2009-Feb-17 02:52 UTC
How I Rid of My Competition

I am the proprietor of a local bakery chain. I have been in business for many years. The bakery chain has actually been around for decades and run by my family before I took over running of the business. It has been a very successful and popular bakery in the community.

My family started out with one small shop and ran everything themselves. Eventually expanded as their business grew, and now we operate over a dozen stores around our community and have even expanded to near by towns. Our stores employ over a hundred employees: Bakers, cleaners, sales folks, delivery folks and even a couple of accountants.

I must admit that the business has been slacking lately. It hasn't been as efficient and cost effective as it once was. The quality of the baked goods has also suffered, and as a result we have noticed a decrease in the number of our clients and sales. As it stands, if things continue as they do, we will be forced to close down some stores and possibly completely shutdown our operation.

When once our stores dominated in quality and efficiency in the market, now we are falling behind and competition is gaining on us. To remain in business we are forced to increase our prices, especially since prices are rising for everything else: Gas for delivery trucks and the cost of maintaining them, cost of almost every ingredient we use for baking our goods. This really doesn't help much as it would help drive some of our remaining customers away to our new competition. But here is the story how we prevailed and kept our competition at bay. Not by tightening our belt and readjusting our work ethics. But with a new secret weapon.

The weapon I speak of is the new economic weapon made available to us with the current economic crisis: Financial bailouts is the name of the game. The basics of it is that we applied for government bailout. There is more legal stuff tied with this, but the gist of it is that we pled our case to the government on how important our business and our stores are for the communities we serve. How we employ so many community members and provide services that these communities enjoy. If we were to fail financially and go out of business all of our employees would lose their jobs and their benefits. Many communities would be affected by our failure. So many communities in different nearby cities would suffer as we no longer would be able to provide our services.

With this we got a nice bailout package for our business. This enabled us to keep going. This new financial bailout helps subsidize our products, which means we won't be raising our prices regardless of the fact the basic cost of operation is increasing. This actually helps us fight our competition, as you see, they were too small and new, to be able to get a financial bailout. So as they have to increase their prices to keep up with rising costs while we can still operate at our old prices.

We also have been able to use this bailout money to purchase a couple of small bakeries that were potential threats to our operation. Basically stifling new competition and choices for the communities we serve.

Although, it is true that this bailout we received does nothing to improve the services we provide our communities -- the quality of our baked goods hasn't improved any -- we have secured our position here for at least the next decade. We have managed to use the financial bailout received to kill off potential competition. We have managed not to raise our prices by using the bailout to subsedize the price of goods and our competitors can't do that.

It is a bit ironic, though, if one thinks about this. If it were not for the bailout we received, we probably would have gone out of business. Fresh competition would move in and buy our stores and equipment and set up new stores offering new and fresh choices to the community. Employees of ours who would have lost their job due to our closing, would eventually find new jobs, possibly with the new competition that would move in.

At some point it was brought to my attention that some of our employees, knowing that we were in financial trouble, were looking into pooling together to purchase one of the stores after we closed and start their own business where they would be part owners. They must have been quite excited with this prospect. Who wouldn't love to be their own boss, doing what they love? I know my family was very proud to have launched their very first bakery store decades ago.

Very unfortunate for my employees, and the community for that matter, but thanks to the bailout, we now maintain a monopoly stronghold in our community and local cities. This would have not be possible if free market principles were allowed to take course.

... sidster
Note: [2009-Feb-17 02:52 UTC] {sidster}
This satire demonstrates how government intervention in free markets produces more negative effects than good it is intended to do. It destroys and suffocates competition and free choice that would otherwise flourish.

A shortsighted view of the financial crisis may suggest that government intervention is necessary. However, if one steps back and examines the longer-term effects of these government bailouts and intervention, it soon becomes clear how much harm they bring about.
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