It Looks Like Finland, But Isn’t

The following newspaper article could have been written by some “Anti-Establishment Leftie” in Finland:

“… the economy suffers from a lack of fair competition, many economists believe. Large corporations are often able to increase profits, not by providing better products than their rivals, but instead by being so big that they exercise power over workers and consumers. The government also plays a role, through policies that protect existing companies at the expense of start-ups and new entrants into an industry.”

Everybody knows that we have around 20 big companies that dominate large parts of our economy:

  • 2 banks “own” around 60% of the financial sector, 
  • 2 retail giants control over 80% of the retail market, 
  • Finnair runs the main airline business, 
  • Valio has a huge share of dairy products, 
  • 3 forestry companies effectively price wood, carton and paper products, 
  • the pension sector is dominated by 3 companies, 
  • oil and energy is managed by 2 local companies, 
  • 2 media companies, 3 telecom and 4 construction companies run their respective sectors. 

This has been going on for so long that the competition authorities do not even dare say anything because the lobbying power of these companies and their connections to the main political parties (Money= Funding). Action by the regulators could mean swift job losses for the exposed civil servants, and a long term in Siberia.

But the article was not published in Finland, but in the New York Times today (9.7.2021) and was written by two of their journalists who are following Joe Biden’s new executive orders that reflect the administration’s concern based on warnings by some economists that declining competition is hobbling the economy’s vitality.

If Joe Biden thinks that competition is not working in one of the most dynamic economies in the world, then somebody in the Finnish government should wake up before we are well and truly hobbled. 

As one commentator said in response to these new executive orders, “… enough is enough.  We have been in a crony capitalistic economy for a while and it needs to end.  I agree with Biden’s order and look forward to more.”

Photo: Gold Medal Bout of the boys’ –91 kg (heavyweight) at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires on 17 October 2018: Puerto Rico vs. Czech Republic. By Martin Rulsch, Wikimedia Commons

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