The New York Review of Books has an article about Amazon.com and Jeff Bezos that is written by Steve Coll. It's an interesting article for a variety of reasons, but one of them is that Mr. Coll, a former managing editor of the Washington Post who is now the dean of the Columbia University school of journalism, uses language that pretty openly signals his left-wing views:
Crucially, as in so many other fields of economic policy, antitrust law has been reshaped in recent decades by the spread of free-market fundamentalism. ...On the right, free-market ideologists built think tanks and long-term legal strategies to defeat business regulation of all kinds and to reduce the scope of antitrust enforcement from its expansive Progressive-era origins.
So if you are on the right, you are an "ideologist" or a "fundamentalist."
This theory is supposed to explain the prosecution of publishers for price-fixing by the Obama administration's antitrust department in a case before Judge Denise Cote, a Clinton appointee? I've written about the ebook antitrust case earlier here and here and here and have some sympathy with Mr. Coll's suggestion that Amazon's market power that poses some risks to the culture of books, but the idea that Amazon's growth or dominance was made possible primarily by some kind of triumph of free market ideology that prevented regulators from moving to shut it down strikes me as flaky. Just this month the federal Department of Labor issued a press release announcing investigations into two worker deaths at Amazon warehouses. Business regulation is hardly as defeated as Mr. Coll makes it out to be.