GOP trustbusters adopt agenda | Notice

IIt’s not too often that Republicans embrace the platform of left-wing Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. But it does happen.

Senator Josh Hawley, the young Republican senator from Missouri, introduced a bill in Congress entitled: “Trustbusting for the Twenty-First Century Act”. This is perhaps a Republican’s most dangerous bill to our economy in ages. It would reduce U.S. competitiveness, cost millions of jobs, penalize companies for their growth and profitability, kill funding for small business startups, and give unprecedented new regulatory powers to lawyers and deep state bureaucrats in Washington.

Hawley isn’t a fan of Big Tech politics – who is? – he therefore wants to give new impetus to the antitrust laws that emerged during the first “progressive era” of the United States. His bill would 1) ban mergers and acquisitions of companies with market capitalizations greater than $ 100 billion; 2) shift the standard of “monopolistic” behavior from “causing harm to consumers” to one that emphasizes “protection of competition”; and 3) dramatically expand the power of federal regulators to contain national high-tech companies.

Hawley, who is a trained lawyer, defends his bill saying, “This country and this government shouldn’t be run by a few mega-corporations. The Republican Party “must once again become the party of the fight against confidence”.

Yikes. It’s like saying we should bring back smallpox.

Self-Confidence is based on the century-old left-wing fairy tale that America was taken over by rapacious “thief barons”. Economist Burt Folsom blew up these progressive lies in his classic book “The Myth of The Robber Barons,” which definitely shows that JP Morgan, Henry Ford, Andrew Mellon, Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt and John D. Rockefeller were anything but bad guys who raped consumers with their monopolistic behavior and their “wealth stocks”. They were the captains of brand new life changing industries. The left has denigrated the prosperity of the “golden age” when these titans of industry helped convert America into the peerless industrial superpower it became in the 20th century. They are heroes who built or supplied the railways, steel and aluminum, our modern financial system, oil and gas, and the auto industry, to name a few.

Monopolies were supposed to be bad because they used their market power and dominance to rip consumers off with ever higher prices. But then, as now, in all industries supposed to be controlled by monopolies, prices fell rapidly; energy prices, transportation prices, financial services, cars and mass consumer goods have become affordable to the middle classes for the first time in the history of the world. Today, Hawley echoes the Liberal Democrats in asserting that America’s total dominance in the trillion-dollar high-tech industries – Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and others – “has not been a success for the consumer ”. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Sergey Brin – villains.

During our lifetime, the cost of cell phones has dropped by 95%; the cost of the Internet has fallen by 98%; the cost of Internet transactions has fallen by over 80%. Globalization has lifted more than a billion people out of poverty. I am not defending the behavior of companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google who discriminate against the Conservatives with their business practices and political interventions.

No free enterprise supporter should ever use Sherman and Clayton’s antitrust laws to expand the size and reach of government and to denigrate entrepreneurs whose “crimes” consist in building better mousetraps at lower cost. This is what capitalism is. America has come to dominate the tech world and keep China, Japan, and the European Union at bay – all of which want to replace us as global dominants. Break Apple, Google or Amazon and the big winner will be Beijing, as they seek to win the race in artificial intelligence, robotics and 5G networks.

All Republicans should reject the return of progressive antitrust assaults on our free market system.

Stephen Moore is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and an economic consultant at FreedomWorks.

About Myra R.

Myra R.

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