Pluralistic: The super-rich got that way through monopolies (17 Jan 2024)

Today’s links The super-rich got that way through monopolies: A report in honor of Davos. Hey look at this: Delights to delectate. This day in history: 2009, 2014, 2019, 2023 Colophon: Recent publications, upcoming/recent appearances, current writing projects, current reading The super-rich got that way through monopolies (permalink) Just in time for Davos, here’s ‘Taken, not earned: How monopolists drive the world’s power and wealth divide,” a report from a coalition of international tax justice and anti-corporate activist groups: Everyone – even the World Economic Forum – says that wealth inequality is a serious problem, corroding our politics and our social cohesion. What this report does is link that inequality to monopolies, which produce the billionaires who are wrecking the world. The rise of monopolies over the past 40 years came about as the result of specific, deliberate policy choices. As the report documents, the wealthiest people in America funneled a fortune into neutering antitrust enforcement, through the “consumer welfare” doctrine. This is an economic theory that equates monopolies with efficiency: “If everyone is buying the same things from the same store, that tells you the store is doing something right, not something criminal.” 40 years ago, and ever since, the wealthy have funded think-tanks, university programs and even “continuing education” programs for federal judges to push this line: They didn’t do this for ideological reasons – they were chasing material goals. Monopolies produce vast profits, and those profits produce vast wealth. The rise and rise of the…Pluralistic: The super-rich got that way through monopolies (17 Jan 2024)

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