The Pronk Pops Show 1053, March 28, 2018, Story 1: Survival of The Fittest: President Trump (Old School: Real Estate and Brands) vs. Amazons’s Bezos (New School: Internet/Price/Voice and Retailer Monopoly) — Rank and Yank — Consumer Sovereignty vs. Government Intervention — Democrats — Republicans — Independents — Entrepreneurs — Hustle — Videos — Story 2: Will The Economy Grow At Above 3% Rate in 2018? — Video

Posted on March 28, 2018. Filed under: American History, Banking System, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, College, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Currencies, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Spending, Health, History, House of Representatives, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, Monetary Policy, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Scandals, Senate, Social Security, Spying on American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Unemployment, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1053, March 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1052, March 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1051, March 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1050, March 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1049, March 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1048, March 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1047, March 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1046, March 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1045, March 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1044, March 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1043, March 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1042, March 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1041, February 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1040, February 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1039, February 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1038, February 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1037, February 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1036, February 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1035, February 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1034, February 15, 2018  

Pronk Pops Show 1033, February 14, 2018  

Pronk Pops Show 1032, February 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1031, February 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1030, February 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1028, February 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1027, February 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1026, February 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1025, January 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1024, January 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1023, January 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1022, January 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1021, January 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1020, January 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1019, January 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1018, January 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1017, January 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1016, January 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1015, January 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1014, January 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1013, December 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1012, December 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1011, December 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1010, December 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1009, December 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1008, December 1, 2017

See the source image

See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

Story 1: Survival of The Fittest: President Trump (Old School: Real Estate and Brands) vs. Amazons’s Bezos (New School: Price/Voice and Retailer) — Rank and Yank — Consumer Sovereignty vs. Government Interevention with Antitrust Laws — Videos —

See the source image

See the source image

See the source image

The Libertarian Angle: Consumer Sovereignty and the Free Market

Monopoly, Competition, and Antitrust | Thomas J. DiLorenzo

Monopoly and Competition (by Murray N. Rothbard)

Entrepreneurship, Austrian Economics, and the Cryptorevolution | Patrick Byrne

Overstock.com’s CEO Wants To Undermine Wall Street With The Tech Behind Bitcoin (HBO)

Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne on Gary Johnson, Trump vs. Clinton, and Blockchain for the Stock Market

Overstock’s Patrick Byrne on Bitcoin, Net Neutrality, and Mixed Martial Arts

Classical Liberalism: The Decline and Triumph of Classical Liberalism (Pt. 2) – Learn Liberty

Milton Friedman – Monopoly

Milton Friedman – Solutions to Market Failures

Milton Friedman – The Proper Role of Government

Milton Friedman explains how to deal with monopolies

Milton Friedman – Morality & Capitalism

Why I’m Against Antitrust Laws

Chicago School vs. Austrian School: Four Types of Libertarianism

How Does Amazon Make Money?

Scott Galloway – How Amazon is Dismantling Retail

50 Alexa Voice Commands (Amazon Echo)

Alexa, are you connected to the CIA? Can the CIA hear me now?

Amazon Echo & Alexa 10 Everyday Uses

Google Home vs Amazon Alexa

Introducing Echo Plus

What Brands Should Do in 2018

LEAKED: CIA $600 Million Amazon Contract – Trump/Bezos

How The Washington Post’s New Owner Aided the CIA, Blocked WikiLeaks & Decimated Book Industry 2/2

Amazon’s Bezos buys Washington Post: Is NYT next?

Jeff Bezos, The Post and the Future of Print

MUST SEE: Trump Calls Out Media and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Says He LOVES PROTESTERS at Ft. Worth Rally

People Don’t Really Want To Be Entrepreneurs | New York City Vlog

Why I REALLY Became a Millionaire

How To Be A Successful Entrepreneur

How To Go From Zero to $10 Million on Amazon

How To Build A $10,000,000 Online Brand On Amazon | Ryan Moran

How to Build a $10 Million Business You Can Sell (The 8-Figure Pyramid)

How To Create A Million Dollar Business

How to Find Products That Sell

The Amazon Product Launch – Ryan Daniel Moran at Amazing Selling Machine 2014

How To Sell On Amazon FBA For Beginners (A Complete, Step-By-Step Tutorial)

5 Mistakes I Made on Amazon when I First Started Selling (that cost me $10k in lost sales!)

Amazon FBA For Beginners: What they don’t want you to know | Complete Step by Step Tutorial

Is Amazon FBA Dead?! (WATCH THIS before starting your business)

The Day I Became an Entrepreneur for Life

YOUNG (or new) Entrepreneurs Need These Tips to Avoid Failing

$36,000 in ONE Day! (This KILLS Cyber Monday) Amazon Seller Meetup

My Blueprint to 7 Figure Product Selection | Matt Loberstein – LA AMAZON MEETUP

HOW I Sold Over $400,000 in 30 DAYS! (Best Amazon FBA Tips & Strategy)

From $0 to $2.5 MILLION IN SALES (at 24 yrs old)

Top 5 Amazon FBA Tips & Tricks (from a 7 Figure Private Label Seller)

My Amazon FAILURES! (that you can avoid…)

Amazon Cancelled my $35,000 Black Friday Deal

PAYING $101K TO MY SUPPLIER IN CHINA (Amazon FBA and Alibaba)

CRAZIEST THING IN 3 YEARS OF AMAZON SELLING!

10 Reason You WILL Fail On Amazon FBA (MUST WATCH Before Selling On Amazon)

President Donald Trump Takes Aim At Amazon And Jeff Bezos | CNBC

Donald Trump Attacks Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Bezos shoots back at Trump

Trump vs Bezos

Jeff Bezos: Donald Trump Comments Erode Our Democracy | Power Lunch | CNBC

Donald Trump Vs. Jeff Bezos: President Targets Amazon In Latest Tweets | CNBC

Jeff Bezos in 90 Seconds

Amazon’s “Transformation”: How the online retailer is disrupting Hollywood

What Is Amazon Prime and Is It Worth It?

About Donald Trump | Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon | Code Conference 2016

Ex-Amazon workers talk of ‘horrendous’ conditions

Behind the Alarming Expose on Amazon’s Workplace Culture | NBC Nightly News

Exposé reveals Amazon’s punishing workplace culture

The ‘Enormous Pressue’ Of Working At Amazon

Amazon: How Bruising a Workplace Is It?

Amazon fires back after scathing workplace critique

New York Times: Amazon A ‘Bruising Workplace’ | Tech Bet | CNBC

Amazon’s tips to create a workplace from hell I The Feed

Behind the scenes of an Amazon warehouse

Bezos defends working conditions at Amazon

The Power of Jeff Bezos – Interview Oct 2016

Amazon employee work-life balance | Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon | Code Conference 2016

“I’ve MADE billions of dollars of FAILURES” – Jeff Bezos’s (@JeffBezos) Top 10 Rules Volume 2

Jeff Bezos’ Fortune Crosses $113 Billion | Forbes

Jeff Bezos: The $100 Billion Dollar Man | CNBC

Jeff Bezos’ wife blasts book on Amazon founder

Interview: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Amazing Amazon Story – Jeff Bezos Full Speech

Jeff Bezos interview on Starting Amazon (2001)

Trump hates Amazon, not Facebook

Photos: Mark Wilson / Getty Images; The Washington Post

Capitol Hill wants Facebook’s blood, but President Trump isn’t interested. Instead, the tech behemoth Trump wants to go after is Amazon, according to five sources who’ve discussed it with him. “He’s obsessed with Amazon,” a source said. “Obsessed.”

What we’re hearing: Trump has talked about changing Amazon’s tax treatment because he’s worried about mom-and-pop retailers being put out of business.

Show less
  • A source who’s spoken to POTUS: “He’s wondered aloud if there may be any way to go after Amazon with antitrust or competition law.”
  • Trump’s deep-seated antipathy toward Amazon surfaces when discussing tax policy and antitrust cases. The president would love to clip CEO Jeff Bezos’ wings. But he doesn’t have a plan to make that happen.

Behind the president’s thinking: Trump’s wealthy friends tell him Amazon is destroying their businesses. His real estate buddies tell him — and he agrees — that Amazon is killing shopping malls and brick-and-mortar retailers.

  • Trump tells people Amazon has gotten a free ride from taxpayers and cushy treatment from the U.S. Postal Service.
  • “The whole post office thing, that’s very much a perception he has,” another source said. “It’s been explained to him in multiple meetings that his perception is inaccurate and that the post office actually makes a ton of money from Amazon.”
  • Axios’ Ina Fried notes: The Postal Service actually added delivery on Sunday in some cities because Amazon made it worthwhile.
  • Trump also pays close attention to the Amazon founder’s ownership of The Washington Post, which the president views as Bezos’ political weapon.

Trump never talks about Mark Zuckerberg or Facebook: He isn’t tuned in to the debate over how they handle people’s data, and thinks the Russia story is a hoax, sources say.

  • Axios’ Kim Hart points out: “Trump told Axios last year he doesn’t mind Facebook because it helps him reach his audience. He’s an old-school businessman who sees the world in terms of tangible assets: real estate, physical mail delivery, Main Street, grocery stores. It reminds me of the story Jim wrote a while back about Trump’s fixation with 1950s life. Amazon takes direct aim at some of the core components of mid-century business.”

One warning sign for Facebook: Vice President Mike Pence is concerned about Facebook and Google, according to a source with direct knowledge.

  • Though Pence isn’t yet pushing internally for any specific regulations, he argues these companies are dangerously powerful.
  • The source said the V.P. worries about their influence on media coverage, as well as their control of the advertising industry and users’ personal info.
  • When private discussions have turned to the idea of busting Facebook and Google, Pence has listened with keen interest and is open to the suggestion that these two companies need shaking up.

Get more stories like this by signing up for Jonathan Swan’s weekly political lookahead newsletter, Axios Sneak Peek. 

The Antitrust Case Against Facebook, Google and Amazon

A few technology giants dominate their worlds just as Standard Oil and AT&T once did. Should they be broken up?

Logos for Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, otherwise known as GAFA.
Logos for Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, otherwise known as GAFA. PHOTO: DAMIEN MEYER/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

Standard Oil Co. and American Telephone and Telegraph Co. were the technological titans of their day, commanding more than 80% of their markets.

Today’s tech giants are just as dominant: In the U.S., Alphabet Inc.’s Google drives 89% of internet search; 95% of young adults on the internet use a Facebook Inc. product; andAmazon.com Inc. now accounts for 75% of electronic book sales. Those firms that aren’t monopolists are duopolists: Google and Facebook absorbed 63% of online ad spending last year; Google and Apple Inc. provide 99% of mobile phone operating systems; while Apple and Microsoft Corp. supply 95% of desktop operating systems.

A growing number of critics think these tech giants need to be broken up or regulated as Standard Oil and AT&T once were. Their alleged sins run the gamut from disseminating fake news and fostering addiction to laying waste to small towns’ shopping districts. But antitrust regulators have a narrow test: Does their size leave consumers worse off?

By that standard, there isn’t a clear case for going after big tech—at least for now. They are driving down prices and rolling out new and often improved products and services every week.

That may not be true in the future: If market dominance means fewer competitors and less innovation, consumers will be worse off than if those companies had been restrained. “The impact on innovation can be the most important competitive effect” in an antitrust case, says Fiona Scott Morton, a Yale University economist who served in the Justice Department’s antitrust division under Barack Obama.

Google which has spent the past eight years in the sights of European and American antitrust authorities, is hardly a price gouger. Most of its products are free to consumers and the price advertisers pay Google per click has fallen by a third the past three years. The company remains an innovation powerhouse, investing in new products such as its voice-activated assistant Google Home.

Google’s booth at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Google’s booth at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. PHOTO: DAVID PAUL MORRIS/BLOOMBERG NEWS

Yet Google’s monopoly means some features and prices that competitors offered never made it in front of customers. Yelp Inc., which in 2004 began aggregating detailed information and user reviews of local services, such as restaurants and stores, claims Google altered its search results to hurt Yelp and help its own competing service. While Yelp survived, it has retreated from Europe, and several similar local search services have faded.

“Forty percent of Google search is local,” says Luther Lowe, the company’s head of public policy. “There should be hundreds of Yelps. There’s not. No one is pitching investors to build a service that relies on discovery through Facebook or Google to grow, because venture capitalists think it’s a poor bet.”

There are key differences between today’s tech giants and monopolists of previous eras. Standard Oil and AT&T used trusts, regulations and patents to keep out or co-opt competitors. They were respected but unloved. By contrast, Google and Facebook give away their main product, while Amazon undercuts traditional retailers so aggressively it may be holding down inflation. None enjoys a government-sanctioned monopoly; all invest prodigiously in new products. Alphabet plows 16% of revenue back into research and development; for Facebook it’s 21%—ratios far higher than other companies. All are among the public’s most loved brands, according to polls by Morning Consult.

Yet there are also important parallels. The monopolies of old and of today were built on proprietary technology and physical networks that drove down costs while locking in customers, erecting formidable barriers to entry. Just as Standard Oil and AT&T were once critical to the nation’s economic infrastructure, today’s tech giants are gatekeepers to the internet economy. If they’re imposing a cost, it may not be what customers pay but the products they never see.

In its youth Standard Oil was as revered for its technological and commercial brilliance as any big tech company today. John D. Rockefeller began with a single refinery in Cleveland in 1863 and over the next few decades acquired other, weaker refineries. Those that wouldn’t sell, he underpriced and drove out of business. By 1904, companies controlled by Standard Oil produced 87% of refined oil output, according to Mike Scherer, a retired Harvard economist who has written extensively on antitrust.

This wasn’t superficially bad for consumers. The price of kerosene, the principal refined product from oil, fell steadily as Standard Oil’s market share expanded, thanks to falling crude oil prices and Standard Oil’s economies of scale, bargaining power with suppliers such as railroads, and innovation, such as the Frasch-Burton process for deriving kerosene from high-sulfur oil in Ohio.

Standard Oil's refinery in Richmond, Calif., in 1911.
Standard Oil’s refinery in Richmond, Calif., in 1911. PHOTO: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/CORBIS/VCG/GETTY IMAGES

When the federal government sued to break up Standard Oil, the Supreme Court acknowledged business acumen was important to the company’s early success, but concluded that was eventually supplanted by a single-minded determination to drive others out of the market.

In a 2005 paper, Mr. Scherer found that Standard Oil was indeed a prolific generator of patents in its early years, but that slowed once it achieved dominance. Around 1909 Standard’s Indiana unit invented “thermal cracking” to improve gasoline refining to meet nascent demand from automobiles, but the company’s head office thought the technology too dangerous and refused to commercialize it. After the Indiana unit was spun off when the company was broken up in 1911, it commercialized the technology to enormous success, Mr. Scherer wrote.

The story of AT&T is similar. It owed its early growth and dominant market position to Alexander Graham Bell’s 1876 patent for the telephone. After the related patents expired in the 1890s, new exchanges sprung up in countless cities to compete.

Competition was a powerful prod to innovation: Independent companies, by installing twisted copper lines and automatic switching, forced AT&T to do the same. But AT&T, like today’s tech giants, had “network effects” on its side.

“Just like people joined Facebook because everyone else was on Facebook, the biggest competitive advantage AT&T had was that it was interconnected,” says Milton Mueller, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology who has studied the history of technology policy.

Early in the 20th century, AT&T began buying up local competitors and refusing to connect independent exchanges to its long-distance lines, arousing antitrust complaints. By the 1920s, it was allowed to become a monopoly in exchange for universal service in the communities it served. By 1939, the company carried more than 90% of calls.

Though AT&T’s research unit, Bell Labs, became synonymous with groundbreaking discoveries, in telephone innovation AT&T was a laggard. To protect its own lucrative equipment business it prohibited innovative devices such as the Hush-a-Phone, which kept others from overhearing calls, and the Carterphone, which patched calls over radio airwaves, from connecting to its network.

After AT&T was broken up into separate local and long-distance companies in 1982, telecommunication innovation blossomed, spreading to digital switching, fiber optics, cellphones—and the internet.

Just as AT&T decided what equipment could be used on the nation’s telephone systems, Google’s search algorithms determine who can be found on the internet. If you searched for a toaster online in the mid 2000s, Google would probably have taken you to comparison shopping sites such as Nextag. They pioneered features such as showing consumer ratings in search results, how popular a product was and how prices had changed over time, recalls Gary Reback, an antitrust lawyer who represented several competitors against Google.

Google’s Eric Schmidt testifying at a Senate Judiciary Committee antitrust hearing in September 2011.
Google’s Eric Schmidt testifying at a Senate Judiciary Committee antitrust hearing in September 2011. PHOTO:CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY IMAGES

But when Google launched its own comparison business, Google Shopping, those sites found themselves dropping deeper into Google’s search results. They accused Google of changing its algorithm to favor its own results. The company responded that its algorithm was designed to give customers the results they want. “If consumers don’t like the answer that Google Search provides, they can switch to another search engine with just one click,” Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt told Congress in 2011.

At that same hearing Jeffrey Katz, then the chief executive of Nextag, responded, “That is like saying move to Panama if you don’t like the tax rate in America. It’s a fake choice because no one has Google’s scope or capabilities and consumers won’t, don’t, and in fact can’t jump.”

In 2013 the U.S. Federal Trade Commission concluded that even if Google had hurt competitors, it was to serve consumers better, and declined to bring a case. Since then, comparison sites such as Nextag have largely faded.

Last year the European Commission went in the other direction and fined the company $2.9 billion and ordered it to change its search results.

The different outcomes hinge in part on different approaches. European regulators are more likely to see a shrinking pool of competitors as inherently bad for both competition and consumers. American regulators are more open to the possibility that it could be natural and benign.

In new industries, smaller players are frequently bought up or vanquished by deeper-pocketed, more-innovative rivals. Google’s general counsel, Kent Walker, wrote in response to the European Commission decision that even as smaller sites have retreated, Amazon has grown to become a huge player in comparison shopping.

Internet platforms have high fixed and minimal operating costs, which favors consolidation into a few deep-pocketed competitors. And the more customers a platform has, the more useful it is to each individual customer—the “network effect.”

But a platform that confers monopoly in one market can be leveraged to dominate another. Facebook’s existing user base enabled it to become the world’s largest photo-sharing site through its purchase of Instagram in 2012 and the largest instant-messaging provider through its purchase of WhatsApp in 2014. It is also muscling into virtual reality through its acquisition of Oculus VR in 2014 and anonymous polling with its purchase of TBH last year.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks at a developers conference last year in San Jose, Calif.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks at a developers conference last year in San Jose, Calif. PHOTO:STEPHEN LAM/REUTERS

What Facebook doesn’t acquire, it copies. Snap Inc.’s Snapchat, a fast-disappearing photo and video sharing app hugely popular with teenagers, was widely seen as a challenger to Facebook. But in 2016, Facebook introduced its own Snapchat-like feature, Stories, on Instagram, which now has more users and advertisers than Snapchat. That has undercut Snap’s growth and profits by reducing the number of new users “interested in trying Snap for the first time,” says Peter Stabler, an analyst at Wells Fargo.

There’s nothing wrong with copying, especially if the copy is better than the original. Snapchat’s app was originally difficult to use, says Mr. Stabler, and “you can’t discount [Facebook’s] quality of execution.” Moreover, even as Facebook copies its competitors, it continues to expand and enhance its own services such as Pages, which 70 million businesses world-wide have used to design their own webpages on Facebook.

Snap’s shares have sunk below the price at which the company went public last March as losses have mounted, which won’t encourage new entrants. Once a company like Google or Facebook has critical mass, “the venture capital looks elsewhere,” says Roger McNamee of Elevation Partners, a technology-focused private-equity firm. “There’s no point taking on someone with a three or four years head start.”

Amazon hasn’t yet reached the same market share as Google or Facebook but its position is arguably even more impregnable because it enjoys both physical and technological barriers to entry. Its roughly 75 fulfillment centers and state-of-the art logistics (including robots) put it closer, in time and space, to customers than any other online retailer.

The company says size makes it possible to deliver millions of items free of shipping charges to isolated communities with little retail presence. Amazon makes that network available to third-party merchants who pay a 15% commission and, typically, a $3 pick-pack-and ship-fee, says Greg Mercer, founder of Jungle Scout Inc. which advises third-party merchants how to sell on Amazon. “We have tons of examples of small entrepreneurial-type people who are really good at creating new inventions but have no idea how to distribute to the masses,” he says. “They create products and Amazon can take care of the rest.”

An Amazon warehouse in Britain.
An Amazon warehouse in Britain. PHOTO: JANE BARLOW/PA IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES

As the dominant platform for third-party online sales, Amazon also has access to data it can use to decide what products to sell itself. In 2016 Capitol Forum, a news service that investigates anticompetitive behavior, reported that when a shopper views an Amazon private-label clothing brand, the accompanying list of items labeled “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought,” is also dominated by Amazon’s private-label brands. This, it says, restricts competing sellers’ access to a prime marketing space

Mr. Mercer says he doesn’t see Amazon favoring its own products, and indeed his own firm helps merchants target profitable niches on Amazon. Nonetheless, he says many would prefer to sell through their own sites, but with so many shoppers searching first on Amazon, they feel they have little choice.

In the face of such accusations, the probability of regulatory action—for now—looks low, largely because U.S. regulators have a relatively high bar to clear: Do consumers suffer?

“We think consumer welfare is the right standard,” Bruce Hoffman, the FTC’s acting director of the bureau of competition, recently told a panel on antitrust law and innovation. “We have tried other standards. They were dismal failures.”

Still, Ms. Scott Morton notes, “the consumer welfare standard covers today and tomorrow,” and the potential loss of innovation is something both the law and the courts can and have weighed in an antitrust case. The Justice Department sued Microsoft to ensure that an innovation, the internet browser, remained a potential competitor to Microsoft’s monopoly over the user’s interface with the personal computer.

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates appeared at an antitrust hearing in Washington federal court in 2002.
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates appeared at an antitrust hearing in Washington federal court in 2002. PHOTO:STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

What would remedies look like? Since Big Tech owes its network effects to data, one often-proposed fix is to give users ownership of their own data: the “social graph” of connections on Facebook, or their search history on Google and Amazon. They could then take it to a competitor.

A more drastic remedy would be to block acquisitions of companies that might one day be a competing platform. British regulators let Facebook buy Instagram in part because Instagram didn’t sell ads, which they argued made them different businesses. In fact, Facebook used Instagram to engage users longer and thus sell more ads, Ben Thompson, wrote in his technology newsletter Stratechery. Building a network is “extremely difficult, but, once built, nearly impregnable. The only possible antidote is another network that draws away the one scarce resource: attention.” Thus, maintaining competition on the internet requires keeping “social networks in separate competitive companies.”

How sound are these premises? Google’s and Facebook’s access to that data and network effects might seem like an impregnable barrier, but the same appeared to be true of America Online’s membership, Yahoo ’s search engine and Apple’s iTunes store, note two economists, David Evans and Richard Schmalensee, in a recent paper. All saw their dominance recede in the face of disruptive competition. If someone launched a clearly superior search engine, social network or online store, consumers could switch more easily than they could telephone or oil companies a century ago. Microsoft has long dominated desktop operating systems but has failed to extend that dominance to internet search or to mobile operating systems.

It’s possible Microsoft might have become the dominant company in search and mobile without the scrutiny the federal antitrust case brought. Throughout history, entrepreneurs have often needed the government’s help to dislodge a monopolist—and may one day need it again.

Write to Greg Ip at greg.ip@wsj.com

Corrections & Amplifications 
Facebook’s share of online advertising revenue is 21%. An earlier version of the graphic titled ‘A Century of Techopoly’ incorrectly represented this value. An updated version has been published to correct the mistake.

Appeared in the January 17, 2018, print edition as ‘The Antitrust Case Against America’s Technology Behemoths.’

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-antitrust-case-against-facebook-google-amazon-and-apple-1516121561

Story 2: Will The Economy Grow At Above 3% Rate in 2018? — Video

See the source image

See the source image

Market is the best predictor of future GDP growth: Ed Lazear

Consumer Spending Helped U.S. Economy Grow

U.S. Economic Growth Revised Higher to 2.9% in 4Q

Top 10 Biggest Economies in the world of 2018

Ten Fastest Economic Growth Countries In The World 2018

US economy grew at a faster pace in fourth quarter 2017

Douglas Gillison

,

AFP

Washington (AFP) – The US economy grew significantly faster at the end of 2017 than previously reported, as consumer spending hit an three-year high and business investment rose, the government reported Wednesday.

The rosier revised estimate for the October-December period was a modest shot in the arm for President Donald Trump, whose trade policies face stiff opposition at home and abroad and has sent shudders through stock markets.

GDP grew 2.9 percent in the final three months of last year, 0.4 points higher than the prior estimate, the Commerce Department said. And that rate was significantly faster growth than analysts were expecting.

The third and final quarterly estimate, based on a fuller set of data, marked the third quarter in a row at or around President Donald Trump’s target of three percent annual growth.

And the new estimate does not account for December’s sweeping $1.5 trillion tax cuts, which economists say should boost growth in the near term at least for a short time.

“Consumer spending appears to have had its strongest quarter in three years,” Oxford Economics said in a research note, adding that tax cuts and stronger government spending should fuel GDP in 2018.

But for all of 2017 the growth rate was unchanged at a modest 2.3 percent, faster than the 1.5 percent posted in 2016, but still well below Trump’s goal and the 2.9 percent expansion seen in 2015.

The Trump administration is counting on an acceleration of growth to pay for the December tax cuts, which are expected to swell the budget deficit and add to the mounting US sovereign debt.

However, economists point to stagnating US productivity and a possible trade war as a drag on growth, and warn the tax cuts will drive the Treasury deeper into the red.

– Corporate profits slide –

The upward bump to the fourth-quarter growth estimate came from higher consumer spending, higher wholesale business inventories and updated statistical adjustments to account for seasonal factors, according to the Commerce Department.

Consumption hit the highest pace in three years, as consumer spending on goods saw its biggest quarterly bounce in nearly 12 years after an upward revision of three tenths to 7.8 percent.

Consumer spending on transportation pushed US services growth to 2.3 percent in the quarter, up two tenths from the prior estimate.

Those results helped offset the economic drag from rising imports, after the US trade deficit hit a nine-year high in 2017.

Despite the accelerating economic growth, corporate profits stagnated in the quarter, falling 0.1 percent after the prior quarter’s $90.2 billion increase.

The financial sector saw a $14.6 percent decrease but the non-financial sector experienced a $19.4 billion increase for the quarter.

Profits for 2017 were up $91.2 billion after the $44 billion decline in the prior year.

The December tax cuts imposed a one-time repatriation tax on foreign earnings, recorded as a $250 billion quarterly capital transfer from businesses to the federal government, according to the Commerce Department.

“We judge the economy by nonfinancial domestic profits, capital spending, and employment and these metrics look solid in 2017,” RDQ Economics said in a research note.

And companies were expected to reap the benefits of lower taxes in the coming year.

Current forecasts point to growth of below two percent in the first quarter of 2018, although first quarters typically are slower than annual growth.

ttps://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=consumer+sovereignty+and+amazon

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1048-1053

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1041-1047

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1033-1040

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1023-1032

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1017-1022

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1010-1016

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1001-1009

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 993-1000

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 984-992

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 977-983

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 970-976

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 963-969

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 955-962

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 946-954

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 938-945

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 926-937

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 916-925

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 906-915

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 889-896

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 884-888

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 878-883

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 870-877

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 864-869

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 857-863

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 850-856

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 845-849

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 840-844

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 833-839

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 827-832

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 821-826

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 815-820

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 806-814

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 800-805

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 793-799

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 785-792

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 777-784

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 769-776

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 759-768

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 751-758

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 745-750

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 738-744

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 732-737

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 727-731

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 720-726

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or DownloadShows 713-719

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or DownloadShows 705-712

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 695-704

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 685-694

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 675-684

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 668-674

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 660-667

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 651-659

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 644-650

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 637-643

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 629-636

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 617-628

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 608-616

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 599-607

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 590-598

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 585- 589

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 575-584

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 565-574

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 556-564

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 546-555

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 538-545

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 532-537

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 526-531

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 519-525

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 510-518

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 500-509

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 490-499

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 480-489

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 473-479

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 464-472

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 455-463

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 447-454

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 439-446

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 431-438

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 422-430

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 414-421

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 408-413

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 400-407

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 391-399

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 383-390

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 376-382

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 369-375

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 360-368

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 354-359

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 346-353

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 338-345

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 328-337

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 319-327

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 307-318

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 296-306

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 287-295

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 277-286

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 264-276

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 250-263

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 236-249

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 222-235

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 211-221

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 202-210

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 194-201

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 184-193

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 174-183

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 165-173

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 158-164

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 151-157

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 143-150

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 135-142

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 131-134

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 124-130

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 121-123

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 118-120

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 113 -117

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 112

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 108-111

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 106-108

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 104-105

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 101-103

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 98-100

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 94-97

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 93

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 92

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 91

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 88-90

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 84-87

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 79-83

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 74-78

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 71-73

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 68-70

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 65-67

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 62-64

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 58-61

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 55-57

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 52-54

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 49-51

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 45-48

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 41-44

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 38-40

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 34-37

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 30-33

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 27-29

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 17-26

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 16-22

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 10-15

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1-9

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...