From the 'fair-trading' MISSION STATEMENT:
"Scams, rip-offs and frauds are becoming more and more commonplace. In Australia, state government Fair Trading agencies are becoming more and more impotent in tackling these matters," ...
Welcome to our neoliberalised, globalised 'what the market will bear' capitalism = un- and anti-democratic rip-off dystopia.
The 'how we got here' steps were 1st & foremost, 'unload' all unscrupulous agents of any 'social' responsibility whatsoever, i.e. 'beggar thy neighbour' policies at all levels from 1:1 personal, i.e. family through intimates to complete strangers all the way to supranational. Another name for this is "Pull the ladder up!" - or even shorter: "Bugger you!"
2nd, make it "The Law" that commercial entities = corner-shops to mega-corporations have as prime objective to maximise profit = promote 'shareholder value' at any and all 'costs,' such costs to be offloaded, along with all responsibilities, onto others = all externalities to be paid for by the dumbed-down sheople, either as voluntary customers, involuntary taxpayers or just innocent bystanders = hapless collaterals; 'best' = worst example = dumping toxic wastes into 'the commons.'
3rd, turn the world into a 'toll-booth' economy wherever possible = 'user pays;' prime objects here are public utilities such as water, sewage, elec., 'phone, roads & railways etc., aka all the modern *requirements* of civilisation, previously provided on an egalitarian, state-run basis to be privatised, leaned&meaned and max. profits extracted as per #2 (if such is still possible after interest-payment-gouging arising from leveraged buy-outs). Note, turn anything into 'for-profit' and you are guaranteed to get profit as 1st priority, often even at the expense of 'product,' particularly pernicious vis-à-vis provision of 'health services.'
4th, note that globalisation = off-shoring jobs = reducing the average worker income, at the same time as deliberately creating home-base unemployment; the feeble excuse of 'lower wages = lower prices' instantly defeated by producers charging 'whatever the market will bear.' A corollary to suppressing the wage-bill is paying sovereign-owners (we the sheople) the barest pittance for our mineral wealth, selling it at the highest possible price (often inflated by speculation) - then pocketing the lion's share of the proceeds as 'economic rent.' Not for nothing is Keynes hated - by the rip-off class, and don't forget the banksters as possibly the worst blood-suckers on the planet - and that by a long chalk.
5th & final step is triple; 1) damn unconditionally any government going into deficit, 2) continue to offer 'tax-cuts' to the dumbed-down voters as 'lure,' whilst effectively unloading the very rich from as much of the tax 'burden' as can be possibly be smuggled through under the disguise of 'tax reform.' Note here the scam of double-taxation, taxing (now mostly) the workers on their income, then the 2nd bite taxing their spending = GST (VAT etc.) = flat, regressive consumption taxes. Then 3) the obviously reduced ability of governments to pay for services means reducing such services, plus the flogging-off of the people's utilities, as per #3.
A final note here is that the system #1-#5 was largely foist upon us with at least tacit approval, where not active assistance, from our so-called 'leaders' = so-called 'representatives,' often bipartisanly so, where bipartisan = un- & anti-democratic (proof: bipartisan offers voters *no* effective choice), as is any policy 'smuggled through' without fully & fairly informing the voters beforehand, and asking those voters point-blank, on a case-by-case basis, for permission to implement. In case of so-far non-recognition, this para. describes tyranny.
Phew! Now enter the "Scams, rip-offs and frauds," etc., and the referred-to example of internet-ordered flowers. Seems to be a prime opportunity for abuse; the customer is striving to 'send a message' in an hoped-for effective way, so doesn't mind (too much) about being over-charged, and the recipient is often remote, so the customer can't (directly) control the timeliness and/or quality of the delivered 'product.'
An obvious situation to advise caveat emptor.
In the above #1-#5 frame, we see that the internet-ordered flowers business fits in quite well; from the greedy intent (rip-off margins) through to the possibility of low-standards of delivery. When, not if, things go wrong, the so-called 'consumer-protection agencies,' *formerly* government-provided as part of the general egalitarian & protective social-democracy framework, are now at least hampered by low funds whilst facing veritable avalanches of complaints - if not having been totally disbanded as a so-called 'balancing' = budget-cutting act of outright, anti-social and anti-Enlightenment vandalism = anti-democratic terror.
Fazit: I term this 'leadership-failure;' as well as the for-profits, the politicians have abandoned all responsibility to us, we the sheople, and they've done it by selling-out to those for-profits by deregulating them, a self-consuming spiral of venality & corruption. The proof of the perfidy is public: the very real and very significant 'upwards' shift of wealth = the already filthy-rich getting ever-more obscenely so. The other side of the rich-get-richer coin is the descent of ever more people into poverty in the US; 40+mio on food-support, no medical insurance etc.; approaching 99% of world to follow. As mentioned in my "tax-cut idiots," the main-stream media = corrupt & venal MSM, *also* including significant bits of publicly-financed, 'national' broadcasters, is involved in the #1-#5 frame as 'water-carriers,' since they bring us the lies, obfuscations and propaganda all tarted-up as 'news.' Hence to Eisenhower's warning vis-à-vis the Military Industrial Complex = (US) M/I-plex; we now add C = Congress (in the US; the 'best' that $s can buy! In Aus, parliament; so-called 'representatives' in general, who, also in general are failing to properly represent us, we the sheople), and the *traitorous* press = 4th Estate; we can identify the prime-perpetrators of our misfortunes as the M/I/C/4-plex, to which we also add the self-explanatory I/J/Z-plex.
The biggest question of all is Q: Where are the *responsible* people, those who can see the un- and anti-democratic rip-off evil, and could take effective steps to rid us of same evil? Or are there none left, *all* such having sold-out, gone dumbed-down themselves, or are otherwise incapacitated? Brrr!
in response to 'fair-trading' comment -
_neo-liberalism = privatisation,
__globalisation = off-shoring,
___capitalism as theft
From the 'fair-trading' MISSION STATEMENT: