Monopoly: Characteristics, Advantages, Disadvantages Writing Sample

Monopoly can be defined as a situation whereby a single individual or firm has adequate control when it comes to supplying a specific good or service to be able to considerably determine the conditions on which other individuals or firms will have access to them. Monopolies are characterized by an absence of competition for the goods and services they produce. “Monopolies can arise through natural means or they be formed through vertical or horizontal mergers of firms” (Lee, 213). There is usually a single seller who produces all the output and therefore the seller serves the whole market. Price pressures brought about by competition do not affect monopolistic firms.

Nonetheless, to make sure that there is control of new entrants in the market, the firm needs to control the prices of the services or products produced within the model of the monopoly theorem.

Monopolistic firms are also usually characterized by control of information and other technologies used in production which is inaccessible to other market players. This is achieved through patents that are legally established, copyrights, and trademarks. An example is AT&T which existed as a monopoly in the early twentieth century mostly due to the telephone patent. Besides, monopolies present opportunities for increased mergers between firms. As a result of the control of one single entity, the extent of vertical and horizontal mergers increases and creates coercive forms which ultimately do away with any competition. However, competitive laws restrict monopolies when it comes to the degree to which they can dominate and engage in illegal or abusive behavior. This might only apply to a government-granted monopoly as an incentive to partake in a risky domestic activity. Since monopolies have absolute controls of the market, there is very little innovation and therefore, there is a tendency of becoming inefficient over time with little investment being channeled towards innovations and marketing.

Monopolies have several merits and demerits. Despite them having a bad reputation for being evil, society can benefit immensely from monopolies. One advantage of monopolies is their ability to produce goods at very low costs, mainly due to economies of scale. This is in contrast to competitive firms producing the same goods in the same area. Therefore, low production costs will translate to lower prices to final consumers of those products. Another advantage of monopolies, especially those granted by the government through patents, copyrights or trademarks act as incentives to innovation and creativity by groups of people like entrepreneurs, artists, and inventors. Besides, some form of monopoly is necessary for the distribution of public utilities like electricity and water. These are essential needs of populations and their distribution must remain stable to ensure that they are not affected by market forces and hence adversely affect the supply of these essential needs.

However, on the flipside, monopolies have their limitations. Monopolies tend to stifle innovation(Kreps, 219). Since they might be the only suppliers of certain products in the market, the firm might be sluggish in adopting new technologies, ideas, and change because in the first place they don’t have any competitor to beat or market share to maintain. They may also produce goods of poor quality because of a lack of competition. When there is completion, a company is forced to produce quality products or be edged out of the market. Therefore, there is a lack of any incentives to maintain quality because they are the only players in the market. It can lead to customer dissatisfaction because the customers have no other choices in the market and are forced to buy from a single supplier.

Monopolies can also harm other companies that provide raw materials to them, especially if they are the primary consumers of those materials since they have the discretion of demanding certain prices which have to be met by the suppliers. They further create barriers to entry by other competitors because they control the supply chain.

There are several ways through which the problem of monopolies can be approached. The first approach is through coming up with antitrust policies by the government that is meant to encourage competition in the market. The law makes it illegal to engage in certain practices that are detrimental to businesses and consumers and are against ethical standards. These policies are implemented through the department of justice and the federal trade commission.

It is also important that the government get involved in managing monopolies through public regulations. These regulations are meant to ensure that the monopolies don’t exploit consumers. The regulation can be done in terms of price controls. However, there is a need to do this without compromising the quality of products and services produced. There should also be some levels of regulation through prohibition to ensure that monopolies don’t enter into anti-competitive agreements which will give them control over fixing unfair prices and abusing their dominance in the marketplace.

In conclusion, monopolies exist in all market structures. Several factors might contribute to their existence. These monopolies have their own merits and limitations depending on the sector they serve.

Works cited

Lee, Symon. Post-Keynesian Price Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998

Kreps, David. A course in microeconomic theory. New York: Bantam Books, 1990

Erotic In S. Jackson, B. Harris, And R. Stokes

The erotic is meant to be a source of power for females. Through this power, they are supposed to lead normal and comfortable lives in society. What does the word “normal” mean in the context of the lives in society today? In the male-dominated world, normal life for a woman has a restrained sense of the erotic. The females whose erotic power is kept in check as they go about their daily business are praised as being normal. Those who attempt to release their erotic power are viewed as abnormal. This has led to the consignment of women to a life of oppression in different spheres such as emotional oppression, economic exploitation, physical abuse, and cultural marginalization. The ideas on the erotic as captured in Audre Lorde’s work and Terry McMillan’s book entitled Waiting to Exhale present clear cases on the views that women have as far as the erotic is concerned. In this short essay, characters from Waiting to Exhale will be used to illustrate these erotic perspectives.

Savannah Jackson comes out as the lead character in the group of four ladies in the novel; Waiting to Exhale. She is a professional lady with a clear sense of what she wants. Her understanding of the nature of the life of a woman is not different from what Audre Lorde thinks of the erotic power of women. The drive to be the best is what has made Savannah make all the achievements she has made in her professional life. She is in the Public Relations field and does her job well. Her understanding of the erotic power of women is also shown through her dedication to her female friends. She takes low pay as she makes her move to Phoenix so as to be closer to her best female friend, Bernadine. The view that women are supposed to support one another and relate to each other in a friendly way is clear in Lorde’s view of the erotic power of women and Savannah seems to be in touch with this perspective of the erotic as it applies to women.

Leaving the above aside, Savannah has met a number of men in her life. Some of them are liars while others do not respect women. Savannah would have withstood mistreatment from their boyfriends and husbands. But this is not what she does. Instead, she has a deeper understanding that she is supposed to get a man who meets her needs. At first, this is not the case as Savannah and her friends are of the opinion that they are the ones who have problems that have made it difficult for them to relate well with men. An example is Lionel, a guy she meets through a connection with her sister. She goes out with him only to find out that he is actually with another woman at the party. The other woman is Denise. Savannah goes home after learning this. But with time, their knowledge of deficiencies in the men they come across reveals the power in them and the blamelessness of their character. This understanding plays into the idea that a woman should not feel guilty for not relating well with men even when it is the men who have problems.

Apart from Savannah, Bernadine Harris leads a life that has outstanding elements of erotic power. The erotic power perspective is played out both in the absence and presence of the same in her actions as far as the men she meets are concerned. She is given a raw deal by John when he sells their joint business prior to their divorce and gives her nothing out of it. The erotic power of women comes in the way of gathering the strength to move on and regaining economic independence. She does not give up on men and tries to search for love as demonstrated by the sexual encounter with the guy at the club. Gloria finds her in the act and gives her to be careful or else she gets hurt. In the true sense of erotic female power, Bernadine is trying to accept the happenings in her life. She is not the one who has misbehaved and finding fault with her behavior is not justifiable. This is the true dimension of the erotic. The emotional, physical, psychic, and intellectual connection that is meant to connect two people in erotic unions is evidently not present in the marriage and therefore she has to move on and try to fix her life.

The third character in Waiting to Exhale whose life has elements of the erotic is Robin Stokes. Despite her numerous attempts to get into relationships with men, none of them seems to be working. It is not unusual for women to blame themselves when things do not seem to be working. But as noted elsewhere in this paper, men have a role to play in these failed relationships and true erotic power allows the woman to move out of such relationships and seek new refreshing ones. This is exactly what Robin does. But it turns out that most men are deficient and all she has to do is run back to her lover who apparently is not willing to commit. Society has come to view women who move from one relationship to another as prostitutes when it is possible that these women are looking for true erotic connection which can only be found in a satisfying relationship where the man is willing to do his best. Are any similarities and differences in the way these women’s lives portray the erotic?

The way in which the erotic plays out in the lives of Robin, Savannah and Bernadine are the same. All of them are willing to support their male friends on the condition that they get the best in return. They however take the courageous move of restructuring their lives on their own when they are let down by their male friends. What differs is the nature of their circumstances in that Savannah is never married but meets deficient men, Bernadine marries a man who abandons her for a white bookkeeper and Robin has a man who cannot commit; a scenario that makes her search for other men, who end up being unfit. She, therefore, ends up coming back to the man who cannot commit.

In concussion, erotic power is meant to free women from oppressive views in society. The characters in Waiting to Exhale portray the various elements of erotic power through the events that occur in their lives; especially in their interaction with men.

“Creating Caring Capable Boards: Reclaiming The Passion For Active Trusteeship“ By Tyler Scott

Abstract

There are very many people today who have various leadership capabilities in nonprofit organizations. By the virtue of their position as trustees, they deserve to have ample knowledge, enough wisdom, and also have a selfless consideration for the good of everyone. ‘The book Creating Caring Capable Boards: Reclaiming the Passion for Active Trusteeship’ by Tyler Scott has focused on the values that should be achieved by trustee leaders for their services to be termed as effective and for the achievement of success in their administration. It has been able to present an effective leadership model for members of boards to achieve the best in their philosophy of service.

Introduction

This paper is a critical analysis of the models of leadership that were put forward and discussed by Tyler Scott in her book, “Creating caring capable boards: Reclaiming the passion for active trusteeship“. It has discussed some leadership models that can be used as frameworks for effective strategy implementation. In this manner, both inexperienced and experienced trustee members can be able to lead their organizations effectively and also renew their comprehension of the mission and visions of their organizations. This paper will act as a critic of the materials and models of the ideas that the author has presented in her book.

A critique of the book

In her book, Scott has focused on the issue of effectiveness in not-for-profit organizations’ boards. She has emphasized individualism, the eminent demise of the community, loss of communication between the organizations and the community, and loss of togetherness as factors that have led to the call for a new development and leadership approach in the organizations. Failure in the status of the common good for every person in the community has challenged and led to the failure of many boards today. To overcome this weakness, the author has insisted on the individuals responsible for active trusteeship to consider taking processes of depth education (Tyler, 2000).

One of the proposed approaches to the calling in trusteeship is “Depth Education.” Using this approach, board members are put in a situation where they have a deep understanding of the culture and the character of the organization. This on the other hand allows the people involved to act competently, with care and wisdom, and in a knowledgeable way. By Scott (2000, p. 150), “We need to take time out from our preoccupation with the concrete tasks in our lives and from an obsession with time to examine and evaluate what we are doing, why we are doing it, for whom, and for what larger and longer-term purpose”. This model has been referred to as Preparing-Leaders-And-Nurturing-Trustees. One of the key merits of the model is the sophistication and the thoughtfulness of the perspectives of the various challenges that the board might come across. According to Robinson (2001), a trustee or the board member is someone who should care and have much concern for the organization.

The book has a great positive impact on not-for-profit organizations to philanthropists, governors, and volunteers. There is a belief in the ability of the trustees and also the educators to influence the societies which they are serving in growth and the shaping of their common practices. The author has outlined the complexity of the literature found in the organizations which have had an impact on the community and which is of much help in the improvement of the clients’ and the community’s lives.

The PLANT approach has been developed in a manner that is long-term and very systematic. Due to this fact, it has the overall advantage of workability in almost all nonprofit organizations. For this to be effective, the leaders must focus their attention on the justifications laid down by Scott. One such justification is the inclusion of active involvement of the public and some other stakeholders who will in turn help in the delivery of several advantages in communication in as much as they might be short term.

On the other hand, there are some disadvantages in the application of Scott’s models. Due to the complexity of the book, it cannot help the new members who are in the process of grasping the responsibilities of the board members. This is mainly so because of the book’s insistence on the originality and customs of the issue of trusteeship. Scott has taken much of the time in putting across the importance of implementation of the new approaches to the board which according to her has lost the trusteeship tradition.

Another demerit that has made the context not good for everyone is the constant rooting of many historical perspectives. Most of this information seems irrelevant, complex, involving, and does not suit the needs of some readers as it does not match the current world. Another demerit to the concepts and the models is the philosophical approach in the explanation of the services of the board. This has demanded more than available attention from the board leaders and members. With this kind of approach, the board members are required to be committed, in-depth analysis, time, talent, and a lot of treasure. The approach thus reduces the number of trustees who get to understand and commit themselves to this level of responsibility.

Such weakness can be simplified by using other models. According to Widmer and Houchin (2000), trusteeship has been divided along with the courses of management, power, and management. The authors have comprehensively explained to the trustees about their roles and responsibilities. This differs from the philosophical approach in such a way that, they explain the issues more vaguely.

Conclusion

According to the reviewed work, there are a lot of responsibilities in the leadership styles and governance by board members in not-for-profit organizations. Scott has put focus on the traditions which seem to have been left out and those that need refurbishment by the leaders for the critical success of trusteeship. This paper has focused on some of the models discussed in the book and the underlying merits and demerits that accompany Scott’s models.

References

  1. Houchin, S. & Widmer, C. (2000) The Art of Trusteeship: The Nonprofit Board Member’s Guide to Effective Governance. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  2. Robinson, M. (2001) Nonprofit Boards That Work: The End of One-Size-Fits-All Governance. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
  3. Scott, T. (2000) Creating Caring and Capable Boards: Reclaiming the Passion for Active Trusteeship. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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