Analysis: Rent Seeking And The Making Of An Unequal America
Professor Joshua Ballinger
Expository Writing Section RL
1 November 2017
The Price of Inequality Since the founding of America it has been the elite that controlled the mass populations.
It is royalty that funded the pilgrims’ voyage to the new land. It is royalty that attempted to make the United States of America a place with limited freedom. In an attempt to cover the intricacies of monopolization in America, Joseph E. Stiglitz analyzes the behavior of major corporations in his essay Rent Seeking and the Making of an Unequal America. Stiglitz explains the immoral system in which the government reaps the spoils of their companies without exerting effort in areas where people are working extremely hard. Similarly, Michael …show more content…
This is made possible by limited protections against monopolies. Our society’s market is comprised of monopolies, oligopolies, and small independently owned businesses. Although monopolies sound inherently evil, they can be a positive thing. Towns typically have one electricity supplier. This makes supplying homes with power not only more convenient, but also cheaper to consumers. One power line is a lot more practical than many, that could get tangled and damaged. However, monopolies can also be abusive towards their consumer. Think about a traveler after going through airport security, parched from the long wait. After having thrown out all liquids, their only option is to purchase a $5 bottle of water from any of the airport-regulated shops. In that small, isolated bustling terminal, an isolated microcosm of our capitalist society, the airport has a monopoly on water. Likewise, in an extremely regulated industry, corporations can seize the opportunity to structure a monopoly in that industry. For instance, former CEO of Philip Morris stated that “people could point to these things and say, ‘They’ve got too much sugar, they’ve got too much salt,’ ” Bible said. ‘Well, that’s what the consumer wants, and we’re not putting a gun to their head to eat it. That’s what they want’” (Moss 268). Philip Morris is a global American cigarette and tobacco company …show more content…
Rent seeking is the act of a party or an individual who collects “rent” from an operation which could have been completed without their influence. Although rent seeking is an immoral act, there are plenty of laws granting it immunity. Joseph Stiglitz delves into the inequality of rent seeking by stating that “the term ‘rent’ was originally used to describe the returns to land, since the owner of land receives these payments by virtue of his ownership and not because of anything he does” (Stiglitz 401). The individuals who practice rent seeking are oppressing the lower status employees who have given so much effort to make low wages. This same inequality is captured when stiglitz explains that “even more disturbing, one might have thought that an abundance of resources could be used to help the poor, to ensure access to education and taxing the “rents” on land, oil, or other natural resources won’t make them disappear” (Stiglitz