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The illusion of competition and how we got this way.

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posted on Sep, 3 2010 @ 06:37 PM
Corporations and government regulations have destroyed the small remnants of the free market existing in America today. They have driven the small entrepreneur out of business and forced us all onto the plantations of the big mega corporations.

The following article sums up what went wrong and who was responsible. I'm sure many here at ATS won't be surprised to see that it was BOTH parties who tag teamed this system into existence.

Distributist Review

Neo-Feudalism and the Invisible Fist

The surest sign that a market is free is that it is competitive; there should be a rich variety of products provided by a vast number of firms, a situation which affords entrepreneurs many opportunities to enter the market and workers many places to sell their labor. And when we waltz into our local Wal-mart, that is what we seem to see. Alas, it is an illusion of competition rather than the reality. For example, if you want eyeglasses, you can go to Pearl Vision, or Lenscrafters, Sears Optical, JC Penney, Target, Macy’s, Sunglass Hut, or buy frames from 25 different manufacturers. Surely choice and competition prevail in this market. But no. All of these are one company, the Italian conglomerate Luxottica. And as with glasses, so also with so many other products. Most of our beer—even some that try to pass themselves off as “craft” beer—is provided by just two companies, ImBev of Belgium or the South African Brewing Company. Proctor & Gamble provides 75% of razors, 60% of detergent, 50% of feminine pads, etc. Even what few companies remain in each market often engage in collusion rather than competition. Wal-mart, for example, appoints one company as a “category manager” to allocate shelf space for all the “competing” companies.

After explaining the problem, the article goes on to explain how this diabolical system was imposed upon us, all in the name of curbing corporate greed and keeping those evil "Robber Barons" under control, all the while serving the interests of those they claimed to oppose.

So how did we get to a situation where the “freedom of markets” has come to mean “servility” and corporate control? Lynn recounts this history, but those who expect a neat tale of “conservatives” versus “liberals” (Lynn prefers the term “progressives”) will be disappointed. Rather, the two cooperated to produce the servile state. In our colonial history, open markets were the means to escape the network of feudal dependencies that governed European systems. In the open market, small landowners and laborers could freely trade their produce and gain independence. Hence, the early Republic kept a watchful eye on the corporate and financial powers. But that care began to break down with the Civil War, as the government directed millions to industry, and the corporations were able to free themselves from control of the states and gain new privileges, even becoming, in a bit of Supreme Court legislation, “legal persons.” For the rest of the century, the “Robber Barons” consolidated their hold on industry after industry to become the dominant force in society and government.

But one by one, the “owners” were stripped off. It began in the Carter administration with deregulation of the airline and trucking industries, the prototype for further deregulation. It was continued under Reagan, who offered few institutional changes but made it clear that his administration would not enforce the anti-trust laws, and he made open war on the unions. But the so-called “Reagan Revolution” was actually consolidated under Bill Clinton with NAFTA and the deregulation of the financial industry. With the “democratization” of the stock market, the general public came to believe that equities were better than savings, and they began to view themselves as little moguls, their interests identified with the large investors. The senior managers saw more and more of their pay tied to stock options, which meant their interests were now also more aligned with the large investors. Outsourcing did for both the unions and the engineers. Only the large investors and their financial backers remained in effective control of the corporate structures, and only their interests would count.

Read more: Distributist Review

Every time government sets itself to control or curb the evil designs of big business, it advanced their interests. They say the law is intended to break up monopolies or regulate business but their true goal is and has always been to eliminate the competition and consolidate the corporate power into fewer and fewer hands.

Regulations indended to control corporate greed serve only to discourage the start up of new companies or crush small businesses that may threaten the bottom line of the big mega-conglomerates. Regulations do not protect "the people" from bad or dangerous products; they really protect the big corps from competition, which is probably the one thing that scares them the most.

[edit on 9/3/10 by FortAnthem]

posted on Sep, 3 2010 @ 07:56 PM
Its an easy explanation to the Obama-care bill where insurance companies are now jacking up rates when the bill was sold as making health-care more affordable.

It's also an easy explanation to the bailouts that most Americans opposed.

It's also an easy explanation to the Iraq war that most Americans opposed.

it's also an easy explanation to .....

posted on Sep, 3 2010 @ 09:47 PM
reply to post by wutone

Yep, it pretty much explains everything.

When the govt claims to be for something or someone, they generally end up hurting the ones they claimed they were trying to "help".

On the other hand, when they work against some out of control group, they generally end up helping them in the end.

They can't possibly be that stupid, can they?

It was all done by design, IMO.

It just goes to show that the so called "free market" really isn't that free to begin with; the big corporations got that way through collusion with the government to suppress and destroy any and all competition.

They continue to give us the illusion of competition by presenting us with dozens of competing brands, all owned by the same parent company.

[edit on 9/3/10 by FortAnthem]

posted on Sep, 4 2010 @ 09:54 AM
Many of the people at ATS are aware of this to one degree or another. Some are still learning and some are completely disgusted with the current state of affairs.

Threads like this are very important to breaking people out of the left versus right paradigm, but once that's accomplished we need to know what the next step is. Where can our money be spent that doesn't propagate this monster?

posted on Sep, 4 2010 @ 07:48 PM
reply to post by Sunsetspawn

If you check out the website I got the story from, it does suggest solutions, although some might not like them; they originate from Catholic social teachings.

Still, anyone who wants to break free from the false capitalist/socialist paradigm should check it out, especially if you find the libertarians too extreme.

The Distributist Review

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 07:03 PM
reply to post by FortAnthem

There is something I have never understood about the semantics of capitalism and the free market. Every one rallies around competition and how it makes a system better. However, by definition, all competition is temporal. In the end there will be a winner and many losers.

Well, that's what we have now with only a few companies owning everything and producing everything. The competition is over since those few companies spend a great deal of effort ensuring the race itself is over or at least they control the rules of the race. If a new or innovative product appears, it is immediately bought up by the few and becomes another member of the stable.

In addition, those few companies start to own everything which effects them. They will own their own transportation infrastructure, their own service support companies, etc. If you are talking competition in business, this is where it leads: to domination.

All that "invisible hand" stuff is warm and fuzzy to someone with an academic understanding of what is supposed to be and replaces the reality around them with those dusty fundamentals. Humans excel at that.

I will get off the P & G soap box now and take incoming about how I must be a Socialist or a Communist or something else which makes no sense.

posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 08:10 AM
reply to post by ABNARTY

It is a three legged stool. The reason it does not support itself is because technology is controlled by the government, as well.

Make something that they don't like, and (like the mob), they will come and take everything you have.

Zorgon has some stories about garage scientists being harassed by the Fed.

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