Tuesday, January 25, 2011

US Economy and Quality of Service issues - Cartels

David Stockman (Former Budget Director 1981-1985 and who refers to himself as a "lapsed Republican") was talking this week and said something that really caught my attention. I knew that the corporations were running the show, and have been for some time now. I knew that because of the strangleholds corporations have over their clients (and our essentially our government). I've been warning about this issue for decades and now I find past Presidents have spoken on the issue, nearly a hundred years ago, now.

But when Stockman said that the US is a "cartel" run country, "the Farming Industry, the Doctors, the Hospitals, Insurance Companies (I capitalize these words because I don't want to piss these people off), and we have a system that basically puts huge windfalls into their pockets and not good healthcare for the American Public." He went further on to say, "I don't think that Obamacare solved the problem and I don't think the Republicans (they voted for repealing "Obamacare" this past week) solved the problem, but we need to think through how we pay for Healthcare and as long as its third party where no one's accountable, it's not going to work." (wow...bummer)

Something clicked in my mind. Cartels?

So, Cartel? Like in Oil Cartel, Mexican Drug Cartel? As in Cartels that don't seem to be good for me, for the people, the citizens?

"A cartel is a formal (explicit) agreement among competing firms. It is a formal organization of producers and manufacturers that agree to fix prices, marketing, and production. Cartels usually occur in an oligopolistic industry [a cartel basically is an oligopoly, "a market form in which a market or industry is dominated by a small number of sellers (oligopolists)."], where there is a small number of sellers and usually involve homogeneous products. Cartel members may agree on such matters as price fixing, total industry output, market shares, allocation of customers, allocation of territories, bid rigging, establishment of common sales agencies, and the division of profits or combination of these. The aim of such collusion (also called the cartel agreement) is to increase individual members' profits by reducing competition." - Wikipedia

Crap. Well? So....now what?

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