(Certainly governments do take actions to reduce harm or otherwise improve the lives of the people. This is often, even typically, the result of political action by citizens. This post gives examples.)
Revealed: The true extent of America’s food monopolies, and who pays the priceNina Lakhani, Aliya Uteuova and Alvin ChangThe Guardian July 14, 2021 The Guardian and Food and Water Watch investigation into 61 popular grocery items reveals that the top companies control an average of 64% of sales. For 85% of the groceries analyzed, four firms or fewer controlled more than 40% of market share. It’s widely agreed that consumers, farmers, small food companies and the planet lose out if the top four firms control 40% or more of total sales.
This is tax evasion, plain and simpleGabriel Zucman and Gus WezerekNew York Times July 7, 2021 (Opinion) A very clear article with wonderful graphics. The article shows the drastic reduction in corporate taxes and rise in personal taxes that has occurred since 1950. In 1950 corporate taxes were more than 6 percent of US national income while payroll taxes were 2 percent. In the years that followed corporate income tax dropped to less than 2 percent of national income while payroll taxes increased to almost 8 percent, which is where they both are today. A second major point:, even if the global minimum corporate tax is approved, taxing multinationals at 15 percent would still leave them facing a lower rate than the average American pays in state and federal income tax.
Facebook’s FTC court win is a much-needed wake-up call for CongressMark MacCarthyBrookings July 7, 2021 US antitrust law as conceived and practiced today is unable to cope with the growing challenges of Big Tech. The many references in the opinion to “lawful monopolies” underscore that current antitrust doctrine, a durable monopoly is not illegal. Indeed, current doctrine also encourages companies to treat the goal of a permanent lawful monopoly as an incentive to develop an attractive new technology or service.
Identifying the policy levers generating wage suppression and wage inequalityLawrence Mishel and Josh BivensEconomic Policy Institute May 13, 2021 This paper presents evidence that the divorce between the growth of median compensation and productivity, the inequality of compensation, and the erosion of labor’s share of income has been generated primarily through intentional policy decisions designed to suppress typical workers’ wage growth, the failure to improve and update existing policies, and the failure to thwart new corporate practices and structures aimed at wage suppression.
Rigged: How globalization and the rules of the modern economy were structured to make the rich richerDean Baker June 23, 2021 (Access a free PDF copy or purchase a paperback from this page.) There has been an enormous upward redistribution of income in the United States in the last four decades. In his most recent book, Baker shows that this upward redistribution was not the result of globalization and the natural workings of the market. Rather it was the result of conscious policies that were designed to put downward pressure on the wages of ordinary workers while protecting and enhancing the incomes of those at the top. Baker explains how rules on trade, patents, copyrights, corporate governance, and macroeconomic policy were rigged to make income flow upward.