This Is Insane – Dollar Stores Harm Consumers? Jeebus Wept

The latest insanity from the American concerned left. That dollar stores – for Brits, think like Poundland perhaps, which is a fair old copy of the concept – diminish choice for consumers and thereby harm them.

The argument is somewhat convoluted.

As dollar stores sweep across America, they are facing growing scrutiny from opponents who argue that discount chains stifle local competition and limit poor communities’ access to healthy food. Dollar stores have never been more popular.

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Even Online – As With The NHS – It’s Competition That Drives Productivity Improvements

That economic rules are a universal should go without saying – but it’s something all too often ignored or even deliberately denied. One of the major benefits of trade is that the competition leads to domestic firms having to raise their productivity. The benefit of NHS outsourcing is that the competition forces all to raise their productivity. School vouchers make all schools better, not just the voucher ones, as the competition…..this applies to online companies too.

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Monstrous Strawman Argument Against Outsourcing In The NHS

One way to win an argument is to misstate your opponent’s logic, show that your misstatement is silly to ludicrous, then dance in victory at the lamentations of their women. This is also known as strawmanning. A useful example of which we get from the Alma Mater concerning outsourcing in the National Health Service:

The logic of outsourcing is that market-based production is better than public production because the governance of private organisations is more transparent, flexible, efficiency focused and disciplined by owners.

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The Case For Ryanair

That the short haul airline business is going through a shakeout is obvious enough. That this shows we’ve a competitive industry is also obvious enough. If people aren’t stretching the envelope and thus – often enough – failing then we’ve an absence of both competition and innovation.

So, in a horribly competitive industry undergoing consolidation by bankruptcy, what’s the case for Ryanair?

Ryanair’s Position
So, what happens when cashflow is king to the survival of a company and we’re also in an increasingly competitive market?

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Is Ed Conway, Of Sky, Always This Ignorant Of Economics?

To worry about technological change, network effects, increased market and pricing power, monopoly and oligopoly, fair enough. To then use UK supermarkets as your exemplar would be equally reasonable. But to use the UK supermarket sector as the example of increasing concentration and thus market power is to be alarmingly ignorant. But that’s what Ed Conway does here which leads to a question – is Conway always this mindgarglingly stupid about the subject under discussion?…

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Message For The NHS – It’s Competition Itself Which Raises Productivity

As we all know arguing that there should be competition within the National Health Service causes maiden aunts to drop their pearls. But efficient organisations are built upon cooperation dahling!

The thing being, no, not really. Competition is, in fact, a decision about who you are going to cooperate with. But rather more importantly we know that non-competition leads to inefficiency. The only thing we’ve been pondering these years is what, exactly, is the route by which we gain the efficiency?…

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Heavy Lyft-ing

The future, so they say, is with the new economy. New ways of doing things will replace all the old ways in short order. But to do this, you’ve got to displace the existing system. Sometimes innovation brings something never seen before (think Amazon) or provides new ways of doing the same ol’ thing.

That last is the challenge facing the new breed of taxi companies. Sorry, they don’t call them that. They’re different. They’re the future.…

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Bike Sharing – Welcome The Competition

We tend not to like competition – if we’re the provider of whatever it is. But there are times when having people come into the market to compete with you is beneficial. Say, in bike sharing. Where the concept is pretty new, habits aren’t as yet formed. So, someone else investing in converting behaviour has spill over effects onto a rise in your own sales:

Market expanding versus market stealing: Competition with network effects in bike-sharing
Guangyu Cao, Ginger Jin, Xi Weng, Li-An Zhou 09 November 2018

Positive network effects may lead to winner-takes-all in some markets.…

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