PODCAST-*From a user’s standpoint, it makes very little difference who operates the facility*-Public/Private PartnershipsSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


PODCAST-*From a user’s standpoint, it makes very little difference who operates the facility*-Public/Private Partnerships

6 April 2007 at 2:41:40 PM

CanOFun Podcast about this subject: After listening this morning to the Podcast about economics and globalization, I've been unable to shake a dawning big picture realization about all these attempts by mega corporations, wait, not even corporations, but holding companies, to take over the marketplace and create what amounts to either monopolies or, rather, oligopolies (the market condition that exists when there are few sellers, as a result of which they can greatly influence price and other market factors). I've just recorded another CanOFun podcast about this, that takes some snips from the Think program above as well as a quote from Frank Lautenberg.. I've been most concerned for the past year with the selling off (well, leasing) of our infrastructure in the form of the Trans Texas Corridor and other toll roads in Texas. The degree of horror and angst I've felt has been directly related to the belief that these public-private partnerships have been an anomalie more directly related to highways. That is, although I have thought about corporatism and the global economy, I hadn't considered how utterly commonplace it has become to have the following situation in our marketplace.

Holding Company, such as Cintra, or Macquarie, doesn't really matter, gobbles up a number of corporations. When you look at, for example, Macquarie, you see that it is broken up into a number of divisions, all of which are going after different areas of the market. This holding company may own a number of different corporations, and these corporations may run businesses which compete with each other (except that competition is the fantasy here). These various businesses may be using a small number of suppliers, and as the podcast points out, when one supplier goes under or isn't available for whatever reason, it stops the show. But not just the show for one company but if there's a supplier that makes the ONLY part for a given good, then it affects a number of businesses. The podcast uses the wheat gluten from China as an example; the place in Canada that makes the pet food simply *assembles* the food from a variety of sources, but there must have been only one source for the wheat gluten.

But here's what got me thinking from what he said. If you go to get eye glasses, you may think that you have a lot of choices about where to go to get them. If you don't like Lenscrafters, you could go to Sunglasses Hut, if you don't like the price there, you can go to Pearle Vision... BUT THEY ARE ALL OWNED BY AN ITALIAN HOLDING COMPANY.

Let's not call this a free market. It isn't.

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