The New Monopoly Capitalism and the Economics of Destruction

On January 27, the New America Foundation hosted a reception with Barry C. Lynn, who discussed his new book Cornered: The New Monopoly Capitalism and The Economics of Destruction. Lynn, Director of the Markets, Enterprise, and Resiliency Initiative at New America, laid out the central thesis of his book: since 1981, the political economy of the United States has undergone a profound but largely-unnoticed monopolization. Contrary to the conventional wisdom that America is the ultimate competitive capitalist society, Lynn argued that the U.S. economy is increasingly dominated by powerful corporate juggernauts that harass independent businesses, smother innovation, and ultimately threaten democracy. He linked the rise of the new monopolists to the insidious persuasiveness of the Chicago School of economics and legal theory, with its emphasis on Americans as consumers rather than citizens; the Reagan Administration’s decision to effectively end antitrust enforcement; and the persistent deregulatory zeal of the Clinton and Bush Administrations. Mixing passionate argument, thoughtful analysis, and anecdotal evidence, Lynn outlined a compelling narrative that calls into question the future of American society.


featured speaker
Barry C. Lynn
Director, Markets. Enterprise, and Resiliency Initiative
New America Foundation
Author, Cornered: The New Monopoly Capitalism and the Economics of Destruction

Reid Cramer
Director, Asset Building Program
New America Foundation