Author Thom Hartmann says average family pays $5K 'monopoly tax' to large companies

Progressive radio host and author Thom Hartmann said large corporations pocket $5,000 extra from the average American family each year because the government has failed to rein in their anti-competitive tactics.

Hartmann, whose book “The Hidden History of Monopolies” was published this year, told Hill.TV that small and medium businesses have “largely ceased to exist in the American landscape” — a trend only exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

“If you were to go back to 1979, 1980 before Reagan, you would find that basically any town you went to, you’d know where you were because you’d see all these local businesses,” he said. “That’s all gone — and this is the result of Ronald Reagan in 1982 stopping the enforcement of the Sherman Antitrust Act.”

As a result, Hartmann said, the large corporations that remain can charge U.S. households more for essential goods and services.

“You've got the average American family paying about a $5,000 a year, essentially, monopoly tax — it's not a tax we pay to the government, we pay it to giant corporations,” he said. “We pay more for internet, we pay more for airfare, we pay more for food — pick your sector of the economy. We're getting screwed because of these giant corporations.”

“Now, in this era of COVID, we’re getting screwed with hospital bills — we pay more than twice as much for hospitalization as any other country in the world,” Hartmann added.