Not that this is the biggest issue, but I thought I would just throw in the idea that this is the exact opposite of what “free market” economists call a “free market”. Their models often assume something like “perfect competition”, where producers have no impact at all on market prices, and if they charge anything above what is or would be the “free market” rate, they lose all of their customers to their competitors. This economic system doesn’t, of course, exist in reality, and it anything like it died around the end of the 19th, if it even existed then. The free market, according to classical economists like David Ricardo, was free of economic and land rent. That is why Ricardo was against protectionism. He said that agricultural protectionism benefited landed interests, and since wages were indexed to the price of food, raised wages, which squeezed profits. Industrial protectionism in other countries did the same to British profits. In other words, you didn’t make money because of how big you were, how much you could bribe politicians or because of making money in your sleep through land rent. Modern free market economists claim that large companies like this monster would cut back supply and raise the prices for their products far above the costs of production. And, as you probably know, economists on the left strongly critique monopolies, oligopolies and capitalism in general. So, there is no real economic argument at all for this, it’s just corruption and robbery. There is something called “Lauderdale’s Paradox”, which says that private wealth comes at the expense of public wealth. You can have a situation where a private interest gains control of something, jacks up the price and people have nowhere to go. So, private riches grow, but at the expense of the public at large. Well, here we are. This country is toast, unless there are radical changes, and quickly, cause we don’t have tons more time. We could just create public enterprises that use tax payer money to do research (we already pay about half the R & D costs of drug manufactures), create life-saving medicines and then sell them at cost. We also should re-write the highly protectionist intellectual property rights regime that is the norm at the WTO or within investor rights agreements like NAFTA. But short of radical changes, there is no coming back. Those in power simply have no answers to our biggest problems, and they now don’t even feel the need to pretend that they are providing solutions to our problems. It’s looting time, and there isn’t much pushing back, certainly not the fucking Democrats.