The Myth of Capitalism
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The Myth of Capitalism : Monopolies and the Death of Competition

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The Myth of Capitalism tells the story of how America has gone from an open, competitive marketplace to an economy where a few very powerful companies dominate key industries that affect our daily lives. Digital monopolies like Google, Facebook and Amazon act as gatekeepers to the digital world. Amazon is capturing almost all online shopping dollars. We have the illusion of choice, but for most critical decisions, we have only one or two companies, when it comes to high speed Internet, health insurance, medical care, mortgage title insurance, social networks, Internet searches, or even consumer goods like toothpaste. Every day, the average American transfers a little of their pay check to monopolists and oligopolists. The solution is vigorous anti-trust enforcement to return America to a period where competition created higher economic growth, more jobs, higher wages and a level playing field for all. The Myth of Capitalism is the story of industrial concentration, but it matters to everyone, because the stakes could not be higher. It tackles the big questions of: why is the US becoming a more unequal society, why is economic growth anemic despite trillions of dollars of federal debt and money printing, why the number of start-ups has declined, and why are workers losing out.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 163 x 234 x 23mm | 582g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1. Auflage
  • 1119548195
  • 9781119548195
  • 22,570

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Capitalism is the greatest economic system in history. It has lifted people from poverty and created widespread wealth for billions of people. Unfortunately, the so-called capitalism that exists in today's United States is the antithesis of a competitive marketplace. Monopolies and oligopolies dominate the economy, with a few winners and millions of losers. The Myth of Capitalism explains how we got to this state and clearly points the way back to open markets that work for everyone.

Capitalism without competition is not capitalism, but in industry after industry, competition is dying. Consider these facts: Four airlines dominate airline traffic, often enjoying local monopolies or duopolies in their regional hubs Two corporations control 90% of the beer Americans drink Five banks control over half of the country's banking assets More than 75% of households with high-speed Internet access are serviced by a single provider Many states have health insurance markets where the top two insurers have an 80-90% market share Many hospitals are local monopolies, and drug companies have monopolies through patents that are endlessly extended

Without competition, everyone suffers. Giant corporations squeeze workers' wages. Companies grow fat with record profits, sending trillions to the wealthiest. Unjust inequality rises. Dominant monopolies choke startups and manipulate markets to their advantage. Voters feel that markets are rigged, and populist politicians triumph. A truly competitive system prevents unjust inequality, averts price gouging, fosters economic growth, and encourages startups.

The Myth of Capitalism bridges the gap between the left and the right. The authors are unabashedly pro-competition, not pro-big business. Big business is not bad, but too often size has come through mergers that have subverted capitalism. The proposed solutions offer a path back to higher economic growth, more jobs, higher wages, and a level playing field for all.
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Back cover copy

Praise for The Myth of Capitalism

"'Capitalism without competition is not capitalism, ' writes Jonathan Tepper in The Myth of Capitalism. He is right. After decades when most economists dismissed antitrust actions as superfluous so long as consumers were not the victims of price-gouging, we are slowly waking up to the reality that monopoly capitalism is back -- and it can be harmful even if its core products (as in the case of Google and Facebook) are free. But it's not just Big Tech that's killing competition. As Tepper shows in this engagingly written polemic, there's also excessive concentration in air travel, banking, beef, beer, health insurance, Internet access, and even the funeral industry. If you want to understand the real cause of rising inequality, discard Piketty and read Tepper instead. This is a tract for the times with a rare bipartisan appeal."
--Niall Ferguson, Milbank Family Senior Fellow, the Hoover Institution, Stanford, and author of The Ascent of Money

"Tepper and Hearn have written an impressive and important book, documenting via their own research and that of many scholars, the very substantial increase in concentration on the supply side of US industry, leading to a decline in competition and a substantial shift in market and political power away from consumers and labor and toward the owners of capital. The consequences extend to rising inequality, slowing productivity growth, and shifts in the pattern of regulation in favor of corporations. Pieces of these growth patterns have been described before. But this book uniquely pulls it all together. One hopes that it will have the impact that it clearly deserves."
--Michael Spence, Economics professor at Stern School of Business NYU, Nobel Prize in Economics (2001)

"What's wrong with American capitalism today? Why is it so good for the elite, and so bad for everyone else? Is inequality the problem? Tepper and Hearn make the case that inequality is the symptom, not the disease. The problem is too little competition, not too much. They provide an immensely readable and persuasive account, superbly well-informed by a mass of recent data and research."
--Sir Angus Deaton, Princeton University, Nobel Prize in Economics (2015)

"A broad-ranging and deeply-researched analysis of the inexorable growth of monopolies and oligopolies over the past four decades. Tepper makes a compelling case that the government's failure to reign in tech titans and other corporate behemoths is at the root of perhaps the most troubling macroeconomic trends of our time, including rising inequality and slowing productivity. Clear and highly accessible, the book takes no prisoners, arguing that monopolists' funding and sloppy thinking has corrupted every aspect of the system, from politicians to regulators to academics."
--Kenneth Rogoff, Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Economics at Harvard University, author of the bestselling book, This Time is Different
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Table of contents

Introduction xiii


Chapter One: Where Buffett and Silicon Valley Billionaires Agree 1


Chapter Two: Dividing Up the Turf 21


Chapter Three: What Monopolies and King Kong Have in Common 35


Chapter Four: Squeezing the Worker 63


Chapter Five: Silicon Valley Throws Some Shade 87


Chapter Six: Toll Roads and Robber Barons 111


Chapter Seven: What Trusts and Nazis Had in Common 137


Chapter Eight: Regulation and Chemotherapy 167


Chapter Nine: Morganizing America 195


Chapter Ten: The Missing Piece of the Puzzle 211


Conclusion: Economic and Political Freedom 233


Notes 249


Acknowledgments 283


About the Authors 285


Index 287
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Review Text

Financial Times Best Books of 2018: Economics

"I think the book is too hard on some companies and CEOs. There is no way I could endorse the book."
-Anonymous, billionaire hedge fund manager

"'Capitalism without competition is not capitalism,' writes Jonathan Tepper in The Myth of Capitalism. He is right. After decades when most economists dismissed antitrust actions as superfluous so long as consumers were not the victims of price-gouging, we are slowly waking up to the reality that monopoly capitalism is back -- and it can be harmful even if its core products (as in the case of Google and Facebook) are free. But it's not just Big Tech that's killing competition. As Tepper shows in this engagingly written polemic, there's also excessive concentration in air travel, banking, beef, beer, health insurance, Internet access, and even the funeral industry. If you want to understand the real cause of rising inequality, discard Piketty and read Tepper instead. This is a tract for the times with a rare bipartisan appeal. "
-Niall Ferguson, Milbank Family Senior Fellow, the Hoover Institution, Stanford, and author of The Ascent of Money

"Tepper and Hearn have written an impressive and important book, documenting via their own research and that of many scholars, the very substantial increase in concentration on the supply side of US industry, leading to a decline in competition and a substantial shift in market and political power away from consumers and labor and toward the owners of capital. The consequences extend to rising inequality, slowing productivity growth, and shifts in the pattern of regulation in favor of corporations. Pieces of these growth patterns have been described before. But this book uniquely pulls it altogether. One hopes that it will have the impact that it clearly deserves."
-Michael Spence, Economics professor at Stern School of Business NYU, Nobel Prize in Economics (2001)

"What's wrong with American capitalism today? Why is it so good for the elite, and so bad for everyone else? Is inequality the problem? Tepper and Hearn make the case that inequality is the symptom, not the disease. The problem is too little competition, not too much. They provide an immensely readable and persuasive account, superbly well-informed by a mass of recent data and research."
-Sir Angus Deaton, Princeton University, Nobel Prize in Economics (2015)

"A broad-ranging and deeply-researched analysis of the inexorable growth of monopolies and oligopolies over the past four decades. Tepper makes a compelling case that the government's failure to rein in tech titans and other corporate behemoths is at the root of perhaps the most troubling macroeconomic trends of our time, including rising inequality and slowing productivity. Clear and highly accessible, the book takes no prisoners, arguing that monopolists' funding and sloppy thinking has corrupted every aspect of the system, from politicians to regulators to academics."
-Kenneth Rogoff, Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Economics at Harvard University, author of the bestselling book This Time is Different

"Slowing growth and rising inequality have become a toxic combination in western economies, notably including the US. This combination now threatens the survival of liberal democracy itself. Why has this happened? Some blame an excess of free-market capitalism. In this well-researched and clearly-written book, the authors demonstrate that the precise opposite is the case. What has emerged over the past forty years is not free-market capitalism, but a predatory form of monopoly capitalism. Capitalists will, alas, always prefer monopoly. Only the state can restore the competition we need, but it will do so only under the direction of an informed public. This, then, is a truly important book. Read, learn and act."
-Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times

"Tepper and Hearn make a compelling case that the United States ec
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About Jonathan Tepper

Jonathan Tepper is the co-author of Endgame, a book on the sovereign debt crisis, and Code Red, a book on unconventional monetary policy after the financial crisis. Jonathan is a Rhodes scholar and has worked as a hedge fund analyst and trader. He is founder of Variant Perception, a macroeconomic research group that caters to hedge funds, banks and family offices.

Denise Hearn is Head of Business Development at Variant Perception--a global macroeconomic research and investment strategy firm. She has managed a variety of projects on impact investing and sharing economies.
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Rating details

285 ratings
4.23 out of 5 stars
5 47% (134)
4 33% (94)
3 16% (47)
2 4% (10)
1 0% (0)
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