Race to the Bottom (RTB:)
1) with reference to venues:
A business model that embraces several hallmarks of music's involvement in running a club: the triumph of quantity over quality, the relegation of musicians to being sole, volunteer advertisers and friend-bringers, and the club's sole reliance on near-free, zero-risk talent services to turn a profit.
It works like this: Find several bands - any bands - that will have a draw of, say, fifteen people. Guarantee them absolutely zero payment, dangling a carrot that says they'll get paid decently if they promote aggressively. Four bands, five people - twenty free advertising employees! The bands all put up flyers, myspace, email, phone calls, etc. on their own time and their own expense, and bring their friends and fans to the bar. The bar gets customers, and supposedly the bands get "exposure." The bands' friends pay cover (minus guest lists.) Deduct money for the sound engineer and the door person, possibly other 'house fees,' and give what's left to those twenty musicians-almost always a fraction of minimum wage.
2) With reference to bands and musicians:
Musicians with no sense of communty connection or solidarity,
frantically competing with each other to see who can charge the lowest rates for their services
To the point that musicians will assume all financial risk and promotional responsibility for a show,
or even pay for the "privilege" of performing