What’s good for General Motors is good for America. Forget about the fact that this is a rather famous example of a misquote, of sorts. Accurate or not, consider that in some people’s minds this statement has come to signify that a particular business can become so large that its fortunes and misfortunes might have a substantial effect on an entire country. Kind of along the same lines as the phrase “too big to fail.”
So will we ever find ourselves saying that what’s good for (insert name of giant tea merchant) is good for America? Doubt it. For the fact is that even if you’re the biggest fish in the tea pond, you’re still a fairly small fish. But might we someday find ourselves saying that what’s good for (insert name of giant tea merchant) is good for the nation’s tea drinkers? Maybe.
So, in a hypothetical situation in which we have one or more mega-players stepping in as the General Motors of tea, what does that mean for the tea drinkers of America – or for that matter, the world?
Well, on the one hand, you could speculate that maybe budding tea drinkers will be trained to pay more than their tea is really worth, just like some have said that drinkers of that other beverage (you know) have been conditioned to pay inflated prices. For that matter, one might even wonder if the law of supply and demand might really result in higher prices as big players eat up larger and larger slices of the world’s tea pie (mmmm…tea pie).
Or we might imagine a situation where people have lost sight of the simple appeal of drinking a good cup of tea as they’re being barraged with a blizzard of overinflated hype about the health benefits of tea. Or perhaps we’ll see a time when people have been conditioned to drinking tea from those ghastly cardboard cups that make everything in them taste like…well, cardboard.
On the plus side and this could be a fairly significant upside, such a world of mega-players might kick off a situation in which more people will come to realize the charms of drinking good tea. And maybe some of these new tea drinking converts will (as new tea drinking converts so often do) become the little bitty merchants who will toss their hats in the fray in an attempt to fill in the gaps left by the big guys.
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