WASHINGTON—The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), the R Street Institute, and four other organizations have released a set of principles in defense of a diversity of enterprise size and scale.
The organizations that have signed onto the statement of principles include:
- American Commitment
- Chamber of Progress
- Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
- National Taxpayers Union
- R Street Institute
- Taxpayers Protection Alliance
In the wake of numerous attacks from the right and left on large enterprise businesses, these groups have come together to argue that economic policy should be size neutral—not discriminatory on the basis of their size.
R Street Institute President Eli Lehrer states, “politicians are wrong to kneecap ‘big’ business simply because they are big. And they’re even more wrong if they use their positions to punish enterprises for political speech. Doing either of these things runs counter to democratic norms and our capitalist, free-market economy. America cannot afford to let emotions and politics stifle our economic potential.”
“All too often the word ‘big’ is used as a pejorative in our politics to cast aspersions on a set of companies for the supposed sin of being large,” adds Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. “To be successful, the U.S. economy needs thriving firms of all sizes, and attempts to regulate, tax or otherwise constrain firms solely for being big is a recipe for economic stagnation and competitiveness loss.”
In a statement released today, they summarize their principles:
We are leaders, advocates and thinkers who stand for a vibrant, healthy and growing U.S. economy. We write out of concern over growing animus toward large enterprises simply because they are large. Together, we embrace and endorse the following principles:
Global Competitiveness: America’s chief economic and geopolitical rival embraces the principle that success in a global economy requires scale. America became the world’s leading economy because it had the largest and most successful firms. The United States should neither render its most innovative and productive firms unable to compete on the world stage nor do away with laws, norms and institutions that create a uniquely hospitable environment for large modern enterprises.
Size Agnosticism: Small business is not inherently good and big business is not inherently bad. Indeed, they are symbiotic: large firms play a major role in ecosystems that facilitate investments and ongoing customer relationships. Antitrust enforcement should focus on demonstrated conduct that harms consumer welfare, not on the structure or scale of firms.
Non-Discrimination: The market, not the government, should be the judge of business success and failure. Public policy directed towards business should never aim to benefit or reprimand particular firms on account of scale, structure or lawful speech.