July brought headlines announcing, “Biden to sign order to crack down on Big Tech, boost competition ‘across the board’” and “launch [an] assault on monopolies”
Instead, Joe Biden’s executive order on “Promoting Competition in the American Economy” has little to do with promoting competition.
What the “order” — no urging is needed — actually does is give the go-ahead to agency bosses already contemplating further consolidation of federal power over— going alphabetically and probably non-exhaustively — agriculture, airlines, banking, broadband, health, and the technology sector.
Reminiscent of Obama’s “Steps to Increase Competition and Better Inform Consumers and Workers to Support Continued Growth of the American Economy” that got shelved during the Trump interlude, some of the same progressive activists are involved.
Proclaiming that “The American promise of a broad and sustained prosperity depends on an open and competitive economy,” the order rebukes “excessive market concentration.”
Since media headlines appear reluctant to do so, it would seem helpful to point out the obvious, that laissez-faire free enterprise is not the prevailing state of affairs in the United States. Some of the handwringing over “concentration” should be directed at a seemingly unbounded regulatory state with its executive branch overreach and its decline in transparency regarding federal doings.
With centralized regulation comes concentration, and each sector Biden invokes is already heavily regulated and subsidized (for a century in some cases) by the likes of the the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Transportation, and Health and Human Services; and by independent agencies like the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission. The lack of competition attributable to the existence of these bodies needs most of the attention.
Read the full article at Forbes.