Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Robert Reich Calls for Internet Companies to be Split Up

He writes at NYT (my highlight)

[A]s has happened before with other forms of property, the most politically influential owners of the new property are doing their utmost to increase their profits by creating monopolies that must eventually be broken up...
 Despite an explosion in the number of websites over the last decade, page views are becoming more concentrated. While in 2001, the top 10 websites accounted for 31 percent of all page views in America, by 2010 the top 10 accounted for 75 percent. Google and Facebook are now the first stops for many Americans seeking news — while Internet traffic to much of the nation’s newspapers, network television and other news gathering agencies has fallen well below 50 percent of all traffic. Meanwhile, Amazon is now the first stop for almost a third of all American consumers seeking to buy anything. Talk about power.

Reich doesn't understand the difference between market power and government power. No one is forcing web surfers go to Google, Facebook or Amazon. There is large traffic to these sites because those sites provide services that a large part of the population considers useful.

Reich emphasizes his confusion with his closing paragraph in the essay:
Yet as long as we remain obsessed by the debate over the relative merits of the “free market” and “government,” we have little hope of seeing what’s occurring and taking the action that’s needed to make our economy work for the many, not the few.
Free markets are never about coercion, government regulations always are,



  1. Notice how no corporation is too small to not be broken up by them as they see fit, but bring up the word "secession" to these people and they will look at you like you're from Mars.

  2. Reich is entirely correct about monopolies. Certainly, nothing would be better than to break up (into perhaps about 50 pieces) that terrible monopoly known (incorrectly) as the US "federal" government.

  3. I'd say that the statists are obsessed with obscuring the clear and simple differences between the “free market” and “government,” In both their historical and current events anecdotes. Everyday, all of the time. And libertarian-ish types let them get away with it.

  4. "There can’t be a market without government." Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight....

  5. At this time, many companies are willing to start their operation in the United Arab Emirates especially in Dubai because it is the safest place for their businesses. The rising cost of building is an issue but many people sale properties in Dubai and you can find it.