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6 Secret Monopolies You Didn't Know Run the World


The American revolutionaries gave their lives for a future in which each man would have the freedom to make his own choices. That dream has come true in the form of supermarket aisles that contain 50 different cereals with the word "oat" in their name, five marshmallow based cereals with a monster theme and 12 different varieties of Cheerios alone.

God Bless America.

What would you say if I told you that dream was a lie? That all these brands you think you're picking and choosing between are all sock puppets on the many tentacles of a few, lesser known companies?

I don't know what you would say, but we're about to find out.

Luxottica Makes All Your Sunglasses

Remember back when you watched The Matrix for the first time and ran down to the store to buy sunglasses and a trench coat? There were so many sunglass brands to choose from: Oakley, Ray-Ban, Revo, Vogue, DKNY, and if you must have only the best, $500 designer glasses from Prada and BVLGARI (which has that V-instead-of-a-U thing, so you know it's classy like ancient Rome).

Which was famous for its sunglasses.

The thing is, all of those are made by one manufacturer -- Luxottica. Starting off as a tiny Italian glasses company, Luxottica caught the 1980s fever (see Wall Street) and started buying every glasses-related company it could get its hands on, as well as talking pretty much every fashion designer into letting them make their sunglasses line.

Well, at least you get to pick between stores, right? If the people at the LensCrafters are being dicks while selling you different glasses all made by Luxottica, you can show them what you think of that by taking your business across the mall to the Pearle Vision. Or maybe the Sears or Target optical departments. Except that they are also all owned by Luxottica. Just for the sake of argument let's say that you're not a squinty-eyed nerd, so you pass by the prescription shops and go right to the Sunglass Hut. You guessed it. Luxottica.

That has got to be really heavy.

This is of course why they can charge you $200 for a piece of plastic with two hinges -- because most of the "competition" isn't actually competing with them. They are them. It also means that if anyone came up with a mind control chip you could put into glasses, they could have the whole world enslaved within months.

Keep Earth free! Get your glasses from Costco!
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