Through my usual peruse of the news paper, I came across this article in the WSJ. To sum up, new apps for smartphones are making it easier for customers to compare prices across stores. Say you are shopping for an Xbox. With the app, you can see what Target, Best Buy, Gamestop, etc.
Sounds like a great deal, right? I mean, what could be more competitive? This is capitalism at its best: consumers making knowledgeable choices, helping to keep prices low and fostering competition among even the big box stores.
Not everyone sees it this way. Specifically, Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine. She wants these apps to be done away with. She says they are “anti-competitive”. Aside from the fact that she apparently has no clue when “competitive” means, let’s rephrase her proposal:
Snowe wants customers to not be able to shop around. They must only buy these goods at whatever price the local store is offering. No Internet shopping, no price checking, no sales.
I cannot imagine anything more blatantly condescending. Not to mention Grinch-like. This is crony-capitalism at it’s best. Consumers aren’t willing to make the “right” choices, so we must make them for them. And they can only shop at our approved stores.
Forgive me for channeling my inner pundit here, but shame on Sen. Snowe for even considering such a thing.