Tearing down private enterprise to enhance Big Government
Over in the House of Representatives, a bipartisan gaggle of members is putting forward legislation that would force some of the nation’s biggest technology companies to break-up or spin-off certain portions of their business.
Like so many of official Washington’s worst ideas, they allege it’s all for our own good:
“Unregulated tech monopolies have too much power over our economy,” said Rep. David Cicilline (D., R.I.), the top Democrat on the House Antitrust Subcommittee. “They are in a unique position to pick winners and losers, destroy small businesses, raise prices on consumers, and put folks out of work. Our agenda will level the playing field.”
Substitute “government” for “tech” and you see the problem. The real threat to small businesses, consumers, workers, the economy and a lot more is – and always has been – big government. And make no mistake: government picks winners and losers all the time. That’s what makes crony capitalism a growth industry in DC.
But don’t look for an antitrust subcommittee to police its own. What we get instead is more projection:
Rep. Ken Buck (R., Col.), the panel’s top Republican, said he supports the bill because it “breaks up Big Tech’s monopoly power to control what Americans see and say online, and fosters an online market that encourages innovation.”
And it transfers these powers to big government….which is exactly what the First Amendment was designed to prevent.
The eagerness of so many in the political class to sacrifice private action and enterprise on the altar of state power is troubling. That a bipartisan clutch of pols would also toss the First Amendment on the fire makes it even worse.