Sunday

Obama to gut corporations with antitrust legislation?


While prerusing the headlines on a relatively slow news Sunday I found this article on MSNBC: Antitrust chief hits resistance in crackdown


At face value this would seem to be a relatively innocuous non-story but buried on page two was the following passage that gave me great pause:


In a third area, a White House effort to overhaul financial regulation, officials weighed but rejected a significant antitrust role as a way to reduce the size of large companies considered too big to be allowed to fail.

“The struggles between the expert agencies and the Justice Department get to the heart and soul of exactly what the competition policy of the Obama administration will be,” said Mark Cooper, an antitrust expert and director of research at the Consumer Federation of America, an advocacy group.


He added: “Now you have an antitrust division that cares about competition, and it is running up against the expert agencies that haven’t changed their attitudes yet.”


What Mr. Cooper seems to indicate is that the Obama administration is planning to use antitrust regulations to effect yet another form of socio-corporate engineering. It drips with anti-corporate sentiment and should cause the hearts of corporate giants like Wal-Mart to skip a beat.


For the moment it appears that the idea has been rejected and I would take some solice in that fact if not for the final sentence in the excerpt which clearly state that this idea has not been dead lined but simply put on the back burner for a time.


Think for a moment of the implications of such a policy; what does it mean to “reduce the size of large companies considered too big to be allowed to fail.” That statement should send a cold chill down the spine of every large corporation and every small business as well.


The statement does not delineate what the benchmark for “too large to be allowed to fail” is. It does not clearly define what is meant by reducing the size of said companies. It does clearly indicate an animus on the part of this administration towards companies that have remained successful despite the economic downturn.


Maybe we should be asking why this idea was being considered in the first place. Why when so many companies are struggling and laying off employees are we looking to eviscerate those that have remained healthy; why is this administration looking to damage the remaining few employers when so many are already unemployed.


It would seem that this proposed direction would fly in the face of logic and has no basis in our constitution. There seems to be no allegation that these companies are engaged in any violations of antitrust legislation. Their crime simply seems to be nothing more than “success”. When did it become national policy to punish the successful?


We should remain vigilant as this administration has demonstrated its unwillingness to allow its policies to die untimely deaths. This insidious concept will reappear in some for or another and may gain popularity as economic conditions worsen. For some reason misery loves company and there are those who would argue that no one else has a right to succeed when so many are doing poorly. Welcome to the new world order where the only safe monopoly is the Obama administration.

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