Are big tech monopolies ruining American capitalism?

Listen to this podcast to hear an economist explain how big tech companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon are threatening capitalism.
A piggy bank sits on a pink background with coins raining down on it. It's smiling face is looking up as the coins fall down

American capitalism is once again under threat from monopolies, according to one economist.

Luigi Zingales of the University of Chicago often says that only an immigrant like himself can really appreciate American capitalism.

In his native Italy, Zingales says what you know and what you do are far less important that who you know and what you do for them.

But in the last decade, Zingales says the United States has started to look more and more like the country he left. Now, he’s trying to save American capitalism from itself—and big businesses including Amazon, Facebook, and Google.

“There is a natural, and in a sense, a healthy tension between a democracy and a capitalist system,” Zingales says. “A capitalist system does tend to reward disproportionately a few and reward more the more talented and the one who work harder. And so it does create inequality and that doesn’t sit down very well with a democratic system that where you want to kind of redistribute and equalize. And I think that this tension is very healthy, but it is balance only under a number of conditions.

“One condition is that the system delivers some benefits to everybody. There is as an opportunity [for] everybody to move up in the ladder and that the system [is] relatively fair. It’s particularly painful to be left behind in the game of life. It’s intolerable if you have the perception that the game is rigged.”

Here, Zingales explains how things have changed in the United States and how big tech companies threaten American capitalism:

Source: University of Chicago

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