By Matthew Bailes, Swinburne University of Technology
There’s nothing corporations like more than a good monopoly. Plug in the consumer and turn on the profits! In Australia there’s seemingly no end to the spiralling cost of living as our utilities, banks and other service providers find new ways to hit us with fees that deliver them record profits.
Although in principle we have competition, in practice it is often difficult to understand the true cost of changing banks, electricity suppliers or internet service providers (ISPs) so we end up getting gouged.
But recently citizens have been fighting back, and it might signal a new dawn for consumers. The answer is not in shopping around between this duopoly or that, but in using the internet to advertise, supply and connect with other citizens that cut out the middlemen and eliminate the establishment.… Read the rest