The Ideological Roots of America’s Market Power Problem
June 4, 2018
Mounting research shows that America has a market power problem. In sectors ranging from airlines and poultry to eyeglasses and semiconductors, just a handful of companies dominate. The decline in competition is so consistent across markets that excessive concentration and undue market power now look to be not an isolated issue but rather a systemic feature of America’s political economy. This is troubling because monopolies and oligopolies produce a host of harms. They depress wages and salaries, raise consumer costs, block entrepreneurship, stunt investment, retard innovation, and render supply chains and complex systems highly fragile. Dominant firms’ economic power allows them, in turn, to concentrate political power, which they then use to win favorable policies and further entrench their dominance.