The following was written by Convention of States New Jersey volunteer Seth Essendrop and originally published in The Hudson Reporter.
Monopolies are bad.
Regardless of your political views, that statement probably elicited nothing stronger than a yawn.
Why? Because even some of the most ardent free market crusaders recognize the dangers of monopolistic power.
Competition is the great driving force behind our economy, producing innovation, rewarding efficiency and good management, and reducing prices. Monopolies produce the opposite effect.
“Trust-busting,” then, enhances competition by placing both businesses and consumers on a more level playing field, so that the former cannot simply run roughshod over the latter.
Now, what if the roles were reversed? What if a single consumer held so much buying power, they could dictate terms to any potential vendor? Sure, that might put businesses at an unfair disadvantage, but hey, at least prices would be incredibly low.
That is, unless that one consumer were spending on someone else’s credit card, and price was not an object.
That consumer is the federal government.
Sure, there are plenty of people and entities in any given market, but no-one else is slinging around trillions of dollars of someone else’s money.
That money is more than just purchasing power, it is political power.
We see, almost daily, how economic power can be weaponized for political purposes. Indeed, that is the essence of “cancel culture.” Much as I despise the illiberal spirit of that movement, and their politicization of everything, there’s nothing wrong with them throwing their economic weight around.
But, when the federal government engages in the same activity, that is alarming and dangerous. This power is used more than you might think. Presidents often insert political conditions in contracts that have nothing to do with the product or service being offered, and which, in fact, make things more expensive for the taxpayer.
Because the government is so big that practically everyone does business with them, this is an effective and relatively simple way to achieve political objectives that would be impossible via legislation.
Of course, the executive branch also wields tremendous power by awarding grants and contracts in the first place. For example, the federal government recently retracted a ten-billion-dollar contract from Amazon, run by notorious Trump critic, Jeff Bezos, and awarded it to Microsoft.
As an avid Trump supporter I can certainly at least acknowledge how bad that looks to someone on the wrong side of the aisle.
It’s not fair to taxpayers, corporations, or consumers to allow a president of either party to abuse the people’s money for political gain.
Oh, and by the way, we’re over twenty trillion dollars in debt.
Time to take the credit card away.
We can amend the Constitution to impose fiscal restraints on the federal government—without approval from Congress. An Article V Convention of States is just the right tool for the job. Click here to learn more.