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Justice Department Approves of T-Mobile/MetroPCS Merger

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Top message:  Yayyy, finally!!!. . by Jayshmay   Mar 6, 2013, 1:11 PM

Replying to:  Re: Yayyy, finally!!!. . by Slammer   Mar 6, 2013, 6:04 PM

Consumers and the Beanstalk

by Zpike    Mar 7, 2013, 11:59 AM

But this is how we as consumers are. Some large corporation becomes a near monopoly and their practices become arrogant and border on abusive to their customers, while stifling innovation and holding back progress. We see nothing happening but the cow getting fatter, and we wonder, "where's the milk?'" Suddenly the big company becomes evil, and probably rightly so.

Then begins our quest find a Jack to climb the bean stalk and slay the evil giant and bring us back the golden goose. But we're really not concerned about Jack. It never crosses our mind that Jack is a lazy thief who is all to willing to exploit our Gigantasophobia and that he never intends to share the goose. Suddenly we wind up with a fat Jack who is living large off the golden goose and the infinitely awesome harmonies of the golden harp. But Jack is now so rich that he finds that slaying one giant wasn't enough. There's an even bigger giant to slay- the system that kept him in poverty all those years, and the community that shunned him. Jack uses his endless wealth to bribe the Barons and Lords and extracts his vengeance by driving up prices of goods and impoverishing his neighbors.

I was nearly through this monologue when it dawned on me that this had become a fairy tale analogy. But that's really what it's like. None of us really know what it's like to be in the board room meetings when all these corporate executive decisions are made. None of us know the minds of the CEO's and corporate directors that make these companies what they are. We don't know all the ins and outs of corporate law or the entire legal case history that has led to the current landscape. It could all be entirely wrong, unjust, and corrupt, or it could have all happened in a very rational way- one which most of us would have chosen had we been on the inside. We don't know, but we feel the tyranny and injustice of the situation.

So, we invent a fairy tale to fill in all the gaps. Even if it turns out to be true, our lack of knowledge makes it a fairy tale nonetheless. We see an evil giant ruling from a castle fortress in the sky. We're not really concerned with the details-how that castle got there, what the giant does with most of his time, or how he obtained the goose and the harp. What we know is that our lives are uncomfortable and that the giant is somehow the cause, and unnecessarily so because he has the golden goose. And we want to stick to him, bring him down from the sky to our level, and take away that golden goose.

And if there's a Jack willing to do it, we'll wholeheartedly see to it that any magic bean transaction gets approved without scrutiny. We want Jack up there in the clouds at any cost; and we don't care if he has to cheat to do it, even if he stole the cow he traded for his magic beans. We are all too eager to question the giant's motives, but we never even notice Jack's. When it's all said and done, we're willing to trade oppression from the skies for the despotism of an incompetent upstart.

And I'm not saying that's what's happening here. This Jack could be the valiant crusader and champion of justice, setting right the iniquities of the giant and restoring prosperity to the land. The problem is that we usually don't care to find out.

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