has revolutionized social and economic change since the nation's founding. This culture is less concerned with technical questions. The focus on corporate power will lead to lower consumer prices and broader social and political concerns about the negative impact a big business can have on our nation.
In 1773, when American landowners threw tea at a British East India Company in Boston Harbor, they were protesting the illegal taxation and the British fund for independence. That spirit flourished in the 19th century when Americans of all stripes saw the concentration of economic power undermining democracy and the free market. Abolitionists have used antimonopoly ethos in defiance of slave labor, and Andrew Jackson sought to abolish the Second Bank of the United States because it supported the East's elite trade and financial rights.
The threat of democracy puts a lot of pressure on the growth of large corporations, often called trustees. When Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890, its author, Senator John Sherman of Ohio, stated, "If we cannot tolerate a king as a political state, we must not tolerate the king in the production, transportation, and sale of any living necessities. Forty-five years later, President Franklin Roosevelt echoed those sentiments when he denounced the "economic pressures" that had created "a new dictatorship." He saw industrial and financial power as an "industrial dictatorship" that threatened democracy.
Standard Oil and other trusts have become victims of allegations of dishonesty not only because they oppress their competitors and increase consumer prices but also because they corrupt politics and exploit their employees. Dividing these large corporations into smaller units can help, but few reformers think the government's antitrust measures have provided a major solution to the widespread power inequality in today's capitalism. What is needed are big government laws and powerful trade unions.
In the proceedings, the courts have ruled that various organizations and industries "affected by the public interest" may be subject to certain government regulations - including prices, products, and labor standards - in recent years severely restricted to electricity companies and transportation companies. Twenty years later, New Entrepreneurs tried to challenge the power of independence by reviving antitrust laws and promoting the growth of workers' unity to build industrial democracy within the company's heart.
That antimonopoly tradition disappeared after World War II, falling into a dry debate that posed one question: Will a ban on mergers or divisions of the company reduces consumer prices? Conservative law professor Robert Bork and a generation of like-minded economics and economists have reassured Reagan executives, as well as the courts, that disagreements prevent the creation of efficient and easy-to-use business models. Even liberals such as Lester Thurow and Robert Reich see disagreements as insignificant if US companies compete overseas. In 1992, for the first time in a century, no antidote to distrust emerged from the Democratic Party.
Mr. Biden has now correctly declared that this 40-year "effort" has failed. "Capitalism without competition is not capitalism," he declared during the signing of the executive order. "Exploitation."
Perhaps the most progressive part of the management plan is its criticism of how large corporations are pushing for wages. They both do this by controlling their labor market - think of the wage pressure imposed by Walmart on a small town - and by forcing millions of their employees to sign non-competitive contracts that prevent them from getting a better job in the same job or industry.
The president also his antitrust cabinet ought became an significant features of the traditional business competition into the head. For a very long time, those who recommended more competition between companies have given employers a warranty for the destruction of wages and benefits, as well as the provision of services and products. But Mr. Biden looks at the world in which businesses compete with workers. "If your company wants to keep you, he has to earn the most of your time," Mr. Biden said on Friday. "That's the kind of competition that leads to better wages and greater job dignity."