The Hidden History of Monopolies

Book description

“This is the most important, dynamic book on the cancers of monopoly by giant corporations written in our generation.”—from the foreword by Ralph Nader

American monopolies dominate, control, and consume most of the energy of our entire economic system; they function the same as cancer does in a body, and, like cancer, they weaken our systems while threatening to crash the entire body economic. American monopolies have also seized massive political power and use it to maintain their obscene profits and CEO salaries while crushing small competitors.

But Thom Hartmann, America's #1 progressive radio host, shows we've broken the control of behemoths like these before, and we can do it again.

Hartmann takes us from the birth of America as a revolt against monopoly (remember the Boston Tea Party?), to the largely successful efforts of both Presidents Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt and other like-minded leaders to restrain corporations' monopolistic urges, to the massive changes in the rules of business starting during the “Reagan Revolution” that have brought us to the cancer stage of capitalism.

He shows the damage monopolies have done to so many industries: agriculture, healthcare, the media, and more. Individuals have taken a hit as well: the average American family pays a $5,000 a year “monopoly tax” in the form of higher prices for everything from pharmaceuticals to airfare to household goods and food. But Hartmann also describes commonsense, historically rooted measures we can take—such as revitalizing antitrust regulation, taxing great wealth, and getting money out of politics—to pry control of our country from the tentacles of the monopolists.

Table of contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. Foreword
  7. Introduction: Cancer and Monopoly
    1. Monopoly Kills: Competition, Creativity, and Americans
  8. Part One: America Was Founded on Resistance to Monopoly
    1. Birthed in the Fight Against Monopoly
    2. The Founders Challenge Monopoly
    3. Madison’s Vision: Government to Fight Factions
    4. The Founders on Patents and Copyrights
    5. The Monopolists Rise Up
    6. Progressives Fight Back
  9. Part Two: Conservatives and Modern Monopolies vs. the Middle Class
    1. Monopoly in the 20th Century: Roosevelt Warns of Concentrated Wealth and Fascism
    2. Monopoly and Fascism in America Today
    3. Where Did America’s Middle Class Come From?
    4. Where Did America’s Middle Class Go?
    5. How Reaganomics Killed the Jetsons
    6. Reaganomics Ensured American Leisure for the Few, Not the Many
    7. More Unequal than Rome
    8. How the Monopolists Stole the US Government
    9. Government as a Monopoly?
    10. Commons vs. Private
    11. Libertarians Object
    12. The New Feudalism
    13. From Route 66 to Anytown, USA
    14. The Borking of America
    15. The Fortunes Bork Made
    16. Monopoly Is Anti-business
  10. Part Three: Living Monopoly Today and in Praise of Inefficiency
    1. Monopoly in Milk: The End of a Family Dairy Farm
    2. Big Ag Mergers
    3. Monopoly in Pharma: Big Private Profits from Publicly Granted Patents
    4. Just Three Companies
    5. Hospital Consolidation Kills
    6. Monopoly in Media: How Big Money Controls the Stories We Tell
    7. The Early Days of Fox: Losing Money to Gain Political Power
    8. Unbundling Cable, Phones, and TV
    9. Turning Financial Power into Political Power
    10. The Racial Wealth Monopoly
    11. Monopolies over Labor
    12. Cheap Labor, and Getting Cheaper
    13. Less for Labor Means More for CEOs
    14. Solution: Democracy’s Immune System
    15. Solution: Replace the “Consumer Welfare” Framework
    16. Solution: Break Up the Internet Giants
    17. Solution: Bring Back the Corporate Death Penalty
    18. Solution: Ban Preemption Laws Written by Corporations
    19. The Core Solution: Competition
  11. Notes
  12. Acknowledgments
  13. Index
  14. About the Author

Product information

  • Title: The Hidden History of Monopolies
  • Author(s): Thom Hartmann
  • Release date: August 2020
  • Publisher(s): Berrett-Koehler Publishers
  • ISBN: 9781523087754