Competition benefits consumers.
If you don’t believe me think about the most annoying monopoly in America.
And that’s the problem. Most towns only have one.
They don’t have any direct competition.
So, if you need their help… good luck (I speak the truth because I speak from experience… and it wasn’t good).
You won’t get an appointment, you’ll get a window.
As in “We will have someone at your house between 1:00 and 4:00 pm.”
What other business does that?
Who makes you miss work so they can show up when it’s convenient to them? Worse yet, who makes us miss work and then doesn’t show up during the agreed upon time frame?
Only cable companies.
It’s a very “Take it or leave it” attitude (and if you like TV… you take it).
Businesses with competition can’t do this.
If you look in the phone book (yes, I’m dating myself) and there’s more than one business listed in a section, that’s competition.
Dentists. Plumbers. Contractors. Beauticians. Chiropractors. Restaurants. Gas stations.
They all have competition, so they work for you.
To be successful they have to keep prices down and provide quality service.
If they don’t, their customers will go elsewhere.
You know a business has competition when they advertise.
In phone books (or since it’s 2010… online). On billboards. In newspapers (or since it’s 2010… maybe not). Even on radio and TV (but hopefully, not cable).
But you know who doesn’t advertise.
Public K-12 schools.
Pre-schools advertise. Colleges advertise. Graduate schools advertise.
But public schools don’t.
Is it because there’s no competition? We’ve never been asked to compete for customers (students)?
Just like cable companies, we are often the only option in town.
Maybe we shouldn’t take this for granted.
Maybe we should be trying to entice families into our school districts.
Maybe we should be advertising our test scores, quality staffs, and educational opportunities.
Maybe students should be allowed to shop for schools regardless of where they reside.
Maybe monopolies aren’t good for anybody. Even schools.