Student to Student
May 3, 2006
The American government usually does a pretty good job of breaking up corporate monopolies such as AT&T when they become too powerful and have eliminated all of their competitors. Monopoly-breaking has been always been an important aspect of American business policy, and one of the reasons the U.S is so prosperous in the global market.
In Mexico, major corporations often have no competition, or the government actually owns them, and does nothing about it. As a result, Mexican citizens pay some of the highest rates in the world for products and services such as phones and gasoline. This is one of the reasons Mexico isn’t nearly as successful economically as its neighbors.
However, one monopoly that the U.S. government has overlooked is the graduation supply industry. Josten’s is a company that makes the caps, gowns, diplomas, yearbooks, announcements, and other souvenirs or necessities that comes with graduating from high school. And, to my understanding, they have exclusive contracts with all the schools in the state. Sounds like a monopoly to me.
Now I am not saying that Jostens is not a good company. The announcements I have received seem to be of very high quality (if not a little pricey), and their catalog is nice. But something just doesn’t feel right for a company, any company, to have that sweet of a deal.
Most seniors want to walk on stage and receive their diplomas in front of friends and family. So when the school tells us that we need a cap and gown set to do it, and that there is only one place to get it from (also meaning practically no options on price or anything else), it might as well be mandatory that we send over $100 to Josten’s to graduate.
Some other students and teachers I have talked with also do not like the idea of a company making big profits off of high school kids who are practically forced to give a good amount of money to them in order to walk on stage and receive their diplomas.
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Perhaps a better system would be to allow some other companies to hand out their catalogs to students.
This way there will be some healthy competition and maybe lower prices. Another idea I think would make the students feel better, is if Josten’s did something like give part of the profits that they make from us back to the schools. It’s only fair that if they have a monopoly then they support the state.
What do you think? Students, The Park Record has its own blog for students to shout out how they feel about "Student to Student" or any other topic. Join the cyber-realm today at prstudentblog.blogspot.com.