GOP Senator Josh Hawley just made his move to hold corporate America to account with a new bill that should, and very well may get, broad bipartisan support.
There are not many things our politicians agree on these days except that corporate American makes a good villain. Whether corporate America is the villain both sides like to use when it suits them is up for debate but what is not in doubt is that the American economy functions best when competition is allowed and innovation leads the way.
That is why our economy is so dynamic while planned economies like Russia and China react slowly to change and get crippled protecting legacy systems and products.
But it is a struggle here to find the right balance – the consolidation of corporate power can be good until taken too far. At that point, the government has usually stepped in to break up the monopolies to spur innovation and competition.
The results have been spectacular. But Obama went easy on corporate mergers and Trump had mixed results – he criticized the practice and warned of monopolies but didn’t stop too many or break up existing monopolies.
Enter Josh Hawley who just offered a bill to fix the system before it gets out of whack. Hawley introduced the “Trust-Busting for the Twenty-First Century Act” saying:
“We tried it the way that the big corporatists wanted and it hasn’t been a success for the American consumer, for the American producer, or for the American economy.”
Hawley’s bill if passed would:
“Ban mergers and acquisitions by firms with a market cap over $100 billion.
Lower the threshold for prosecution under existing federal antitrust laws, replacing the prevalent “consumer harm” standard with one that emphasizes “the protection of competition.”
Require companies that lose federal antitrust lawsuits to “forfeit all their profits resulting from monopolistic conduct.”
Give the Federal Trade Commission new power to designate and regulate “dominant digital firms” in different online markets.”
It gets worse for the budding American monopolists – the Dems tend to agree with him. Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar offered a similar bill in February.
When asked about Klobuchar’s bill Hawley said, “I’m willing to work with her and anybody of any party and any background. I like a lot of what Senator Klobuchar has proposed.”
Dem Representative David Cicilline wants to introduce antitrust bills in the House as well. This is a complicated issue – for example up until 6 months ago it was laughable that Facebook had any competition in the social media space and now there is Tik Tok, Clubhouse, and Parler or possibly Trump’s new social network.
The world is changing rapidly and our leaders need to be up to the job and make the right decisions.
“This country and this government shouldn’t be run by a few mega-corporations,” Hawley said before adding that the GOP “has got to become the party of trust-busting once again. You know, that’s a part of our history.”
Monopoly and liberty don’t go together. No corporation should be so big and so powerful that it can override the voice of the people. We need a new trust busting agenda, from MLB to #BigTech pic.twitter.com/wgs8uoEcd5— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) April 13, 2021