Monopolies and big businesses kick ass.
I'm not sure when it dawned on me. Maybe it was after I walked out of a shitty
hardware store and into a good one when I finally realized: "HEY, you gotta be
stupid to defend these small companies!". Larger companies can offer their
products at cheaper prices, afford to hire extra employees so that they aren't
overworked, and are therefore nice to you, and they can give you discount coupon
codes. Don't tell me you don't like discount coupon codes. There's no greater
satisfaction than presenting that coupon code right at the register and BAM! --
20% knocked right off your bill! It's that simple. I'll tell you one thing: The
crappy hardware store on the corner which can't afford lighting (despite the
fact that all they DO is sell lighting) isn't giving you a rewards card that
build up with the purchases you make. Not only that, but since there's only one
of them, it's not likely that you can ever build up enough points to earn
anything nice anyways, since the need to buy things can turn up when you're
almost anywhere. The nice thing about a store like Staples is that there's one
within every two blocks from you, and they're all linked, which means that you
can be in another state, and your purchases still count towards your rewards
Big businesses kick ass. Face it. What are the two most awesomest places you can think of? Starbucks, and Kinkos. Why? Because, they let you come in and do your thing, and they leave you the fuck alone. I don't care what you have to say about Starbucks, but the fact is that once you get the hang of all the weird terms that just mean "coffee", it's pretty cool. There's simply no better feeling in the world than mooching off free internet while sipping on a latte with your legs sprawled across someone else's couch.
And Kinko's. Say it's 3 AM and you can't sleep and you suddenly have this brainstorm about how cool it would be if you had 50' x 50' poster of your boss that you could hang up on your wall and throw darts at. Guess what. Kinko's welcomes you. While most of us have our own internet connection by now, it still feels a million times better to use someone else's. I don't know why; it's just a fact of life. Since Kinko's is open and Average Joe's crappy internet cafe where people stand on top of you and ask you when you'll be done with the computer every five minutes, and glare at you from across the room to make sure you're not downloading wares, looking at porn, or trying to pop out extra RAM chips from the motherboard and stuff it in your pocket isn't, I guess you'll be going to Kinko's.
I simply don't understand why people would want small businesses around. Any time you walk into Bobby's crappy appliance store, there's always something that you need which he doesn't have. Not only that, but since he's the money-whore that he is, he won't even tell you which other stores carry it, even though it doesn't make a difference since he himself doesn't carry it. I was in Home Depot today, and all I can say is that the place hauls major ass. There was this Mexican dude working there who's obviously making minimum wage, but he knew where EVERYTHING in the store was. There was like a line of people asking him where stuff was and he was just rattling it off like the ABC: "Isle 9. Isle 18. Isle 27. Downstairs, Isle 12. Isle 8". You know, while this guy may be making minimum wage, I envy that shit. To be able to walk into a store that's a block long in both directions and be able to pinpoint exactly where any item is stored; be it a welding gun, a sawing table, an electric drill, or anything else that's manly, I think that's fucking cool.
So....back to big businesses and why I think they're so great. I think people are developed enough now to not all end up working in crappy conditions for a railroad company. While I agree that those days were pretty bad, and someone had to step in and do something, at the time, those days are now over. There's plenty of markets now that aren't monopolized, and not because the government has intruded on them, but simply because they just aren't. Now with the internet, all you need is a couple of pennies to pay GoDaddy's lousy $4/month web hosting, and an idea (and some underpaid web developer) and you've got yourself a website, which can potentially make you millions. Think about it: Microsoft. They make a shitty operating system and almost everyone is running it on their home PC. A couple of years ago the courts rule that they are a monopoly, so to abide by the laws they start selling off copies of their operating system to manufacturers, so that now there's Dell Windows, HP Windows, IBM Windows, etc. and now, since officially, Microsoft isn't selling that many copies of Windows anymore (Dell, HP, IBM, etc are selling the rest), they're no longer a monopoly. Does this make any sense to you? You know it doesn't. With court rulings like this, I thing we can just wipe our asses with antitrust laws and flush it down the toilet since it isn't going to do anything for us anyway.
All I can say is that if we let a company like Microsoft monopolize us with their DRM-embedded slow as hell poison-to-the-eye sad excuse for a rip-off of Mac OS X and not say anything, then why bitch when companies like K-Mart, Target, and Starbucks monopolize us with a GOOD product?
...And just so you realize, it's not like you can start your own Cable TV or gas company if you'd like to, either.