Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie on What Democrats and Republicans Should Learn From Kodak's Demise


When Kodak filed for Chapter 11 earlier this month, it wasn't just the end for one of the longest-lived blue-chip companies of the past 100 years.

It was an object lesson in what happens when firms with massive market share get too fat and happy and start to treat their customers as captives rather than as free agents who will go elsewhere given half a chance.

Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch, co-authors of The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America, argue that the lessons of Kodak apply to partisan politics, where the Democratic and Republican parties are facing record-low levels of voter identification. Despite the high stakes of the 2012 election, Americans are in open revolt against a duopoly that's been around since the 19th century. If the GOP and the Dems want to keep their customers happy, they need to learn the lesson that Kodak ignored all the way to liquidation.