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smitty_one_each's Journal: Since the Kochs are the bad guys 60

Journal by smitty_one_each

Since the Kochs are the bad guys, I'm sure my stable of trusty analysts can help me see where these free market principles are insincerely or incorrectly spouted:

"I think one of the biggest problems we have in the country is this rampant cronyism where all these large companies are into smash-and-grab, short-term profits, and that's true even at the local level," Koch explained.

Companies have created an environment in which entering an industry comes at a serious cost that off-sets innovation and economic development. Cab drivers can pay anywhere from $100,000 or $300,000 to get a medallion to drive a taxi, while hairdressers must pay for a two-year education for a license to style hair.

Koch freely admits the subsidies in place are ideal for large companies like his because they make more money through a marketplace that is difficult to enter.

Read the whole thing.

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Since the Kochs are the bad guys

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  • That large scale capitalism automatically leads to crony capitalism, no matter what you do.

    Piling profits in that way, makes an irresistible target for corrupt C-class executives, corrupt investors, and corrupt politicians, all who want a piece of the pie. The corrupt large scale globalist marketplace is the result, and it isn't just here in the United States, it's everywhere.

    • by Arker (91948)
      To a certain degree I actually think you are right.

      But there is a very dramatic difference in the level of danger posed by crony capitalism itself, by itself, and a much higher level of danger posed by crony capitalism plus the kind of regulatory systems that we have. In isolation it's annoying but perhaps not fatal. But given a regulatory system to capture, the potential damage increases exponentially.
      • The regulatory systems that we have were invented, bought, and paid for by the crony capitalists. They are the natural result of a government bought and paid for by the merchants.

        • by Arker (91948)
          Yes, and my point is that given such a system it's impossible for it to be otherwise. Even if you had somehow managed an 'immaculate conception' and had a perfect system on day 1, no corruption at all, if that system has regulatory powers then it WILL be captured, given time.
          • Even if the regulatory powers are specifically denied, they will be captured, given enough time and money. They're just too profitable not to.

            • "they will be captured" only if the rest of the voters are asleep at the switch.
              • What the voters want doesn't matter- at all. It takes money to get your name on the ballot; both sides are already bought long before the election.

                • You're sounding like fustakrakich, or a Calvinist.
                  • It is more that I am rather skeptical of democracy, at least in the democratic republic format. That is one reason I long for more subsidiarity- you still have the same problem, but the area and number of people involved is far smaller.

                    • It's the worst form of government, except every other.
                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      Yes, democracy is a failure, but not for the reasons you say. It doesn't matter if "both sides are bought and paid for." It matters if you rely on people.

                      So, the people are gullible enough to believe the same lies over and over. But even if they weren't, the people would be stupid or short-sighted enough to still vote for their short-term selfish gains, depriving others of their rights in a heartbeat if it got them what they wanted.

                      That's why we need a republic. We got the first half: the process and th

                    • And the best argument against it is a five minute discussion with the average voter. You wanted an alternative, I offered it to you... but, you know, monkey trap and all... You want an honest government, pick a number. You might get lucky.

                    • I guess my surprise is that your simple phrasing of the obvious truth here on /. hasn't turned into a tsunami of reform, washing away all other silliness before it.
                      Must be some other drivers afoot, I reckon.
                    • Yeah, well, it's kinda like telling reluctant parents to get their kids vaccinated. I fully recognize I'm not getting through, but since I have lots of free time, I see no harm in carrying on.

                    • "If it makes you happy. . ."
                    • But we don't have the second half: a judiciary willing to enforce those laws against the government.

                      Well yes, those people are weeded out during the approval process. Am I expected to believe that the remainder will bite the hand that feeds? No sir, it's cronyism at its best. The judiciary is under the same gun as the rest.

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      Well yes, those people are weeded out during the approval process.

                      If the approvers are Democrats, absolutely. If they are Republicans, maybe, and maybe not.

                      But that's because that's what the people want: they want a judiciary that will violate the law. That is part of what has to be taken into account, and wasn't, in the design.

                    • If the approvers are Democrats, absolutely. If they are Republicans, maybe, and maybe not.

                      ROFLMAO!!! The crap is coming out your ears! What an idiot you are! Damn! Thanks for the great laugh! Thank goodness I don't drink coffee. Laptop keyboards are expensive.

                      But that's because that's what the people want: they want a judiciary that will violate the law. That is part of what has to be taken into account, and wasn't, in the design.

                      Of course it was. Corruption is built into the system. It IS the system. Major

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      If the approvers are Democrats, absolutely. If they are Republicans, maybe, and maybe not.

                      ROFLMAO!!! The crap is coming out your ears!

                      Hm. Let's see if you provide any evidence.

                      Nope, you don't.

                      It's not even really arguable: the obvious fact is that Democratic presidents universally pick judiciary candidates who don't respect the rule of law. Like Justice Breyer, they try to mold the interpretation of the law to fit their desired outcomes. His book Active Liberty explains why and how he does this, but the bottom line is that he will violate the text and clear meaning of the Constitution if he thinks it's for the good of the country. A c

                  • Yes, after reading through the comments, I noticed a strong echo... Calvinist.. You keep bringing that up. Was he a biologist?

                    • No, a theologian who popularized the notion that life is some kind of trap.
                    • That's sounds kind of silly. Eventually we all "escape", so to speak...to whatever is next. But there is some truth to it. We cannot die. We can only rest for a while. Now, I don't know if that is "calvinist" or not. It sounds kinda zen to me.

                    • Calvinism is a very selective reading of the Bible which tries to undermine free moral agency. If Calvinism is correct, then Judas Iscariot was just doin' his job.
                    • Free "moral" agency has yet to be proven. The whole concept originated with man, as a means to acquire authority, the alpha male becomes a philosopher, the high priest, using an all powerful deity to justify himself. It's still a bunch of screaming chimps.

                      And really, every faction is selectively reading the bible. You people do the same to rationalize the bigotry against gays.

                    • What is "proven"? Of course it can't be proven, in a mathematical sense. But if you deny morality as such, you can't tell the difference between Joseph Stalin and Mother Theresa, because what difference, at this point, did either of them make?
                    • I deny that morality came from anything other than man. Nature (that which created us) couldn't care less about Stalin or Mother Theresa. Man invented morality, for a specific purpose, hardly as honorable as you think it is. Stalin and Hitler and the church and all the other nasty people you can think of employed morality to gather followers to do their dirty work for them. So, let's call it what it is, indoctrination.

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      My "faction" does not selectively read the Bible, no.

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      At least you're honest. Many atheists these days think there is such a thing as objective morality without God. It's a desperately silly notion, I think.

                      But no, you're wrong that morality is simply indoctrination. Some of it is that, sure, but if you really understood the philosophy behind it, you wouldn't say that. Most Christian morality comes from attempts to understand God's nature from his revelations, with the view that morality comes from God's nature. Some sects certainly have taken it and then

                    • Your anthropomorphized god is also an invention of man, which gives you the opportunity to apply your morality to it.

                      Loving each other and helping the poor?

                      By denying them legal and other rights? Not very "christian" of you...

                    • Eh, another lie. No surprise.

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      Your anthropomorphized god is also an invention of man

                      I have no anthropomorphized God. God has no body, according to the Bible. God is spiritual, not physical. And as far as I know, being made in God's image is in the spiritual sense, not the physical sense.

                      ... which gives you the opportunity to apply your morality to it.

                      Nope. In fact, that's completely backward from how the process works. I know you want to think it's not, but it is.

                      Loving each other and helping the poor?

                      By denying them legal and other rights? Not very "christian" of you...

                      You're lying. There is not a single person whom I would, in any way, deny any rights, except where those exercise of those rights involves using force against another person.

                      From your ot

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      As usual, you provide no evidence to back up your claim, this time that I selectively read the Bible.

                    • I provide no evidence that the sky is blue and water is wet, but there ya go. Some things are self evident.

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      I provide no evidence that the sky is blue and water is wet, but there ya go. Some things are self evident.

                      You apparently don't know what "self-evident" means. That the sky is blue is not self-evident. In fact, it's not even true: at most you could say the fact that the sky appears blue means it has the properties of every color except for blue.

                      You could argue that water being wet is self-evident, as it is sortof definitional.

                      But you could not claim that my exegetical principles or practices are self-evident. That's just stupid.

                    • I have no anthropomorphized God.

                      Yes, you do. You apply man's "morals" or "values" to it in the attempt to validate man's authority. I never said anything about physical. It is you who has it backwards. Your god is in your image.... well.. in your imagination, but that's cool. and happiness

            • by Arker (91948)
              You make it a two-part process though, and in fact that's pretty much what we have gone through in the US. First the powers that were denied had to be invented, interpreted into existence, then they began to attract, and ultimately be captured by, corruption. Just because we tried it once and have failed to hold the line at the first stage doesnt mean that we didnt benefit from it for a time, and it still might be a place where it's possible.
              • I've had the concept of a utopia beat out of me by experience.

                These powers were invented corrupt. It's all just a big shell game.

                • It's a shell game for systemic reasons. How we attack and minimize those reasons is the sticky wicket.
                  • Any attack will take more resources than are currently being used to keep the status quo. At which point, you've got the same problem.

                    Even revolution doesn't work- the brilliant insight of George Orwell was that all revolutions end up replicating the system they came from.

            • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

              Even if the regulatory powers are specifically denied, they will be captured, given enough time and money. They're just too profitable not to.

              You simply need a system that says government has no authority to do X.

              And then, of course, proper enforcement of that.

              Because in the U.S., we have the former, but not the latter.

              • All it takes is enough money to change the system. Or, at the very least, buy enough judges to ignore it.

                • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                  Well, no. Sometimes money can buy it, sometimes it can't. Usually, I think, it can't. But when you have a system so massive that there's so many places for purchase of the system such to affect the whole ... that's what we've got today.

                  The key is a small and open system with hard and specific limits on what that system is allowed to do. Is it a guarantee? Of course not. But to say it can't work is not really based on reality or even grounded theory.

                  • To achieve that, you need to limit the amount of population the system represents. While I do advocate for that, even I can't see a clear path from grounded theory to reality for it.

                    If you allow freedom for even one individual to transcend the system, eventually that one individual will own all the systems.

                    Every system eventually gets upended by the individual overcoming the common good. It is the achilles heel of free markets.

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      To achieve that, you need to limit the amount of population the system represents.

                      It depends on what you mean by "represents." Our federal system represents the members of the population only in a very limited sense, by law and by design. Again, we just haven't had enforcement of that, and we've allowed explict and intentional degradation of that design (e.g., the 17th Amendment). The population is only supposed to be represented in those areas the government is allowed to operate, most of which have nothing to do with domestic policy at all.

                      If you allow freedom for even one individual to transcend the system, eventually that one individual will own all the systems.

                      I don't know what you mean by "transcend."

                    • One way is to limit the markets themselves to 100,000 citizens or less. If you can easily travel to punch the head guy in the nose, that's a natural limit on the system.

                      At 300,000,000+ citizens, the system is broken because no one citizen can actually track down who is pulling the strings. Enforcement of the self limiting system becomes impossible because of chaos and complexity. It stopped being enforceable within a few years of being created, because it got too large.

                      The market always creates the gover

      • crony capitalism plus the kind of regulatory systems that we have

        How do you differentiate?

        • by Arker (91948)
          Well by crony-capitalism I think we are really just talking about the normal human dynamics. People are not angels and we all need to caveat emptor for a reason. I dont expect any sort of change in governance will change that (at least, not in the short term) and people will always be looking for an unfair advantage. Annoying but it's part oflife and one way or another you accept it and deal with it, and society as a whole can accept it and deal with it and even turn it towards good ends. And markets do thi
          • Violently agree. But let's not kid ourselves: having somebody test the water and sample the meat is a Good Thing.
            I submit that the issue is when you don't rotate the people out at high enough frequency. Acton said absolute power corrupts absolutely. But it seems empirically true that petty amounts of power corrupt over time.
            • by Arker (91948)
              Having someone test is a good thing, but why does it have to be a monopoly?

              Why cant we have a market for testers? That way if one gets too cozy with the people they are supposed to be testing, when it gets out, they can lose their customers and go out of business - providing a good lesson to the remaining competitors.

              With a state monopoly provider, they can screw up over and over again without any real consequences.
              • The (possibly dodgy) notion is that market-based testers are more easily rigged. Certainly if enough people sicken, word gets out that Smitty's Butcher Shop sucks. But the goal is to obviate the public health risk.
              • by PopeRatzo (965947)

                Why cant we have a market for testers?

                Because markets, especially global ones, are short-term focused.

                Make your money and tomorrow I'll be miles away. Focus on the quarterly stock price, because once I get my bonus, I skate.

                Why can't we have a market for testers? Because what happens when testee can pay more than the government? If a private corporation is in charge of testing, then it would violate their charter not to take the bribe.

                Remember, there are no markets in nature. They only exist to the exte

    • You're saying that the natural trinity of seller/marketplace/buyer isn't stable, and the seller always eats the marketplace?
      I think that may be prevalent when the government forsakes its natural role of keeping the playing field level. And that is a result of the sellers neglecting to hold the government accountable.
      I submit that the capitalist model more accurately cages sinful human nature, as opposed to the Socialist one, which tries to substitute a false government God.
      • Yes, because the seller has enough money to invent the government. It is the natural role of government to favor the seller- not to keep the playing field level. The same is still true in socialist governments which have a veneer of pretending to keep the playing field level, while really tilting the regulations towards the cronies of the committees. Socialism isn't a solution here either.

        GK Chesterton was right- the only solution for the problem of capitalism, is more capitalists.

    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

      That large scale capitalism automatically leads to crony capitalism, no matter what you do.

      Um, unless you make it generally illegal. Which is the libertarian/conservative goal.

      It's the socialists/Democrats/statists who miss your point the most: they offer regulation after regulation to combat "the influence of money on the system," which only plays into the hands of the crony capitalists.

      • If you make crony capitalism generally illegal, you'll have sacrificed the primary feature of the free market- the total and absolute right to private property.

  • I'm sure my stable of trusty analysts

    :1,$s/trusty analysts/intellectually dishonest libtrolls/g

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