The continuing lack of competition in this country is very worrying. However, business and industry continues to merge or swallow competition in this country as the government does nothing or in many cases assists.
Competition is supposed to be the very basic tenet of capitalism and democracy. Yet, somehow during the Reagan era America seemed to turn its back on that tenet and embraced the concept that the bigger, the better.
The consolidation of companies within and across industries has been a great deterrent to entrepreneurs and innovation. No doubt it has cost America.
But what was the reasoning behind this change in America’s basic philosophy?
As often happens, a person is sitting quietly with some background noise when suddenly a story comes on that clicks. For me that happens frequently while listening to Thom Hartmann. Often these stories tell of something that many looked as insignificant at he time that instead had a deep impact.
So here is 19 minutes of Thom Hartmann in his newly revived “conversations with great minds” speaking with Barak Orbach. I found this quite enlightening – I hope you do also.
One of the worst things we have seen in this country since Reagan is consolidation in the media. With Sinclair recently gobbling up a large swath od TV stations to carry their propaganda we can see that consolidation is not good and a large diversity of voices is a much better situation.
Now a company called Digital First Media is threatening to take over Gannet newspapers. This will of course knock one more competitor from the news business. Gannet is a huge player in the newspaper business. They own USAToday and many large local papers including the Des Moines Register and Iowa City Press-Citizen in Iowa.
Some may remember that Gannet became the huge player it is by buying up local newspapers across the country and driving out competition in those markets. So Gannet is in the process of being hoisted on its own petard. But the American people and democracy in general will be the ultimate loser.
This consolidation has happened in every industry. Of course there are other factors that are slashing competition to the point where we will have only one or two companies left in any sector. Toys’R’Us was driven out of business by the vulture capitalists that take over ailing companies, strip out anything of value snd then spit out the emaciated remains to die. Thus Walmart (and Amazon) lose another major competitor. How soon before they merge? Bigger is better, after all.
The thing that is really interesting in this video is that the devil behind this huge change in the American philosophy is a man most think of as one of history’s losers – Robert Bork. Guess it was really the Americn people that got Borked in the end.