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Cornered : The New Monopoly Capitalism and the Economics of Destruction

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  123 ratings  ·  23 reviews
You're at the mall, looking to buy a pair of prescription sunglasses. Which of the four eyeglass stores listed in the directory should you visit first? Don't waste a lot of time deciding; it really doesn't matter. A single, huge international corporation owns three of the four eyeglass stores listed. And the fourth? Out of business. Think you'll try your luck at Sears? Don ...more
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published 2010 by John Wiley & Sons (first published December 10th 2009)
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3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  123 ratings  ·  23 reviews


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Paleoroundtable
Mar 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant and sweeping treatise on the deteriorating state of Western economies. In three parts, this book covers what went wrong, how it went wrong, why it went wrong, who is to blame, and how to fix it. 5 stars!
Jeff
Jan 03, 2010 rated it liked it
Firstly, I would like to say that I enjoyed this book for one reason in particular. The author lays out a simple, yet well thought analysis of our current capitalist system. The book is similar to The Shock Doctrine in many respects, but is organized slightly differently and contains a few issues that I thought detracted from the impact of the book.

I had concern over a few issues that pervaded the work. The author seems to have a nostalgia for the pre-Civil War period in American history, where
...more
John
Apr 29, 2010 rated it it was ok
Disappointed in this book. Basic point is that there's a lot of consolidation in distribution channels/producing that we don't really see (E.g. Wal-Mart) and that aren't good. But it's repetitive -- and seems to misuse the term/concept "monopoly".
Athan Tolis
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a straight, honest and passionate book. It’s written in the first person. It’s genuinely heartfelt and it’s a wake-up call. Author Barry Lynn sees himself as an evangelist here. It’s bad news he bears and he’s desperate for everybody to hear it: If we don’t pay attention, and time is running short, our world will soon be owned by a small cabal of neo-feudalist financiers.

He builds the argument in two parts: first “you are here” and second “this is how you got here.” From there, he actual
...more
Peter
Nov 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you have puzzled over why it is that the pay gap between line employees and executives in America is so much larger than in the rest of the developed world (it cannot be greed, because that is universal), and why it has steadily increased between the 1970s and now (again, greed, one expects, within a total population, should not increase markedly over time), the answer is finally and devastatingly here.

Since the end of the 1970s, anti-monopoly law had not been seriously enforced since a rule
...more
C F
May 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Barry Lynn's new book is a good explanation of how corporations have cornered capitalism, leaving little room for the entrepreneurs who create more jobs. Think of the oligopolies in the banking, weapons, accounting, food production, etc. sectors. But this book is very accessible, and not at all intimidating for the non-economist who wants to know why, if there are so many brands on the shelf, it can be said that there are just a few companies that control the food market. He also does an interes ...more
John G.
Mar 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book nails it, the real problem which is concentrated power in fewer and fewer hands. It's rare to see anyone express these sentiments so forcefully and in such a straight forward manner. Lynn takes off the kid gloves in this book. This book made economic history come alive and made me realize how important it is to know history and that, no, things really haven't always been this way and that's it's not natural at all for things to take this shape. He made me realize that politics and poli ...more
Paul Namie
Feb 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is a fascinating book on the effect that financial deregulation has had on the "free market" economy. The author explains how Corporate Monopolies in almost every industry threaten consumer choices and the quality of the goods that are produced. He compares the control that the monopolies have to a form of Quasi Socialism, where competion and innovation are stifled and controlled by the finance industry instead of the entrepenurs and scientific innovators.
Brian
Apr 06, 2010 rated it did not like it
Interesting info that makes sense to me and with the bit of economic knowledge I've got, I believe it. I'm just not sure how the editor let pass the author's tendency to over-explain and repeat himself.

Content: Good
Writing: Unreadable
blakeR
Nov 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
You know you're in for an interesting perspective when a capitalist writes a book about the dangers of monopoly. The person can lay out the lurid history of consolidation of industry in tedious detail, and document with exhaustive specifics just how this consolidation destroys choice, and jobs, and lives, and democracy. But at the end of the day the guy is still a capitalist, so he's therefore bound to miss key lessons.

Even before the ideological pretzeling Lynn must undergo in order to describe
...more
さやか むらさと
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Strong cases about major players from the past who have shaped the creepy reality of what we still call the "free market".

In Europe and China they make products while in the US they rather specialize in making process for making products.

And of course:

"Parents of newborns don't pay much attention to price as do parents of toddlers."

Brilliant.
Henry Best
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Both bleak and inspiring.
Vikas Erraballi
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Important and impressive in scope considering its only 300 pages. unfortunately polemical in style - could use a more academic style write-up to keep the focus on the subject
Susan
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, politics
I'm going to do my best to review this because it is an extraordinary book I think everyone should read. I'm not an economist though and will maybe say things that are arguable--maybe things that aren't right. This book tells what is actually going on economically behind "globalization." It explains for example how car parts are no longer made by individual car manufacturers but out-sourced and produced for all cars by the same companies that have monopolies over individual parts so that a failu ...more
Clif
Apr 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Get this book...

I'll admit, it was kind of a hard slog for me to read, but by the time you get to chapter two, you will not regret it. This is a literal textbook case as to the "why" of the Crash of '08 and the subsequent recession that followed it.

He shows historical precedent in every case, and, as humans are wont to do, repeat history again. Whether detailing the role of the financier, the laborer, the small investor, CEO, etc, this book breaks down the original purpose of a corporation, and
...more
Erin Panjer
Jan 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a must read, not just an opinion piece, it is historical account of what has gone wrong. He puts the 'Chicago School' and Milton Friedman in proper place to view the dishonesty they preached and how they got away with it, how it's all in the way they framed and worded what 'Free Markets' were all about. He takes account of the past, and explains down the faith or mysticism of the market and economy. We need to understand what is happening now for fixing the problems that new Oligarchy/Co ...more
Maria  D
Oct 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: economics
This book totally changed my view about monopolies, their way of operation and creation, and the laws of "free market" today.

The book is full of facts that open your mind to the world you didn't think you live in. So I think it was a very important read.

That said, I have to say I didn't enjoy the writing much, and skipped some parts of the book, especially the historical ones. The writer is clearly biased towards certain economic views, repeats himself a lot, wastes words, and I think about thir
...more
Brian
Jan 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Barry C. Lynn traces the startling concentration of power occurring in US industry in 2010 in this enlightening expose. He surprisingly sees Milton Friedman and John Kenneth Galbraith as partners (!) in starting today's monopolization, with Robert Reich assisting via his _The Work of Nations_. It's an interesting read.
Craig
May 29, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting and timely book. I'm not an economist and had a hard time following the information in the book. But overall a very powerful explanation of the unchecked power of corporations and the threat to our country unless there are significant changes.
Brian
Sep 29, 2009 rated it liked it
He sure doesn't care for Friedman much -- he is about as complementary to Uncle Miltie as Naomi Klein, and about as truthfully (which is to say, not much). He also misreads Schumpeter pretty thoroughly. With that said, the policy recommendations at the back make a fair bit of sense.
Alanmoorenz
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Depressing....but eye opening
Joseph Collins
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Nov 07, 2012
Christopher Nevin
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Apr 06, 2017
Michael
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Sep 08, 2017
Pat
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Shane
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Aug 26, 2012
Rob Norton
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Feb 13, 2010
Nick Scott
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Aug 21, 2012
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Mick Jones
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Jun 19, 2012
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