I just saw the most interesting thing online. It’s in a publication called Letters from an American by Heather Cox Richardson. The whole thing goes into the history of antitrust law. Well, let me tell you something. If only so-called “indie authors” had known about this back when they were deciding to be Amazon-exclusive. Maybe they might’ve made a different choice.
But why should you believe me? Let’s take a look at what’s been written:
The Biden administration’s use of the Federal Trade Commission to break up monopolies— suing Amazon, for example, on September 26—resurrects the nation’s traditional antitrust vision. By trying to weaken the economic power of large entities in order to restore competition, innovation, and the rights of workers and consumers, Biden officials are echoing the principles articulated by politicians of all political stripes in the early twentieth century. Those principles were in full flood during the presidential election that took place on November 5, 1912.
Oh, but there’s more!
Lincoln, Roosevelt said later that year in Osawatomie, Kansas, had stood against the special interests that had perverted government to their own ends and robbed hard workers of what they had earned. In Lincoln’s day the threat came from the Slave Power; in 1910 it came from business interests. The nation was currently governed by “a small class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power.”
Roosevelt demanded that the government restore an even economic playing field in the country, forcing businesses to operate transparently, submit to regulation, and stop funding political campaigns. He also called for graduated income taxes, inheritance taxes, the protection of national resources so industrialists could not strip them all from future generations, minimum wages, maximum hours of work, and better factory conditions.
But here’s where it gets really, really interesting.
Although banks refused to cooperate with the investigation, the committee had learned enough to be “satisfied from the proofs submitted, even in the absence of data from the banks, that there is an established and well-defined identity and community of interest between a few leaders of finance, created and held together through stock ownership, interlocking directorates, partnership and joint account transactions, and other forms of domination of banks, trust companies, railroads, and public-service and industrial corporations, which has resulted in great and rapidly growing concentration of the control of money in the hands of these few men.”
Gosh! Who could we be talking about?
You know I could talk until I’m blue in the face about why Amazon is such a terrible company. And no one would listen. I know because I tried. I tried to tell people over and over and over. And guess what? No one listened.
It takes more than just my voice to make these things heard, it would seem, which is why I will be pulling all of my ebooks off of Amazon. I won’t do this until after the first of the year comes. I may be dumb, but I’m not stupid.
Remember, you always have a choice. Unless you decide you don’t.
You could always get a Kobo. What’s a Kobo, you ask?
It’s what I use to read ebooks. Unless I get them from Amazon for free through publicists who want me to review their clients’ books. Why? Because, for the life of me, I can’t seem to access the Kobo copy from NetGalley. That’s why. Now, why do you suppose that is?
PS: Wow! Look what I just found! 🙂
Looks like I have some reading to do. 🙂
PPS: Here are two sources cited at the end of the article.
And here’s the ChatGPT summary of Roosevelt’s relevant remarks:
In this address, President Theodore Roosevelt discusses the role of government in regulating and controlling large corporations engaged in interstate business, particularly in the context of railroads. He emphasizes the need for government control and supervision to ensure that these corporations act in the interest of the public. Roosevelt suggests that instead of prohibiting all combinations, there should be a law allowing combinations that benefit the public but under the scrutiny and control of a National Government agency. He also highlights the importance of preventing improper favoritism and wrongdoing within these corporations.
Roosevelt argues for placing telegraph and telephone companies engaged in interstate business under the jurisdiction of the Interstate Commerce Commission. He expresses concern about the consequences of both a lack of government supervision and overreaching government control, stressing the importance of a balanced approach that ensures justice and fairness for all parties involved, including shareholders, employees, and shippers.
The second part of the address focuses on labor-related issues. Roosevelt advocates for reforms that would give wage-workers a greater share of the wealth they produce and allow them to invest in the tools and instruments necessary for their work. He mentions the need for improved employers’ liability laws, compensation for injured or killed employees, and consideration of the eight-hour workday. He also emphasizes the importance of cooperation and the need for government action to protect the rights of wage-workers, ensuring their well-being and safety.