Here’s why Elizabeth Warren could be big corporations' 'worst nightmare'
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, according to some recent polls, has been surging in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary — and appears to be cutting into some of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ support. Philosophically, Warren and Sanders have many things in common, including a strong disdain for corporate monopolies. And the damage that giant monopolies can do was a recurring theme during a recent interview with the American Prospect’s David Dayen. According to the Prospect, Warren could be a monopolist’s "worst nightmare."
When Dayen noted that there “probably” hasn’t been this much focus on monopolies in a presidential race in the U.S. since 1912, Warren responded that the “central question in America today is who government works for….. Is it just going to work for the rich and the powerful, or is it going to work for everyone else? Antitrust cuts right to the heart of that.”
Because of so many corporate mergers and acquisitions, Warren stressed during the interview, giant corporations have been able to dodge competition and become monopolies.
“We’ve had a government that has kissed up to every giant corporation for decades,” Warren told Dayen. “It has weakened antitrust enforcement, looked the other way on mergers, passed on deals that everyone knew were anti-competitive and would be bad for the economy and bad for competition but good for the bottom line of the companies that wanted it.”
Looking back on the early 1980s, Warren recalled that President Ronald Reagan famously said, “What are the nine worst words in the English language? I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” That “mantra,” Warren explained, has been echoed by “most of the Republican Party and a big chunk of the Democratic Party” for “40 years now.”
But in 2019, Warren emphasized, Americans “increasingly see that the problem is not an overreaching government — the problem is a government that won’t get in the fight on the side of the people.”
Many Americans, Warren explained, have been convinced “that it’s government that poses the threat to all of the rest of America and must be held at arm’s length” and are “missing the fact that it’s government that balances out the power of these giant corporations. And without an effective government to enforce antitrust laws — and other laws — we’re all in trouble.”