America Loves Small Business And Competition. Really?
A recent study titled “Out of Business; Measuring the Decline of American Entrepreneurship,” from the New America Foundation, found that: “… America’s entrepreneurial sector is in deep trouble… Our self-image notwithstanding, the number of new entrepreneurs and business owners has been dropping – as a percent of the working-age population – for more than a generation, declining by 53 percent between 1977 and 2010. The share of self-employed Americans, meanwhile, has been declining since 1991; by 2010 it had dropped by more than 20 percent…”
Barry C. Lynn, director of the Markets, Enterprise, and Resiliency Initiative, and a senior fellow in the New America Foundation’s Economic Growth Program, is one of the authors of this study. He said when interviewed recently by Thom Hartman on the RT channel that there were several reasons for this. But one of the prime reasons for this decline is that there has been no significant anti-trust activity in this country in 30 or so years.
This blew me away. I didn’t know that.
It appears that before this time everyone – right, left, middle, all agreed that the USA needed to break up overblown commercial entities – banks, companies, whatever – to keep the nation’s economy healthy.
Barry Goldwater thought it was vital to break up companies or banks that got too big, as did nearly every politician and economist in America, before the Reagan Administration.
Letting businesses merge and combine and takeover until they are behemoths, with the idea that this is good for the country, then became (and still is) a bi-partisan delusion. Due to the influence of big money, people and our political system being what they are, politicians and the voters were convinced that they had to get out of business’s way.
Regulate? Break up monopolies? Don’t let businesses or banks get so large that they control nearly everything? That old style thinking was just so passé.
Before the decision was taken to no longer trust bust, Walmart would be have been broken up. We would still have the wonderful retail variety that used to characterize American towns and neighborhoods, instead of the one-chain-store-fits-everywhere pattern we have today. Extreme media concentration – like Rupert Murdoch’s conglomeration, would also be broken up.
And forget the banks. Even without Glass-Steagall, which worked beautifully for decades to regulate the banks – they would never have been allowed to get so large. We taxpayers would never have had to bail them out.
So America loves small business and competition. Really? You sure about that?