I am a Libra and my sign is the scales. That may be entirely a coincidence but a big thing in my value system is–Balance. Our economic world could use a bit more of a level playing field and I want to take a moment to rant.
Let’s look at two sides of one problem. Monopoly: Control of a commodity in a particular market that makes it possible to manipulate prices (Amazon with book prices and Banks with their fees and lending capital) and Monopsony: where a firm captures the ability to dictate price to its suppliers (Walmart).
Any time one.. Or a just a few.. Companies hold the lion’s share of a given market place we are dealing with a possible destructive monopolistic situation.
Justice Department is looking at Amazon; Price fixing.
In 1990 there were thirty-seven major banks. Now we have four; Predatory lending and fees.
Another example would be Walmart who accounts for thirty percent of all U.S. sales; price fixing which forces suppliers to off-shore or out of business.
In each of these examples we have moved completely out of balance. It is a crazy, tippy world we are in. We, as a country didn’t start this way. It has only been in the last thirty years when some laws were adjusted that we have moved from focusing on anti-monopoly policies to seeking efficiency and ever increasing consolidation to achieve it. (Monopoly)
I don’t want to go back in time. That never has made sense to me. We can’t. There are no time machines. The simpler times that some people long for…. were not that simple..ever! What I do wish for is awareness and balance. I want to move forward in a manner that equity is restored to the marketplace and price is determined in the open market by competition.
I am mindful that this is an election year. The U.S. Constitution was written as a model of cooperative statesmanship and the art of compromise. The preamble to our Constitution lists fundamental purposes and guiding principles. The Founding Fathers’ intentions were clear and balanced.
“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Let’s move back toward that future!