Kunstler is a standard oligopolist. He laments the loss of “local economic networks.” This is a code phrase for the system that the local merchants ran in their own self-interest through control over markets. They had the local government fine anyone who set up shop without a license. Five centuries ago, this was called the town guild. It was based on force. The guild’s members made it illegal for anyone to offer to sell anything that had not been approved by the existing guild of producers.
He laments the loss of those good old days. He wants the state — the local town councils –to stick a gun in the belly of every consumer. “You want to buy, boy? Well, here’s the deal. You will buy from the reputable sellers who got here first. You want a discount? We’re not going to let you waste your money on discounts from outside agitators. We will protect you from your own dark side. We are not going to allow you to get cheated by this national chain, which offers low prices and a 100% money-back guarantee. You are going to pay what the Good Old Boys have gotten together to decide what is fair. Got it, boy?”