AS YOU MAKE YOUR WAY through this well-reasoned, well-researched, densely written book, you may hear the sound of a scream, a crescendo of pain that builds from introduction to index. In my case, it turned out to be coming from the inside of my own head. We know, or have intuited, some of the issues and conclusions Teachout proposes. But we probably aren’t taking in the entirety of what’s wrong and what’s at stake. It’s massive, and our future and our children’s future demands that we do something.
As she writes in the book’s introduction, we have “passively accepted corporate consolidation as a fact of life” and shown no resistence. “Although there are tens of thousands of community activist organizations dedicated to campaign finance, climate change, and gender equality, I know of no local antitrust leagues – unlike 120 years ago, when there were thousands.”
The various monopolies she goes on to describe are strikingly varied but operate in similar ways. One monopoly-controlled commodity is chicken.