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Monopolies have hidden costs

Monopolies have hidden costs

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There are now 14 Walmart stores in Montana with 4,615 “associates” with a reported average wage of $14.54 per hour. One must wonder, however, if this gigantic corporation would not have arrived in the state, how many employees would there be scattered across the state fulfilling the same function as these 14 giant stores. And would the wages and benefits be better in this hypothetical? And how about the other common chains of 2020 America providing goods and services?

Thom Hartmann in his new book, “The Hidden History of Monopolies: How Big Business Destroyed the American Dream,” states that the average American pays a yearly “monopoly tax” of $5,000 due to increased prices from big business, largely unhampered by competitors.

Not since Jimmy Carter finished the job that started with Nixon of breaking up AT&T has any president used perfectly good laws on the books to break up monopolies. The goods and services of the country cost more than those of other countries. Ronald Reagan was the starting place for the trend. With “money as speech” for campaign donations in law, corporations are ever more politically powerful. Will Joe Biden, if successful, choose to buck the trend?

Erwin Curry,

Missoula

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