If you’ve been paying attention, you may have noticed how corruption and the monopolization of the U.S. economic system by Big Business has taken advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to top up their coffers with taxpayer money.
Evidence of this was the number of multinational companies and large corporations close to the president’s heart that obtained federal economic aid originally intended for small businesses.
That’s why Senator Elizabeth Warren and Bronx Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have joined forces to try to prevent mergers and acquisitions of large companies during the pandemic, according to NBC News.
Called the “Pandemic Anti-Monopoly Act,” it proposes imposing moratoriums on mergers involving large companies until the Federal Trade Commission “determines that small businesses, workers, and consumers are no longer under severe financial distress,” the media reported.
This includes companies with revenues of more than $100 million or financial companies with a market capitalization of more than $100 million, private equity firms and hedge funds, companies that have an exclusive patent on crisis-related products, and other transactions that are already required by law to report to the FTC.
“Every day, we’re hearing stories of desperate small businesses struggling to survive during this crisis. Large companies and private equity vultures are circling for a chance to gobble up these small businesses and increase their already immense economic power,” Warren told NBC News in a statement. “We have to make sure we protect workers, small businesses, and entrepreneurs so they are not squeezed ever further by harmful mergers now or in any future emergency.
Although the proposal will have to face a Republican-majority Senate and a White House that has proven to have the priorities of corporations and big banks over those of the common worker, the collaborative gesture of Warren and Ocasio-Cortez paints a particular political picture in the months ahead.
After both Warren and Ocasio-Cortez’s mentor Bernie Sanders withdrew from the race for the Democratic nomination, many have assumed that the progressive wave in the country would subside, gradually returning to the path of a more conservative Democratic Party.
However, the strength of Warren’s base and the persistence of Ocasio-Cortez in the progressive debate demonstrate that whoever is president after November will have to answer to a large part of the national electorate that is tired of wild capitalism.
“This legislation is desperately needed,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “If we don’t stop predatory M&As now, the actions of big corporations will have decades long economic consequences — for all of us. With less competition, the whole country will see job loss and higher costs for consumers.”