|Sorry for the poor quality.|
SAVE A BAG! SAVE THE WORLD!
That damn free market. Where businessmen sell goods and services, for the mere sake of profit. I experienced several ‘market failures’ today, for which I am seriously considering the alternative of socialism, or at the very least, a heavier hand of the state over free enterprise.
1. SM extorting an extra three pesos from me, for the use of a plastic grocery bag. Apparently, Wednesday is ‘My Own Bag Day,’ where customers are supposed to bring their own bags to store their groceries. This is all in line with their adherence to the cult of Al Gore.
While companies are free to come up with their gimmicks to be swallowed by a gullible public, I think this gimmick is particularly meaningless and hollow. If I were a regular shopper in the SM Supermarket, I won’t bring my own bags on a Wednesday, I’d choose to shop on another day. If SM really believed they were helping the environment, why not make ‘My Own Bag’ an everyday thing?
And SM is spreading the notion that plastic is worse than other materials. This is focusing on the wrong thing. What is more important in combating environmental degradation is the manner of disposal.
How can people be held accountable for such actions as clogging drains and pipes with plastic bags and other materials? The public nature of infrastructure is a greater problem than the use of plastic. Privatization makes for accountability.
|Because political greed is so much better.|
2. Being renewed for a one-year subscription without my say-so. I’m on my eleventh month of a one-year subscription to some newsletter, and I was surprised to find my credit charged already for a second year. I’ve complained to the company already, saying I was planning on cancelling my subscription, and I requested a refund. I should receive a reply soon. Greedy bastards.
3. No functional ATMs! I went to three different branches of my bank, all of which have offline ATMs. The bank should have foreseen the wave of withdrawals during Holy Week, right? Alas, I had to go through the inconvenience of dealing with a teller. How ’90s can you get?
So there. Three market failures in a day. Isn’t this enough cause to demand state intervention?
But then, if things were nationalized, I’d be deprived of a choice in case some nationalized agency messes up. After all, even these ‘non-profit oriented’ entities are composed of people. Greed does not disappear with the appearance of government. It just changes form, into something less within my control; government begets monopoly.
Instead of thinking in terms of an ideal alternative to markets, I should consider what system maximizes my choices. And as imperfect as it is, I have to embrace the free market.
Of course, big business here and abroad is often a matter of political connectedness. SM is helped in no small way by the inflationary banking system, providing them with additional ‘liquidity’ to the disadvantage of smaller businesses. Not to mention that BDO is owned by the SM folk. I’m pretty sure Henry Sy, Sr. would have managed to create an empire all the same, but if a ‘level playing field’ is to exist, central banking and subsequent monetary inflation must be obliterated.