Tag Archives: competition

Daily Headline – 22/04/13

Capitalism and health, a recipe for disaster

Glaxosmithkline logoThere have been many examples over the years and known facts about the operations of pharmaceutical companies so for those who are aware the latest news about Glaxo will come as no surprise at all.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) the pharmaceutical giant is in trouble with the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) over paying rival companies to delay the release of new medicines.

Of course the OFT is focusing on its job which is to ensure fair competition which of course is one issue (and one that free market capitalism is not able to resolve, government regulations are vital to ensure, under a capitalism system that competition can thrive).

The second issue and one that too often gets ignored is that businesses like these are deliberately withholding life saving medicines in order to maximise the profitability and lifespan of their old medicines.

How is this travesty of justice not made illegal? How are business allowed to have control of something of such vital importance? If capitalism cannot work in the interests of the people then it shouldn’t be operating at all!

In the short term, bring the pharmaceutical companies under public control, in the long term, abolish capitalism.

For more on the details of this story click here.

EU fines Microsoft (again) for continued anti-competition

By Leon J Williams

Web browsersThe European Union (EU) has ordered Microsoft to pay £484m for failing to allow consumers a choice in web browsers.

Back in 2004 Microsoft was fined £381m for the same reason after which Microsoft did start to offer consumers a choice but this web browser option screen was dropped following a Windows 7 update in February 2011.

Microsoft said that this was due to a technical error but the European Commission dismissed this and is no doubt using this opportunity to make an example of Microsoft so that no other company thinks that it can get away with not implementing fair anti-monopoly regulations.
This move can only be seen as a good thing, shoring up EU funds and and allowing other, smaller businesses an opportunity to thrive.

Myth
Supporters of Capitalism say that it creates competition and they criticise Socialism for stifling competition but alas closer to the truth is that Capitalism destroys competition by creating monopolies, companies buy other companies and put their products first.
It is regulation that stops this, it is government intervention.

Web Browsers
Towards the end of last year we wrote about web browsers here.

We recommend either Opera or Firefox

Competition vs Cooperation

By Leon J Williams

A few words on competition and cooperation.

There are many key facets in the capitalism vs socialism debate including the role of government,

I would say that this can be characterised in 4 groups:

Competition with government regulation
Businesses and people compete against each other with the government creating favourable circumstances for competition to thrive.
There are many examples to show that regulation is needed to prevent monopolies such as the EU’s huge fines for anti-competition against companies like Intel and Microsoft.

Competition with no government regulation
Businesses compete against each other, with no government interference leading companies to grow so large they can buy their rivals, monopolies are formed. Works well in the short term, awful in the long term.
To a certain extent you could say like the US though even they have regulation of their people and businesses.

Socialism
Businesses and people compete and cooperate, taxes are higher to provide support to people who have lost out due to competition (welfare). Heavy support for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and heavy taxes and regulation on large businesses to prevent monopolies. All essential services are under government control. A lot of government regulation.

Anarchism/Communism
People work together, sharing jobs and social responsibilities. ‘Businesses’ are run by those interested in running them as a non-hierarchical cooperative. No government, so no regulation.

Finally
This is not in anyway a definition of what these terms are and purely a focus on the competition/cooperation aspect.

Competition is fine when it’s football (or any sport) teams compete, one team wins the cup and the rest try again next time but with life it’s not so similar, the winners get rich and the losers become homeless, entrenched in poverty and ultimately, die.