My Business

Geek Speak|Tech Companies Own Half of America’s Wealth

Because of the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, last week was a short work week for many Americans. But not if you’re in the business of flags. This is our busy season. Like they say “you have to make hay while the sun shines” and we are working long and hard to reap our duly earned rewards. It is during this time of year that I become slightly nervous if there is any event that disrupts our sales flow. We had three such events last week.

First, we noticed Google’s bots had stopped indexing about half of our product pages, we’re still not completely sure why, but we do know this will negatively affect our SEO search results. Then, on Saturday, LifeLock notified us that our AdWords credit card was compromised and our Google advertising was suspended for about 48 hours. Lastly, our business partner, who hosts FlagandBanner.com’s website server, performed an upgrade and for all practical purposes all but broke our shopping cart for about a day. Geez….

All this made me realize just how dependent our company is on not only the internet for sales, but more specifically, Google.

I find business at the beginning of the 21st century to be much like business during the first part of the 20th century. One hundred years ago the Morgan’s, Ford’s, Carnegie’s, and Vanderbilt’s owned everything. These companies were too big to fail, too big to have competitors. They were bigger than our government and owned everything and everybody. It took a man of the people, President Theodore Roosevelt, to have the courage to enact monopoly and anti-trust laws that broke these companies up and taxed them to keep Capitalism (the creation and accumulation of wealth) and Free Trade (the exchange of wealth and goods) economics in balance.

History seems to be repeating itself, with companies like Bank of America, Google, Walmart, Microsoft, Amazon and Verizon. Fifty companies in America own over half of America’s wealth. If that isn’t frightening enough, the news now reports that those fifty companies are using the new-found money, from the recent corporate tax break that Congress passed, to buy back their stock from the free market – making them even stronger and richer.

Google and Amazon have so much power over who gets to sell on the internet and who doesn’t, they force small business owners to put their eggs into one basket. Anti-trust laws are still in place. It seems they are awaiting an enforcer that can speak and understand techno geek lingo.