Harper's Magazine

The DOJ’s Misguided Antitrust Attack

  • By
  • Barry C. Lynn,
  • New America Foundation
March 14, 2012 |

In 1890, Congress passed America’s first federal antimonopoly law, the Sherman Antitrust Act, by an overwhelming margin. The intent was to protect the nation’s markets and break up its concentrations of economic and political power. But almost immediately, the very plutocrats targeted by the law figured out how to turn it to their advantage. It was the unions of the workingman, they said, and the cooperatives of the farmer, that were the truly dangerous cartels. And with some help from business-friendly courts, the big man was made free to use the Sherman Act against the little man.

Killing the Competition

  • By
  • Barry C. Lynn,
  • New America Foundation
January 26, 2012 |

Fear, in any real market, is a natural emotion. There is the fear of not making a sale, not landing a job, not winning a client. Such fear is healthy, even constructive. It prods us to polish our wares, to refine our skills, and to conjure up—every so often—a wonder.

Abolish Stock Options

  • By
  • Barry C. Lynn,
  • New America Foundation
November 1, 2008 |

What is the purpose of a corporation? In America today we generally believe that corporations exist to generate profits for their share- holders, who “own” them. Indeed, we have structured much of our economy—and often staked our retirements—on this idea.

Unmade in America

  • By
  • Barry C. Lynn,
  • New America Foundation
June 1, 2002 |

When Congress summoned Enron's top executives this February and made them sit, hands folded, in front of the TV cameras, we at home were treated to a familiar display of Washington theater. Because most of these men had invoked their Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate themselves, no one expected much new information to be revealed. But our congressmen certainly were not going to let pass a chance to broadcast to the world their indignation at the gross mismanagement of a company that had once been so powerful, and so generous.

Breaking the Chain

  • By
  • Barry C. Lynn,
  • New America Foundation
July 1, 2006 |

There is an undeniable beauty to laissez-faire theory, with its promise that by struggling against one another, by grasping and elbowing and shouting and shoving, we create efficiency and satisfaction and progress for all. This concept has shaped, at the most fundamental levels, how we understand and engineer our basic freedoms -- economic, political, and moral. Until recently, however, most politicians and economists accepted that freedom within the marketplace had to be limited, at least to some degree, by rules designed to ensure general economic and social outcomes.

After The Election

  • By
  • Nir Rosen,
  • New America Foundation
April 28, 2005 |

After months of intensifying violence, a looming Sunni boycott, and numerous calls for postponement, Iraq's elections took place as scheduled on January 30 and were immediately hailed as a resounding success. A total of 8.5 million Iraqis, under literal threat of decapitation, cast their ballots at some 5,300 polling centers across the country. Turnout reached 58 percent nationally, surpassing 90 percent in certain Shiite- and Kurd-dominated neighborhoods, and bloodshed was relatively minimal, with forty-four Iraqis killed during the day and 100 wounded.

Risk Management

  • By
  • Alicia Mundy,
  • New America Foundation
September 1, 2004 |

As medication becomes a way of life for more and more Americans, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been remodeled to fit the times. Of the 296 drugs the FDA has approved in the last decade, most have been lifestyle drugs, or copycats of already existing medicines, or both. There have been multiple obesity treatments, allergy medicines, hair-loss cures, impotence pills, and drugs for the newest "disease," irritable bowel syndrome.

Welcome To The Machine

  • By
  • Brendan I. Koerner,
  • New America Foundation
April 1, 2004 |

That serious problems plague our new, computerized voting machines -- on which 29 percent of U.S. voters are poised to cast their votes in November -- has been apparent ever since $3.9 billion in federal funding for the machines was made available in 2002, in the aftermath of Bush v. Gore. In the years since, report after report has cautioned that the machines lack the security and robustness necessary to withstand the assaults of hackers or unscrupulous technicians.

Urban Philosopher: a Walking Tour of Lewis Mumford

  • By
  • Michael Lind,
  • New America Foundation
December 30, 1999 |

In 1996, Robert Wojtowicz, the literary executor of Lewis Mumford (1895-1990) and a professor of art history at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, published a useful overview of Mumford's life and work, Lewis Mumford and American Modernism: Eutopian Themes for Architecture and Urban Planning. Now Wojtowicz has collected a number of the "Sky Line" columns that Mumford wrote for Harold Ross's New Yorker between 1931 and 1940. The subjects range from "Mr.

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