While most Americans outside of his home state of Missouri may not realize it, Republican U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley is becoming a national treasure.
The freshman senator who defeated Democrat Claire McCaskill in 2018 has become a champion of the middle class as he fights to curb and even scale back the power of large American corporations and especially the big tech behemoths who are destroying privacy, trampling democracy, and meddling in our elections.
In an interview with The Realignment podcast this week, Hawley said that the GOP has to step up and defend working-class Americans against “concentrated corporate power” as well as the monopolization of entire sectors, Breitbart News reported.
Hawley added that “long gone are the days where” American workers can rely upon big business and large companies to look out for and consider first their needs and the needs of their communities.
Rather, Hawley noted that the increasing “concentrated corporate power” — in particular among America’s tech giants in Silicon Valley — is coming at the expense of the middle class. (Related: Trump must go on the offensive against Big Tech: SEIZE the domains of Google, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to force end to censorship.)
“One of the things Republicans need to recover today is a defense of an open, free market; of a fair, healthy, competing market and the length between that and Democratic citizenship,” he said.
At the end of the day, we are trying to support and sustain here a great democracy. We’re not trying to make a select group of people rich. They’ve already done that. The tech billionaires are already billionaires, they don’t need any more help from government. I’m not interested in trying to help them further. I’m interested in trying to help sustain the great middle of this country that makes our democracy run and that’s the most important challenge of this day.
Hawley is among a distinct minority of American lawmakers increasingly worried about the massive wealth gap among the haves and the have-nots. Though he’s a capitalist through and through, he also understands that a yawning wealth gap, in which the vast majority of money and resources are increasingly concentrated in very few hands, is an incubator of unrest.
Dr. Dale Archer, a psychiatrist, noted in 2013 that “the disparity between the nation’s top earners and the bottom 80 percent has grown exponentially over the past three decades, and it’s been exacerbated by the Great Recession.”
He added that, at the time, the bottom 80 percent of Americans owned just 7 percent of the nation’s $54 trillion wealth. Put another way, he wrote, the richest 400 Americans own just as much combined wealth as do the nation’s poorest — or about 150 million people, nearly half the population.
Worse, many American companies with rising assets and tens of billions in wealth no longer consider themselves as such, Hawley notes, which infuriates millions of citizens.
“You have these businesses who for years now have said, ‘Well, we’re based in the United States, but we’re not actually an American company, we’re a global company,’” Hawley said. “And you know, what has driven profits for some of our biggest multinational corporations? It’s been … moving jobs overseas where it’s cheaper … moving your profits out of this country so you don’t have to pay any taxes.”
When corporations do that, they not only deny Americans employment and opportunity, their trade and labor practices are actually predatory and self-serving.
Republicans, Hawley said, have to do a better job of defending the working class and middle class, as President Trump is attempting to do, by opposing the ‘free-trade at all costs’ mentality that has dominated Republican and Democrat Party establishments for decades.
“Big business and big government always get together, always. And that is exactly what has happened now with the tech sector, for instance, and arguably many other sectors where you have this alliance between big government and big business,” Hawley said.