Silicon Valley in 2000. Photographer: David McNew/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

American Corporations Are Winning Their War On Capitalism (Part 2 of The Myth of Capitalism)

Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft have bought more than 500 companies in the past decade. These giants are looking for the younger fast growers.
Today firms find it is more profitable to restrict production than to invest in growing. Think of airlines that don’t want more capacity, beer companies that don’t expand plants, and cable companies that don’t upgrade infrastructure.
Instead, firms take their high profits and plow them into share buybacks. The money goes to wealthy shareholders who spend less relative to their income than poor people. And so low investment and low consumption are tied together.

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Bezos Monopoly

Amazon Doesn’t Just Want to Dominate the Market—It Wants to Become the Market

Chamath Palihapitiya, a venture capitalist and owner of the Golden State Warriors, put a name to it: Amazon, he told an audience of fellow investors, “is a multitrillion-dollar monopoly hiding in plain sight.”
Economists have recently begun to document a link between corporate concentration and rising inequality. Dominant companies, they’re finding, are funneling the spoils to a small number of people at the top. And by reducing the number of their competitors, these companies are also making it harder for workers to get a fair wage and for producers to get a fair price. A particularly troubling data point in this research is the loss of a long-standing pathway to a middle-class life: starting a business. The number of new firms launched each year has fallen by nearly two-thirds since 1980, and many economists believe that corporate power is to blame.

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Bezos’ Decision to Raise Wages is Largely a Machiavellian Distraction

For the many low wage Amazon workers — both full time and temporary — set to receive a raise thanks to the just announced boost in minimum pay to $15/hour, the news is certainly a big plus. It should also be noted that had Amazon not been subject to intense scrutiny and criticism from the likes of Bernie Sanders and others, Jeff Bezos never would have responded with such an aggressive move. That said, if you think a little beyond the surface level about why he’s doing this now and what his real motives are, it becomes clear nobody should take this move at face value.

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