I have always liked the word oligopoly, not to mention oligarchy... which surely leads to a whole host of olig-this and olig-that if you ask me. But no one is asking me any more than anyone seems to have asked why beer prices going up when other prices are not:
Are the big beer companies testing President Obama’s tolerance? Anheuser-Busch InBev — purveyor of the president’s preferred brew, Bud Light — and MillerCoors, a joint venture between SABMiller and Molson Coors, are raising prices at the same time, during a recession and while beer demand is slumping. With 80 percent of the market between them, the move almost begs for an antitrust review. Both brewing groups typically adjust the price on a six-pack every year to reflect changes in the costs of ingredients like barley or hops. But their ability to do so now, while their customers are hurting most, highlights the pricing power that has accompanied industry consolidation.
Anti-trust?? Slander I'd say. Or, perhaps, just the rest of what my economics teacher in grade 12 called the weekly results of the gas station owner's association meeting on the town's golf course. After all, what is the point of gaining a vast majority of the share of a market if you can't make it mean something? I remember hearing one craft brewing wag mention that the real issue was the need to teach people to spend more on beer. Why is it OK when we are talking about micro economics but not with macro economics?