Corporate power, monopolies, and freedom / by kevin murray

Currently, the five stocks that have the largest market capitalization in the world, are all relatively young companies, of which each of them is also in the hi-tech industry, which are: Microsoft, Apple, Alphabet (Google), Facebook, and Amazon.  These companies do not answer to the people, at least, they do not answer to the people in a democratic manner, for the people do not vote upon these companies through the ballot box, and therefore the people do not have representatives of their interests to legislate upon with these companies on the most pertinent issues, for these companies are above the democratic process, for they are corporate, and non-governmental.


This thus means, in essence, that is what is good for these companies, is not something that the people have a direct voice to respond to, for this is corporate power, and not governmental power, and corporate power does not answer directly to the people.  Further to the point, each of these companies represents either a monopoly within their main business, or has established so much power and influence, that they are fundamentally monopolistic in their business throughout America.


The problem with any entity that has an enormous amount of monetary capital is that money buys influence as well as money also unduly affects public policy, because money channeled in the right places at the right time, rules the roost.  So too, corporations that have an excess amount of monetary capital, as well as being a monopoly are going to in almost all cases, make it their point, to control everything that they can and need to control, in order to drive forth additional profits, additional growth, and to exploit those that feel compelled to have to utilize their product in each of their monopolistic environments.


So then, what essentially occurs is that concentrated power, essentially overturns and eradicates democratic power, and replaces such with whatever that monopolistic entity deems to be of most beneficence for that corporation, often at the expense of the people.  In fact, the people may not be cognizant of just how much they have sacrificed to these monopolistic powers, because they are beholden to the products that they have, so that these products are considered to be a necessity in their lives, and may in fact, in order for the people to stay current or relevant, actually be a necessity in function.


The appropriate answer to monopolistic power is either for the government to impose itself and therefore to regulate these monopolistic powers, akin to what the government does for utilities; or as an alternative the government must break up these dangerous concentrations of power, through the usage of antitrust laws so that monopoly power is eradicated and replaced with smaller and independent companies, that actually compete against one another.


The capitalistic system in regards to these five hi-tech behemoths is absolutely broken.  Because it is broken, each of these companies has been allowed to expand dramatically its power, its influence, and its footprint in a way that they are each a clear and present danger to our democracy.  What is good for these companies and their massive profits is almost certainly not good for the people, and most definitely not good for our democracy.  If this government will not rein in monopolistic corporations by vigorous and effective regulation or by meaningful antitrust activity, then our rulers and legislatures will not be those that have been democratically elected but rather will be instead, hi-tech barons, and we will be their dutiful serfs.