Shareholders are not customers!

I tried to read this pile of tripe from Sinclair Davidson from the IPA and got angry before the end of the paragraph. The author is working from a specific premise that I take exception with. Every business doesn’t need paying customers. Instead, they need a viable business model.  If income exceeds expenses, then you can give away your product if that’s how you roll.

Davidson’s mistake is to confuse shareholders/stakeholders with customers. The government is not a customer of the universities,and it is not a customer of the ABC. Customers would be the students and viewers, respectively. Free-to-air television is a service provided by the government to all Australians. We don’t pay for what the ABC gives us, but our taxes contribute to the cost of maintaining that service (and that makes us a form of shareholder, as well)

Gina Rinehart might be a customer every time she buys a paper but her shares make her a sort of part-owner, not a customer. The more shares she buys the closer she comes to owning the paper, but it doesn’t have anything to do with her customer status.

Of course, the IPA is a shill for economic rationalism, and doesn’t care who get’s trampled in the race for profits. Sinclair Davidson is just parroting the company line.

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