The Monopolization of America

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Corporate Crime Reporter - You walk into your local convenience store and head to the cold walk-in beer room in the back. The choice is overwhelming. Budweiser, Michelob, Bud Light, Busch Light, Stella Artois, Grolsch, Kirin,Tsingtao, Corona, Negra Modelo, Rolling Rock, Widmer, Miller and Coors.

In fact, all of these beers are controlled by two companies.

MillerCoors under the direction of South African Breweries (SAB) and AnheuserBusch In Bev.

Two multinational corporations controlling the beer choices of 300 million Americans.

And it’s not just beer.

One single multinational corporation dominates the world supply of eyeglass stores.

One dominates the milk supply.

Barry Lynn goes down the list of industries. And he finds a similar story across the board.

A handful of multinational corporations controlling each industry – or the supply chains of each industry. Such dominant monopolies were illegal just thirty years ago. But that all changed with Ronald Reagan and Robert Bork.

A corporatist oligarchy took hold.

President Obama has promised aggressive antitrust enforcement. But Lynn says it’s pie in the sky.

“It will take more than a lawsuit or two to overthrow America’s corporatist oligarchy and restore a model of capitalism that protects our rights as property holders and citizens,” Lynn argues in his new book – Cornered: The New Monopoly Capitalism and the Economics of Destruction (Wiley, 2010).

Antitrust law was developed to protect the political economy from extreme concentrations of corporate power.

Then came Reagan and Bork. In 1978, Bork said we should have a consumer welfare test.

If economic concentration is good for the consumer – think Wal-Mart – then let it be. Read more.


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