July 26, 2021

Biden, defender of the small against the big

The progressive left is delighted. Joe Biden set out to tackle concentration in the US economy. Not only does he promise to attack “Big Tech”, the technology industry, but also all sectors where consolidation has taken on proportions that he says are harming competition. From “Big Ag”, the food industry, to “Big Pharma”, pharmaceutical companies, including Internet providers, health insurance companies and airlines. The 46e chair arises as the “Defender of the little one “, Write the Los Angeles Times : the average American who “ wakes up every morning wondering what big companies have found to make his life a little more expensive and a little more painful ”.

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On July 9, the US President issued an executive order (executive order) which shows its desire to strengthen the application of anti-trust legislation (Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy). The text includes 72 directives addressed to the various federal departments and agencies aimed at limiting the abuses of a dominant position that affect consumers, workers and small businesses. One way to offer an alternative to Donald Trump’s populism. ” Capitalism without competition is not capitalism, the president said as he signed the executive order at the White House. It is exploitation ”.

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“Capitalism without competition is not capitalism,” the president said as he signed the executive order at the White House. It is exploitation ”.

The plan was inspired by the work of law professor Tim Wu of Columbia University (New York), the president’s new adviser on technology and competition: the alter ego, in the pantheon of thinkers of the anti-trust, by Lina Khan, the new president of the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) which Jeff Bezos asked to give up on the Amazon file for conflict of interest – which did not prevent the 32-year-old lawyer to be in the front row behind Joe Biden during the signing ceremony.

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For this school, the hegemony of a few hundred companies is stifling the American economy. From drugs to Internet subscriptions and hearing aids, Americans pay far too high prices. For lack of competition, wages stagnate, and mobility has decreased. “Ten companies control a quarter of the healthcare market”, deplores the decree by criminalizing the lack of vigilance in the control of mergers. Same concentration in telecommunications. More than 200 million Americans live in areas where they only have two broadband providers, leading to significantly higher prices than elsewhere. Farmers are ” caught in a vice »Between the highly concentrated sector from seeds, fertilizers and equipment, and downstream, that of mass distribution, further underlines the decree.

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