oversaturated market

This article has generated some interesting comments. Burke, I have read your comments, and I hope Josh responds again. You seem to be making a lot of interrelated points. Could you clarify what your main point of contention is with this article? Just for the record, as succinctly as possible, I would like to point out what I think is the main problem with this article. The main problem is that it posits a correct notion, that the more funeral homes there are in a geographic area, the less volume there will be per funeral home, but gives incorrect numbers to properly understand the “supply side” of the equation. Funeral homes do not compete with themselves for business. For this type of analysis, all funeral homes owned by the same owner in a given geographic area would have to be combined into a single unit, because all funeral home locations in a given geographic area owned by a single owner are not competing with each other for business from the limited pool of deaths in that area. This to me seems like a simple concept to understand. If you combined funeral homes in this way, the number of actual funeral homes would be much less than the “existing” number in this article. I am not going to say if the number would be closer to the “needed” number or the “existing” number, because since I haven’t done such an analysis, anything I would say about that would be speculation. There are actually many small markets where a single funeral home has a complete monopoly. I don’t know to what extent the LACK of competition in the funeral industry increases prices, but I think THAT is as valid a concern as the idea that too much competition increases prices.

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