The Scarcity Makers
AMERICA’S MASSIVE and bountiful corporations are the institutional bedrock of the Paper Economy under which we live, yet their very existence was for many years neglected, if not denied, by conventional thinking. The revolutionary issue they represent was lost somewhere between Adam Smith’s ideal irrelevancies and what was most often referred to as “the monopoly problem.” It is occasionally even funny that the self-exploitation of the small proprietor still lingers in our minds as a model of American enterprise, while the major corporations which supply most of our needs remain theoretical anomalies.
All this is now beginning to change, however, and a deeply significant discussion has commenced on the basis of two rather more realistic assumptions: (1) that ours is a corporate economy with each industrial or business area typically dominated by a few large organizations, which dominate no less effectively because they are not technical monopolies; and (2) that this rather obvious fact has a welter of far-reaching implications and is going to take an awful lot of explaining.
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