Saturday, August 23, 2014

Gouging The Public

A friend came by Saturday.  He'd been trying to find a phone number in the AT&T Yellow Pages from a city where he (but not I) lives.  He knew the business exists, because another similar merchant had referred him.  I looked in the Yellow Pages for my little city.  Similar results.  Same for Yellow Book, a Yellow Pages competitor.  They frequently come through when Yellow Pages fails.

I commented on the uselessness of the new trend in phone books -- covering only your own small scrap of space, instead of the previous phone books covering the entire metropolitan area.

"Yeah, they expect everyone to go online for everything, but if you can't be on the internet, that's too bad."

This reminded me of an article I started a couple of weeks ago but never finished.  It's about how the business world controls buying and selling by their individual versions of gouging the public.

For instance, if we want a complete listing of phone numbers even for just our own cities, we must have internet service.  To heck with someone who can't afford internet.  Of course one can go to the library and get an hour of borrowed time, but how often can people make that trip?  And if they go, do they have transportation?  Being poor is being poor.  For the impoverished, being on-line is a distinctive luxury.  I'm not talking about what kind of Smart Phone is inexpensive enough here.  I'm talking about not being able to afford it at all.  The man in question finds the cost over his head, as he found the expense of a car for several years.

Another way businesses gouge the public is to quit making parts for useable, if out of date, equipment.  Perhaps the worst offenders are the makers of printers for computers.  How many times have you had to buy a new printer because you could no longer find ink cartridges or they used a new kind of paper? 

Or how about changing the kind of printer to wireless so they are incompatible with your perfectly good computer. 

In the world in which many of us live, there simply isn't money to replace a computer system just because a printer goes out and the bottom line guys have quit making the kind of printer that goes with it.

This kind of thing is called gouging the public.  It is forcing them to upgrade their equipment or go without completely.  It is one more sign that our world is becoming morally bankrupt.  One more sign of man's inhumanity to man -- of kicking a person when he's down.

I can't imagine a city, state or country where everyone is upper class.  I'm not sure that is even possible.  So why do the fortunate exploit those with less?  I guess money is how they get their jollies.  What do you think?  Oh, yes, same for car companies that quit making parts for useable cars.  I can assure you they won't be getting the sale when the customer is forced to upgrade.  So where's their bottom line then?

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