Monday, May 09, 2005

Totally Free Market Employment?

Is it possible to be employed in a market that is completely free? I wonder about this because I read that Duke Energy (a local company) is merging with Cinergy. Initially I wondered, "Would I want to work for Duke? They're clearly a growing concern." And then I thought that I wouldn't because they are in a far too regulated market. I'd like to be focused on doing a job so good that customer satisfaction is what drives my profits. Of course, I'm after the profits, but I want to get there by being really good at what customers want. And in the energy market, where there are locally granted monopolies, the thing that motivates the organization isn't customer focus. I thought to myself, "Man am I glad I work for a company more governed by the free market. At least we're more responsive to our customers."

Except, I work for a bank. We're super regulated, too. And I witness this stuff every day when we've got internal auditors and corporate information security running around telling us to stop doing something that's beneficial to the customer and instead focus on something that makes our services more expensive for the customer. And they're doing it because they've got pressure from the above referenced regulators.

So it got me wondering. Is there any job I could take that's in a totally free market? Probably not, because no matter what job you do, you're regulated in how much you must pay people even if they're willing to work for less (minimum wage). What would a job in a completely free market look like? I don't even know what that job would look like, how do I know I'd want it?

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