I have no idea how I missed this originally, but I think it was because I was in Las Vegas when this was published by David Merkel.
Simply put, this is the best definition of how Capitalism SHOULD work that I've seen in written form. (I don't like using the word "should" in any context, but it seems appropriate in this case.)
Granted, it does not always work like that. Maybe not even most of the time, at least in this period of world history. However, I don't think Capitalism is dead. On life support maybe, but not dead. The greedy, self-centered and selfish bastards took over and have been running the show for far too long. However, there are still people out there interested in creating the most value for others -- providing service -- in exchange for the money those people are willing to part with.
Pricing is a great measure of the service you're providing people. By definition, if you are lowering your prices, it is because you are not offering enough value to your customers to garner the higher price. Instead of racing to the bottom, you need to figure out how to move up the value chain. No, its not easy, but nothing worth doing is. (And when something is easy or perceived to be easy, too many people start doing it, looking to get rich. See the dot com boom and real estate investing/speculation in the last 10 years. THAT's the definitive contrarian indicator, when everyone is trying to make money in a given arena.)
So I have to hand it to David Merkel with this well timed post. Too bad I'm finding it a month after its original publication.
Now back to creating some value, somehow, for someone...