What do you get when you succeed? Competition? Maybe. Maybe not. Rich? Maybe. Maybe not? Attacked by elected nattering nabobs of negativism who want to run corporations the way they run the government?
Of course. Yes, the world can be divided into two camps. Men and women. Rich and poor. Educated and less educated. Elected and unelected. Allow me to add to the list with two more camps: Silly and clever.
The Magnificent Seven
One of my favorite westerns is The Magnificent Seven with Yul Brenner. There is something in the human character which prefers an underdog that wins against all odds. Yes, we all love a good success story, and an Indian girl who made it to the U.S. Senate would seem to fall into that group.
Or, not. Blue-eyed Senator Elizabeth Warren, darling of leftists everywhere (except left of her) says the time has arrived. For what?
It’s Time To Break Up Amazon, Google, And Facebook
Fair enough. Git’er done, paleface Pocahontas.
Twenty-five years ago, Facebook, Google, and Amazon didn’t exist. Now they are among the most valuable and well-known companies in the world. It’s a great story — but also one that highlights why the government must break up monopolies and promote competitive markets.
To be fair and balanced, that’s one reason for a government’s existence. Break up monopolies.
How did that work out with Amazon’s battle for eBooks vs. Apple’s Book Store? The government decided to break up the monopoly by suing Apple. The end result was great for the monopoly.
I want a government that makes sure everybody — even the biggest and most powerful companies in America — plays by the rules. And I want to make sure that the next generation of great American tech companies can flourish. To do that, we need to stop this generation of big tech companies from throwing around their political power to shape the rules in their favor and throwing around their economic power to snuff out or buy up every potential competitor.
Let me pause on that “rules” thing. Everyone knows how rules work. The Golden Rule goes something like this: them with the gold get to rule. If they cannot rule, they buy the politicians who rule in their favor.
Now, about monopolies; does Google have a monopoly? No. Does Amazon have a monopoly? No. How about Facebook? Perhaps; because Facebook has more users than all other social media outlets combined, but one can argue that all three abuse their positions in their respective industries, regardless of monopoly status.
Hey. Wait. What about Apple?
Elizabeth Warren wants to break up Apple, too
Sure. Why not? Apple is such a monopoly what with running the iPhone and Mac App Stores and selling their own apps against app developers.
Apple, you’ve got to break it apart from their App Store. It’s got to be one or the other. Either they run the platform or they play in the store. They don’t get to do both at the same time. So it’s the same notion.
This is how Apple looks like Google and Amazon and why Apple should be broken up.
If you run a platform where others come to sell, then you don’t get to sell your own items on the platform because you have two comparative advantages. One, you’ve sucked up information about every buyer and every seller before you’ve made a decision about what you’re going to sell. And second, you have the capacity — because you run the platform — to prefer your product over anyone else’s product. It gives an enormous comparative advantage to the platform.
Fair enough. That ends the debate. Break up Apple, too.
Uh, well, wait a minute. Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon. One of those is not the same. Which one?
Apple does not use data the same way as the other three, and the App Store remains a big revenue and profit driver for app developers; a monopoly for delivery, yes, but that’s about all. Apple publishes a suite of apps that are free for each hardware product. The company easily could segregate those free apps from their respective App Stores and that would end Warren’s biggest complaint, right?
Complaining has become a big business these days; an easy way to get voters who do not fully understand the issues to ante up in a Go Fund Me manner that keeps politicians on their soap boxes and away from reason, clarity, logic, and plausibility– all in the name of equality.
Should the government break up Apple?
Gimme a break.
I can think of a few government institutions that could be broken up with no negative impact to the rest of society. Warren wants a government that makes sure everyone plays by the rules. But, wouldn’t it be better to have a government that plays by the rules first? And does not make up the rules for its own gain?