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Is 2024 the year of trust-busting? This bipartisan issue of small versus big is a fight taking place on the streets and in the federal and state courts; led by grassroots movements and consumer protest. The Biden administration has stepped up anti-trust action, but the number of merger filings is also up. What should we make of this moment? To help answer that question, Laura is joined by two experts on anti-trust action: Stacy Mitchell, Co-Executive Director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Matt Stoller, author of “Goliath: The Hundred Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy” and publisher of the newsletter “BIG” on Substack. Mitchell has played a leading role in today’s growing anti-monopoly movement and her work informed the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust lawsuit against Amazon in 2023. Stoller is the former policy advisor to the Senate Budget Committee and also worked for a member of the Financial Services Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives during the financial crisis. In this episode, they unpack how decades of corporate consolidation did not lead to cheaper prices, better service or more jobs, but instead worsened our local economies, the quality of our lives and democracy. How have people power and government action together brought about a shift? Is it real? Hear why one guest calls this moment a delayed policy reaction to the 2008 financial crisis, plus a commentary from Laura on the last time Democrats took on monopoly power this actively — and what happened to that.

“What we are seeing in this administration is we actually have people in place who are making huge change and are using the tools to the full extent that they have . . . There is a lot of grassroots support for the idea of dealing with corporate power. Everybody is feeling this . . .” – Stacy Mitchell

“It’s very clear that not having competition in these markets kills . . . In areas like hospices and elder care, dialysis or other parts of healthcare people die. And also in things like Boeing, people die.” – Matt Stoller

Guests

  • Stacy Mitchell: Co-Executive Director, Institute for Local Self-Reliance 
  • Matt Stoller: Research Director, American Economic Liberties Project; Publisher, BIG & Author, Goliath: The Hundred Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy

Portions of this interview are featured in our episode, “Trust-Busting 2024 with Stacy Mitchell & Matt Stoller: A Bipartisan Battle Against Monopoly Power”.