In your response posts to peers, comment on your own experiences with such industries and on their impact on you. Additionally, discuss whether you agree or disagree with your peer’s stance on regulation, explaining why. One short paragraph is fine for each response.
1st Response: The pharmaceuticals market, despite having many firms within it, is largely controlled by Johnson & Johnson, Roche, Pfizer, Novartis, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Merck. The firms abuse their power mostly through price fixing of life-extending and life-saving treatments such as immuno-oncology therapies and therapies used to treat severe toxic reactions. This impacts consumers by making it next to impossible for those who need the therapies to pay for them without draining their savings accounts (if they have any) and incurring significant amounts of medical debt because their insurance would only cover part of the cost.
Another example of an oligopolistic market is the telecommunications industry. In the county that I live in, Charter-Spectrum has control of cable and cable Internet. The firm abuses its power by routinely increasing existing fees and adding new fees. This impacts consumers by making it difficult for them to maintain account balances of zero. I disagree with the author’s feelings that increased government oversight is somehow creating more oligopolies because the oligopolies already existed before the increased regulations. If the regulations were decreased, the markets would turn into a price gouging free-for-all.
2nd Response: In a world where most people live paycheck to paycheck oligopolies can pose a huge problem to a average consumer. Especially when taking in consideration to the amount of families out there. I know a lot of people focus on bigger things like banks, automotive companies and things along those lines. But coming from someone who has to live week to week, I’ve taken a different approach to the problem. I have two young boys, which calls for the need of a lot of small items that add up over time. Things that are needed on a day to day basis and the prices are pretty much the same across the board no matter where you get them.
Things such as diapers, formula, or hell even sippy cups. Sure there are cheap alternatives, but those are usually products with defects or are in general unsafe for use over time. So you are forced to either take the risk of paying a lower price or buy the expensive well known brands. Formula being a huge one in my opinion.
Another would be housing. We currently have to rent, which in itself is a huge money dump. But the prices for a standard 2 bedroom is constantly changing. And unless you have great credit, which for people who have to live week to week isn’t always a easy feat to accomplish cannot invest in the homebuying process.
Now it’s not impossible to enter the industry of renting out places, but the prices of buying a property or building a property with the intent of renting can really be impossible or so costly it doesn’t make sense to. Just take a look at New York City, or Boston. Once within the market you have to set prices extremely high just to break even.
Though these things are in a sense oligopolies, I do not think that the government should increase regulations. The reason for that is mainly because of way I look at the market in general. As a capitalist system, it is within the companies power to do these things with other companies. The people that have the control of the market are the consumers, they are the real power to it all and can achieve more than a government would. Do I think there should be no regulations at all? Of course not, just look at net neutrality. But the government can only do so much before it is overstepping its bounds.