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Re: Antitrust Bill of Rights
On Sat, 29 Nov 1997 22:02:54 -0500 (EST), you wrote:
>Makes sense. Next question. So why didn't the elites control the courts
>up to about 1975 re antitrust. Do we really have to wait till the elites
>once again maneuver the system into an almost collapse before things will
>change? I hope not. What else can be done aside from waiting for the
>next big depression?
That's a good question (unfortunately I don't think I'm qualified to
give it the answer it deserves).
I happened to be watching one of those panel discussions on the
Supreme court, they have on C-Span last night. One of the
participants offered that the Court, for 40 years or so after the New
Deal, was very reluctant to overrule the government on economic
regulation in general because of the obstinacy of the early New Deal
courts (and the Progressive era S.C. also, I would think) in opposing
so many economic reforms. He said that it was only starting in the
1970's (due to the receding of institutional memory of that previous
era), that the Court again began to be willing to exert itself in the
economic arena. Was the Justice Department far more aggressive in
those days in opposing Anti-Trust? Or were the majority of Anti-Trust
actions always the result of individual actions? Which is why the
S.C. moved to choke off that source?
Another interesting question might be why, the pre-New Deal Supreme
Courts (which found the opportunity to strike down nearly every other
Progressive economic innovation) never did anything about Anti-Trust?
I suspect that there were, in those days, still significant elites
that were suspicious of gigantism in general (whereas today, nearly
everyone is either pro-Big Business or pro-Big Government). As long
as Anti-Trust was anit-Big business without being pro-Big government
it was possible to gather some elite support for it. After the 30's
that was impossible (this last part is pure speculation, by the way).