Oligopoly: A state of limited competition, in which a market is shared and/or controlled by a small number of producers or sellers.
Oligarchy: 1. A small group of people having control of a country, organization, or institution. 2. A state governed by such a group. 3. a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people. More -
Dylan Ratigan keeps using the phrase "Corporate Communism" on his television show. He claims it is an especially fitting term when discussing the current economic landscape, particularly in our banking and health care systems.
As Americans, he explains, we reject communism because it historically has allowed a tiny group of people to consolidate complete control over national resources (including people), in the process stifling competition, freedom and choice. It leaves its citizens stagnating under perpetually broken systems with no natural motivation to innovate, improve services or reduce costs. Lack of choice; lazy, unresponsive customer service; a culture of exploitation and a small powerbase formed by cronyism and nepotism -- these are the hallmarks of a communist system that steals from its citizenry. It also provides a major reason why America spent half a century fighting a Cold War with the U.S.S.R.
And yet increasingly today we find the people of our country in two opposed categories not all that different from what was seen in Soviet Russia:
* those who are forced to compete tooth and nail each day to provide value to society in return for income for themselves and their families,
* those who would instead use the lawmaking apparatus of their country to help themselves to the people's tax money and/or to protect themselves from competition.
Ratigan then observes that if you allow weak, outdated players to take control of the government and change the rules so that they are protected from the natural competition and reward systems that have created so many innovations in our country, you not only steal from the citizens on behalf of the least worthy among us, but you also doom them, by trapping the trillions of dollars in capital that could otherwise have been used to generate new innovation and jobs.
And it is by this means that we are losing the opportunity to realize and profit from all the great ideas that could be coming from the proper deployment of those trillions in capital -- everything from innovation in medical delivery systems to extremely cheap energy, to the driverless car. All of these things may never come to pass. Why not? Because those politically powerful individuals who have otherwise failed as human beings, have used hundreds of millions of dollars to underhandedly take over our government, so as to unfairly provide for, expand, and protect their own personal wealth and power.
Unfortunately, the members of this new American-style "politburo" use our wealth and laws not only to benefit their outdated and otherwise failed companies, but also to very profitably invest a small portion of their ill-gotten gains lobbying and favor-trading with politicians (who are themselves each angling for a super-lucrative career as a lobbyist), so that our government will continue to protect them from competition and from their well-deserved failure.
The massive spike in unemployment, the utter destruction of retirement wealth, the collapse in the value of our homes, the worst recession since the Great Depression have all resulted directly from this kind of abdication and corruption of our government. Yet even with all that, the only changes that have been made, have been made to prop up and hide these massive flaws -- on behalf of those who perpetuated and profited from them! -- and who will continue to profit from them, for utterly nothing has been done to disclose the flaws in this system, or to improve the system, or rebuild it. Why not? Because too many powerful and very wealthy people are profiting from it royally, just the way it is.
Only true rules-based capitalism ensures constant adaptation and implementation of the latest and best practices for a given business, as those businesses which don't adapt fail, and as those that deploy the latest innovations, for their customers benefit, prosper.
The concept of communism is rightly reviled in this country, for the simple reason that it is blind to human nature, and allows a small group of individuals near-total control, while sticking everyone else with the same crappy systems as well as the bill.
America spent countless lives and half a century fighting against this system of government. So why are we standing for it now -- in our own country?!