President Joe Biden signed an executive order this week with the ostensible goal of encouraging competition within the U.S. economy.
Some prominent critics of the plan, however, say that it is not exactly what the action announced on Friday is designed to do.
“They have got to up their game”
Instead, detractors describe the order as a thinly veiled power grab by the federal government.
The order itself is comprised of 72 actions and recommendations being sold as a pathway to more innovation, higher wages, and lower prices for Americans. As various agencies attempt to comply with Biden’s recommendations, they are expected to spark a range of legal challenges.
In announcing the effort, Biden declared “open and fair competition” to be at the root of America’s capitalist economy.
“That means if your companies want to win your business, they have to go out and they have got to up their game,” he declared. “Better prices and better services, better ideas and products.”
In addition to vying for loyal customers, the president said that “companies must do everything they can to compete for workers.”
“They just want more government control”
The executive order covers a variety of economic sectors, including technology, health care, transportation, and agriculture. In the tech realm, for example, Biden recommends wide-ranging actions such as restoring net neutrality laws and establishing rules regarding Big Tech data collection.
“Let me be very clear: Capitalism without competition isn’t capitalism. It’s exploitation,” Biden added.
On the surface, the order appears to be something that even Republican lawmakers would support, but U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) echoed a common GOP complaint during a recent appearance on the Fox Business Network.
“What it does is it goes back into failed programs like net neutrality, where you have the government trying to take control of the internet,” he said. “This is about a big power grab by government. It’s not about President Biden standing up to Big Tech.”
Scalise went on to contrast Biden’s supposed attempt to rein in Big Tech with a GOP-backed effort to accomplish the same goal, concluding: “On the Democrats’ side, they just want more government control.”