A few months ago, I discussed the fact that the U.S. really doesn't have a free market economy, as so many claim. Once you spend some time examining the activities of various industries, this becomes clear.
A free market economy provides consumer choice because it fosters an environment for healthy competition.
A free market economy works to reward the best corporations. Ultimately, a free market economy provides cost efficiency for consumer goods and services.
For many years, U.S. corporations have swallowed up competition through various illegal means. As well, the FTC has permitted monopolistic mergers. As a result, consumers have few choices. They can choose from Wal-Mart or Target, AT&T or Verizon, Bank of America or JP Morgan, Microsoft, Apple or Google, Exxon, British Petroleum or Chevron, Kroger’s or Albertsons. The list goes on.
Of course you have a few more choices, but the point is that the majority of many industries are primarily controlled by two or three corporations. Rather than decreasing prices, we have seen industry collusion. This accounts for one of the reasons for the absence of customer service over the years.
More important, it serves as a clear reflection of America's fascist government, which partners with corporate giants. Fascism explains U.S. trade policy which continues to send jobs overseas in exchange for higher corporate profits. Never mind dangerous levels of unemployment. All that matters to Washington is ensuring that corporations have the lowest-cost workforce available so they can deliver the highest rates of returns to the wealthy elite shareholders.
Today, the customer is NEVER right. If you have an issue, many large corporations show you the door. They even have security guards to escort you back to your car rather than assure your shopping experience was pleasant.
I previously laid out a brief example of the absence of free market healthcare, pointing to illegal pay outs from drug companies so medical providers will use its drugs. There are many other examples as well, such as the AMA's control over medical school spots and the licensing board's control over medical licensing, and the virtual monopolies created by HMOs. I discuss these activities extensively in America's Healthcare Solution.
I closed out the previous article by mention of the anti-trust lawsuit against Intel, which paid off numerous computer manufacturers such as IBM and Dell so they would use Intel's microprocessors exclusively. This resulted in a tremendous blow to its only real competitor, AMD.
Yet, AMD was able to survive on a thread despite more than decade of these activities due to its strong business in Asia. I was well aware of the illegal activites by Intel for over a decade. I can guarantee you there weren't many investment professionals who knew about the situation.
I detailed the implication of the success of the antitrust lawsuit for AMD and an additional company in the AVAIA newsletter several months ago.
Today, the media released another article discussing the impact of these actions. No doubt, this case represents a small victory towards the reestablishment of a free market economy. But it's really only a drop in the bucket.
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