Sunday, October 17, 2004


Contrary to what businesspersons say, they don't like change. In fact, they hate it because change means they have to adjust business models, and they might find their companies are no longer competitive. That is why businesspeople enter collusive activities when they can to control industries, such as insurance, as we learned last week. There is a good reason for their behavior. They're human: Humans dislike risk and uncertainty.

Thus, it is interesting that the telemarketing industry discovered change has not been that bad in the last year since the "Do Not Call" registry was put into place. The industry predicted its demise. According to this story, it didn't happen.

PR practitioners should temper remarks espousing the rough and tumble of the marketplace. They usually aren't true. When I hear CEOs praise competition, I'm tempted to gag. They would get rid of it if they could. And if they detect a least hint of unfairness, they are quick to complain. Witness Boeing's recent howls about AirBus and American farmers' screams about foreign growers (name the crop or animal, and you'll find a scream.)

The fact is we compete because we have to. Few like it. Microsoft established a monopoly, so it wouldn't have to compete, then it told everyone how hard it was to win. Computer Associates did the same thing.

In a truly free market, there are many losers and a few winners, many of whom don't play fair. That is why capitalism should never be truly free. Government maintains fair competition, whether players like it or not. The next time you are tempted to write about the glory of change, think twice.


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