Building the Public Options FieldRead More: Building the Public Options Field
2024 Direct File Tool, ExplainedRead More: 2024 Direct File Tool, Explained
Public Options: Benefiting Communities by Increasing Access and Affordability of Essential Goods and ServicesRead More: Public Options: Benefiting Communities by Increasing Access and Affordability of Essential Goods and Services
Beyond MonopoliesRead More: Beyond Monopolies
A child watches her mother suffer because her family can’t afford life-saving medicine. A farmer’s planting season is jeopardized by a broken tractor, because the manufacturer designed it so the owner can’t repair it. An entrepreneur trying to grow her business is coerced by the online marketplace where she sells her goods. A young adult dealing with poor working conditions stays in his position because of a non-compete agreement.
Amount that monopolies cost the average American per year
# of companies per US industry in 2070 at current rate of consolidation
What do these scenarios have in common? They show how today’s rampant corporate consolidation harms us all.
Most American industries have seen increased concentration in the last few decades, if not the last century. An estimated 70-90% of the global grain trade, 89% percent of the baby food market, and 98% of the cell phone market are each controlled by only four companies. And that’s just to name three industries–the list goes on and on.
This accelerating trend worsens the lives of all Americans. Consumers have fewer, more expensive choices. Workers enjoy less bargaining power. The country suffers from lower productivity and less innovation. Democratic institutions and markets bend to the will of enormous corporations. Our freedom and security get degraded.
It wasn’t always this way. The founders wanted to balance private interests with public power. Starting with the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, the US reined in monopolies and limited corporate consolidation for decades. It wasn’t until the mid-20th century, with the rise of small government, pro-corporate thinking, that this trend was reversed.
It’s time to bring back this robust tradition of shaping markets. Economic Security Project is bolstering a dynamic new movement against monopolies by working with the people most affected–workers, small businesses, people of color, and other constituencies. We are: supporting and amplifying leaders who are tilting the balance of power back from corporations to people; growing the field by seeding antimonopoly newcomers and expanding capacities of antimonopoly vanguards; resourcing timely initiatives to build momentum; funding new strands of empirical research; and shifting cultural narratives around monopoly power.
We’re building an inclusive, multiracial democracy and economy–one where communities of color, small businesses, workers, and everyday people can thrive, instead of being exploited by monopoly power. We are creating a much-needed hub where both new and long-standing antimonopoly advocates–across the academic, philanthropic, policy, legislative, cultural, and organizing realms–can coordinate, build, and strategize together, bringing this important movement into the mainstream.
Our work is already paying off. There is more attention now to the problem of concentrated economic power than there has been for many years. We helped create this momentum, and we’re building on it. It takes a whole host of solutions–not just antitrust–to solve this problem, but we are moving closer to a world where consumers have abundant choices; families have access to life-saving medicines; and workers have collective power and the freedom that comes with it.
Campaigns and Projects
Public Options Community of Practice
The Public Options Community of Practice (POCP) convenes campaigners, advocates, researchers, and government staffers to connect, strategize, and share resources on advancing public options across our communities.
Public options restore this access and give economic choice and power back to families. Public options are goods and services provided, authorized, or procured by the government, coexisting with private options, and available to all. They are a critical tool for restoring fairness to our economy.
Free and Simplified Tax Filing
It should be free and easy to file your taxes. A public option for tax filing counters corporate power to make tax filing free and simple and ensure that everyone gets the money they are owed.
Shaping Markets Field Building
In being against concentrated power, we are for an inclusive, multiracial democracy and economy—one where communities of color, small businesses, workers, and everyday people can thrive, instead of being exploited and subjugated by corporate monopolies.
Rein in Big Tech
We’re renewing democracy in the digital economy to promote fair markets where users, small business leaders, workers, and communities of color can thrive, not just monopolies.