From your response to Gravis Zero:
Business people in general have to compete with other businesses.
True for small businesses and individuals engaging in economic activity where the market tends to be far larger than the entities participating in it. A serious problem arises when a marketplace experiences consolidation in one side of the buyer/seller populations: I claim that conditions (where a single entity or a small number of entities gain control of one side of the market) attracts people who absolutely take improper advantage of people.
Several examples in our current economy:
- Health insurance (rates increasing between 3 and 8 times core inflation)
- College (faster than inflation, though I don't have specific numbers. In the '70's students could work part-time and in summer to cover the year's expenses; that is flatly impossible now.)
- Lifesaving medical treatments (not the expensive new ones, I'm thinking of the ones off patent for years but still egregiously priced)
- Laborer excess, such as in coal mining, where equipment and technology have decimated need for human labor while preserving margins for the owners
My wife and I have a rental house, which we think approximates a "dividend stock" requiring a lot of yard maintenance
Then there's the energy market, the communication (ISP) market, the hospital system market in most cities, the health insurance market, manufacturing big ticket items, etc. Those large organizations are run by executives who know exactly how much market power they have, and they use it relentlessly.