Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The new capitalist whiny-babies and their antitrust mamas

The legions of anti-capitalist capitalists who run to antitrust officials every time they feel put-upon by big business are growing in this modern era of whiny-babies. The latest is the CEO of, who's going after Google for allegedly "decimating" his business. Here's his letter to the Wall Street Journal. My reply to that whiny putrescence is below.

If you have a business that’s a bit bigger than a competitor’s, you may buy a bigger sign, which more customers can see and thereby give you more business. The smaller business can then try more clever ways to get the word out – such as employees wearing costumes and carrying signs by the street – or the smaller company can just whine about being smaller and “mistreated” and run to government officials for intervention.

If you’re running a highly efficient business, you may lower your prices, thereby getting more customers and perhaps putting other similar businesses out of business. That’s capitalism – good for customers, bad for bad business. The people who lost their business can learn their lesson and more adeptly start over – or they can run whining to government officials.

If a business decides to branch out with its products/services and suddenly finds itself competing with former suppliers, then the business will most likely stop recommending the suppliers to its customers to reduce competition. The suppliers should’ve already known to have spread risk and have many contracts, but if they didn’t, they may suddenly find themselves on the precipice. They can then try to quickly diversify or they can whine and go to government officials for intervention.

In his March 10 letter to the editor, TradeComet CEO Dan Savage makes it clear what kind of company chief he is, by running to government antitrust officials and whining that Google “imposed a penalty” on his site and “decimated” his traffic.

No, what Google did was change its own proprietary property – something it has every right to do if it feels it may give it a competitive advantage. Mr. Savage’s bizarre and incredible presumption is that Google must ensure that his site remains competitive against Google, thereby reducing Google’s business and stock value. It is now a mockery of morality that Mr. Savage is filing a suit against Google to add legal injury to verbal insult.

Mr. Savage and other company chiefs who go running to government officials each time they feel put upon by the Goliaths might wish to watch a sports game that involves a matchup between an overmatched weaker team/individual and a much stronger team/individual. You will see the weaker opponent try even harder, reach a little further, run a little faster, be more creative, think outside the box, plan better, sweat a little more to defeat the larger foe.

And if the weaker opponents loses, you’ll almost always see a face of satisfied exhilaration at the brave attempt – not a whiny person running to the official shouting, “It’s … just … not … fair!” The U.S. antitrust office has become (as officials hoped it would) a bastion for whiny-baby pseudo-capitalists with chips on their shoulders and no moxie to dig deeper and battle it out.

Where’s a young Rockefeller when you need him?

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