There are many industries and markets where monopolies and oligopolies are the norm; and collusion and corruption are business as usual. These tend to be aged industries where over time the marketplace of competitors has dwindled through buyouts and other mechanisms to eliminate competition. Old, stale industries resort to all sorts of shady behavior ranginging from political bribery to manufacturing of false reports to eliminate any chance of new, innovative competition entering into their market. Disruptive innovators who can revolutionize how the “way things have always been” are the greatest fear of flat-footed corporations and industries.
Which industries exemplify this behavior you may ask. Well in my opinion these industries include:
- Wireless Communications Industry
- Car Dealerships
- Fossil Fuel Energy Industry
- Cable Television / Internet
- Healthcare / Pharmaceutical
These industries rely heavily on heavy political donations to ensure their way of doing business is not challenged. That business models developed in the 20th century and before remain unchallenged. And when you have no need to innovate you tend not to innovate. Because innovation costs money. And when you don’t have to innovate you can take the money you would have invested in R&D and instead buy off politicians to prevent competition, keep shareholders happy enough with dividends to not demand innovation, and afford golden parachutes for the C-suite.
That’s why I am support of small business. Capitalism only is fair when there is truly free, competitive and open markets that are absent of collusion. Small business is where you find true capitalism alive and well. Now enter the role of Government…
Government needs to remove all laws and regulations that stifle innovation and the ability of startups to enter a market. Laws and regulations that were written at the behest of companies, industries, and special interests to prevent competition. New Jersey we are looking at you and that Tesla decision. Government also has a role in priming the pump financially in new markets, industries, and technologies. Look at the Internet, GPS and other technologies that began because of Government funding and have gone on to become massive wealth generating tools later. It is difficult to fInd the balance between being good stewards of the taxpayers dollars through regulation when an industry is nascent and later becoming more hands off to ensure competition absent of overregulation once mature. But it is key to ensure free market capitalism remains open and competitive. Government may be the tool to that enacts regulations that stifles innovation, but the hand behind that tool is Big Business and special interests.
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