David Dayen

Newly appointed American Prospect executive editor David Dayen, who will be joining the magazine June 1, is a contributing writer to SalonHe also writes for The InterceptThe New Republic, and The Fiscal Times. His first book, Chain of Title, about three ordinary Americans who uncover Wall Street's foreclosure fraud, was released by The New Press in 2016.

Recent Articles

Abusing Drugs

How CVS uses its market power to destroy competing independent pharmacies.

AP Photo/Richard Drew
When the CVS drug chain announced its proposed merger with Aetna, some health experts offered a sliver of optimism. Combining elements of the medical supply chain could increase efficiency for patients, they reasoned, and eliminate some of the middlemen that make health care so expensive. But recent allegations about CVS trying to put independent pharmacists out of business should put an end to this happy talk. CVS’s existing combination of a pharmacy (which dispenses drugs) and a pharmacy benefits manager (which reimburses other pharmacists for dispensing drugs) is a disaster for competition and access, particularly in underserved communities. Adding a health insurer like Aetna would further concentrate market power and narrow the networks people depend upon for medical care. As first reported by the subscription-based outlet The Capitol Forum , near the end of October, right around when CVS/Aetna negotiations were first disclosed , independent pharmacists began to notice...

Big Tech: The New Predatory Capitalism

The tech giants are menacing democracy, privacy, and competition. Can they be housebroken?

Niall Carson/Press Association via AP Images
This article appears in the Winter 2018 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . “We’re making the world a better place.” The phrase is thrown around so often in the tech world that it became a punch line on the HBO satire Silicon Valley . Executives controlling the largest tech titans—Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft—might even believe it. But in a searing presentation at Business Insider ’s IGNITION conference in November, New York University professor Scott Galloway explained that technology and progress have stopped traveling together since the days of the Apollo Project, even as scientists and engineers developed the most sophisticated tools known to mankind. “What has the greatest collection of humanity and IQ and financial capital been brought together to accomplish?” Galloway asked the crowd. “To save world hunger? To create greater comity of man? I don’t think so. … Their...

The Rehabilitation of Antitrust

Time to overturn the revolution wrought by Robert Bork. We need antitrust more than ever.

AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File
Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee held an extraordinary hearing , challenging an entrenched consensus that has dominated for nearly four decades. Lawmakers and panelists didn’t debate a new law but the interpretation of a century-old one. And in the process, they revealed something about how corruption works in our key institutions. It’s not solely about self-enrichment or looting the treasury on behalf of donors. It’s about closing off debate, building a wall around critical decisions so only they and their friends get to weigh in. This cloistered, pinched, incestuous establishment went on trial last week, and it didn’t fare well. The hearing concerned the “ consumer welfare standard ” for antitrust law, a concept conjured up by Robert Bork and his pals at the University of Chicago in the 1970s. Under this standard, mergers are judged under the Sherman and Clayton Acts based solely on whether they provide...

Single Payer? How About a Profit-Driven Single Provider?

The CVS-Aetna merger creates a price-setting behemoth for medications.

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
Leftists have long desired a single-payer health-care system. The way concentration is going in the health-care industry, they may just get it, in the worst possible manner. On Sunday, CVS announced they would purchase Aetna in a $69 billion deal. This doesn’t just join one of the nation’s three largest pharmacies with one of the five big health insurers. CVS also owns Caremark, one of the three giant pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) middlemen that manage prescription drug benefits for health plans. I see some health economists talking themselves into this deal becoming a positive development for consumers. Don’t bet on it. This gives one company a mountain of inside information on its competition: all of their prescription drug usages, favored methods of delivery, and pricing data. A pharmacy/PBM tie-up, as happened when CVS bought Caremark, already has created an extreme information advantage; integrating an insurer into the mix heightens the potential for abuse, at...

Unfriendly Skies

It’s time to admit that airline deregulation has failed passengers, workers—and economic efficiency.

Larry MacDougal via AP
This article appears in the Fall 2017 issue of The American Prospect. Subscribe here . When Dr. David Dao was forcibly removed from United Airlines Flight 3411 on April 9, with cell phone cameras documenting the display, the uproar was immediate. People were infuriated by United’s resort to brutality, by the use of law enforcement to solve an overbooking problem, by the bloodied face of the doctor, and by United CEO Oscar Munoz’s ham-handed apology for “re-accommodating” customers. But the real outrage should be directed at the fact that abuse of passengers is the logical endpoint of a 40-year trend since the government liberated the airline industry. Until 1978, air travel was heavily regulated. In that year, some of the nation’s most celebrated liberals joined conservatives in trusting free markets. A brief rush of competition in the 1980s gave way to consolidation and monopoly power, at the expense of workers and passengers alike. Today, four carriers...

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