by The Cranky Media Guy
I remember one particular Star Trek episode (the original series
I'm talking about, back when Shatner's head didn't look like a Chia
Pet). "If I drop a hammer on a planet that has positive
gravity, it will fall," Spock said. The point
Live-Long-And-Prosper Boy was trying to make was that there are some
Although I started out in the Honors class, I wasn't a very good
student in high school. My grade point average was roughly the
square root of 2. By Senior year, the school had me on what they
considered a "nonacademic" track. Oddly enough, these were
the classes I've gotten the most use out of over the years.
For some reason, I liked my economics class. I remember Mr.
Tricario, the Mr. Spock of my high school, explaining that the Law
of Supply and Demand was an absolute of the American capitalist
system. It just works. Always. For those of you who were unfortunate
enough to be on the academic track, the Law says that high supply
with constant or decreasing demand will result in lower prices.
Conversely, low supply with constant or increasing demand will
result in higher prices.
So here I sit, Mr. Former C Student, scratching my head every
time I hear some CEO whose mega-huge company is about to merge with
another mega-huge company tell me that the resulting ultra-mega-huge
company will benefit me, the consumer. Huh? Wouldn't your li'l
merger mean one less supplier of your product or service? Assuming
no decrease in demand, mustn't prices go UP? No? You calling Mr.
Tricario a liar?
The reason business people and government officials insist that
mergers are good for consumers is:
A: They're really well-intentioned and honestly expect to pass
along to the consumer the savings they will realize through economy
of scale and layoffs.
B: They're a lying pack of weasels who know full well they're
going to jack prices up at the earliest opportunity and realize
there ain't shit you can do about it.
If you said A, stop reading. You're too stupid for me to talk to
If you drop a hammer, it will fall. If I eliminate competition,
prices will go up. People who tell you differently are lying and
it's almost always because they stand to benefit by lying. Resent
this? You should. Messrs. Spock and Tricario would.