The corporate share of GDP (gross revenue) has remained fairly constant, while corporate profits (in current dollars) have tripled in the last three decades. The data shows that corporations haven’t increased the wealth of the nation, but have stolen a bigger share of the wealth created by others through their abusive market and political power. Wealth and power have never been more concentrated, leaving us with a new Robber Baron era and a full return to The Jungle of 1906.
The following chart is a picture of what happens when the rules (antitrust laws) preventing monopoly power are ignored. Like Obama, the Trump administration, in serving their corporate masters, continues to ignore these important rules that would help improve market competition and income for U.S. livestock producers, keeping these invaluable stewards and husbandmen on the land.
The Trump administration, caving to multinational corporate pressure, has also ignored its “Buy American” platform when it failed to negotiate Country of Origin Labeling in the New NAFTA trade deal, missing an important opportunity to level the playing field for American producers against international meatpacking interests. And, the newly released White House 2020 Economic Report pushed back on calls to strengthen antitrust enforcement.
Legislating new rules (regulations) for the base (wealth-creating sector) of the economy with laws that increase costs, like increasing the minimum wage, or mandating animal ID, without addressing the monopoly power and massive extraction and concentration of wealth at the top, gives small businesses and small and mid-sized farms and ranches no choice but to go out of business, allowing more concentration of power in the hands of a few.
John Tyson agrees corporate mandates to increase profits, and therefore executive pay, pressures company officials to extract the maximum value possible from the weakest parts of the supply chain – farmers, ranchers, and workers:
The captains of Big Food have done well at the expense of all of us, but especially at the expense of rural America:
Considering most food is a commodity, how is it that profits, returns on equity, and executive salaries are so high? Answer: Unregulated and unrestrained monopoly power! Trump and Perdue, it’s up to you!