Imagine walking into your favorite store and being handed a list of items you are told that you WILL purchase that day. Scanning the list, you see a good deal of the items you had planned to purchase, but there are 6 items you have no interest in whatsoever.
"The list looks fairly good," you say, "but I don't need the 6 items I marked. So, would you kindly remove those from my bill?"
"Sorry, no can do," replies the clerk. "The store's manager decided that you need those items and so that is why they are on the list."
"But there is a case of peanuts on the list," you respond. "I'm deathly allergic to peanuts!! I DO NOT WANT THEM."
"Well, you actually don't have to take them," the clerk tells you.
"Great, that should reduce my bill significantly," you say cheerily.
"You don't understand," the clerk says. "You don't actually have to take the peanuts, but you do have to pay for them. They are on the list."
"WTF!" you scream...
Sounds crazy, doesn't it? But that's the way it works for my friend Paul and his mini mart. The distributors he deals with basically tell him what he will buy and he has little say in the matter. Every week they bring products he doesn't need or that don't sell, but he is forced to pay for them, nonetheless.
Now, you might suggest that all Paul needs to do is to switch distributors. This strategy might work in urban areas, but in rural communities off the beaten path, you can't. Why? Because the distributors for certain products have a monopoly. If you don't contract with them, then you can't sell the popular products consumers want and, if you don't sell those products, customers will go to your competitors and you'll soon be out of business.
So, you're stuck and there's not much you can do about it!
Capitalists will tell you that they live for competition, but it's mostly a big lie. What most capitalists want is a real or virtual monopoly. When you have the only game in town, you call ALL the shots. You don't have to be nice to customers. You don't have to play fair. You basically tell people, it's my way or the highway. And you laugh all the way to the bank!!!