What was once a mainstay of the home entertainment zeitgeist is about to be altered, perhaps forever. Blockbuster has announced that it may have to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Apparently the once mighty rental giant does not fall into the too big to fail category nor does it qualify for some kind of TARP-like bailout. Of course Blockbuster backing down on a buyout of Circuit City retail stores saw the end of that national chain, so it almost seems appropriate that the management of a company that would even consider buying Circuit City might face a similar fate.
It just might be that time.
The free market has produced faster, cheaper, more reliable, and more service oriented alternatives, all competing aggressively for market share and creating significantly more jobs and opportunities than will be lost by the global giant that was once Blockbuster. And if Blockbuster can’t reconcile its problems with debt holders and is no more, there will be plenty of scavengers to pick up the pieces, to create new growth from the remains. But then that is what open markets do. They encourage people with little more than an idea and some energy to encourage the decline of lumbering goliaths for the mutual benefit of the consumer and the industry. It’s a process liberals bemoan, one that they work tirelessly to subvert, and since January 2009 have doubled down on.
There will be no bail out of Blockbuster, probably because they don’t have the right kind of high powered lobbyists in Washington working to protect the movie rental industry. There are no fundraisers or parties with big names schmoozing up Senators and their wives to convince them of the economic impact of shuttering retail locations and putting all those folks out of work during a restructuring. There’s no public sector union employee jobs at stake, no UAW or SEIU ‘families’ will be affected—unless they just happened to get all their movie and game rentals from a Blockbuster that was once near them.
And this is as it should be. Efficient and innovative giants and collectives survive, sometimes to become corporatist whores who then try to use government to wipe out their competitors or gain an unfair advantage. (GE, WAL-MART, AHIP, AARP, PhRMA and so on) But in an actual open market, that purchased advantage is still not enough to keep free thinking individuals from carving out a corner of the market for themselves by offer a better product or service. At least for a little while longer.
The government has already decided who the winners and losers should be in the auto industry, banking, energy, insurance, and education. And each of these markets will –in coming years–begin to suffer the pangs of control which inevitably affect quality and availability. There will be an observable decline in the ability of consumers to find alternatives. Price fixing will impact quality. Bureaucracy will impede access. And in the not too distant future—the one imagined by liberal planners with the “Hi My Name Is Utopia” sticker affixed crookedly to its lapel—the ‘winners’ chosen by the government today will be like the large inefficient Blockbusters of tomorrow except that there will be no mechanism for its improvement or replacement. Changing government was never supposed to be easy, which is why after you turn it into something bad, its twice as hard to turn back. So with no engine of renewal, no path for creative destruction, the innovative engine that was once America will die at the hands of Barack Obama and everyone who was too stupid or too ignorant to see the danger the liberal agenda presents to real liberty.
Governments cannot create liberty, or choice, or freedom, they can only take it away. It is a lesson you can only learn from history. And those who refuse to learn it are left with even fewer choices if or when they or their ancestors, decide they want it back.
Cross Posted From NH Insider