I’ve been thinking of how powerful money can be, and how businesses capture consumer surplus.
According to Investopedia:
Consumer surplus is an economic measure of consumer benefit, which is calculated by analyzing the difference between what consumers are willing and able to pay for a good or service relative to its market price, or what they actually do spend on the good or service. A consumer surplus occurs when the consumer is willing to pay more for a given product than the current market price.
However, maybe it’s also this notion of consumer surplus that drives how businesses, government, etc. enable those who “have” versus those who “have not”. Consider for a moment how advantageous technologies and tools can be for startups, for example. Some tools enable these companies to flat out survive and build something meaningful. However, due to lack of resources (normally cash), startups are unable to leverage them (think legal, marketing automation, etc.).
Or, think how fliers today can pay more to sit in first class versus upgrades to an airline’s most loyal, frequent travelers.
Or, think of how money can elevate patients higher on the waiting list for state-of-the-art medical procedures versus individuals who have waited months or years.
Or, when mortgage companies lower interest rates or provide premium cost savings opportunities to those who are financially secure when those who are still consistent in payments but have lower income do not qualify.
This is a free market where competition reigns supreme. However, it comes at a cost to those who could potentially reap the greatest benefits – sometimes at a price of survival. Should money buy anything?