358. The trouble with monopolies

Monopoly. When you are a child, this is a board game, in which you greedily strive to become a property tycoon, accumulate land and build houses and hotels on it, to crash your opponents by taking all their money, ultimately winning the game. When nobody secures dominance, the game goes on forever, as monies you take when others land on your property, you return when you land on theirs, so nobody’s wealth runs out. This is a very apt analogy for how monopolies work. Once you establish one, as Peter Thiel, the mega successful Silicon Valley investor tells us, you guarantee maximum profits by negating the possibility of competition. One winner and every one else losing is fun in a board game but, when the game is real life and the board is society, this is a problem, from many perspectives. We are seeing this with the tech giants today, Google, Amazon and Facebook, behemoths which own their markets, increasing inequality and stifling entrepreneurship. Time to change the rules of the game

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