Is Big Business Bad Business?

Laurence Articles

Why don’t we appreciate and celebrate big business more wholeheartedly? Why do so many of us regard it as unfair, monopolistic, manipulative, impersonal, and exploitative, to say nothing of inefficient? In Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero, the economist and free-range intellectual Tyler Cowen poses these questions and suggests a wide assortment of answers.

The answer to that question can start with something as simple as an examination of our daily routines.

I got out of a big comfortable bed, sold by the onetime retailing giant Carson Pirie Scott (now liquidated) and manufactured by the Simmons Bedding Company. I fixed myself breakfast, which consisted of Guatemalan cantaloupe, grown on a small farm but delivered to me using a tractor-trailer with a General Motors front end and a refrigerator trailer from Wabash National. The cantaloupe was then sold by Whole Foods, a unit of the company we all either love or hate the most, Amazon.

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