The Great Reversal: How America Gave Up On Free Markets (2017) Philippon

Underconsumed Knowledge
1 min readJun 9, 2022

American markets have become less free due to decreased competition. They have returned more earnings to shareholders and put less money into investment. Investment spurs growth in the economy. Increased profit margins decrease other economic activity, such as buying, which has a ripple effect. Thus, this lack of competition in markets has come at the expense of the people. The lack of competition is primarily due to the entrenched interests erecting barriers to entry via excessive regulation (or not enough regulation). Mergers have increased and antitrust actions have decreased. Barriers to entry for new businesses are high and increasing. Author claims Europe has shown that properly regulating markets via antitrust actions and independent regulators can ensure competition in markets and decreases in prices to consumers. The U.S. electoral system has far more money involved than that of Europe, and the average federal legislator spends 30 hours a week fundraising. American healthcare is just more expensive (by price), and is a quasi-government system already. Economic superstar FANG type firms employ few and contribute little to economic activity. Idea of consumption inequality vs. Income inequality an interesting footnote (the former being not so bad as the latter)

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Underconsumed Knowledge

"For the time being I gave up writing -- there is already too much truth in the world -- an overproduction which apparently cannot be consumed!" Otto Rank, 1933