- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 26, 2022

With President Biden’s approval numbers falling and the latest polls showing the American people increasingly doubtful about his ability to do the job, a handful of Democrats have begun positioning themselves as his successor.

One of them, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, has decided her big play will be to upend current interpretations of U.S. antitrust law in favor of what can be described as “too big to be.” In the bill, she wrote and rammed through a Senate Judiciary Committee markup recently a company’s size as measured by market cap or monthly active audience becomes reason enough to trigger an intervention by the U.S. government.

In the beginning, the trustbusters who wrote the first antitrust laws claimed monopolies were bad because they allowed business leaders rather than market forces to set the price for the goods they offered for sale. That’s not quite the way it is now. Since the 1970s, antitrust enforcement has focused on consumer welfare and has looked at potential harm caused by price and non-price factors. Ms. Klobuchar’s approach, which allows for radical government intervention into the marketplace whenever a company, public or private, grows to be what she considers too big, will wreck the economy if it’s adopted.

Her bill, S. 2992, embraces the worst European-style, protectionist approach to antitrust. That’s odd because the European markets never match the U.S. for job creation and economic growth and because the European Union spends a considerable amount of effort handicapping American companies so their European counterparts can remain competitive.

What’s truly bizarre, however, is how Ms. Klobuchar has managed to convince a handful of Republicans in the United States Senate — most of whom should know better — to back her bill. Some of them may have climbed aboard her bill after being told it would fix the problem of conservatives being shadow-banned, blocked and prevented from participating in the national conversation when it occurs on social media platforms. 

It doesn’t. It hardly addresses the subject at all and, when you think about it, how does empowering liberals to do anything help conservatives? No free marketeer should feel comfortable giving the Biden administration greater power to regulate the marketplace than it already has. Focus your efforts instead on terminating unnecessary and counter-productive regulations and rolling back the Biden executive orders that destroyed American energy independence, created shortages and have us on waiting lists to get essential items once they show back up in the stores.

No one, especially those who think of themselves as supporters of the free-market system, should believe for one second that interventions by any ivory tower government functionaries will produce better outcomes than what the private sector delivers. As former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, a Ph.D. economist, frequently said, “Markets are rational. Government is dumb.”

The Klobuchar bill is not reform. It’s a tactical strike by big-government socialists to bring American business in line with their progressive social agenda. She’s going after the presidency, and, as she’s often said, she’s not going after just “Big Tech.” She’s going after every industry “from cat food to caskets.” Be warned.

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