The business model that was set up post-Civil War has allowed the economic power of America to become increasingly concentrated. As a big company grew, it would do so by consuming other smaller competitors in the market, this growth began to give them a disproportionate share of the market’s holdings. This concentration of economic might has put the scepter of wealth in the hands of an elite 1% of the American populous. When control is condensed into such a small body a monopoly is created – one firm (corporate person) produces the entire output in the market for which there is no close substitute for its product. In 1890 the first antitrust acts were passed to restrain the actions of corporate cartels who sought to corner their markets. Along with two pieces of 1914 legislature the Clayton Antitrust Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC); The Sherman Antitrust Act made it a crime to create a monopoly, Clayton prohibits any practice that tends to create a monopoly by lessening competition, and the FTC has been set up as a watchdog.
The breakup of monopolies led companies to diversification up to the 1970’s when corporate and government officials decided that regulations were holding economic growth back. The rules of the game were once again changing and the corporate “people” teamed up against the consumer. Deregulation of markets is done under the assumption that the “invisible hand” will ultimately control the ebb and flow of them; this is all well and fine under the assumption that those who are acting in the marketplace are benevolent in spirit and action, a perfect (model) marketplace, which is never the case in the real world. The fact of the matter is when people know or think they are being watched, they behave better. If however, they know for a fact that they are not, then there is tendency to act selfish and carelessly. This has serious effects on how they treat consumers. Business then becomes about the bottom line and the consumer is lost in the schemes to get at their money. The deregulation of California’s energy market facilitated the Enron Corporation to manipulate and essentially monopolize it. Enron controlled the supply to such an extent that they would shut plants down for “maintenance” during peak hours to drive the prices up.
In today’s economy we find ourselves struggling. Globalization has forced our industries and our dollars to compete in the world market. The hardships we are facing have been brought about in part by the close ties of the “comerica ex machina” and a government that enabled a pseudo-fascist mentality to conspire to keep the power concentrated in the hands of the elite. In a deregulated free market a company can do very well in the short run and fail in the long run as tastes change or malfeasance comes to light. This has hurt consumers not only in pricing and product quality but, industry is lacking the innovation required to remain competitive and has become reliant on the government to bail them out. Efficiency sacrificed for price is bad in the long run for both business and consumer alike.
What would happen then if we revoked the 14th amendment from the corporatocracy? As a person a corporation has been labeled a psychopath by F.B.I. guidelines and has been protected under law to not only exist but, encouraged to maintain its practices. In our society if someone is a psychopath with sociopathic tendencies they are put away. In corporate America, as a person, the companies are operated with schizophrenic, dissociative-identity-disorder as it is a group of fallible individuals acting as one person. Would the CEOs of these huge multinationals not take but, be put the place responsibility lies for their decisions and actions? Thus the cycle continues as we once again are looking to our government to find a way back to the black.