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'Too Big to Fail' Has an Easy Answer: Anti-Trust or Public Control and Ownership

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There is, of course, another reason that companies should never be allowed to become “too big to fail.” That is political clout. The US political system is already largely an owned-and-operated subisidiary of corporate America. When companies become as large as AIG or GM or Bank of America, they also gain a disproportionate influence over the political apparatus that is an order of magnitude larger than their share of the national GDP. It’s not just that they have limitless money to donate to political campaigns. They also, by their size, are able to dispense political favors in virtually every congressional district, much as the Pentagon has been doing for the past half century, and also to threaten national havoc if they don’t get their way.

Don’t expect much in the way of scrutiny of this bailout process from the corporate media, by the way, which has been engaged in the same process of national consolidation for the past few decades. But clearly, the public needs to wake up and start demanding that if our money is going to be used to bail out these corrupt and horrifically managed enterprises, we the people need to have a controlling interest in running them, so that they are run in our interest. Better yet, we should be demanding that these bumbling colossuses be broken up into little pieces, and then left to sink or swim on their own like the rest of us.
DAVE LINDORFF is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. His latest book is “The Case for Impeachment” (St. Martin’s Press, 2006). His work is available at

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Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...)

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Community service workers are needed in America. W... by melpol on Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008 at 12:24:48 PM
the hell does this comment have to do with the art... by WML on Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008 at 6:36:01 PM
I see your point, melpol, but we should "give... by Richard Wise on Thursday, Nov 13, 2008 at 7:27:58 AM
Break them all up into bits.  We don't ha... by August Adams on Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008 at 1:40:08 PM
too big to fail is too big to exist. And besides t... by Better World Order on Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008 at 3:31:26 PM
pretty much correct.Not Obama's ambiguous '... by richard on Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008 at 9:28:53 PM
The question of the centralization of economic pow... by WML on Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008 at 8:06:45 PM
The concentration of industries may have looked li... by Dave Lindorff on Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008 at 9:20:40 PM
debate this topic with you in a more appropriate f... by WML on Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008 at 10:39:31 PM
Including Vol. III. I don't question your read... by Dave Lindorff on Wednesday, Nov 12, 2008 at 9:40:28 AM
so I couldn't resist this.  Before you ca... by WML on Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008 at 10:51:05 PM
Maybe Bush can stay in past Jan 20 and taxpayers c... by Steven G. Erickson on Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008 at 9:48:36 PM
Size alone should not be a reason to break up a co... by Richard Wise on Wednesday, Nov 12, 2008 at 3:21:44 AM
I wrote nearly identical letters to my two Senator... by WML on Wednesday, Nov 12, 2008 at 5:25:30 AM
Thank you for the comment, W.M.L.  You make g... by Richard Wise on Wednesday, Nov 12, 2008 at 7:54:44 AM
And I seem to carry the burden of recommending tha... by GLloyd Rowsey on Wednesday, Nov 12, 2008 at 6:04:13 AM
.... by GLloyd Rowsey on Wednesday, Nov 12, 2008 at 6:05:56 AM
Your experiences with different parts of capitalis... by GLloyd Rowsey on Wednesday, Nov 12, 2008 at 6:19:24 AM
While restrictions on monopolies have been relaxed... by PrMaine on Thursday, Nov 13, 2008 at 8:01:55 PM
Thanks for this, PrMaine.  You said, "Ir... by Richard Wise on Thursday, Nov 13, 2008 at 8:54:39 PM
Thom Hartmann talks about this quite frequently on... by PrMaine on Friday, Nov 14, 2008 at 7:26:41 AM