President Biden plans to sign a sweeping executive order, which includes 72 actions and recommendations and involves a dozen federal agencies, to re-shape the thinking around corporate consolidation and antitrust laws. His administration is making the case that the biggest companies in the tech sector are wielding their power to box out smaller competitors and exploit consumers’ personal information.
Brian Deese, the White House’s chief economic advisor, explained the need for this EO by saying, “The tech giants’ tightened grip has led to a decline in innovation.” Really? Does someone want to back that up with evidence? Today, you are experiencing the slowest rate of technological change you will ever experience for the rest of your life. The pace of innovation (both social and technological) is not only increasing exponentially, but is also accelerating. The claim that this kind of “sweeping regulation” will speed up (or positively impact) innovation is word-salad nonsense.
Big Tech is a problem. Big everything is a problem. But soul-crushing, investment-killing, anti-growth policies are probably not the best way to solve for “bigness.”
I’m not a fan of the way Big Tech treats the world. I don’t like the way they collect and use data. I’m not a fan of the power that “big” organizations have by virtue of being “big.” But none of the companies that are in the administration’s gunsights started “big.” They earned their way there by working very, very hard and being smarter and better organized than their competitors. I cannot support any policies that discourage or disincentivize people from working very, very hard and being smarter and better organized than their competitors. Such policies are productivity killers and, no matter how politically popular they may be, are ultimately doomed to fail.
Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.