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Old May 26th, 2017, 10:53 PM   #1
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The Eye-Care Industry Wants To Use The State to Crush the Competition

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Big Eye is watching you. For more than a decade, lobbyists from Johnson & Johnson (J&J), which controls over 40 percent of the contact lens market as a result of their cozy relationship with optometrists, and the American Optometric Association (AOA), which represents nearly 40,000 optometrists nationwide, have been fighting to create an artificial monopoly in the eye care industry. By inundating bureaucrats with large pieces of state and federal legislation, AOA and J&J hope to eliminate competition through regulatory capture.

Eye care professionals are unique in that they are some of the only professionals that sell what they also prescribe. In truth, optometry — unlike ophthalmology, which is composed of true medical doctors — is a dying industry. Most optometrists cannot do much other than measure prescription strength and fit lenses. They sell lenses in their shops and rely on those sales — and the kickbacks they receive from the big lens brands — as a means of keeping their shops open.

For years, J&J and the AOA have been trying to pass federal legislation called the Contact Lens Consumer Health Protection Act (CLCHPA), better known as “the Cassidy Bill,” which would essentially allow eye-care professionals to block contact lens sales from any third-party vendors that pose a market share risk. But this bill has failed miserably and has failed to be called for a roll call vote.

Now in their attempts to eliminate competition, Big Eye has moved on to target the fields of telehealth and telemedicine — online and digital forms of prescription-making that have radically changed how individuals access their doctors. Twenty-first century smartphone and tablet apps like Opternative allow consumers to measure their prescription strength from the comfort of their own homes, where a board-certified ophthalmologist then signs off on it to close the deal. Thanks to this technology, consumers now only have to go to the brick-and-mortar eye office once every two years for a comprehensive eye health exam rather than every single time a lens refill is needed.

Of course, Big Eye is afraid that this new technology will take away their customers, so they are doing everything in their power to get it outlawed.


Although these lobbyists have been fighting a losing battle thus far, they are certainly not giving up. Recently, Big Eye entered Connecticut and Rhode Island, trying to pass pieces of legislation that would corner the market by eliminating access to telemedicine. Led by Rep. Kevin Ryan in Connecticut and Sen. Frank Ciccone/Rep. Rob Jacquard in Rhode Island, the bills — one of which passed the House in Rhode Island — use tricky language. These bills argue that telehealth is a “dangerous” technology, and state governments should regulate the market in order to “protect” customers.

Yet there has been no evidence of telehealth’s danger. To say that apps like Opternative is not safe, is like saying that taxis are safer that Ubers. Big Eye is making an argument with smoke and mirrors, using the fear of “new” as the only reason to prevent innovative technology from entering the market.

Instead of fearing the new, legislators should look at telehealth with Uber in context. After Uber entered the market there was an incredible reduction of transportation costs and increase in the supply of available taxis and drivers. Additionally, Uber paved the way for competition in an industry where taxi companies controlled the market through federally created monopolies.



https://mises.org/blog/eye-care-indu...sh-competition
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Old May 27th, 2017, 02:20 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Sabcat View Post
I would rather ride in a manure wagon than a taxi. The daughter of Johnson & Johnson bought an huge farm only two miles away from me in the early sixties but today they are suffering hard times because they are selling their huge farm off, piece by piece. They are nice people who live over their means. None of them work and that probably has something to do with it.
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Old May 27th, 2017, 08:02 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Sabcat View Post
The measure of success in a capitalist economy is to dominate the market totally with making money the only metric used to determine success.

Right?
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Old May 27th, 2017, 08:17 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by imaginethat View Post
The measure of success in a capitalist economy is to dominate the market totally with making money the only metric used to determine success.

Right?
To dominate the market one must have a special interest group lobbying for such rules/Policy/Laws and corrupt elected lawmakers to fulfill such interest.

Right?

Pharma and Healthcare have been extremely generous in this arena and lawmakers are only to happy to oblige but you know this. A simple google on lobby/special interest groups spending shows such issues.

Capitalism is just fine in and of itself, corrupt people are the problem.



You came very close to sounding like a socialist wanting to take a step further.

Last edited by Toefoot; May 27th, 2017 at 08:21 AM.
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Old May 27th, 2017, 09:40 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Toefoot View Post
To dominate the market one must have a special interest group lobbying for such rules/Policy/Laws and corrupt elected lawmakers to fulfill such interest.

Right?

Pharma and Healthcare have been extremely generous in this arena and lawmakers are only to happy to oblige but you know this. A simple google on lobby/special interest groups spending shows such issues.

Capitalism is just fine in and of itself, corrupt people are the problem.



You came very close to sounding like a socialist wanting to take a step further.
Corporate welfare and other gifts sure can help but aren't 100 percent necessary.

Yeah, the problem with capitalism is people. We're corrupt by nature. Greedy too.

That's why the road forward isn't pure capitalism nor what passes for socialism, but a mixture of the two and other philosophies.

You didn't address this basic capitalistic principle:
The measure of success in a capitalist economy is to dominate the market totally with making money the only metric used to determine success.
Agree? Disagree?
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Old May 27th, 2017, 10:20 AM   #6
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Corporate welfare and other gifts sure can help but aren't 100 percent necessary.

Yeah, the problem with capitalism is people. We're corrupt by nature. Greedy too.

That's why the road forward isn't pure capitalism nor what passes for socialism, but a mixture of the two and other philosophies.

You didn't address this basic capitalistic principle:
The measure of success in a capitalist economy is to dominate the market totally with making money the only metric used to determine success.
Agree? Disagree?
Disagree for the simple fact that the mixture of 2 will never address or stop corruption/Greed by elected officials or Corporations. Also, your corporate welfare was and is a product of corrupt lawmakers.

Your definition of capitalistic principle does not reflect mine. Here is a snip of what I agree with and as always people/elected officials need to learn about good money, bad money and know the difference...but they wont regardless of what government or ideology you put in place as a system:


Functional Markets The market exists for a reason and the reason for the market is to create value for its participants.

Free Exchange Participation in the market should not be obligatory nor prohibited.

Free Exchange is what makes a market a free market. It is the idea that individuals are free to interact with the market however they like. This includes the freedom to buy, sell and hold assets of various types. It includes the freedom to withdraw from the market and to return at a later time. Perhaps most importantly, it includes the freedom to create NEW assets and even new types of assets, and to bring those assets for sale in the market. Advocates of Free Exchange may believe that freedom is its own form of value. Or they may believe that markets based on Free Exchange are the optimal value creation mechanism. The definition above should be acceptable to both views. Free Exchange is what makes a currency system a capitalist system.

Equal Access The market values all participants equally and exists to serve all participants equally.

If Free Exchange is the basic capitalist principle, then Equal Access is its democratic counterweight. Because all participants are thought to have equal value, the market maximizes its value by appealing to the largest possible number of participants. In choosing which services the market should provide, it should choose those services which are beneficial to the most participants. The market, in creating value for its participants, should not try to create more value for favored participants and it should definitely not attempt to redistribute value from one group of participants to another. It should not provide tiered access or tiered services. It should not provide additional services to participants who can pay for them, after all, the market has no need of the currency that only it can create. Only participants need the currency. So other participants should provide those services that go beyond the basic services of the market. It should not take sides between participants in competition and it should not stand in the way of cooperation between participants.
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Old May 27th, 2017, 10:31 AM   #7
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But good laws, strong regulations and dedicated enforcement can achieve the goals.

Most "conservatives" strongly condemn the regulations in general and most of the laws I refer to.

Citizens United is wrong, constitutionally correct but still wrong.

And the lack of control or regulation of lobbying is also.

If those two issues could be addressed a large part of the problem could be cured.
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Old May 27th, 2017, 06:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toefoot View Post
Disagree for the simple fact that the mixture of 2 will never address or stop corruption/Greed by elected officials or Corporations. Also, your corporate welfare was and is a product of corrupt lawmakers.

Your definition of capitalistic principle does not reflect mine. Here is a snip of what I agree with and as always people/elected officials need to learn about good money, bad money and know the difference...but they wont regardless of what government or ideology you put in place as a system:


Functional Markets The market exists for a reason and the reason for the market is to create value for its participants.

Free Exchange Participation in the market should not be obligatory nor prohibited.

Free Exchange is what makes a market a free market. It is the idea that individuals are free to interact with the market however they like. This includes the freedom to buy, sell and hold assets of various types. It includes the freedom to withdraw from the market and to return at a later time. Perhaps most importantly, it includes the freedom to create NEW assets and even new types of assets, and to bring those assets for sale in the market. Advocates of Free Exchange may believe that freedom is its own form of value. Or they may believe that markets based on Free Exchange are the optimal value creation mechanism. The definition above should be acceptable to both views. Free Exchange is what makes a currency system a capitalist system.

Equal Access The market values all participants equally and exists to serve all participants equally.

If Free Exchange is the basic capitalist principle, then Equal Access is its democratic counterweight. Because all participants are thought to have equal value, the market maximizes its value by appealing to the largest possible number of participants. In choosing which services the market should provide, it should choose those services which are beneficial to the most participants. The market, in creating value for its participants, should not try to create more value for favored participants and it should definitely not attempt to redistribute value from one group of participants to another. It should not provide tiered access or tiered services. It should not provide additional services to participants who can pay for them, after all, the market has no need of the currency that only it can create. Only participants need the currency. So other participants should provide those services that go beyond the basic services of the market. It should not take sides between participants in competition and it should not stand in the way of cooperation between participants.
That's interesting, however in lieu of regulation, capitalism's end goal is total market domination, i.e. a monopoly. The historical record bears out my point.
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Old May 27th, 2017, 07:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toefoot View Post
Disagree for the simple fact that the mixture of 2 will never address or stop corruption/Greed by elected officials or Corporations. Also, your corporate welfare was and is a product of corrupt lawmakers.

Your definition of capitalistic principle does not reflect mine. Here is a snip of what I agree with and as always people/elected officials need to learn about good money, bad money and know the difference...but they wont regardless of what government or ideology you put in place as a system:


Functional Markets The market exists for a reason and the reason for the market is to create value for its participants.

Free Exchange Participation in the market should not be obligatory nor prohibited.

Free Exchange is what makes a market a free market. It is the idea that individuals are free to interact with the market however they like. This includes the freedom to buy, sell and hold assets of various types. It includes the freedom to withdraw from the market and to return at a later time. Perhaps most importantly, it includes the freedom to create NEW assets and even new types of assets, and to bring those assets for sale in the market. Advocates of Free Exchange may believe that freedom is its own form of value. Or they may believe that markets based on Free Exchange are the optimal value creation mechanism. The definition above should be acceptable to both views. Free Exchange is what makes a currency system a capitalist system.

Equal Access The market values all participants equally and exists to serve all participants equally.

If Free Exchange is the basic capitalist principle, then Equal Access is its democratic counterweight. Because all participants are thought to have equal value, the market maximizes its value by appealing to the largest possible number of participants. In choosing which services the market should provide, it should choose those services which are beneficial to the most participants. The market, in creating value for its participants, should not try to create more value for favored participants and it should definitely not attempt to redistribute value from one group of participants to another. It should not provide tiered access or tiered services. It should not provide additional services to participants who can pay for them, after all, the market has no need of the currency that only it can create. Only participants need the currency. So other participants should provide those services that go beyond the basic services of the market. It should not take sides between participants in competition and it should not stand in the way of cooperation between participants.
Free, orderly, functional markets require many buyers, many sellers, low barriers to entry and exit and perfect knowledge of market conditions by both buyers and sellers.

The more you diverge from those conditions, the more dysfunctional the market becomes.

(That is actually from Economics 101, I believe we used Samuelson for the textbook, if I recall correctly)
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