The tweet-storm that Shervin Pishevar produced on February 6, 2018, is an apt example of a mind that takes in information from several sources, analyzes it, and distributes a verdict based on experience. Shervin Pishevar had itemized such thoughts before, but not to this extent. The 50-tweets over a 24-hour period encompassed a panorama of views on the American economy. One of his most interesting points was the place and fate of industrial giants like Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Alphabet in our economy.
In tweet #41, Shervin Pishevar notes, “Giants built on monopoly frameworks will fall. As they should. That’s how evolution works. Old forests burn to make room for the new.” When Pishevar mentions monopoly frameworks, he is talking about mega-corporations that adopt the practice of buying up and eliminating entrepreneurial enterprises that may or may not affect their bottom line. These huge corporations purchase all possible competitors to retain and manipulate their share of the market.
Shervin Pishevar is looking to the past to find the future. In 1913, Theodore Roosevelt demanded and signed the original antitrust laws. These laws were necessitated by the same monopolistic tendencies of those at the top of the economic food-chain that exist today. Pishevar points out the natural economic evolutionary pattern that destroys monopolies. Antitrust laws are one way that monopolies are broken up, as seen in the breakup of the Bell system in 1984. Most consumers asked “why” after a consent decree ordered the breakup in 1982. To the consumer, Bell looked like a perfect company that took care of the communication needs of the nation, just as the monopolistic corporations do today. However, the actions of Bell after the breakup of clinging to the old land-line systems and existing off the profits of the long-distance communication system spawns doubts that the wireless communication systems that birthed social media would ever have existed if Bell had not been broken up.
Another problem for monopolies is that they exist in a world separate from Main Street. Monopolies continue to demand high prices for inferior products when their product is the only one available. Competition is the force that creates innovation. Eventually, invention will overcome the static nature of monopolies as the consumer demands the superior product. Shervin Pishevar knows these facts. He has experienced the shock of monopolistic control and the excitement of busting that control. His tweet is an expression of that excitement.