Money Making Scheme - Scott Adams' Blog

Money Making Scheme

I have an idea for making lots of money but I’m too lazy and frightened to do it myself.  The idea is to become a consumer advocate against a confusopoly. A confusopoly is any group of companies in a particular industry that intentionally confuses customers about their pricing plans and products. Confusopolies do this so customers don’t know which one of them is offering the best value. That way every company gets a fair share of the confused customers and the industry doesn’t need to compete on price. The classic examples of confusopolies are phone companies, insurance companies, and banks.

To get things rolling, you pick a confusopoly to target and you build a web page explaining the problem. Then you collect signatures of support. and demand legislation to standardize how prices are presented to customers.  Then you wait for the lawyers and lobbyists from your targeted industry to pay you to go away.

It seems entirely legal to lobby the government for regulatory reform. And I’m not aware of any law preventing companies from paying you to leave an issue alone. Perhaps they’d need to do it in some sort of stealth manner, just for PR purposes. I could imagine, for example, that one of the companies would offer you a job trying to organize a simpler pricing scheme, which is exactly what you’re asking for. You’d work for a few years, get no cooperation from anyone in the company, fail miserably at your task, and collect a big paycheck. If you work from home, the failing will be far more efficient, requiring no more than a few emails and some unreturned phone calls. You could do the whole thing in your pajamas, start to finish.

As always, I don’t recommend taking advice on anything important from cartoonists.