Biden slams 'capitalism without competition' as 'exploitation' and says he wants to put an end to it by cracking down on big corporations

President Joe Biden speaks during an event at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on November 23, 2021.
President Joe Biden.Alex Wong/Getty Images
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  • Biden said Friday that big corporations were squeezing out competition and undermining capitalism.

  • He said there were too many big companies in control causing high prices and low wages for workers.

  • Biden signed an executive order in July to promote competition.

President Joe Biden said Friday that the country's economic recovery was well underway — but that bad practices from big corporations were impeding progress.

The December jobs report badly missed expectations, with just 199,000 added payrolls. The median forecast from economists polled by Bloomberg was 450,000. Despite the disappointing data, Biden during Friday remarks pointed to the economic growth since he took office, saying that wages were up, unemployment was down, and the "Great Resignation" was helping workers look for conditions that are best for them.

But the economy is far from perfect. Biden said "a handful of giant companies" were squeezing out competition and raising prices on consumers, while keeping wages for their workers "unfairly low." He added that this made Americans pay more for food because larger companies pushed smaller businesses out of the game.

"You've heard me say before: Capitalism without competition isn't capitalism. It's exploitation," Biden said. "And I'm determined to end the exploitation."

In July, Biden signed an executive order to promote competition in the country, which included 72 initiatives at over a dozen federal agencies to tackle competition issues. Those included making it easier to change jobs and help raise wages, easing the process to get refunds with airlines, and helping family farmers by strengthening the Department of Agriculture's tools to end abusive practices by meat processors.

According to the White House, a smaller number of large companies control more business than they did 20 years ago in over 75% of US industries, and it's causing prices to surge, while holding back wages for workers in more concentrated markets.

Biden said on Friday he would be meeting with his "competition council" later this month to continue pushing for broad action to increase competition, raise wages, and lower prices for consumers — part of the "three-part plan" he laid out that also includes fixing the supply-chain crisis and lowering food costs.

Despite his issues with big corporations, Biden is continuing to push for the passage of his Build Back Better agenda to further stimulate the economy, and he said that "capitalism is alive and very well" during his July remarks, referencing more jobs and better wages.

"We're making serious progress to ensure that it works the way it's supposed to work for the good of the American people," he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider