Prof Peate, So a monopoly firm is a price fixer. It isn't what the left fears about a monopoly; limited only by good will which greedy peopl
Prof Peate, So a monopoly firm is a price fixer. It isn't what the left fears about a monopoly; limited only by good will which greedy people don’t have much of. In reality there is always something in the market place that can sort of compete. Is there an economic term for the “sort of compete-ness”? Shouldn't that term be in the math for how easily other things can substitute? Time between haircuts competes somewhat with the cost of cheese burgers but what competes with a particular lithium polymer battery that only one company sells? There may be many sources of other batteries but those nearly double the cost of the charging circuit or something like that. Weighs more, less reliable, whatever. Politics steps in when the monopoly is of something for which the “sort-of-compete- ness” value is zero. And is something that people can't be without. Standard oil's monopoly product was certainly more essential than an email program which Microsoft was accused of cornering. There should also be a number associated with the essentialness. Water supply, mail service and police are claimed by the government to be infinitely essential as well as hard to substitute for. If there was an economics term for substitution-ability and essentialness, then it might be calculable what product would be subject to price-hostage taking. It may turn out that while sewers would be cheaper if government provided, police could be a service which would be cheaper if they were private and allowed to compete.