… is from page 155 of the 2016 Third Edition of James D. Gwartney’s, Richard L. Stroup’s, Dwight R. Lee’s, Tawni H. Ferrarini’s, and Joseph P. Calhoun’s excellent Common Sense Economics:
Competition is a disciplinary force. In the marketplace, businesses must compete for the loyalty of customers. When firms serve their customers poorly, they generally lose business to rivals offering a better deal. Competition provides consumers with protection against high prices, shoddy merchandise, poor service, and/or rude behavior. Almost everyone recognizes this point with regard to the private sector. Unfortunately, the importance of competition in the public sector is often overlooked.