Americans against Monopolies (AAM) is a web-based think tank that helps freedom-aspiring users methodically solve the nation’s economic problems (such as low wages, high prices, wealth disparity, slow growth, debt, suppressed innovation, etc.) by providing a framework to correlate, expose, analyze and likely promote abolishing regulations imposed by government officials that favor and create monopolies. Americans finally get a chance to use one of their few freedoms, the freedom of speech, to free themselves from the monopoly establishment, achieve a competitive free enterprise economy, and stop the growing threat to freedom of authoritarianism from both the left and right of the political spectrum.
Mike Holly gained ideal life-long experience for founding this think tank while pursuing his education, employment and entrepreneurial company against the powerful policymakers in the health care, energy and agriculture/food sectors. He found little willingness to put much sincere effort into challenging regulations favoring and creating monopolies among monopolists, businesses, politicians, government officials, bureaucrats, non-profits, economists, journalists, the media or anyone else.
While researching his MBA thesis at the University of Minnesota during the late 1970s, he found no one was challenging doctor and hospital monopolies or the unproven economic theory that is still used to limit their supply called “supply creates its own demand.” A free market health care economics Professor told him the solution would require the support of the powerful medical profession, which seemed unlikely after he said they were even surreptitiously promoting the importation of foreign doctors into the country as a safety valve when need was urgent, so they didn't have to expand the capacity of U.S. medical schools to educate American students over the long-term. As a MBA intern, the Minnesota Department of Health told him ambulances would be allocated to local governments not by need but rather by politics (e.g., as part of an exchange of political favors). While serving on the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce health care committee during the 1990s, he found no challenge to health care monopolies, but rather just consumer representatives from big businesses forming buyer monopolies to shift their medical costs onto small businesses. Nobel Prize winning economists Milton Friedman and Paul Samuelson said they were unwilling to get involved against health care monopolies even though they had published warnings about them in their books.
While working as an Engineer/Business Analyst at the Minnesota Department of Energy and Economic Development during the 1980s, he found pro-regulation energy economists were fabricating invalid economic models, such as life cycle costing based on straight line cost increases for fossil fuels. After finding a promising renewable energy, he left government to co-found Sorgo Fuels and Chemicals, Inc., for the production of biofuel, electricity and protein feed from an alternative farm crop and completed development of much of the technology in the early 1990s. Between 1992 and 2008, he lobbied unsuccessfully as the economics was rendered unattractive by a continual stream of regulations imposed by government officials, with advice from bureaucrats and economists, that favored monopolies and other technologies, including: (1) the Supreme Court allowed regulated electricity utility monopolies to manipulate avoided cost payments to decimate the biomass power industry in the early 1990s, (2) some states replaced it with competitive bidding conducted by utilities that was readily rigged to favor their cronies through the use of subjective criteria (i.e., not based on low price), (3) states adopting deregulation rigged it to favor electricity monopolies by allowing them to write the rules, (4) the federal government favored wind and solar financed by wealthy (passive) investors with massive subsidies and preferential grid rules, (5) the federal government favored biofuel made from corn with crop subsidies, (6) the federal government favored venture capitalists using failed biofuel production from cellulose with mandates, subsidies and low-interest loans, and (7) the Bush administration started the favoring of oil and gas production by Big Oil & Gas corporations that used fracking with preferential exemptions from environmental regulation (not awarded to other technologies). From 2003 to 2015, he found the same type of problems from governments in Eastern Europe.
From 2010 to 2014, he wrote, using his experience in the energy sector, and had published three short studies or articles criticizing U.S. government regulations favoring Big Oil & Gas, electricity utility and wind power monopolies (see energy sector). In 2013, he had published a condensed version of his lifelong and intensive health care analysis about how U.S. government regulations favoring monopolies made health care so expensive, that he considers a model for all sector and industry studies in the future (see health care sector). From 2015 through 2017, he intensively researched the work of others for the publication of two general articles and a video that found government regulations have favored and created the monopolies in all economic sectors that have led to the major economic problems throughout American history (see updates). He reached the same conclusion as other ordinary Americans that criticize monopolists, government officials, economists and the media for economic problems, and believe the ultimate blame rests with politicians, since they actually impose the core regulations favoring and creating monopolies, and the "buck stops" at those who accept leadership responsibility.
Throughout American history, U.S. politicians have perverted a promise of capitalism into evolving forms of government-controlled economies that always favor the top (one-half percent or so of) income earners, large private and public companies (e.g., of the Dow), and other moneyed monopoly special interests. Politicians impose regulations favoring their monopolist supporters and cronies that deny many small businesses, entrepreneurs, workers and others the freedom to compete on a level playing field in virtually all major industries, so the monopolists can attain higher profits with less work by ripping off consumers, taxpayers, workers and/or the environment. Politicians, business, economists and the media are trapped financially in this corrupt establishment. The failure to address monopolies has left the country and world trying to fix the economy with fiscal and monetary solutions that are leading to unsustainable debt and asset bubbles (e.g., housing, stock market, etc.).
Today, politicians are typically "corporatists" that partner with monopolist financial supporters, although sometimes they are monopolists themselves (e.g., President Trump from real estate and much of his cabinet from banking, oil and health care). Republicans, led by business elites, support regulations favoring and creating private monopolies, while seeking economic growth by minimizing regulations designed (albeit poorly) to protect the public from monopolies (such as regulatory oversight, scientific research, environmental, safety, consumer protections, antitrust, progressive taxes, retirement and health care benefits, etc.). Democrats, led by professional elites and especially government bureaucrats, favor and create government-regulated, public and labor monopolies. Although Libertarians typically claim they oppose all regulations, they don't make much of a case for abolishing regulations favoring and creating monopolies.
The recent rise of angry voters presents an opportunity to tear down the political elite's regulations favoring monopolies. But both major parties are moving away from freedom and toward authoritarianism ruled by the political elite while maintaining monopolization. The Republican Party under Trump is moving toward an "alt-right" or far-right corporatist command economy. Since the 1970s, corporatism has caused an ongoing debt crisis that is getting even worse since the 2007-8 Great Recession. Further on the far right, fascism failed in Nazi Germany under a strong leader directing privatization, monopolization, subsidization and control of large private companies led by favored businessmen obedient to the state's production directives, while jawboning others with interventionism and protectionism (i.e., blaming foreigners). The Democratic Party is moving toward a far left corporatist or socialistic command economy. Between the early 1900s and 1970s, socialism caused ongoing economic crises that peaked with the 1930s Great Depression and 1970s Great Inflation. Further on the far left, communism failed in the former U.S.S.R. with government bureaucracies run by the elite intellectuals planning and regulating public monopolies, and also practicing protectionism.
AAM hopes to re-focus public resentment against government regulations imposed by politicians that favor and create all types of monopolies towards the goal of finally achieving a free competitive enterprise economy and free trade. Free market capitalism, with the addition of regulations serving the public good, would likely reward all people for actually accomplishing something meaningful. Economic freedom for everybody would likely unleash exciting entrepreneurial opportunities, millions of higher quality jobs with higher wages, amazing technological innovation, rapid economic growth, lower costs and/or higher quality for consumers, and widespread prosperity, while still preserving the environment.
AAM will have global benefits even though the think tank will focus on creating a free competitive enterprise economy in the U.S. First, the world needs at least one good model of true capitalism. Second, if the U.S. must dissuade nations from communism or other authoritarian rule, it should not promote corporatism, but rather capitalism. Still, similar efforts are needed by think tanks across the globe. Moreover, trade agreements should harmonize (slave) labor and environmental protections.