Robert Reich: Why We Need to Break Up Big Tech

The combined wealth of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and Google’s Sergey Brin, and Larry Page is larger than the combined wealth of the bottom half of the American population.

They are the leaders of a second Gilded Age — ushered in by semiconductors, software and the internet — which has spawned a handful of hi-tech behemoths and crushed competition.

Facebook, Amazon, Google, Apple, and Microsoft now have the highest market values for all public corporations in America.

As of today, only three countries in the world have a GDP higher than these companies’ combined market value of approximately 4 trillion dollars.

America’s first Gilded Age began in the late nineteenth century with a raft of innovations — railroads, steel production, oil extraction — that culminated in mammoth trusts run by “robber barons” like J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, and William Vanderbilt.

The answer then was to break up the railroad, oil, and steel monopolies.

The answer today is the same: Break Up Big Tech.



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