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The Monopolization of America


#1

The Monopolization of America

Robert Reich

Not long ago I visited some farmers in Missouri whose profits are disappearing. Why? Monsanto alone owns the key genetic traits to more than 90 percent of the soybeans planted by farmers in the United States, and 80 percent of the corn. Which means Monsanto can charge farmers much higher prices.

Farmers are getting squeezed from the other side, too, because the food processors they sell their produce to are also consolidating into mega companies that have so much market power they can cut the prices they pay to farmers.


#2

The search engine revenue model has proven to be successful.

I work for a tech company that we shall simply call valdermort, as it cannot be named.

Every single thing you do there is monitored, and nothing you do there can be monetized anywhere else.

the coming decentralization cannot be sustained without some support from existing structures. That includes anti trust. Or it may go the way of the gm electric cars of the 2000s, which rotted in the desert directly after manufacture.

anti trust is a good start.


#3

What part of fascism do you not understand Robert?


#4

“Google and Facebook are now the first stops for many Americans seeking news.”

And then there is the monopolization of your mind. This is some scary stuff.

Peace
Po


#5

fun to kick back with a beer… serious “termite” scheme of trump & minions.
Cranky Facebook live’ format - but the documentation keeps peeking through


#6

Despite evidence to the contrary, including Reich’s findings in this article, Monsanto and the other GMO/pesticide cartel members which includes many politicians in both parties and many university operatives (all owned by the corporations) continue to accuse those of us who seek GMO/pesticide regulation that we are Luddites who are causing the starvation of people around the globe.

As bad as Monsanto has made it for Missouri farmers, thousands of farmers in India and other third world nations have committed suicide after being screwed by the GMO/pesticide cartel.

With US military expansion in Africa enabling the Gates Foundation to apply the Miicrosoft monopoly model as they are paving the way for the GMO/pesticide cartel to screw farmers in Africa the way they have on other continents.


#7

In the absence of competition the profit motive is pernicious.

Republicans tout the “free market”. Healthy competition is the sine qua non of “the free market”. It’s hucksterism to tout the benefits of a “free market” (to argue against regulation you don’t like), and then seek to end it with monopoly…


#8

The most effective form of antitrust action, I think, is to dismantle the system of capitalism and replace it with an egalitarian system (e.g. communalism, democratic socialism). I think that we need to strike at the root of the problem of monopolies. Simply reviving antitrust activity would not last if capitalism, with its deification of private property rights, remained.


#9

Monsanto, Wal-Mart, Amazon, Google, Facebook and many other large corporations are in the business of monopoly…the goods and services they sell are nothing more than lubricants for their monopoly machines.

What corporations, the media, politicians and university operatives they own tout as “the free market” is actually the RIGGED market, rigged in favor of those who invest most heavily in politicians, media and universities.

Having successfully advanced the “monopolization of America”, those corporations are buying politicians in nations around the world to expand their monopolies around the world. The Monsanto/Bayer merger is the most recent example of a major leap forward in that arena.


#10

The Monopolization of America began with a Ponzi Scheme


#11

…and our lives!

Good article by a good man, imo the best person in the Clinton Administration, by far. Bill should have listened to him more.


#12

Robert, I respectfully disagree. We have not forgotten history, we’re in a brave new world, in which automation has rendered the economies of scale so vast that almost every commodity business is a “natural” monopoly. Perhaps that could be dealt with in the same way that we dealt with the “natural” monopolies of the electric utilities 100 years ago, but I doubt it. The truth is even you don’t dare utter the “S” word!


#13

I’m really angry at my latest car insurance bill , higher for the 10th time in a row. Used to be if you stayed with the same carrier for years that prices would decrease. 30 years ago I paid $60 for an entire year for the same type auto, now it is $330 for 6 months. Gouged big time. I notice on the bill that credit rating was also used to determine the bill, well I have never owned a credit card in my life and live on a low fixed income. I drive about 25 miles a week, this is pure theft and outrageous. Progressive means progressively higher priced.


#14

It’s not because the information has not been available. Barry Lynn’s Cornered, as in “cornered the market,” was published in 2010, and Robert Kuttner’s Everything For Sale was published in 1996. ALL of Michael Lewis’s books and the movie have been at least tangentially about this process, as have most of the mass market books on the financial industry for the past 30 years. But it’s nice to see that Professor Reich is beginning at last to move beyond his “blue dog” comfort zone.


#15

The biggest tragedy is that this automation can create a world where the people won’t have to slave away at jobs and can live freely how they want. Unfortunately instead of helping to make this society the rich who are primarily profiting off this automation would rather completely cut off any work or pay to the people, or if they do work they will get paid far under the standard of living. This is why a universal basic income is so necessary.


#16

And if you were to scan my other comments, you’d find (no surprise) that I’m also a big proponent of a UBI, and not just for equity’s sake.


#17

Our country’s governance is dysfunctional. The reason for the dysfunction and the cure are staring us directly in the face. The problem is too much money in politics and the cure is to change Congress. Only we voters can affect the needed change and that is by getting rid of any congressmen or candidate that takes special interest money.

The fundamental problems we have as a community are not being addressed. We have a Congress that simply does not have our best interests at heart in their legislative actions. Our governing system is one of legislation for sale. Only 6 of the 535 members of Congress do not take special interest money. We have had at least four decades of congressional candidates seeking special interest money, for TV ads, and sellings their souls to get it. The end result is 529 legislators doing the bidding of the 1% and the corporate and financial industries, while ignoring the needs and wants of the American People.

In most western democracies the taking of special interest money (also called bribery) by those in or seeking office lands them in jail. Here our Congress, backed by a politicized Supreme Court, has not only made the practise legal but has opened control of our electoral system to essentially unlimited amounts of money. This allows those who exercise their political influence thru our elected officials to control governmental processes in perpetuity. Money buys votes!

As sick,frustrating and pervasive as the present rigged system is; it has an Achilles heel. That is our elected representatives must stand for reelection every 2 or 6 years. If we judged them on whether or not they take special interest money and favor a complete rewrite of election law we would have a Congress with a completely different set of values. This should be the overriding criterion for our votes in this year’s midterm election. It is a simple straight forward question: “do you take special interest money”?

Reelection rates for Congressional incumbents is historically in the 90+% range despite their approval ratings being below 60% and currently around 17%. We voters need to somehow get past this disconnect. Any Congressman or candidate that takes special interest money is simply not worthy of our votes. We need to act accordingly. We need a movement to: CHANGE CONGRESS.

Special interests have fractured our society. We cannot have a viable social contract unless we have a governance that functions for us rather than people that have more than they can possibly use and yet want more to the detriment of the vast majority.