BY AEP PRESIDENT, ROBERT H. BORK, JR
The Biden administration, finally beginning to worry about the political impact of the rising cost of food, fuel and other basic consumer necessities, is neatly dovetailing its push for aggressive antitrust enforcement by blaming inflation on big business and market concentration.
Politically speaking, it is a neat fix. It drives one of the central policies of the Biden administration — to shift antitrust enforcement from the consumer welfare standard of the past 45 years back to an earlier era’s more nebulous standard against “bigness.” And it deflects blame for inflation.
President Biden lacks the theatrical flourish of a Huey Long, but he is nevertheless trying out his best version of the Kingfisher routine. “I’ve directed my administration to crack down on what some major players are doing in the economy that are keeping prices higher than they need be,” Biden said in August. The cause of higher prices, he argued, is greedy big business and its stranglehold on the American consumer.