Cartels are rarely stable. Phoebus has the advantage of patents (and what is the purpose of a patent except to provide the patent holder with a limited period of enhanced revenue?), but once fully exposes to global competition, it fell apart.
Unless, of course you use your considerable funds to ensure that people have to buy from you and only you, like Microsoft and Standard Oil both did.
Microsoft never stopped me from using Linux & FreeBSD. At it's height, Standard Oil still left 22% of the market to competitors.
but that doesn't change the fact that they are robber barons.
Or "robber barons" concept is a socialist myth. In fact the companies founded by these people generally pushed forward technological or business solutions that revolutionized the economy and made people's lives better. For instance, Standard Oil dramatically decreased the price of oil products (not what you'd expect from a "monopoly").
"Robber barons" is a concept invented by their inefficient competitors to try to hassle them with useless anti-trust laws.
My reading of generosity of "robber barons" is that they considered themselves very lucky, were sitting on a ton of cash, and wanted to do something beneficial to society with that money.
At the same time, many also wanted to have lasting monuments to themselves because they were megalomaniacs. But the truth is that many CEOs tend to be that way. If you believe in yourself enough, other people tend to follow you. That's one of the reasons you pay multinational CEOs so much is because it takes a rare person crazy/megalomaniacal enough while also being reasonably intelligent and socially capable to get tends of thousands of people to take orders from you. And also if you are rich, people tend to kowtow to you as well. It is a bit like...government! Only instead of voting them out of office, you can choose not to buy from them if you don't like the product.
Companies like Nike have been steadily moving their labor to the next cheapest place whenever people start asking for fair wages and working conditions.
Actually the evidence indicates that multinational firms routinely provide higher wages and better working conditions in poor countries than their local counterparts, and they are typically not attracted preferentially to countries with weak labor standards.
On the other hand, if manufacturers are forced to stay in high labor cost countries, they will simply use more automation and employ fewer people. US real manufacturing output is near an all-time high, yet US manufacturing jobs are down 35% from the peak in 1979. This is not just a US trend, but typical of all advanced economies.
Whenever we tax rich people, we're disincentivizing them from being rich, which discourages them from spending their money.
I'm going to tell you that if my family's tax rate goes up any more, my wife is leaving the technical labor force and staying home with the kids because we won't be able to afford the child care. So there will be one less productive technical worker, and less business for the child care workers. That is reality.
We're not "super rich", but we're not bad off at all, although we live in a high-cost area where our jobs are.
Under NAFTA any Canadian with a college degree can get a 'no questions asked' work visa at the border.
I've personally been screwed when we had a Canadian vendor try to send someone across the border to go fix a technical system in Detroit, and he got sent back at the border.
If you incorrectly believe that _everyone_ pays the US 35% corporate tax sure, the US has the highest corporate tax rate.
Microsoft in 2013 paid $5.1 billion in total US federal/state/local and international taxes. This is on $21.8 billion in net income. So they are paying about 23% on a global basis.
Microsoft paid out about $3.1 billion in US federal taxes, and $1.7 billion in foreign taxes, so despite making more profits oversees, Microsoft is paying more in US taxes than foreign taxes.
There is value in having developers who are from the countries where you sell your products because their understanding of the local culture and context
I am often dealing with technical product developers in Europe, Japan, or Israel, and it is a bit of a pain to schedule conference calls or get them to travel to meet with us. Much easier if they are in the US, unfortunately the smartest people in the planet do not all live in the US...
After seeing what lack of control of your own currency did to Greece, Italy, and Spain I've come to the conclusion the tight economic binding which is the EU is a bad idea.
Yeah, because insane regulation and widespread corruption can be easily solved with inflation.
Italy: Despite repeated reform attempts, short-term legislative reforms have not been implemented effectively, and the economy remains burdened by political interference, corruption, high levels of taxation, and a rigid labor market. Due to the complexity of the regulatory framework and the high cost of conducting business, a considerable amount of economic activity remains in the informal sector.
Spain: Spain continues to score below the world averages in fiscal freedom, government spending, and labor freedom.
Greece: Over the 20-year history of the Index, Greece's economic freedom score has declined by over 5 points. Despite improvements in five of the 10 economic freedoms, large declines in property rights, freedom from corruption, government spending, and investment freedom have more than offset any gains.
Meanwhile, the Netherlands has 5.3% unemployment, and GDP per capita of $42,194. Open to global commerce, the Netherlands has long benefited from a high degree of regulatory efficiency that facilitates entrepreneurial activity. The judicial system provides strong protection for property rights.
or a world where any person would be equally likely to have biological children and grandchildren.
They would have to have precisely the same number of children (i.e. not die to due accident or stillbirth before reproduction), and reproductive assignment between sexual partners would have to be completely random, not sexually selected as it is today (even in countries where sexual partners are determined by parents, the parents are still performing a kind of sexual selection).
But with sexual reproduction, even in such a completely "fair" and "random" mating situation, genetic drift would still occur because although at a single locus each parent passes on one or other allele with a 50% probability of each, that 50% is a statistical average. Out of a ten thousand reproductions, you might find one reproduction where an allele is over-represented or under-represented. So across the population, genetic change will happen.
Frankfurt Regional Court Judge Frowin Kurth said on Tuesday that the issues in the case brought against Uber by German taxi operator group Taxi Deutschland deserved a fuller airing in court, but lacked the urgency for a temporary injunction.
"There could still be grounds for an injunction" against Uber, Kurth said in deciding on the company's appeal of the court's original decision. "But during our deliberations it became clear there were no grounds for an immediate injunction."
The lawsuit, which pits taxi operators against the fast-growing U.S. start-up recently valued at around $18 billion, has underscored Germany's mounting unease over the impact of digital technology on established businesses and institutions.
Taxi Deutschland had sought the injunction as part of a civil lawsuit to bar the company's ride-sharing service, citing what it saw as unfair competition by Uber against the professional taxi drivers whom it represents.
The original injunction barred Uber from using its Uberpop mobile phone app to connect ride-sharing drivers to potential passengers, ruling that Uber's network of volunteer drivers lacked the commercial licences to charge passengers for rides.
Each infraction of the court's injunction carried fines of up to 250,000 euros ($323,775). Uber quickly appealed the ruling, leading to Tuesday's hearing."
Link to Original Source
Evolutionary selection pressures never stop. Even within a dominant species, if there is any level of genetic difference, there will be both genetic drift and evolution. Other species also apply selection pressures (think of evolving viruses, for instance).
I have heard that two 720p channels can coexist on one carrier.
Not two "good quality" 720p channels! MPEG-2 encoder technology (of the highest quality pro encoders) continues to get better, but we're not quite able to fit two good 720p's into 19 Mbps. Give it a year or two.
Of course you can jam in as many video channels as you want if you don't mind it looking like crap in high-motion scenes (like sports for instance).
the US DoED has almost nothing to do with curriculum
That has been true in the past, however through Race to the Top Fund, the Race to the Top Assessment Program, and conditional NCLB waiver guidance (the âoeConditional NCLB Waiver Planâ), US DoE has created a system of discretionary grants and waivers that herds state education authorities into accepting elementary and secondary school standards and assessments favored by the Department.