If you asked most people what economic system we use in North America, they would answer either “free market”, “capitalism” or both. In this article, Sheldon Richman argues that our economy would properly be called corporatism – where the state works with established companies to protect their market share, at the expense of everyone that isn’t one of the privileged few. Check it out.
Here is a quick hit from something found in today’s Globe and Mail. The article itself is about NDP strategy in Parliament, or something equally vapid. But, I found a quote in there that perfectly sums up how major Corporations view Government and tax dollars, and illustrates why we are not living in a free market capitalist economy.
In today’s Globe and Mail, there is a report about a Federal Court ruling, overturning a 2009 Harper Government decision to allow Wind Mobile to operate in Canada. Wind had been denied entry to the Canadian wireless market by the CRTC because they had “too much foreign ownership”. Of course, this case was brought by one of Wind’s competitors, Public Mobile.
Let’s be clear: The CRTC does not exist to protect consumers. That is their stated mission, but it is nothing more than pretty sounding words used to justify their continued existence.
In reality, it is tax payer funded market share protection. Its explicit mission is to control entry in to the telecommunications market, and regulate who provides content and services. That mission benefits established players like Bell, Rogers, Shaw, and Telus, at the expense of their competition. By limiting competition, and in some cases setting prices, they are squashing the free market and its advantages – competitive pricing practices, innovation, and improved service.
Think about this: You are paying taxes to support an institution that increases your costs for phone, cable, internet and wireless, and pads the profits of multi-billion dollar Corporations.
And if that upsets you, remember: every political party in this country supports its continued existence, except for one: the Libertarian Party. Moreover, the CRTC is not unique – there are a multitude of agencies in this country, at the Federal and Provincial level, that stifle competition, and indirectly use tax dollars to pad the profits of existing players.