Page 15 of 24 FirstFirst ... 51314151617 ... LastLast
Results 141 to 150 of 238

Thread: The Free Market page 15

  1. #141
    Rojo's Avatar
    Rojo is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    802
    Shop Now
    Quote Originally Posted by Cryptocode View Post
    Actually capital (investment) only wants to return a little more than the inflation rate.
    Oh yeah, business is so modest -- "not too much for me, thank you".

    Come 'on.

    In the early 1980's the nominal interest rate was up to 18% and companies were loosing rather than making profits. Capital was not getting it's desired return and investors were loosing money. That's when Regan was elected.
    Interest rates were jacked up under Carter/Volker to bust inflation. Reagan ran on it and then continued to keep the high rates, even through a nasty downturn. But it did kill inflation, which always hurt capitalists more than workers.

  2. #142
    Rojo's Avatar
    Rojo is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    802
    Quote Originally Posted by j3nn View Post
    There's absolutely nothing wrong with organic monopolies. They obviously meet consumers' demands. There's only a problem with artificial ones.
    A distinction without a difference. The important distinction is natural monopolies -- those are industries where competition is silly. You can't have fifteen different cable companies running lines throughout the neighborhood or seven different power companies or 12 postal carriers. That's why those things are either public or heavily-regulated private monopolies.

    I think Microsoft came close to this. The computer market needed an industry standard and MS stole and trademarked it's way to the top of the heap. And while it sat it's perch it added lots of dollars to the price of computers. They should've cost no more than DVD players.

    I give you that it's changing because technology is vastly more fluid than many old industries.

  3. #143
    Cryptocode's Avatar
    Cryptocode is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Norco, California
    Posts
    1,341
    Quote Originally Posted by j3nn View Post
    There is nothing inherently wrong with a monopoly that the market "votes" for. There shouldnt be competition just for the heck of it. That's wasteful and inefficient. Microsoft offers a product that competitors haven't been able to match in value or quality. Monopolies are not bad when it's what people choose. And no one is forcing anyone to use Windows, people just like it. People liked Ford and GM vehicles for many decades; then competition brought more options and people chose American-manufactured vehicles less often. If a better computer operating system comes out, consumers will flock to it. What ever happened to the Microsoft Zune?

    However, artificial monopolies exist. And I do believe that microsoft plays the lobbyist game in many ways but not as far as OS goes. Their latest whining about Google is absurd. These [artificial monopolies] are the ones the government helps to suppress competition by allowing corporations et al to write laws that hold back startup companies. Fees and permits and so on that people and small businesses cannot afford. An example of this is the taxi racket in NYC. To operate a taxi, you need a medallion from the city. They cost upwards of $1 million dollars to obtain, which squeezes out any newcomers and allows richer monopolies to reign with the aide of the state. There are thousands of laws like this. Lobbyists spend billions steering lawmakers with the intent of securing the market share and receiving special privileges.

    There's absolutely nothing wrong with organic monopolies. They obviously meet consumers' demands. There's only a problem with artificial ones.
    Spot On, j3nn
    "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." - Alston Chase

  4. #144
    TheyCallMeLazarus's Avatar
    TheyCallMeLazarus is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Northeast Kingdom, Vermont
    Posts
    1,035
    J3nn and Wilton are making the crucial point though......that most monopolies are not there due to providing a better service, but because they have influenced governmental policy intrinsically. That is not a minor distinction.

    As for examples of monopolies, again, more false choice. There is no significant difference for the public than one HUGE company owning everything, and 3-4 companies colluding to produce a monopolistic effect. If anything, the second is worse because it does a superior job of eliminating competition.

    In this area, one would be hard pressed to find industries that are NOT dominated by only a handful of colluding, artificial and collective monopoly. Ex:

    Software: google, apple, microsoft own nearly 95% of the share of search-engines, software, phones, and computing. In case no one has noticed, a phone now runs in the neighborhood of $150-200. Apple and android (google) dominate phone software.

    Food: Hello! ConAgra, Cargill, Monsanto, Smithfield (now a Chinese company) own an absurd amount of market share.

    Oil: There are about ten companies on Earth with substantial shares, and most are state-owned.

    Cable, internet, media: Comcast, ATT alone have over 80%. There is a reason why my father pays 22 pounds (about 30 dollars) in England for ALL phone, TV, and internet, all of which is FASTER than anything I had when I lived in a big city, and ATT is able to charge $150 a month for a lesser service. This is collusion, pure and simple.

    Now ditto that with banking (the model of collusion, bribery, and governmental fraud), electricity, natural gas, or just about anything where substantial money exists....by its definition, a "free market", which is an invented academic farce intended to further push power into capital forces over labor, requires open and easy entrance. In other words, given enough money, YOU could go start a business in just about anything.

    That is clearly not the case, as someone that has looked into various business ventures. The "regulations" exist for a reason, and that is because the collusive monopoly of a given field have assured them to protect their capital and competition out.

    Overall, the dichotomy of "monopoly" vs "free market" is purely made-up and academic. The reality is a very big continuum, with a very different set of rules for a large company (I.E. General electric, Apple pay zero to slim taxes) than a small one. That is not a single-headed Standard Oil style monopoly at play, it is its even more effective cousin, collusive monopoly.
    "The soul that does not attempt flight; does not notice its chains."

  5. #145
    Cryptocode's Avatar
    Cryptocode is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Norco, California
    Posts
    1,341
    Quote Originally Posted by TheyCallMeLazarus View Post
    @ rojo

    I am not really, by a strict definition, a "peak oil" guy. I am actually pretty active in a lot of political forums, and the true crazies in there call heresy every time I write for giving a more balanced approach.

    The standard peak theory is that the price of a commodity, especially key ones like oil or rice, will continue to rise until a price is hit that no one can pay in bulk. This will cause a collapse in demand of course, but for ONCE the price will not be ALLOWED to go any lower, as the oil cannot physically be obtained any cheaper....this then leads to a collapse of the market, and according to some, widespead chaos.

    I think this ignores some of the fundamental laws of extraction and economics. In short, I am not a "it's going to run out!" person. I am a "it will cost so much it may as well be gone" person.

    The main thing people do not seem to understand is just HOW much power modern oil technology unleashes, and HOW cheap it truly is. There is nothing else on earth that holds that much carbon, hits combustion that easily, yet is stable, transportable in drums, and long-lasting. Natural gas is local, and is exorbitantly expensive to move great distances. (Checkout the price tag for the ONE line that runs into NYC, recently completed) It is also explosive, cannot be shipped unless under pressure (more cost), and cannot be burned by conventional engines.

    Most of the easy oil, and by that I mean light sweet crude that is in large elephant fields, is already used up or will be within a decade or two. (We don't know because states keep it a HUGE secret) What will remain are things like oil shale, tar sands, deepwater drilling, etc.....and all of these are many orders of magnitude more expensive than simple sweet crude, both in extraction and especially in purification.

    What will remain is a place where refined oil or gasoline is very expensive, and is used mostly by the rich or for industrial purposes.
    There's something wrong with this economic forecast but I'm not sure I've got it right yet. First, the complete absence of oil and gasoline in the market would not cause it to totally collapse. The market would still be there, but the GDP would take a terrible tumble until replacements or other supplies were found. Second, the market would not be sitting twiddling it's thumbs as the price of oil climbed. Alternatives would be attracting lots of investment and a few of these would succeed.

    Fourth, the transmission problems of these alternatives would also be addressed. Granted, it's very unlikely any solutions would come together magically all at the same time and just as we were almost out of oil.

    Fifth, as the price of oil climbed more and more people would be voluntarily opting out of the grid. I know a number of people who are already doing this in some or all parts. These are typically people who actively want out of those parts regardless of the price of oil. But as the price went up, more and more people would feel that way.

    Sixth, different parts of the country are going to respond differently. Our extended families all get all their daytime energy from solar at a much cheaper price that Edison. We even sell the excess back to them. But we don't yet have batteries cheap enough to store that excess for night time. Heating and cooking gas is very inexpensive. What we worry about out here is WATER.

    Water is already a huge problem. The west have been fighting water wars since we took it away from the Indians. We live near a large river. For 20 years now the water we drink has been through 1 set of kidneys and by the time it gets to the ocean it will have gone through 4 more sets of kidneys. There are some gastly solutions. Ocean water desalters and then piping and pumping the water up hill to all the houses and farmers. This will be as large a construction problem as piping your gas around.

    We are much closer to no water than you are to no oil. Everywhere west of the Mississippi has been pumping out all the acquafiers, including the deepest known. Some of these are nearing dry and there is no known way to re-charge them. We don't think so much about peak oil as we thing about no water.
    "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." - Alston Chase

  6. #146
    j3nn's Avatar
    j3nn is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    4,006
    Quote Originally Posted by TheyCallMeLazarus View Post
    J3nn and Wilton are making the crucial point though......that most monopolies are not there due to providing a better service, but because they have influenced governmental policy intrinsically. That is not a minor distinction.

    As for examples of monopolies, again, more false choice. There is no significant difference for the public than one HUGE company owning everything, and 3-4 companies colluding to produce a monopolistic effect. If anything, the second is worse because it does a superior job of eliminating competition.

    In this area, one would be hard pressed to find industries that are NOT dominated by only a handful of colluding, artificial and collective monopoly. Ex:

    Software: google, apple, microsoft own nearly 95% of the share of search-engines, software, phones, and computing. In case no one has noticed, a phone now runs in the neighborhood of $150-200. Apple and android (google) dominate phone software.

    Food: Hello! ConAgra, Cargill, Monsanto, Smithfield (now a Chinese company) own an absurd amount of market share.

    Oil: There are about ten companies on Earth with substantial shares, and most are state-owned.

    Cable, internet, media: Comcast, ATT alone have over 80%. There is a reason why my father pays 22 pounds (about 30 dollars) in England for ALL phone, TV, and internet, all of which is FASTER than anything I had when I lived in a big city, and ATT is able to charge $150 a month for a lesser service. This is collusion, pure and simple.

    Now ditto that with banking (the model of collusion, bribery, and governmental fraud), electricity, natural gas, or just about anything where substantial money exists....by its definition, a "free market", which is an invented academic farce intended to further push power into capital forces over labor, requires open and easy entrance. In other words, given enough money, YOU could go start a business in just about anything.

    That is clearly not the case, as someone that has looked into various business ventures. The "regulations" exist for a reason, and that is because the collusive monopoly of a given field have assured them to protect their capital and competition out.

    Overall, the dichotomy of "monopoly" vs "free market" is purely made-up and academic. The reality is a very big continuum, with a very different set of rules for a large company (I.E. General electric, Apple pay zero to slim taxes) than a small one. That is not a single-headed Standard Oil style monopoly at play, it is its even more effective cousin, collusive monopoly.
    I just wanted to follow this up with this...

    | My (food) Blog | Follow me on Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter |

    It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men. - Samuel Adams

  7. #147
    Rojo's Avatar
    Rojo is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    802
    j3nn, the Film Who Frame Roger Rabbit oddly enough touches on the street car thing.

    In San Francisco we have a lot of the old street cars from other cities. They move up and down Market Street with a little sign in the window telling you their city of origin.

    Another issue is sprawl. I know country folk don't want to hear this but a lof you aren't very efficient. Sure, plenty of you generate your own power, make your own food and such. But plenty just live in exurban cul-de-sac hell and spend four hours a day commuting.

  8. #148
    TheyCallMeLazarus's Avatar
    TheyCallMeLazarus is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Northeast Kingdom, Vermont
    Posts
    1,035
    @ Cryptocode

    I do not agree with the peak oil theory at all. I wrote next in my piece that I feel that it defies many laws of economics, which you added to. I think it is wrong.

    The reason it is allowed to flourish, or at least cannot be disproven, is that economic theory is based on transparency. In other words, all of those things you mentioned WOULD happen if oil were a known commodity. Prices would climb slowly, adjustments made, etc.

    Problem is that oil is NOT transparent. It is a complete mystery of the amount of oil that Ghawar in Saudi has, or of any of China's holdings, Nigeria, etc. No one expected Mexico to fall through the floor, our previous #1 supplier (it wasn't Middle Eastern oil), and it did, suddenly. It caused a pretty big price affect in the US that only industry insiders give true credit to.

    Gas didn't triple in price because of politics, or just from demand of China or India. It tripled because the largest elephant field that is closest to the US collapsed, and no one much saw it coming. The peak oil theory goes that this will happen to a BIG field, like Ghawar or one of Russia's caucuses fields, and a price shock from it would send prices through the roof.

    I think that will happen one day. I just disagree that it would lead to some kind of collapse.

    Loved that picture j3nn.
    "The soul that does not attempt flight; does not notice its chains."

  9. #149
    gautter's Avatar
    gautter is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1
    Nsm'a
    M
    m
    Mkljiiiio

  10. #150
    Cryptocode's Avatar
    Cryptocode is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Norco, California
    Posts
    1,341
    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    Quote Originally Posted by TheyCallMeLazarus View Post
    @ Cryptocode

    I do not agree with the peak oil theory at all. I wrote next in my piece that I feel that it defies many laws of economics, which you added to. I think it is wrong.

    The reason it is allowed to flourish, or at least cannot be disproven, is that economic theory is based on transparency. In other words, all of those things you mentioned WOULD happen if oil were a known commodity. Prices would climb slowly, adjustments made, etc.

    Problem is that oil is NOT transparent. It is a complete mystery of the amount of oil that Ghawar in Saudi has, or of any of China's holdings, Nigeria, etc. No one expected Mexico to fall through the floor, our previous #1 supplier (it wasn't Middle Eastern oil), and it did, suddenly. It caused a pretty big price affect in the US that only industry insiders give true credit to.

    Gas didn't triple in price because of politics, or just from demand of China or India. It tripled because the largest elephant field that is closest to the US collapsed, and no one much saw it coming. The peak oil theory goes that this will happen to a BIG field, like Ghawar or one of Russia's caucuses fields, and a price shock from it would send prices through the roof.

    I think that will happen one day. I just disagree that it would lead to some kind of collapse.
    Yes, I understood that you do not accept the economic collapse theory. But I had never heard the economic collapse theory before and thought about it. And thought it was wrong, and wondered what others would think of my reasoning.

    I also hadn't heard of this epic collapse of Mexico's field. Was Mexico particularly bad in managing their field, or is it a matter of keeping a known future event a secret?

    Yes, the forces of economics are typically transparent. If the future holds collapses of large fields in which the event is kept secret that would cause much bigger problems. But one wonders, Parabas was part of the Gov't of Mexico and was not private. So if the Mexican Gov't knew, why didn't they do something about it, like take active control of Parabas and slowly reduce output?
    "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." - Alston Chase

Page 15 of 24 FirstFirst ... 51314151617 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •