Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Coffee Prices

I just made my very first attempt to use the linguistic side of my brain.

I just read a very serious article on coffee prices on the straits times. At a glance, i found it really quite ridiculous. It says that if two companies selling the same product come together and make an agreement to increase their prices, they would have broken the law. It's called price-fixing.

According to the article, the rationale of the law is to ensure that there is competition in the market. Competition will be the incentive for competing companies to "provide better value, quality and service" to the consumers. This is in accordance with Singapore's laissez-faire system. Hence, businessmen are all not allow to discuss prices or even to recommend prices.

Undoubltly, restriction can be made interest of a capitalist economy, however, how is such a restriction to be enforced? The self interest have caused the meaning of perfect obedience far-fetched. Businesses thrive under the dominion of shrewd men. How long can the hands of law stretch?

Admirable is the thought given to maintain the supposed order of things, but attempts to enforce are meager. Nevertheless, laws are there to create a benchmark for an ideal society, but less than ideal people often reap imperfect results.

No comments: