Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google Should be Broken Up

Gladiators

In Fast Company, Douglas Rushkoff wrote “It’s Time To Break Up Amazon:”
Whatever you may think of Jeff Bezos, and whether or not antitrust regulations can justifiably be applied to a company whose expansion doesn’t raise but actually lowers costs for end consumers, may be beside the point. Many of us get that something is amiss, but are ourselves so deeply enmeshed in the logic of last century’s version of free-market industrial capitalism that we can’t quite bring ourselves to call this out for the threat it poses to our markets, our economy, and even our planet….

Douglas Rushkoff

The problem is, when an existing market is merely a means to another end, the company doesn’t consider the long-term effects of its actions. Amazon treated the book industry the same way companies like Walmart once treated the territories into which they expanded: Use a war chest of capital to undercut prices, put competitors out of business, become the sole employer in the community, turn employees into part-time shift workers, lobby for deregulation, and effectively extract all the value from a given region before closing up shop and moving to the next one.

Fat Cats

This model of doing business—one that even a proto-fascist like Henry Ford would have considered obscene—has not served corporations well. As the data now reveals, corporate profits have been steadily decreasing relative to corporate size over the past 75 years…. And by sucking their customers and suppliers dry, such companies end up destroying the marketplaces on which they depend for revenue. It’s a form of financial obesity, where the only thing left for the company to do is acquire a new marketplace, extract all its value, and move on.

Scott Galloway

At Business Insider’s IGNITION conference, Scott Galloway gave a presentation on why “The Big Four” — Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google — should be broken up. Galloway is a professor of marketing at the NYU Stern School of Business and the author of “The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google.”


Large corporations

Scott Galloway: After studying these companies pretty intensely for two years, and working in and around them for the last ten. I believe… actually I know these companies should be broken up.

fake news

The majority of fake news is being sponsored by social media. Legitimize fake media by putting legitimate news next to it on its platforms.

Putin and Zuckerberg
Facebook is a media company
Platform
Unprofitable
Innovation
We need to do better
Liberal illusin
Apple avoiding taxes

Markets are failing!

Capitalism

Google was able to prosper because of the Justice Department’s intervention of Microsoft.

Retail

We break them up because we are Capitalist.

From Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer—And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson:
Practically every aspect of labor and financial markets is shaped by government policy, for good or ill. As the great political economist Karl Polanyi famously argued in the 1940s, even the ostensibly freest markets require the extensive exercise of the coercive power of the state—to enforce contracts, to govern the formation of unions, to spell out the rights and obligations of corporations, to shape who has standing to bring legal actions, to define what constitutes an unacceptable conflict of interest, and on and on. The libertarian vision of a night-watchman state gently policing an unfettered free market is a philosophical conceit, not a description of reality.
The intertwining of government and markets is nothing new. The frontier was settled because government granted land to the pioneers, killed off, or rounded up Native Americans, created private monopolies to forge a nationwide transportation and industrial network, and linked the land settled with the world’s largest postal system. Similarly, the laissez-faire capitalism of the early twentieth century was underpinned by a government that kept unions at bay, created a stable money supply, erected trade barriers that sheltered the new manufacturing giants, protected entrepreneurs from debtors’ prison and corporations from liability, and generally made business the business of government.
When the political economy of the Gilded Age collapsed, it was government that reinvented American capitalism. With the arrival of the New Deal, the federal government took on a much more active role in redistributing income through the tax code and public programs. But the activist state that emerged did not just involve a new layer of redistribution. It fundamentally recast the national economy through the construction of a new industrial relations system, detailed and extensive regulation of corporations and financial markets, and a vast network of subsidies to companies producing everything from oil to soybeans. It also made huge direct investments in education and research—the GI Bill, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health—promoting the development of technological innovations and a skilled workforce that continue to drive American economic productivity….
Once we see policy, rather than electoral victory, as the grand prize of political conflict, we see politics for what it is: a contest with big and often enduring stakes—a contest more like the one that gladiators played in the Roman Colosseum than the one the Celtics and Lakers play in the Staples Center. And who are the contestants? Who are the political gladiators? They are not, for the most part, atomized voters. The main competitors, the ones in the ring from start to finish wielding their weapons and enduring each other’s blows, are organized groups….
What does it take for weakly informed and aware voters to attract Washington’s sustained notice? It takes organization. To be more than bystanders in American politics wondering whom to shoot, voters need strong organizational mooring and consistent cues to recognize and respond to changes in public policy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s