Very well known Exeweb poster
- May 5, 2009
- Hunkered down
Your point about monopolies has some merit but in the private sector monopolies do get challenged. In the context of big supermarkets the discounters such as Lidl and Aldi (others available) are effective challengers..I would be to slightly differ Al.
The fundamental problem though is that the inevitable ultimate goal of most "free market" operators is to evolve toward (ideally) a monopoly situation or (alternatively) a convenient "cartel" with so called competitors.
For the former one only has to look at the water industry for example where, although different operators exist most customers are geographically tied to a monopolist provider. One could also point to the rail industry where, in large parts of the country, more or less the same applies.
For the latter I would offer the likes of energy, communications and even, perhaps, the big supermarket chains. Although ostensibly in competition they still largely coalesce where matters of mutual interest (and profit) arise.
And to police this we have a largely ineffective Monopoly and Mergers commission and, even worse, a set of useless so-called "regulators" who seem to be clearly in hock to the providers rather than the customers.
State monopolies are not necessary the total answer, but at least we, the grate unwashed, do have the opportunity every few years to vote the current "board of directors" out. Unlike the privatised sector where the only ones who have a real say are the (often offshore or foreign government) investors.
As regards our powers to kick out the Board of Directors, the choice on offer is feckin' lousy.