November 17, 2021

Politicians should set common rules for digital markets

As the American baseball great Yogi Berra once put it, “when you come to a fork in the road, take it!” We are at one now in the 21st century digital economy. Liberal democracies everywhere are playing regulatory whack-a-mole with platform monopolies, trying to enforce new privacy, tax, and antitrust rules.

All the while, the value of intangible assets such as technology, software and patents is expanding as the power of labour decreases. Covid-19 has only sped up this trend. Markets are supposed to enrich society. But in the age of surveillance capitalism, they are debasing it by concentrating all the gains in the hands of the very few who can ringfence the most data and intellectual property.

OECD nations should certainly push ahead with things such as a global corporate minimum tax, antitrust action and a framework for digital trade. But meanwhile, we need to…

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