An op-ed on the Washington Post's website today uses the United Airlines incident as a starting point to discuss lack of consumer choice in today's world.
We are told that this is the era of the empowered consumer: The savvy shopper has oodles of time to browse around, comparing prices among various retailers, perhaps consulting Yelp, Glassdoor or the Better Business Bureau. An almost unlimited menu of choices and information means that anything may be purchased, often at a discount from a warehouse on the other side of the world. Service is king, and business-school professors complain of the “tyranny of the consumer.” Better information means more competition, which means lower prices — all features, of course, of an open marketplace ostensibly presided over by a regulatory authority that, while distant, exists to protect our safety.
This vision is a lie.
The full op-ed it here.