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Re: Antitrust Bill of Rights

  On Sun, 30 Nov 1997 08:03:01 -0500 (EST) wfcooper@tiac.com (Bill Cooper)
  >On Sat, 29 Nov 1997 22:02:54 -0500 (EST), you wrote:
  >>Ralph writes:
  >>Makes sense.  Next question.  So why didn't the elites control the 
  >>up to about 1975 re antitrust.  Do we really have to wait till the 
  >>once again maneuver the system into an almost collapse before things 
  >>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).
  >Bill Cooper
  Ralph replies:
          Very,  very interesting.  If that's right,  then there seem to be
  only two possibilities of reining in the big monopolists.  
            One is to mobilize the 12 million businesses (compared to about
  1,000 monopolists)  to look after their own interests.  Not too
  promising.  The monopolists are leaving little niches open for the others
  and the others,  driven by the American dream to be monopolists
  themselves,  go along with that happily.  
              The other is to keep antitrust idea alive in areas where the
  biggest monopolists fight the smaller monopolists (Microsoft vs.
  Netscape?) and wait for the monopolized economy to self-destruct.  This
  would deligitimize the leviathans and then we can look forward to a
  judiciary no longer enthralled by big monopolies  -  at the side of other
  unexpected excrescences which accompany economic disaster such as in the
  Fun, fun, fun