Let’s review yet another stereotypical element of the American Dream: starting up your own company and becoming a self-made success. It’s happening less, now. The consolidation of larger companies is making it tougher for smaller companies to compete. Amazon may be able to ask for tax breaks in exchange for possibly adding thousands of jobs to an area, but a thousand sole-proprietors don’t get the opportunity. The regions that are considered unaffordable are actually affordable, to companies that can pay higher wages, typically not startups. Patents are tougher to acquire and protect when faced with corporate legal departments that can delay and outspend smaller companies. Unfortunately, startups were a strong driver of new jobs, innovations, change, and were a path out of poverty.
“While companies that were less than two years old made up about 13% of all companies in 1985, they only accounted for 8% in 2014.” – Quartz
Considering that IPOs are less common as well, fewer opportunities exist outside the corporate structure. That benefits the monopolies and their like, but history has shown concentrations of power to be limiting, hence the anti-trust legislation from the era of the Great Depression. We may be witnessing that concentration again.
Antitrust legislation mostly predated the Great Depression. The big legislation was passed in the 1890s and 1910s, although at least one amendment passed in the 1930s. https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/competition-guidance/guide-antitrust-laws/antitrust-laws
Our current economic situation is more similar to that of 1890-1920 than to the Great Depression.
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