Capitalism Flourishes on Maui

A major trash hauler came to this island a few years ago and has been working diligently to put the smaller haulers out of business. Like a big fish, Maui Disposal has been on the attack. They have either devoured or crippled, not only the waste haulers but also the recycling haulers and most recently the recycling processors in their voracious quest for corporate profits.

Not that they will see those profits immediately. In fact, the very nature of predatory pricing guarantees they will see a loss during the years it takes to put the little fish out of business. After which, they will be able to raise their prices and recover those losses. Their parent company is happy to absorb the interim cost of infiltrating the waste/recycling industry on Maui.

Responsibility to the local community is not part of their business plan. Most of those forecasted dollars would not enrich the islands. Good business is all they are interested in and it is good business to move in on a territory and gobble it up.

There is no place for ethics in their plan, either. Maui Disposal’s sales people routinely call their competition’s customers and try to win them away with lower pricing and outright lies. Last week they began approaching Aloha Waste’s customers with the news that Aloha Waste does not have the proper certification to supply them with service and that Maui Disposal is the only contractor on the island that has that certification. This, of course is not true.

Ironically, nearly everyone on the island happily supports Costco and Wal-Mart while the little mom and pop groceries close shop, one by one. Big box store shoppers will tell you that the increased selection and lower prices were a godsend to Maui, yet they cry foul when a deep pocket company in their line moves in on the territory.

My conclusion is that Capitalism is a good idea that has gone terribly wrong. What was once an incentive for hard work and innovation has become a blunt instrument in the hands of monopoly-seeking mega-corporations.

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.

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