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Big Business That’s Bad Business

The promise of capitalism is that unrestricted competition leads to the highest quality of goods at the lowest price all to benefit the community. So what happens when a business doesn’t want to compete anymore? Well, you end up losing the very benefit that capitalism is supposed to provide and end up in anti-capitalism. Let’s review a few examples.

Comcast Knows Better

The most recent example of anti-capitalism is the Comcast message a customer recorded where an employee nearly relentlessly denied a request to leave (read about the Comcast customer frustration on knowyourmeme.com). This is every customer’s nightmare. Yet, this is what happens when a business gets so big that competition no longer keeps it in line. While Comcast has issued an apology and is taking steps, there’s no step that actually makes anyone feel secure when such an economic giant lurks. Personally, I can’t say that I like Comcast’s service. It was better than the last one I was with, but only in the way that bitter fruit is better than poisonous fruit.

A Tangled Web for T.V. Online

Comcast has been saying it’s going to uphold net neutrality, or the idea that it won’t manipulate charges for services that require the infrastructure it owns to provide Internet services (read about Comcast and net neutrality). However, it has no accountability at this point, except for people watching them like hawks. What’s more is that there’s no more backlash for them if they ever decide to change their minds. They have so little competition, the worst they have to fear is public outrage that leads to almost nothing being done.

Slick and Slow Climb Toward Energy Efficiency

Oil companies have a lot to lose from markets for alternative fuels or energy efficiency. It’s surprising that they invest any money at all in these markets (read about Oil Companies Resisting Green Lead). It’s possible that some of them see that they had better have a foothold in such markets rather than fight them all together. It’s more likely oil companies are working to block progress by patenting technology , so it can’t be developed. Fuel prices are amazingly high and there’s no sign they will get better, and businesses that are invested in oil profits can keep milking that cash cow as long as there aren’t enough alternatives.

Monopoly, Monotony, Monocracy

Although monopolies are defined fairly strictly, it seems clear to the middle- and low-class consumer that many big businesses are virtual monopolies. Businesses that are virtual monopolies have little motivation to respond to consumer needs because there’s little consumer based accountability. It’s about no longer caring to push the boundary of quality for the customer when a business faces a loss in profit for efforts. It may be logical from a business view, but it is oppressive from consumer’s view. It seems more like a “monocracy” where businesses get to rule themselves, rather than a consumer regulated market.

Getting Rid of False Promises

I am all for capitalism that encourages quality not just for products and services, but holistic quality of community. That is the promise I hope for our free market, not the false promises of profit-based business ego that seeks to gain more and more and deny the cost to the community. The free market isn’t free when economic giants reshape the arena in which market competition exists. The free market isn’t free when piles of wealth overrule the voices of the people that the market is supposed to serve. It’s time to get rid of the false promise of big businesses.