For the first time in lockdown I lost my temper.
I normally work from home and do everything over the phone or zoom so I’m comfortable with the solitude of being locked down in a way that I can see many others aren’t so throughout all this pandemic I haven’t really been pushed into depression or anger the way I see others struggling with.
That changed this week.
This week I almost went into a rage.
And I didn’t see it coming.
It was at the supermarket.
I was just doing my shopping, all masked up and hand sanitized to death, rushing around so I could get out quickly.
I did one of those shops you know like the back of your hand and I suppose I finished it with an expectation of how much it was going to cost.
That expectation imploded.
The cost was at least $70 more than I had been expecting and when the poor shopping teller told me this, a white light exploded in the back of my brain.
I thought, ‘what the fuck! You greedy fucking super market duopolies! You were fucking is before lockdown and now you are price gouging us while you have a total monopoly’!!!
I wanted to grab the back of the tellers head and smash it repeatedly into the cash register while screaming “Is that enough fucking money you greedy fucks”, over and over and over again!
It wasn’t even that I didn’t have the money, but it was just the taking advantage of us all at a time of a national emergency that so enraged me.
What did I actually do?
I grumbled about the price and didn’t say thank you when the teller handed me the receipt.
I know, hardly a criminal offense and I’m sure the teller barely even noticed me or my flash of homicidal rage.
But if there is one thing that must come out of lockdown, it’s urgent reform of the supermarkets!
They have been allowed their outrageous duopoly powers because they are supposed to guarantee food security, well they are failing at that!
This matters, you aren’t seeing panic because shoppers believe the shop will be restocked the next day, if that doesn’t happen people freak out.
This lack of food security is another argument to have the State step in!
The lie of neoliberalism is that unregulated markets lead to competitive utopia.
They lead to an elite corporate oligarchy who ensure their dominance via duopoly or monopoly. A plutocratic cartel who amputate monopoly rentals from the economy and call it business.
The brutal strength of the State is required to step in and break up such cartels when they bubble to the top and that’s exactly what the Commerce Commission must demand in its reports on the Supermarket duopoly in NZ.
The Commerce Commission’s draft report into competition in the supermarket sector has found that competition is not working well for consumers and the main problem is the structure of the New Zealand grocery market, in which new players find it hard to compete.
It found “persistently high profits” and high grocery prices compared to other countries.
The report suggests lowering some of the hurdles for new competitors, or, if that failed, creating another major grocery retailer.
“If competition was more effective, retailers would face stronger pressures to deliver the right prices, quality and range to satisfy a diverse range of consumer preferences,” said commission chair Anna Rawlings.
This greedy duopoly between them take half a billion in profits every year!
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