This weekend I helped my brother move across the country. There will be a travelogue for that coming soon, I promise. Right now, a quick thought inspired by the trip:
My brother and I drove from south Louisiana to St. Paul, Minnesota in a giant moving truck that didn't get great mileage. We had to stop often for gas. I have a big appetite, and I wanted something to eat and drink at every stop. However, something dismayed me: (colon party!)
Every single gas station from South to North had the exact same food and beverage products: the exact same selection of Coke-produced soft drinks, juices, and energy drinks. The exact same selection of Pepsi-produced soft drinks, juices, and energy drinks. The exact same selection of Frito-Lay-produced snacks. The exact same selection of Hersheys and Mars-produced candies. That's pretty much it.
Because of free-market monopolization, a few large companies have bought out all the other companies. Because of corporate dealings, every gas station sells products produced by this tiny puddle of companies: the same products at every gas station.
Because of the free-market capitalism that was supposed to lead to more freedom of choice in purchasing, I have absolutely no choices. I pick from the monochromatic options I am offered, or I can eat roadkill and drink from the ditch on the side of the road.