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Maybe Joe Biden won't be the second coming of FDR...
By Curt Anderson
July 10, 2021 10:51 am
Category: Government

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Maybe Joe Biden won't be the second coming of FDR, but at least Biden sees Roosevelt as a president worth emulating. That's a lot better than the former guy, now a Florida retiree, whose idea of a great president was Andrew Jackson.

In a speech announcing his "Promoting Competition in the American Economy" executive order, President Biden said:
The heart of American capitalism is a simple idea: open and fair competition — that means that if your companies want to win your business, they have to go out and they have to up their game; better prices and services; new ideas and products...

Biden continued:
All told, between rising prices and lowering wages, lack of competition costs the median American household $5,000 a year.

Now, look, I'm a proud capitalist. I spent most of my career representing the corporate state of Delaware. I know America can't succeed unless American business succeeds.

But let me be very clear: Capitalism without competition isn't capitalism; it's exploitation. Without healthy competition, big players can change and charge whatever they want and treat you however they want. And for too many Americans, that means accepting a bad deal for things that can't go — you can't go without.

So, we know we've got a problem — a major problem. But we also have an incredible opportunity. We can bring back more competition to more of the country, helping entrepreneurs and small businesses get in the game, helping workers get a better deal, helping families save money every month. The good news is: We've done it before.

In the early 1900s, President Teddy Roosevelt saw an economy dominated by giants like Standard Oil and JP Morgan's railroads. He took them on, and he won. And he gave the little guy a fighting chance.

Decades later, during the Great Depression, his cousin Franklin Roosevelt saw a wave of corporate mergers that wiped out sec- — scores of small businesses, crushing competition and innovation. So he ramped up antitrust enforcement eightfold in just two years, saving families billions in today's dollars and helping to set the course for sustained economic growth after World War Two.

He also called for an economic bill of rights, including, quote, "the right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies." End of quote.

Between them, the two Roosevelts established an American tradition — an antitrust tradition. It is how we ensure that our economy isn't about people working for capitalism; it's about capitalism working for people.

But, over time, we've lost the fundamental American idea that true capitalism depends on fair and open competition. Forty years ago, we chose the wrong path, in my view, following the misguided philosophy of people like Robert Bork, and pulled back on enforcing laws to promote competition.

Promoting Competition in the American Economy Executive Order
Executive Order established a whole-of-government effort to promote competition in the American economy. The Order includes 72 initiatives by more than a dozen federal agencies to promptly tackle some of the most pressing competition problems across our economy. Once implemented, these initiatives will result in concrete improvements to people's lives.

Among other things, they will:
  • Make it easier to change jobs and help raise wages by banning or limiting non-compete agreements and unnecessary, cumbersome occupational licensing requirements that impede economic mobility.
  • Lower prescription drug prices by supporting state and tribal programs that will import safe and cheaper drugs from Canada.
  • Save Americans with hearing loss thousands of dollars by allowing hearing aids to be sold over the counter at drug stores.
  • Save Americans money on their internet bills by banning excessive early termination fees, requiring clear disclosure of plan costs to facilitate comparison shopping, and ending landlord exclusivity arrangements that stick tenants with only a single internet option.
  • Make it easier for people to get refunds from airlines and to comparison shop for flights by requiring clear upfront disclosure of add-on fees.
  • Make it easier and cheaper to repair items you own by limiting manufacturers from barring self-repairs or third-party repairs of their products.
  • Make it easier and cheaper to switch banks by requiring banks to allow customers to take their financial transaction data with them to a competitor.
  • Empower family farmers and increase their incomes by strengthening the Department of Agriculture's tools to stop the abusive practices of some meat processors.
  • Increase opportunities for small businesses by directing all federal agencies to promote greater competition through their procurement and spending decisions.

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    Comments on "Maybe Joe Biden won't be the second coming of FDR...":

    1. by islander on July 10, 2021 1:26 pm
      Couldn't agree more!

    2. by Donna on July 10, 2021 1:46 pm
      Of course I'm for it. Executuve orders are the only way the Dems are going to get anything accomplished.

      Meanwhile, the Loony Left is pissed off at Biden for not doing enough to protect voting rights, but what's he supposed to do? He can't force Manchin and Sinema to vote the way the rest of the party votes. I don't understand why they don't understand that.

    3. by Curt Anderson on July 10, 2021 2:10 pm
      You are correct about Manchin and Sinema. Incidentally, Manchin's West Virginia voted for Trump over Biden by a 30% margin. WV is not going to elect a progressive anytime soon. It's miracle that a Democrat represents WV in the Senate. Otherwise it's a GOP majority and McConnell is calling the shots.

      Biden did dispatch AG Merrick Garland to take on voter suppression legally through the courts. Given the conservative leaning of the Supreme Court, Garland's success may be limited.

      The bottom line is that the Republicans have been able to change the rules of the game. The best thing that Democrats can do is to compete under the GOP's rules while being outraged and showing up to vote, as the Dems did for Biden.

    4. by Donna on July 10, 2021 2:26 pm
      Sadly that's our best hope.

    5. by HatetheSwamp on July 12, 2021 12:54 pm
      Honestly, I can't see much in that list of what Clouseau's Executive Order will accomish that the previous administration would have opposed.

      What does jump out to me is that, if that perverted and demented doddering old fart wants to insure the ability of American companies to succeed, he needs to focus on the unfair advantage Chinese companies have in competing in the American economy. It's hard for American companies to pay our workers a fair wage and compete with Chinese products sometimes produced using slave labor.

      As far as overcriticizing two moderate Dem Senators, go for it if you like. But, it's time that you woke progressives wake up to the reality that Dem House members in purple districts are going to be very cautious about enabling Swampcult Blue MAGA dreams.

      The 022 campaign is just around the corner and if they give in to the Squad, they might be primaried and, if they make it through the primaries, they'll have to defeat the GOP when it appears that GOP voters are going to be highly motivated.

      It's not only two Senators who stand in your way.

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