Gordon Brown, Business and the Monopoly Motive

Posted by: on Oct 26, 2014 | No Comments

adamsmithAdam Smith said if you left businessmen in a room together they would collude and fix the market or attempt to build monopolies. Adam Smith didn’t become infamous because he was inaccurate. What a shame his fellow Kirkcaldy resident, Gordon Brown didn’t have the same insight. Mr Smith’s invisible hand trumps Mr Brown’s withered left fist, every time. Gordon Brown regulated the people and forgot about the stealth concentrations of power in the banks and mega corporations. They say you shouldn’t look back with anger, but that old dog has had his day. Fast forward to the here and now and we see nothing changes under the sun, unless forced to.

Why do predators and socio-paths like monopolies so much? If you knock over the sweets, or shout shark in the swimming pool, watch them scramble, and while they’re not watching, anything is possible, and has been. The whole of Europe should realise corporations cannot vote, only people. While populations have been distracted by the latest “fascinator” like dancing dogs or strictly come dancing, corporations have through lobbying, corrupted our politicians and political processes. The balance of power must be rebalanced, and corporations must pay their fair share in taxation to sustain the markets which feed them. <And while on the subject of Europe, the younger generation must be sick and tired of unemployment and lack of purpose, and while they are tied to the Euro in its present form, how will things improve.>

May I suggest a one-off corporate tax, on mega “monopoly merchant” corporations such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Ebay, Amazon etal to help pay for climate change and the deficit which was created more than partly for their survival. They have been the main beneficiaries of record low interest rates and are brimming full of cash, taxpayer cash. Such a progressive or robin hood tax would help reconfigure the normal distribution back into the hands of sovereign democracies and by extension the populace.

As in the UK / EU exit question, any argument that business will leave is myopic at best, and farcical at worst. Businesses exist to satisfy needs, in the case of the UK, 65+ million of them. These people demand at the very least food, drink, warmth, security…. All these needs are demanded by human beings, and if not satisfied by existing businesses they will be satisfied by new ones who move quickly to fill the void. Monopolies and other concentrations of economic power are, and have always been, the temptations for the dangerous and destructive and greedy, and unless disbanded, the Invisible hand cannot operate. Adam Smith was right to say, free and competitive markets, coupled with limited government, motivates individuals to exercise productive self interest for the greater good of society.

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