Hi! Too lazy to go find the feedback, but here’s the assignment!

Response Paper 2

Webster defines monopoly as “exclusive control of a commodity or service in a given market, or control that makes possible the fixing of prices and the virtual elimination of free competition.” I believe that, if you use this definition, that the government is a monopoly.
One of the problems with monopolies (coercive ones, at least) is that they are wasteful. If all the business for a particular item or service were guaranteed to you, why would you bother trying to cut costs when you can just do whatever you want and get a boatload of money regardless? For an example of this in the government, I look to the police force, however cliché that may seem. In my small town, there is a very low crime rate. Even as a small, petite, unarmed female, I feel completely safe walking around alone in the middle of the night. However, recently in the newspaper, my friends and I noticed that the town police station is actually being given more money to hire more police. If you assume that the police stop crime or lower crime (which is debatable), then would it not be more efficient for that money be given to a police station in an area where the crime rate is higher? However, since the government has a monopoly on police forces, they can afford to waste money however they see fit, because people cannot take their money away from the government police force and pay a more efficient one, or, even, indeed, pay for another one even without drawing their money away from the police, because the government would not allow it. Even if the police spent the entire day harassing innocent people (which some people would argue they do), it’s impossible to remove your support from them, because the government takes taxes away from you, under threat of violence, to pay the police officers, and doesn’t allow you a choice in the matter. In a free market, rendering such horrible service would obviously drive customers away, to police companies that were both more efficient and gave better service.
Another example of this is the postal service. For quite some time now, the postal service has been hemorrhaging money, and trying to make up for it by raising the price of stamps, and, now, contemplating eliminating Saturday delivery. Yet the United States government prohibits creating a competing postal service. If the postal service is hemorrhaging money as badly as they are, one assumes they must be inefficient. Either they pay their workers too much, or give them too many benefits, or the mail carriers take unnecessarily long routes to deliver the mail, or any other number of such inefficiencies. If the government had not created a coercive monopoly, if the postal service was being inefficient, a competing, more efficient postal service could pop up as a competitor, and, by being more efficient, could offer lower prices to the customer. This is helpful to both parties, because the customer gets a lower price, and the shop owner gets more business from people wishing to save money. Either the government postal service would have to become more efficient to be able to compete, or their competitors would force them out of business.

Pretty much the feedback was all like “Good job..here’s a few points I want to share about monopolies too!” So, yeah.

Enjoy!

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