The Economic Security Project, a coalition of more than a hundred tech entrepreneurs, investors, and activists, has announced a $10 million fund aimed at addressing the negative effects of consolidation in corporate America, including growing inequality and a lack of economic mobility.
With initial funding from the Ford, Hewlett, Nathan Cummings, Knight, and Open Society foundations; Justice Catalyst; Omidyar Network; and Way to Win, the Anti-Monopoly Fund will award grants to organizations working to create fairer markets and advance anti-monopoly policies and enforcement. With a focus on catalyzing legal and economic research, power-building campaigns, and increased public awareness of the problem, the fund will work to regulate or dismantle monopolies in agriculture, health care, pharmaceuticals, finance, technology, and other industries.
"The goal of the AMF is...to create meaningful structural change to our economy and effectively use civic power to check private power that has fueled the massive inequality and lack of economic mobility that has plagued poor and middle-class Americans for nearly half a century," ESP states on its website. "Ultimately, we aim for this effort to result in a stronger economy and democracy for all Americans."
ESP co-chair Chris Hughes, a Facebook co-founder-turned-critic of the social media platform, told the Washington Post that the fund will invest through March 2021 in efforts by grassroots organizations, academic researchers, and policy advocates.
"There [is] a sense concentration in the economy has gotten completely out of control, and we need to do something about it," Hughes told the Post. "There have been a good number of groups working on this for some time, and some funders working on this for some time. But it felt like the right next step would be creating a fund that would be catalytic, and time bound, to invest in a cross section of groups — to include groups fighting tech but also in the agriculture and pharmaceutical spaces."