I think the Big Pharma/Health and Big Finance sectors have similar cartel like structures where a few large companies dominate the field, exercising considering political power and the ability to obtain subsidies and protections from the system while fending off regulation and price restraints.
There are others of course, like the energy field from exploration to distribution, often known as Big Oil, but which now includes natural gas and electric energy production and distribution.
The recurring myths of the efficient market and 'free trade' are exacting a heavy toll on the general public and the real economy. They provide ideological cover to a favored elite that is acting in the manner of a privileged and extractive aristocracy while beguiling many with the allure of easy money.
The concentration of ownership in the media has become an inhibiting and directing influence in public discourse that is hard to miss.
The current recovery fueled corporate perks and ZIRP for the financial sector, a fine example of 'trickle down' economics, will be remembered as one of the great policy errors of modern economic history. They pretend ignorance, they feign helplessness, and they know. But they are getting paid not to act effectively, and even not to see, but to spin some fantasy.
They 'feel your pain.' They just do not do anything substantial about it. Even a second term president can still talk as though he is a recently arrived outsider, critiquing the actions of some predecessor and a corrupt system in which is he barely involved.
These are not leaders. They are like modern CEO's, professional organizers and managers, who talk a great game about their accomplishments but, when the truth comes out, posture that they stand outside the very system for which they have long held the ultimate responsibility.
But even worse are those who make little pretense to justice and goodness and moral principle, preferring to appeal to the darkest impulses, the fears and hatreds of a society. Their actions betray their words.
The lack of serious reform, in large part because of the partnership between Big Money and Washington's new political class, and the dormancy of the progressive impulse, will eventually stress the fabric of society to the limit. And then change will come.
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