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The All-Mighty Oligopoly

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posted on Nov, 5 2009 @ 03:22 AM
It has been bugging me but right now i feel there is something i need to get off my chest.

Maybe im the only person on the planet that actually liked the movie battlefield earth, but it bears a striking resemblence to what's happening today.

The evil alien "psychos" are taking over our planet with their corporatism. In the movie, the aliens want to mine more gold out of earth. So, the leader of the whole crew decides to hire more of people to go mining and reducing their pay in half by stating that the profits are negative and they arent making any money. Ironically enough, the aliens all work for a common "corporation." Their entire society is founded on the corporation.

Whether you hated the movie or liked it(personally i thought it was a bit flawed but overall a fairly good sci-fi film), the message it portrays is very important.

Corporations are taking over the world.

This thread is in general about this whole problem, but im going to point out one incident that infuriates me more than anything else.

Before i begin, let me explain how retailers make money.

Retailers make money off of their warranties and extremely useless services.

Bestbuy can charge up to $250 to come to your house and hook up your wireless router.

Their warranties on items can cost anywhere from $15 to $400. Are they worth it? Sure, sometimes they can be worth it. Sometimes you can get a crap product made by a crap company and its going to break.

But it's worse than that. Why are laptops so cheap now? Simply put, they want you to spend $300 on a laptop, watch it break in a year, then come back and spend $450 on your next laptop and buy a warranty.

After you send it in, it gets fixed, and you are a happy customer, right?

Wrong, the warranties are designed specifically so the company can at their discretion issue a new laptop with reduced specifications and price points. Or repair your current POS, excuse my french, whichever is cheaper. So either way, fixed laptop or not, your getting screwed. At worst they break even and make money off all the people that somehow where not covered under the warranty or the repair they had to make was so minimal at cost to them that they still make a huge profit margin on your product.

This is the common case of "manufacturer" working with "retailer" to screw you over.

But it doesnt end here, here is the juice of the thread:

"The MicroSh**t 360"

The Xbox 360, called the 360 because your lucky if it lasts more than 360 days before there's a problem.

Crappy manufacturing? Cheap parts? Microsoft's brilliant minds being not so brilliant(windows ME, anyone?)

You can say that those might be the reasons, but simply put, thats not the case.

Take a look at the first xbox:
Thing was built like a rock, never broke,overheated, scratched disks or anything. Mine fell of my 10 ft. shelf and still kept playing the game while upside down.

Did they just go really cheap on the Xbox 360?
Let's take a look at the optical drive:

"Kassa noted that Microsoft's "TSST"[45] versions of the Samsung DVD-drive lack rubber cushions around the optical lens while identical Samsung drives sold for PCs did have these rubber cushions."

Basically an independant researcher found out that the Xbox 360's optical drive did not have rubber pads installed to cushion the disc's from impacts resulting from console movement during playback while the identical drives sold for PC computers does in fact have those in them.

What this basically says is:
Microsoft bought the drives from Samsung and then took out the rubber cushions that protect your game discs.

Customer: "My xbox 360 keeps scratching disks."
Retailer worker: "Buy our warranty."
Customer: "how much"
Retailer: "$50"
Customer: "Sure why not."

Retail chain installs rubber paid, at the cost of $00.20 cents. Happy customer and rich retailer.

This is the common trend of retailer-manufacturer.


posted on Nov, 5 2009 @ 03:30 AM
But what's wrong with making money? Isn't that what capitalism is all about?

Best Buy makes little to no money when they sell a product, sometimes they lose money. However, accessories, services and warranties all make them but loads of cash. ALso, manufacturers pay them to sell their products.

Capitalism is about equal ground and equal competition.

If Bob Smith decides to open a electronics store, hes going to make 0 profit for about a year regardless of how successful the business is. If he gets lucky hell get manufacturer support and gain ground in the business.

However, the current lineup of manufacturers favors big chains like Best Buy and Wal-Mart. Why would they care about this new guy? Hes just some new kid on the block trying to compete he has no chance. They already invested alot of money in their current retail endeavors, why hurt their own product line by some under-cutter?

This is the fatal flaw of not capitalism but corporatism. You pledge more allegiance to your corporation than your country.

And this is going on all over the world. Its in the oil industry, insurance industry, medical industry. It's everywhere.

We are turning into psychlo's. Do you really want to be someones rat brain?

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