We hold onto the idea that companies and industries, much like family and friends, have our best interests at heart. However, in our capitalist system, the primary drive for every company and industry is to separate you from your money—no sugar-coating about it. While we may like to think that government regulations keep things in check, the reality is different.
Consider healthcare, where the bottom line is profit. In many cases, alternative, cost-effective, simple solutions are ignored for more lucrative options. I've had it happen to me personally and chances are you have to, you just don't see it. And in the media landscape, have the promised benefits of increased competition materialized, or are we now paying more for fragmented services?
Critiquing capitalism doesn't mean labeling it inherently bad. It's about acknowledging the flaws in the system we have today. Every great advancement over the last 50 years has disproportionately favored the wealthy. Can't you see how obvious it is? How could it be this way unless it is manipulated?
Part of the problem is of course, that because the conflict between capitalism and socialism/nationalism is so high in peoples view, that many do not recognize the fact that free trade and capitalism, are also quite different and at odds.
Free trade in the true sense, what you call over the pond I think, "mom and pop" business, is very under democratic control. It makes money by earning, providing a service, and if you do like it, you can go to the next one down the street. Large corporations and multinational, operate effective monopolies suppressing democratic control, often concealing their interests quite deliberately, so you don't know who you buy from, and earning most through controlling the money, not supply of goods service. They therefore actually suppress free trade in the mom and pop sense.
It is totally manipulated. I only work 2 days a week but the corporation I work for does a balancing act between hours we work and profits they make. Last Tuesday by boss called me just as I was walking out the door and told me not to come in. She had just got an e-mail from corporate that told her to cut hours. She started with me. She knew I would be happy coz I don't really need the money but I live off their 2 days a week pay. Today I went in and found all my 2 day schedules restored and all of the hour cutting went to most of the others. We had 3 people less today than normal but we get by. Right now my schedule looks good through the end of the year.