Paying more for less

In the U.S.-as-number-one category we may add this:

“Over the next decade,” Mr. Meinrath said, “U.S. consumers may overpay by over a quarter of a trillion dollars for worse levels of service than customers in other countries receive.”

Mr. Meinrath, founder of the Open Technology Institute at the New America Foundation, is contrasting the costs and benefits of cell phone service between the United States and other industrial economies. He comments within this article in the New York Times.

Why do Americans pay more for less?

…Several factors are involved, but an important one is regulatory policy. Britain has forced companies to lease their networks to competitors at cost. The United States has not, allowing a formidable barrier against competitors.

“The United States lacks meaningful competition in its cellular market sector, which leads to higher cell plan prices than a growing list of other countries,” said [Mr. Meinroth].

Americans, as a rule, tend to deny that our combined capitalist and political systems produce outcomes detrimental to consumers. Instead, we believe that monopolies and oligopolies pervasive rent-seeking are the natural result of presumably free markets. Well, ladies and gentlemen, there are no real markets and there’s absolutely nothing free about the impostors.

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