In This Monopoly Game You May Pass Go, But Not Get Much Farther

I am a believer in the free enterprise system.  A basic tenant of the free enterprise system is that an individual (or group) who has an idea for a new product or service, or an improvement on an existing product or service, has the opportunity to put that idea into practice.  They can earn a profit from their hard work, and if successful, expand their business.

There are no doubt obstacles along the way.  One can be the government, with rules, regulations and taxes that stifle the growth of a business.  Another obstacle can be the actions by other businesses, particularly those who seek not just product development but market domination – otherwise known as monopoly.  It’s one thing to compete against the competition – it’s a totally different game when a business views competion as something to eliminate – by any means deemed necessary.

In the October 2016 issue of The Atlantic, Senior Editor Derek Thompson highlighted this problem in an article entitled America’s Monopoly Problem.  He argues that business consolidation has contributed to a decline in enterpreneurism, measured by the rate of new businesses formed.  He adds that this has been fueled in part by Federal Government policies over the last three decades that have overlooked the monopolistic environment in favor of keeping prices low.

He refers to a speech given in 2016 by Senator Elizabeth Warren to the New America organization, titled “Strengthening the Basic Bargain for Workers in the Modern Economy.”  Also mentioned is a report created by the Council of Economic Advisors, The Role of Competition Policy in Promoting Economic Growth.  Links to both are provided in this paragraph.

I work at a small manufacturer.  A business of any size should not have to engage in costly tactics to avoid being taken over by a much larger firm and run the risk of losing the energy that got them started in the first place.


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