Upton Sinclair, author of “The Jungle,” wrote that when writing his novel critiquing the Gilded Age meatpacking industry, he aimed for America’s heart but hit its stomach. Indeed, though the novel centers on the struggles of an immigrant worker as he navigates low-wage and deadly jobs, it was the newly formed Federal Trade Commission that sprung into action to investigate the industry — specifically, allegations of price fixing at both the farmgate and the supermarket.
Today, after decades of corporate and judicial attacks on workers, public attention to monopoly power is finally centering economic justice and workers rights. Last year, the FTC convened a hearing on market power and competition in labor markets, and the Justice Department plans on following suit with a hearing of its own next week.
The above excerpt was originally published in Morning Consult.
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