When you see the price of computers drop as they have over the last decade and you look for an explanation you find there are a lot of manufacturers making and selling many different makes and models. The interrelationship between these manufacturers is one of competition. Each is trying to provide a potential buyer with a model that will be preferable to the consumer over the one the competition is offering. One of the features a consumer looks at is price and so the more you can offer for the least amount of money will entice more buyers to your machine than your competitor. So in order for your competitor to compete he must either offer more or cut his price if he wishes to stay in business. If he is successful it is your turn to respond with better features or a lower price and the cycle continues.
Now let’s look at how the government “runs” a business. Let’s use the Post Office as an example. Since there is no competition because the government outlaws the delivery of first class mail by any private party we see a different result. The price of stamps never falls, it only increases. There is no competition to provide better service or lower prices so the government charges what it wants to and the consumer must pay or do without. Yet the government talks via the politicians about running the nation’s health care, it’s railroads and monitoring business and trade with federal commissions as if it was private commerce that was the problem. The government disallows private monopolies ( as if there could actually be such a thing for long ) yet when it enters the market place it excludes all competition and therefore price reduction and quality innovations.
This contrast is visible to every person who contrasts the results. Yet we have politicians proposing schemes that propagate the growth of government into the market and voters agreeing with them. What is it that consumers don’t understand about competition and the fact that government eliminates it? It isn’t because it cannot be understood or observed. It is the priority of most consumers to let the politician go unchallenged. Why? They look at what they buy and they want the best the market has to offer at the lowest price. But when they see an agency making that choice impossible they don’t react at all. Those who fall into that category will have to answer that question for themselves.
Washington has shown that it can only deal with the topic of the moment and that which is getting the most attention. It is analogous to a fireman fighting a fire over a basement full of explosives. The major concern is being ignored and the current action is only giving the impression that the right thing is being done. As more and more government brings into play less and less competition the choices and quality of life deteriorates.
This is most apparent in the public school system. Like foreign aid, the billions that go into public education are propping up a system that desperately needs competition. The educators who should act as intellectuals and seek honest answers to the issue of poor test results and under-educated “graduates” are hiding their heads in the sand of unified action to protect the status quo. An honest businessman knows competition is good for his business. He knows he must innovate and cut costs and effectively market his product or service and this will drive him to do his best and be the best he can be. There is no such incentive for people in the public education monopoly because their efforts must be centered around getting as much redistributed funds it can to perpetuate dictates from the bureaucrats. The results of the likes of Marva Collins et.al. proves what it takes to get genuine excellence in education and it isn’t whining for more government money. A private educational system is long overdue. Keeping education under the thumb of politicians who can’t balance a budget is a losing proposition. Without competition education, like the price of stamps, will constantly become more and more expensive. Innovation will only be goofy theories like “new math” or “look-say” reading which will fade as they prove to be nothing more than attempts to change for the sake of change. A competitor ( and Marva Collins did ) shoot down such superficial notions in a heartbeat and those that saw her wisdom flocked to her school. And the children learned and they performed. This microcosm of competition was lost to the educational community who preferred to ignore what had been presented to them as something they were either too afraid of to try or too apathetic to change. For that shameful ignoring of a clear model they want higher wages?
Competition is to the market place what profit is to a business. You either have it or you don’t survive. You may exist as a ward of the state muttering their dictates but in terms of progress you must necessarily regress. Competition must be preserved, promoted and encouraged and most of all not stifled by government. The world of production and trade works at it s best when better ideas can be implemented and capitalized on. This produces a win win scenario for the consumer and the producer. And it is the job of government to protect this interaction not to interfere with it. The government sham of economic development is another muddled interference process which will be addressed more fully at a later date. Meanwhile it is competition that creates real economic development by lowering prices which means more can be consumed or saved and therefore a higher standard of living obtained. When the government talks of foreign trade and calls for a level playing field, they never acknowledge the ruts they are creating at home with their restriction of competition. It is long past time to point out their flawed approach to “helping” the American people. If they really cared they would be sure unfair competition on their part was outlawed.Tags: government