How big tech got so damn big

Enter the trustbusters, led by Senator John Sherman, author of the 1890 Sherman Act, America’s first antitrust law. In arguing for his bill, Sherman said to the Senate: “If we will not endure a King as a political power we should not endure a King over the production, transportation, and sale of the necessaries of life. If we would not submit to an emperor we should not submit to an autocrat of trade with power to prevent competition and to fix the price of any commodity.”

In other words, when a company gained too much power, it became the same kind of kingly authority that the colonists overthrew in 1776. Government “by the people, of the people, and for the people” was incompatible with concentrated corporate power from companies so large that they were able to determine how people lived their lives, made their incomes, and structured their cities and towns.

Break up big tech. Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook – they need to be chopped up into smaller parts that need to compete with one another. The amount of life this will breathe into the economy, as well as the burst of innovation that it will cause, will do more for people’s lives than a trillion nonsense trickle-down policies that favour the rich and powerful.


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