By Richard Eskow
Bigger isn’t always better. From the Tower of Babel to Teddy Roosevelt’s trust-busting, that principle’s been enshrined in law and legend since the dawn of history. Have we forgotten the lesson?
Corporations, databases, storehouses of personal and institutional wealth all are expanding at ever-increasing speed, threatening to engulf our economy and our lives as they do. That’s the problem with Big Things: Once they reached a certain size, they keep on getting bigger.
Here are seven ways the runaway power of Bigger in finance and in data is threatening to overwhelm us all.
1. Bigger Corporations
Americans have known about the danger of overly large corporations since the founding of the Republic. “I hope that we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations,” said Thomas Jefferson, “which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”
“The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity,” Abraham Lincoln observed. “The banking powers are more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy.”