As a geek who transitioned to management - and who has worked in Fortune 500 and small companies, I think that it's fair to say that you don't understand the motivations.
1) Some management people are evil - a small minority may be - a la Madoff, but generally they are not evil
2) Some management people are incompetent. The Peter Principle applies, and some management folk are nincompoops.
3) Some management people are led by nincompoops and can't do the sensible thing
Now that I've got that out of the way, I want to challenge some of the /. groupthink about management.
I know of a company making the choice between $free DB and $notfreeDB. At a point in the dev cycle when it was reasonable to select a new platform, the company opted to pay thousands of dollars for $notfreeDB.
A HA! Management must be corrupt/stupid/evil! Right?
No! The technology evangelist for $freeDB could not make a sensible argument about why the company should invest the time in retraining and purchase of tools to support $freeDB.
For what it's worth, the geeks most comfortable with $notfreeDB pushed HARD against a switch, and argued that a change was a risk to success due to it being an unknown, and it would cost time and slip the schedule.
All in all, IMNSHO, selection of $notfreeDB is sub optimal, but the geek could not make a case in business terms. That geek's thinking that $feee is inherently better than $notfree should be enough of an argument.
Management values finding a way to monetize technology. This is NOT evil. It is what EVERY geek does. If geeks focus on technology, they miss the point. Failure to understand that there are levers other than "technically better" is the fauls and failure of the geeks, not the fault of management.
If you (the general you, not parent specifically) are unable to understand that - that would be YOUR fault, not the fault of management.
Think outside the technology box - find ways to monetize your brilliant ideas, and you will go much farther than the geek who blow out the candle then curse the darkness.