Originally Posted by globetrotter
I don't think that starbucks is predetory, or unfair. they just aren't stellar. a few times a year, I will drink at startbucks - more if I am in a country that I don't believe has a good coffee culture.
but what starbucks does to drive out their competition is perfectly fair. if you don't like it, you are free to compete with them, or to give business to their competitors.
I actually am not sure that the various means used to try to help smaller businesses stay afloat is fair - when people demonstrate or picket shops like star bucks, or try to leverage political clout to support small competitors - even though I may sympathize, I am not sure that that is exactly fair.
what starbucks has going for it is critical mass - it has better purchasing strength, better systems, better research, more operating capital. those are the tools that it uses. no real secrets.
globetrotter, I understand your position. My position is that taken outside of the "laboratory" free enterprise environment, what this means is that because they don't have the capital to take advantage of globalization, small family-owned businesses are quickly being driven out of business because they cannot compete with a juggernaut like Starbucks.
You can argue that from a free-enterprise capitalist standpoint, this is all legal and proper, and that businesses that can't compete should in fact go out of business, but I take the position that the cultural loss of diversity will have a depressing effect on the collective psyche, bringing us all closer to 1984/Brave New World/dystopia of your choice.
I have finished my Illy from Caffe Greco and my speech.