How many companies does any one person need to survive in America?
We need “staples” to get by:
Secondarily, we want:
Our choices seem unlimited now, with thousands of different companies providing our needs and wants, and doing so in competition with each other.
Competition ensures the best products and services reach the market, allowing us to pick and choose what’s right for us.
What happens when competition fades and we’re left with fewer choices?
The consolidation of American businesses is a real phenomenon and is accelerating each year.
Amazon quietly gobbles up a dozen small businesses and rolls their goods and services into Amazon’s giant machine.
Nestle secretly grabs the nation’s underground water supply and sells it back to us at a premium. Instead of competing with its smaller nuisances,
Microsoft buys them and renames their products and services and sells them at a significant markup.
Pretty soon, we have 10 major companies that provide for all our needs, which may seem good to the unsuspecting. What isn’t being talked about is the constriction of a previously wide-open market, leading to just a handful of corporations making all the rules and leaving us consumers with fewer options.
And those rules and options are not in our best interests.
What kills me is that it all happens while we are asleep, and gets reported by a fired-up PR machine that spins it into a tasty treat that we consume like our cheeseburgers and fries. It goes down well, but soon poisons us with reality.
By then, it’s too late.
The consolidation of American businesses is no longer a phenomenon
It is a clear and present threat to us all.
What can we do about it?
Support small, local businesses. Speak out against Nestle buying rights to our aquifers. Tell Amazon we’re not interested in its new business model, and don’t support it. Cease purchasing Microsoft products and instead opt for alternatives like open-source programs.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. And nature always finds a way.
Before we can exercise free will, we must first become aware of the problem.
Let’s take a day off from the news and entertainment, and explore some of these suggestions.
Maybe there’s an answer in there somewhere. At least for you and your family.
MEET YOUR AUTHOR
Tripsy South is the author of the novel WTF, Dorkus! Schoolin’ My Shrink On Teen Suicide. Trained in physics at a cool surfer university, she lives and plays in Los Angeles where she’s a freelance writer and editor.