CSU, Chico News

Economist Barry Lynn Will Speak on Global Corporations

Date: 09-09-2010

Kathleen McPartland
Michael Perelman
Department of Economics

Barry Lynn, who writes about the dangers of monopoly capitalism, will deliver a lecture on Thursday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m. in Holt Hall 170 on the California State University, Chico campus. Lynn’s current book is “Cornered: The New Monopoly Capitalism and The Economics of Destruction.” His talk, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Department of Economics at CSU, Chico.

Lynn is a senior fellow at the New America Foundation. His current book, “Cornered,” expands on his ideas on the predatory power of giant corporations. In a video produced by the New American Foundation, Lynn discussed monopoly and how it works against the consumer. He said that people who control corporations such as Microsoft and Intel say that they are not monopolies because they control only 90 percent of the market. Yet, said Lynn, the classical definition of monopoly is that a company have sufficient power to determine the supply of a good and its pricing.

In the video, he gave an example of how consumers in this country have the illusion of choice when they buy something such as eyeglasses. A consumer can go to Lenscrafters, Pearl Vision or Sears Optical, but one Italian company, Luxottica SpA, owns all of those companies.

In his books Lynn discusses how consolidating what used to be hundreds of hardware stores into one giant store, or thousands of discount stores into one main discount store, results in job loss. As hundreds of businesses that used to compete and employ thousands of workers are consolidated, jobs are lost.

Lynn has written for Harper’s Magazine, the Financial Times, the Harvard Business Review, the Washington Post and the American Prospect, among others. He has appeared on National Public Radio, CNN’s Lou Dobb’s Tonight, Fox News, CBS, MSNBC, the BBC and C-Span. In addition to the two books mentioned, he is the author of “End of the Line: The Rise and Coming Fall of the Global Corporation.”