Taking a Bite of the Apple

March 25, 2024
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In the story of Adam and Eve, God warned Adam not to eat the fruit of only one tree in the Garden of Eden.  After woman is created, the serpent goaded her into convincing Adam to eat of this tree’s fruit, which has been accepted to be the apple.  By eating of the apple, the lives of Adam, Eve and all of humanity were forever changed.

Taking a bite of the Apple had consequences, a lesson the Federal Trade Commission might want to review.

Every business must answer a simple question.  Why should the customer buy its product or service rather than going elsewhere?

The answer is what’s called a “unique value proposition” or UVP.  It’s what distinguishes, differentiates, and adds value.

A “Free Market” is one where the consumers are free to choose through unrestricted competition.  When one company controls the market and restricts competition, the government can step in to protect the consumer and promote competition, via it’s “anti-trust” mandate.  Competition is good!

The rationale behind this system is that competition is valuable in promoting innovation and UVP’s, which can only occur when:

The price is much lower through greater production or distribution efficiencies.
The products or services are much better through innovation.
The company is trusted through brand recognition.


When a product becomes a “necessity” rather than a desire, the Government can step in, to protect “the public welfare”.  It did so with electricity, water and even cable, so that we now have Utilities and chartered companies that provide these necessities.  It broke up Standard oil when gas became a necessity and AT&T into smaller companies when phone service became a necessity rather than a luxury.

What does Apple provide that is a “necessity”?  Aren’t there other companies that make phones, watches, computers, TV’s?  There’s not a single stand-alone product that Apple sells that cannot be replaced, some of which are actually superior in performance and less usually less expensive.

Is Apple being made the victim of its own success?  Is the fact that people trust the brand, like the design, the innovation, the interconnectivity, the ease of use, it’s customer service a bad thing?

Is the Federal Government now trying to penalize Apple for being overly successful?  The complaint states that Apple is profiting “not by making its own product better, but by making other products worse.”  Isn’t that the point?  That by comparison, other products are not as good?

Every business also wants to retain its customers.  That’s done by building trust, continuing to provide superior products or services and make leaving somewhat uncomfortable.

Apparently, the Government doesn’t like that either.  They are complaining that Apple’s control of its ecosystem makes switching difficult.  Isn’t that the point?  They’re not preventing people from switching; they’re just making it uncomfortable.  A smart consumer knows that going in.

The Government is headed down a slippery, socialist-leaning slope.  Much of Europe is far ahead down that descent, where socialistic practices, such as government involvement in innovation, education and healthcare are practiced.


People have a choice.  They can use Apple products and live within its ecosystem with the associated benefits and pitfalls, or they can use other systems.  In a “Free Market Economy”, if someone sees too many people complaining, it canbe seen as an opportunity to build a better mousetrap.  That’s how innovation is stimulated.

An environment that encourages and stimulates innovation is what sets America apart.  Free markets and capitalism are the evolutionary engine that have made America the greatest economy in the world.  It’s why 10 out of the 15 most innovative companies are based here.  Switzerland is considered the most innovative country because of how much its government spent $33 Billion on research and development in 2022. Yet, Meta Platforms (Zuckerberg’s company) alone, outspent it by $2 Billion.

And that’s the point.  In Europe and elsewhere, innovation is spurred on by governments. Here in the US, it’s primarily left to companies, individuals, entrepreneurs, facilitated by a Free Market system, which is now under attack.  What other country has created a field that has grown a Musk, Zuckerberg, Gates, Jobs, or Bezos?

Does anyone remember that taxpayers lost $528 Million when the government meddled in the free market by guaranteeing a loan to Solyndra?  The current move towards EV’s might just result in a similar outcome.

For years, some elites, academics, and politicians, have been telling Americans to look to Europe as a model.  It’s just another way of undermining American exceptionalism.  Too many think that being better is no longer a badge honor, it’s a scarlet letter.


Why are people putting America down?  America isexceptional.  It’s why so many people want to come here. The US ranks first in the world with more than 50 million immigrants.  The next closest is Germany with 15.8M.

From an economic standpoint, the US ranks first in the amount of money foreign entities invest here (over $5.25 trillion).  They know where to put their money.  In the case of money, the free market speaks loudly.  We still have the most innovation and a stable government.  Anyone want to invest in Haiti?

Why is our government trying to undermine what has made us great? Apple is just its current target.  By fighting our own companies, it’s leading us down a socialistic slope that has never caused anything but mediocrity and even suffering.  It’s time to stand up for American Exceptionalism and be proud of being the best, because in most instances, we are.

While an apple a day might keep the doctor away, eating too many, too fast might cause indigestion.


P.S.  Full disclosure, I do own Apple stock, which has nothing to do with my opinion in this issue.

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Dr. Michael Goldberg is one of the leading educators on dental practice management in the United States.

Michael ran and sold a prestigious group practice in Manhattan and has been on Faculty at Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian Medical Center for 30 years including Director of the GPR program and Director of the course on Practice Management.

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