The Myth of Capitalism

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The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition

Capitalism is the greatest economic system in history. Unfortunately, the so-called capitalism that exists today is the antithesis of a competitive marketplace. Monopolies and oligopolies dominate the economy, with a few winners and millions of losers. The Myth of Capitalism explains how we got to this state and clearly points the way back to open markets that work for everyone. This book bridges the gap between the left and the right. The proposed solutions offer a path back to higher economic growth, more jobs, higher wages, and a level playing field for all.

Praise for The Myth of Capitalism

"Capitalism without competition is not Capitalism,’ writes Jonathan Tepper in The Myth of Capitalism. He is right. After decades when most economists dismissed antitrust actions as superfluous so long as consumers were not the victims of price-gouging, we are slowly waking up to the reality that monopoly Capitalism is back -- and it can be harmful even if its core products (as in the case of Google and Facebook) are free. If you want to understand the real cause of rising inequality, discard Piketty and read Tepper instead. This is a tract for the times with a rare bipartisan appeal. “

— Niall Ferguson, Milbank Family Senior Fellow, the Hoover Institution, Stanford, and author of The Ascent of Money

"Tepper and Hearn have written an impressive and important book, documenting via their own research and that of many scholars, the very substantial increase in concentration on the supply side of US industry, leading to a decline in competition and a substantial shift in the market and political power away from consumers and labor and toward the owners of capital. One hopes that it will have the impact that it clearly deserves."

— Michael Spence, Economics professor at Stern School of Business NYU, Nobel Prize in Economics (2001)

“They provide an immensely readable and persuasive account, superbly well-informed by a mass of recent data and research.”

Sir Angus Deaton, Princeton University, Nobel Prize in Economics (2015)

“A broad-ranging and deeply-researched analysis of the inexorable growth of monopolies and oligopolies over the past four decades. Clear and highly accessible, the book takes no prisoners, arguing that monopolists’ funding and sloppy thinking has corrupted every aspect of the system, from politicians to regulators to academics.”

Kenneth Rogoff, Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Economics at Harvard University, author of the bestselling book This Time is Different

"Slowing growth and rising inequality have become a toxic combination in western economies, notably including the US. This combination now threatens the survival of liberal democracy itself. Why has this happened? Some blame an excess of free-market capitalism. In this well-researched and clearly-written book, the authors demonstrate that the precise opposite is the case. This, then, is a truly important book. Read, learn, and act."

Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times

“Tepper and Hearn make a compelling case that the United States economy is straying increasingly far from capitalism, a process that is having deleterious consequences for both productivity growth and inequality. Their case is animated by passion but delivered in a detailed, analytical, and factual manner that is still enjoyable to read. More importantly, it is not an excuse for despair but a specific set of policy recommendations for action.”

Jason Furman, Harvard Kennedy School, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers (2013-17)

“Whatever happened to antitrust? In the US, it has for many years been effectively dormant as a tool to limit monopoly and monopsony power. Internet shopping isn’t much help to a firm buying an input made by only one supplier, nor a consumer choosing between different brands all made by the same giant company, and workers can’t easily switch to new locations and employers. The indisputable trend of rising concentration in American industry may be a major factor in the trend fall in labor’s share of national income. This engagingly written book concludes with a powerful set of proposals to reverse the trend and make the capitalist market economy function as it should. Important – a must read.”

Richard Portes CBE, Professor of Economics, London Business School, Founder and Honorary President, Centre for Economic Policy Research

"In a compelling and deeply researched polemic, Tepper and Hearn describe a market that is broken. Their call to free markets from private monopolists and oligopolists should unite both left and right the world over."

Charles Kenny, Senior Fellow, The Center for Global Development, Author of Getting Better

“This is an extremely important, timely, and well-researched book. Jonathan Tepper is himself a successful entrepreneur and he knows what “good” capitalism looks like. Jonathan Tepper understands this well and I recommend his book to every member of the US Congress.”

Sir Paul Marshall, Chairman of Marshall Wace Hedge Fund Group

“This narrative of monopoly profits translating into lobbying and influence-peddling affects all of us in the price of drugs, airplane tickets, cable bills, banks, and even smartphones. The Myth of Capitalism should be required reading by regulators, students, and anyone with a stake in America's future.”

J. Kyle Bass, Chief Investment Officer, Hayman Capital Management

“If you care about the future of American capitalism, you should read The Myth of capitalism. Every member of Congress ― heck every voter ― should read this to know how our economy has changed and how monopolies and oligopolies are shaping our lives.“

John Mauldin, co-author with Jonathan Tepper of best sellers Endgame and Code Red

“Whether you toe a Schumpeterian line, that capitalism is and must remain a Darwinian survival game between gargantuan monopolies and upstarts, or are terrified that the empire of monopolies all around us is destroying the foundations of democracy, Jonathan Tepper’s new book is an essential source of empirical evidence regarding the power and reach of monopolies in modern society.”

Yanis Varoufakis, former Greek Finance Minister, DiEM25 co-founder, Professor of Economics, University of Athens

"This breezy, readable account of the theory and practice of monopoly, duopoly, and oligopoly provides a solid foundation for the argument that many of the ills of today's economy can be traced to the concentration of power in fewer and fewer large firms."

Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media

“A sweeping and thought-provoking treatise on the past, present, and future of competition. The forces at play in fairness, inequality, consolidation, and dispersion shape the great game as it shapes us from markets to geopolitics.”

Josh Wolfe, Founding Partner & Managing Director, Lux Capital

“Tepper’s The Myth of Capitalism fiercely articulates the raw, hard truth behind the monopolistic behaviors of today’s corporations driving inequality, endangering the consumer, and eroding what American capitalism used to mean.”

Scott Galloway, Professor of Marketing and Serial Entrepreneur

"Tepper and Hearn have written a love letter for a (free market) romance, scorned. This book may give you a way to rekindle your love for markets, by proposing fixes for all the ways they've broken us."

— Roy Bahat, Venture capitalist, head of Bloomberg Beta

“Tepper and Hearn’s sharp analysis reveals fresh insights into the realities, contradictions, and myths of modern capitalism. They also propose a number of compelling policy measures to improve competition that will resonate right across the political spectrum, and across societies.  This book deserves the attention of policymakers and global citizens with a deep interest in how to reform our economic system―for the many, not the few.”

Kevin Rudd, 26th Prime Minister of Australia and President, Asia Society Policy Institute

"This is a brilliant, clear work of political economy in the classical sense: a rigorous analysis of how government action benefited monopolistic firms, which have used their profits to procure even more governmental favors, which in turn entrench their position at the top of the economic food chain. Even more importantly, Tepper connects his expertise to our everyday experience. This book should be required reading in introductory economics courses, to understand the true nature of the contemporary economy."

Frank Pasquale, Professor of Law, University of Maryland

“If you want to start a business in America today, or just want to know what's gone wrong with our country, The Myth of Capitalism is a great place to start. Tepper and Hearn provide a highly readable and very useful guide to America's monopoly problem, and to the many great and growing harms of economic concentration. Best of all, the authors make clear this concentration is not the inevitable result of any natural force within capitalism, but of political decisions that we can begin to reverse today.”

Barry C. Lynn, director of Open Markets Institute, author of Cornered: The New Monopoly Capitalism and the Economics of Destruction

“A deeply insightful analysis of the rapidly creeping tentacles of the corporatocracy and the devastating impacts of a predatory form of capitalism. This book helps us understand the importance of replacing it with a system that is itself a renewable resource, a Life Economy.” 

John Perkins, former chief economist and author of New York Times best-selling books including Confessions of an Economic Hitman and The Secret History of the American Empire