Free Market Good – Monopolies Bad

Teddy Roosevelt was a progressive that promoted bigger government, often against Constitutional constraints. However, he did one thing that promoted free markets and tore down the old baron robber corporations of his day: he was a trust buster.

What is a Trust? It is a big monopoly that uses immoral and sometimes illegal methods to retain its monopoly. In doing this, it allows the monopoly to remove/destroy competition and cause its customers to pay whatever price the monopoly sets.

Breaking up such monopolies are painful in the short term, but benefit the nation and Americans in the long run. For example, Standard Oil was a monopoly that had its own railroads and controlled the price of oil and gas everywhere. It was a big company that forced everyone else out. Once broken into several smaller oil companies, those smaller companies were allowed to compete with one another, innovate, and create a market that is a thousand times larger than the original Standard Oil.

In the early 1980s, the government broke AT&T apart. Prior to that action, there was no competition. You rented your equipment at their price. Long distance calls were expensive. Copper wire was still being used, after decades of Ma Bell not needing to innovate. However, once AT&T was broken up into a bunch of “Baby Bells,” Sprint, MCI and other companies came forward with the first fiber networks. Soon, better technologies emerged, including satellite, personal computers networked, Internet/WWW, cell phones, etc. It is amazing what innovation occurred after the juggernaut trust was broken.

Today, we are threatened by several new and terrible monopolies: Google/Youtube, Facebook and Twitter. These are especially pernicious, because they own our lives. For the past decade or more, they have tracked our every movement online. While smart ads and GPS locators are convenient, it has also given these three companies a huge amount of information on us.

Even that probably isn’t enough to merit trust busting, though. The following IS worthy of breaking these companies up into smaller ones:

These three control our thoughts. They are the main purveyors of speech today. All claim to be platforms, not publishers. IOW, they don’t control the content that users put up, they just provide a service. This protects them from lawsuits, which makes sense. But, when they begin acting like publishers, editing what things are allowed on their sites, they suddenly become dangerous. Why does the founder of Facebook ask the federal government to regulate his company? Because he likes being a monopoly with no competition!

Youtube has demonetized several people/groups, especially conservative groups that depend on advertisement proceeds to finance their projects. Others they have removed entirely from Youtube. Right now, they are removing every instance of people denying the Holocaust. While you and I dislike everything about Hitler and those who admire him today, freedom of speech is necessary to prevent them from later shutting down our voices.

For example, Twitter has shut off access to a Pro-Life/Anti-Abortion Group and will not allow them back on until they remove every video of a sonogram of a living fetus, or video of abortions on both Twitter and their own website. Yet, that is exactly what their program is all about: protecting the lives of the unborn.

Facebook is notorious for removing voices off their site, primarily conservative voices.

Yes, some of these voices are offensive or annoying. Others (like the Holocaust deniers, or Flat Earth Society) are plain wrong. But for freedom to win, all voices must be heard. The only exceptions should be to stop child porn/trafficking, inciting violence, and other illegal actions on that level. Otherwise, without freedom of speech, the world and America will end up forgetting the events of the past, and move towards a Jacobin society that will eat its own young and old, simply because Big Brother – founded on big government and corporatism – will have sold our souls to the devil of tyranny.

Please do not ask government to regulate these corporations. We do NOT want eternal monopolies to exist. We want freedom of expression and speech to reign supreme. The only way for that to happen is for government to become the Trust Busters they were back in Teddy Roosevelt’s day.

Write your Congress people, and the White House. Please!


1 thought on “Free Market Good – Monopolies Bad

  1. Your last paragraph gives me some pause. Don’t let the government regulate in “bad” ways, but do let the government regulate in “good” ways? That’s a tough sell.

    I have said, and maintain, that technological advancement will break Facebook faster and more completely than any law. The coming 5G rollout will open so much bandwidth that a slew of competitor platforms will be able to emerge, probably built on the backs of the streaming services, which are competing *fiercely* for subscribers. And that plethora of platforms will mean people can go where they feel respected. You can’t legislate that.

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