Democracy and free enterprise are strong when creative intelligent people develop new ideas and produce more efficient businesses. In the 19th and most of the 20th centuries Wall Street telecommunications largely did not exist with a fraction of the computing and networking power of the present. It wasn’t possible for financial players to game the system the way they do presently with concentrated wealth able to trade at the speed of light and network wealth and capital. It wasn’t so practical for the most rich to have a finger in every pie, every business on the exchange. Anti-monopoly legislation was necessary to keep competition alive and not let the most rich own everything as if they were the company store selling product to captive workers.
In the 21st century the nature of business has changed at a basic level with the financial sector and concentrated wealth able to buy and control elements of everything, and that made especially easy with chain stores and outlets across the nation. It is possible for the most rich to effectively build a monopoly through Wall Street shared with fewer than 1% of Americans. Every financial exchange trickles up to them. Wall Street trading should itself have some anti-n laws that would limit the number of corporations any individual or corporation could invest in to some reasonable number such as three or four.
Free enterprise should encourage people to invent and establish new and improved businesses for-themselves rather than to create a manipulative class of financial players skimming the profits from everyone’s corporations. Those corporations are themselves brought to dominate the market, while new rival start up businesses would tend to be established only as far as they reinforce or support the existing businesses.
Because the system isn’t yet 100% complete in a plutocratic-corporatist structure it is challenging for some citizens to notice or understand the malevolution. They still believe that it is all free enterprise and therefore good, and the sole problem is socialism. Socialism is mainly a problem in diverting political thought from the question of how to make democracy best serve the citizens of the United States to a choice between socialism and undifferentiated free enterprise. Democracy and free enterprise have much more nuanced than that, and keeping free enterprise free from plutocratic, networked monopoly is one. Wealth should be encouraged to create new businesses and ideas rather than to buy up everything that already exists. Anti-financial monopoly laws can help with that.