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you buy the product, or are the product

Modern robber barrons have something in common besides hyper wealth and power. I will highlight the key ingredient in the definition below.

The Rise of Robber Barons

As the United States transformed into an industrial society with little regulation of business, it was possible for small numbers of men to dominate crucial industries. Conditions which favored vast accumulations of wealth included the extensive natural resources being discovered as the country expanded, the enormous potential work force of immigrants arriving in the country, and the general acceleration of business in the years following the Civil War.

Railroad builders in particular, needing political influence to build their railways, became adept at influencing politicians through the use of lobbyists, or in some cases, outright bribery. In the public mind, robber barons were often associated with political corruption.

It is not, was not, nor can ever be the free market that creates powerful monopolies. It is, was, and always will be manipulators of the political process – obviously coupled with corrupted politicians. We can neither blame one over the other nor implement a cure without eliminating both.

Yesterday’s robber barons gave us railroads to ride, freight from around the world, steel, refrigerators, aluminum and airliners. Today they provide television shows, telephone services, Internet search results, computer operating systems, online shopping services and more soft stuff. Significantly, it is not the television sets, the Internet itself, the computers or the plethora of goods we can order from these cyber-companies that deliver wealth and power to them.

The new robber barrons gained the power and money from monopolies on information handling. This morning I realized another couple of oddities they all have in common.

The eyes have it … and the pyramids

The Masonic all-seeing eye is all over the place… not just staring at you when you open your wallet. Today I realized the pyramid shape is also common to many of the new giants.

I was employed in the computer industry when IBM, the all-powerful big dog owned 95% of the market. “Micro computers” came popping up from barely known and unknown electronics producers. Gates was just another bit player in a boiling cauldron that was the operating systems market.

Windows work in both directions … see out and see IN

The barons atop IBM adopted microsoft’s unspectacular operating system to integrate with their business mainframes. Then Gates implemented a Apple windows-like interface. Apple sued in corrupt courts and lost. A decade later, microsoft sued Apple in the corrupt courts for looking like Windoze – and won.

I worked for Hewlett Packard when Jobs asked them to buy, and finance the growth of struggling, failing Apple Computers. Bill and Dave said no thanks … computers will never be in homes. Someone financed Apple. They GAVE hundreds of thousands of computers to public schools. School children brought the technology home.

Business analysts continually predict its collapse. They operate at a loss year after year. Their stock prices are completely unrelated to their nearly non-existent assets. There is a sugar daddy in the shadows somewhere.

Alphabet Inc.
The new corporate overlord for googoo is another pyramid shape. Odd, methinks. Who made them rich and powerful? Nobody pays them for websearches. G-mail is “free”, as are g-maps, g-earth, g-chrome, g-wiz-they-are-everywhere. The money comes in from somewhere.

FAcebook and Twitter need name changes to fit my new theory entirely, but the business model is essentially the same one: you buy the product, or you are the product … and we are not paying out of pocket for these services.


The key core of all this also jumped out at me this morning. The biggest player in information gathering on Earth today. Not coincidentally the biggest importer of drugs made incredibly profitible by federal prohibitions. Their dark-money budgets could, and possibly do pay for every one of the companies above.

See Eye A