The sharper of you faithful readers of Marginal Utility will have probably noticed a bit of an ideological slant to my entries, and you won't be surprised to hear that I think, shockingly enough, that corporations profit by taking advantage of consumers rather than by catering to them. To judge by their behavior (see, for example, the film The Corporation), they seem to despise their customers, despite the fact that they are generally made up of them. And they aren't making a secret of it. They announce their scorn in myriad ways, I suspect, in every single edition of The Wall Street Journal. In what I hope will be a regular feature of Marginal Utility, I will occasionally share quotes from the paper illustrating the casual contempt of the business world.
Today's jewel: From "Deal Brings 'Proctoids' to 'Plywood Ranch,'" (B1) an article about the Gillette/P&G merger:
Gillette's longtime focus has been on developing better and better products to make mundane activities, such as shaving, require high-tech tools -- a complex operation focused largely on high-tech research and development that P&G cannot afford to disrupt.
This is the glorious engine of capitalism at work: take something simple and easily dispatched and make it high-tech problem over which we can all become anxious. Thank you, Gillette, for helping me to relearn shaving, over and over again.