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smitty_one_each's Journal: Why capitalism works 66

Journal by smitty_one_each

A better model of the human condition:

The case for free enterprise, for competition, is that it's the only system that will keep the capitalists from having too much power. There's the old saying, "If you want to catch a thief, set a thief to catch him." The virtue of free enterprise capitalism is that it sets one businessman against another and it's a most effective device for control.

Anybody who buys the con that "government" == "virtue" is a fool.

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Why capitalism works

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  • Is that greedy people will compete against other greedy people to prevent each other from having too much power? How well has that worked out in the oil industry? How about with cable TV? Or health insurance?
    • Not that I disagree with your point, but could you pick three industries that aren't regulated by crony capitalists to eliminate competition?

      • could you pick three industries that aren't regulated by crony capitalists to eliminate competition?

        I would counter that those situations were created not in response to excess regulation, but rather in response to the general absence of regulation. I see no way that capitalism left to only its own devices would not create more situations like those.

        To borrow from the quotes of a large number of conservatives, I don't recall how any of those three industries came to be the way they are today as a result of "government picking winners and losers" or as a result of government regulations.

        • I would counter that those situations were created not in response to excess regulation, but rather in response to the general absence of regulation.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulatory_capture [wikipedia.org]
          You either don't understand it at all, or entirely too well, and you're perpetuating anti-capitalist myth.

        • Are you kidding? In most markets, the cable provider was given a franchise by city government. The oil cartel sprung up, along with OPEC, as a price fixing oligarchy that bought politicians to keep other, cheaper providers out of the market. With Obamacare, health insurance is just a bunch of contractors working for the federal government, a complete monopoly with all of the problems that includes, such as this new trick where they outright lie to you about benefits [blogspot.com].

          ALL three of these situations ONLY exi

          • Are you kidding?

            No.

            In most markets, the cable provider was given a franchise by city government.

            What I have seen is that in most markets the ability to sell cable TV went to the first provider who was willing to run the cable to houses. After that nobody wanted to bid on running additional cable and the providers realized they could do better by keeping it that way.

            The oil cartel sprung up, along with OPEC, as a price fixing oligarchy that bought politicians to keep other, cheaper providers out of the market

            Notice that the owned politicians did nothing to prevent monopolistic behavior. I have not seen any actions taken by owned politicians to prevent other companies from being started. More significantly I have not seen any actions ta

            • "The difference is how we see the owned politicians acting to support those scenarios from above. If I may ask you a question though how would you prevent politicians from being purchased in the future?"

              By increasing the supply of purchased politicians, and limiting governments and markets to no more than 100,000 citizens

              • The difference is how we see the owned politicians acting to support those scenarios from above. If I may ask you a question though how would you prevent politicians from being purchased in the future?

                By increasing the supply of purchased politicians, and limiting governments and markets to no more than 100,000 citizens

                Aren't the first and last working in opposite direction? US congress includes 535 voting members (senators and representatives total). If you had 535 voting members for every 100,000 people you have basically each person representing on average 186 people.

                If you want to abolish the federal government entirely and dissolve the US into some large number of new independent city-states with each having a population of no more than 100,000 people (hence some small neighborhoods in large cities would becom

                • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                  By increasing the supply of purchased politicians, and limiting governments and markets to no more than 100,000 citizens

                  Aren't the first and last working in opposite direction?

                  Obviously not.

                  US congress includes 535 voting members (senators and representatives total). If you had 535 voting members for every 100,000 people you have basically each person representing on average 186 people.

                  What's your point? Nothing he said implies that he would have 535 voting members for every 100,000 people. Don't be an idiot.

                  • This is among the chief ways that Progressives have de-stabilized our government => http://thirty-thousand.org/ [thirty-thousand.org]
                  • By increasing the supply of purchased politicians, and limiting governments and markets to no more than 100,000 citizens

                    Aren't the first and last working in opposite direction?

                    Obviously not.

                    What a surprise, you come in late to the discussion, insert your opinion, and provide no support for it other than claiming it to be equivalent to the word of god because you typed it out on your own keyboard.

                    It had occurred to me that it had been a while since you came around here to shove your foot into your mouth. I thought maybe your knee was getting sore or something, welcome back.

                    US congress includes 535 voting members (senators and representatives total). If you had 535 voting members for every 100,000 people you have basically each person representing on average 186 people.

                    What's your point? Nothing he said implies that he would have 535 voting members for every 100,000 people

                    I expect that in the process of earning your "degree in journalism" you didn't take much (if any) math or logic, as

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      What a surprise, you come in late to the discussion, insert your opinion, and provide no support for it other than claiming it to be equivalent to the word of god because you typed it out on your own keyboard.

                      To "come in late" and "insert your opinion" is a bad thing somehow? Oh no, this conversation started YESTERDAY, I better not participate! How stupid can you be?

                      As to providing no support, as usual, you're a liar. I provided the support to your actual argument (535 voting members per 100,000 people) in my very next sentence.

                      I was merely setting up an upper limit for his request.

                      You're lying. You were backing up your claim that the two things were "working against each other" by setting up an example -- that was not implied by what he said -- for it to, in yo

                    • What a surprise, you come in late to the discussion, insert your opinion, and provide no support for it other than claiming it to be equivalent to the word of god because you typed it out on your own keyboard.

                      To "come in late" and "insert your opinion" is a bad thing somehow? Oh no, this conversation started YESTERDAY

                      This isn't about timing,, it's about chronology. You replied to a reply to a reply (or perhaps even deeper). As much as I do appreciate you taking time off from demonstrating your superiority complex to other people waiting at the same unemployment office to come here to demonstrate for all of us how skilled you really are at shoving your foot into your mouth, it's only amusing to watch you do that so many times in a day.

                      I better not participate!

                      I didn't say you couldn't, or shouldn't. I will, however, again suggest that you m

                • "you have basically each person representing on average 186 people. "

                  Exactly. Or fewer.

                  Politicians that could actually be *close friends* with their constituents, what a weird concept that Marxist Hacker fellow has.

                  " I would expect that trade, travel, and relocation would become nightmares for the serfdom."

                  Which of course is the real point. Economy of scale being the eternal enemy of the working man and all that.

                  • Politicians that could actually be *close friends* with their constituents, what a weird concept that Marxist Hacker fellow has.

                    I don't necessarily see that as weird. In fact I would even dare to suggest that you and I might well agree that politicians rarely have a very good understanding of their constituents as they are generally more concerned about the requests of their owners. I do see a possible next step from that being a state where the population as a whole votes on legislation. I don't know if that is a state that you would aspire for or not, but I think it could be an interesting experiment (and a nightmare state for

                    • I'm saying that restrictions on travel and trade, are beneficial to local populations of workers, who enjoy a smaller but steadier market because of it.

                    • I'm saying that restrictions on travel and trade, are beneficial to local populations of workers, who enjoy a smaller but steadier market because of it.

                      I would argue that workers' benefit depends on how many employers exist on the market. If there are not enough employers on the market then wages will be suppressed and workers neglected.

                    • And when markets are small, there is always a better ratio of employers to employees, because you need more companies to serve the same population.

                    • And when markets are small, there is always a better ratio of employers to employees, because you need more companies to serve the same population.

                      Is the presumption then that natural market forces (ie, not regulations from governmental forces) will prevent the employers from either colluding against employees or from buying each other out?

                      The other problem I see with that premise is that especially small markets would seem to discourage labor specialization. It would seem that you would eventually end up with markets where > 90% of the population is involved in food production or trades that exist to aid in the same. To me that seems to op

                    • "Is the presumption then that natural market forces (ie, not regulations from governmental forces) will prevent the employers from either colluding against employees or from buying each other out? "

                      The presumption is that due to differing currencies between markets, with such small governments, there will be natural monopolies or oligarchies of single industrymen and maybe an apprentice or two. And that the control will be social- you are not likely to cheat a neighbor that you have to continue to live wit

                    • Is the presumption then that natural market forces (ie, not regulations from governmental forces) will prevent the employers from either colluding against employees or from buying each other out?

                      The presumption is that due to differing currencies between markets, with such small governments, there will be natural monopolies or oligarchies of single industrymen and maybe an apprentice or two. And that the control will be social- you are not likely to cheat a neighbor that you have to continue to live with.

                      The last part, which I put in bold, seems overly optimistic to me. I'm not sure that social pressure was ever a solid deterrent for cheating one's neighbors.

                      Now whether separate currencies will help to suppress it is another matter. I'm not sure though how a large country such as the US, which presently has one currency, could realistically split up into a large number of city-states where each has their own. The division of the country does not seem that outlandish but the division of the currency se

                    • "The last part, which I put in bold, seems overly optimistic to me. I'm not sure that social pressure was ever a solid deterrent for cheating one's neighbors."

                      It does when if you do, your children and wife will be hurt by your actions. It does when your neighbors can take revenge directly.

                      "Now whether separate currencies will help to suppress it is another matter. I'm not sure though how a large country such as the US, which presently has one currency, could realistically split up into a large number of ci

        • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

          I would counter that those situations [oil industry, cable TV, health insurance] were created not in response to excess regulation, but rather in response to the general absence of regulation. I see no way that capitalism left to only its own devices would not create more situations like those.

          I would counter that you could not possibly even begin to make the case that the situation with health insurance was in response to the general absence of regulation. That's just completely dishonest and stupid. HMOs, employer provision, lack of competition, and almost every other significant feature of health insurance today -- other than the basics: that it exists, that it covers medical expenses -- was directly driven by federal and state regulation, well before ObamaCare came along.

          There is simply no

          • But there is VAST political power to be had in setting hormones against intellect with that magic word: 'fairness'.
            • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

              Fuck everyone who wants to use government to push "fairness." "Fairness" isn't a real thing: nothing is inherently fair or unfair, except for someone violating your rights (unfair) or you exercising your rights (fair). There is no other objective concept of fairness. So when someone is pushing "fairness" through the government -- except in those limited senses of protecting individual rights -- they are really pushing their own private moral judgments on everyone else, taking away our freedoms even more.

          • I would counter that you could not possibly even begin to make the case that the situation with health insurance was in response to the general absence of regulation.

            I'm sorry that you can't be bothered to look into the facts of the situation. You should start by paying attention to the congress people who are owned by insurance companies; you will find that the insurance industry effectively owns the majority of members of congress from both parties, and has for some time. How exactly can you claim that the insurance industry was willing to sit by idly and be driven to the bring by regulations when they have a wider distribution of power than pretty much any other i

            • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

              I'm sorry that you can't be bothered to look into the facts of the situation.

              You're a liar.

              You should start by paying attention to the congress people who are owned by insurance companies

              You're a liar, in implying that this somehow argues against anything I wrote. If you had read my other comments, you may have been able to make yourself look a little less foolish [slashdot.org], as I clearly wrote that insurance companies are a great example of crony capitalism.

              How exactly can you claim that the insurance industry was willing to sit by idly and be driven to the bring by regulations ...

              You're a liar. I never claimed that. You said the "situation[] [was] created not in response to excess regulation, but rather in response to the general absence of regulation." But no, in fact, the health insurance situation was

              • You should start by paying attention to the congress people who are owned by insurance companies

                as I clearly wrote that insurance companies are a great example of crony capitalism.

                First of all, why would I read your comments in a different thread? I'm not part of that discussion and did not write a reply over there. You holding me responsible for knowing what is written over there only makes you look even more foolish.

                Even more so, how does the reduction of regulation not increase crony capitalism?

                There was never a time, in my lifetime and longer, that government didn't massively control the health insurance business.

                I'm still waiting for you to provide even the slightest bit of support for that assertion. I'm not holding my breath on that to happen, though.

                Nothing I said is in favor of federal government regulation of commerce.

                And who else has the power to forcibly

                • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                  First of all, why would I read your comments in a different thread?

                  You're a liar. It was in this discussion thread.

                  Even more so, how does the reduction of regulation not increase crony capitalism?

                  Holy shit, you're retarded. Crony capitalism happens via regulation. That's what crony capitalism is.

                  • First of all, why would I read your comments in a different thread?

                    You're a liar. It was in this discussion thread.

                    It was a different fork of this thread. No reasonable person would expect me to be versed on the contents of every comment in every fork of this thread. Granted, you don't tend to pretend to be reasonable, but that is a different matter.

                    Even more so, how does the reduction of regulation not increase crony capitalism?

                    Holy shit, you're retarded. Crony capitalism happens via regulation. That's what crony capitalism is.

                    No. It may be what you want Crony capitalism to be, but you are describing only one type of crony capitalism. It can also happen when a purchased politician prevents regulations from occurring, to improve profitability.

                    It is also noted that you have still failed to

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      It was a different fork of this thread.

                      So you admit you lied.

                      Crony capitalism ... can also happen when a purchased politician prevents regulations from occurring, to improve profitability.

                      False, but telling that you think such a stupid thing. To you, there's no difference between freedom, and not-freedom. It's just two different options, neither better than the other.

                      It is also noted that you have still failed to produce an example of a federal regulation that actually impedes profitability of health insurance companies.

                      a. I never saw you ask that. It might've been in the comment I replied to, and I didn't see it, because after your massive whopper about what you want people to think crony capitalism is, I stopped reading.

                      b. Why would I produce an example of something I never asserted? Once again: holy shit, you're ret

                    • It was a different fork of this thread.

                      So you admit you lied.

                      In 5 words you combined your strange alternate definition of lying with your atrocious double standard for who is obligated to do what.

                      Crony capitalism ... can also happen when a purchased politician prevents regulations from occurring, to improve profitability.

                      False, but telling that you think such a stupid thing.

                      Petty insults do not improve your argument.

                      To you, there's no difference between freedom, and not-freedom.

                      How did you come up with that notion? I would rephrase this as a non-question since you don't like to answer questions that I ask, but you're not really worth that level of effort anymore since you aren't likely here for a discussion anyways.

                      It is also noted that you have still failed to produce an example of a federal regulation that actually impedes profitability of health insurance companies.

                      I never saw you ask that.

                      That's because you don't read the replies I write. The argument you previously wanted

      • You answered d_r far better than I could.
        • He could have made his point better with say, open source software, an unregulated market if there ever was one.

          • The various licensing regimes, and, more importantly, the cultures that align with them, are more important than any regulatory approach.
      • ...crony capitalists...

        Is there another kind? You mention open source software, but all software and hardware is regulated in one form or another through things like the Invention Secrecy Act, "born secret", and even regular old copyright and patent law, which are both successfully tying up rapid development with really fancy litigation and legislation. Open source is a bit player, a gnat. All your basic industries, agriculture, transportation, shelter, communication whether under the banner of capitalism o

        • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

          ...crony capitalists...

          Is there another kind?

          Of course. The majority of us who are capitalists, but are not crony capitalists. Me. Probably you.

          all software and hardware is regulated in one form or another through things like the Invention Secrecy Act

          False. That's simply and clearly false. None of the software I've written -- that you know about -- is regulated by the federal government. I've used software libraries that are so regulated, of course. But none of my software is so regulated.

          (And I presume you're not talking about copyright law, because that is a different thing, and I've written public domain software anyway, which would not be under

          • Hmm, sounds too much like your "no true Scotsman" meme...

            • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

              Not my "meme." I rarely, if ever, refer to it.

              But, it's true. Capitalism relies on private control and a free, competitive market. Crony capitalism is government control and a resulting non-free market by explicitly decreasing competition.

              I mean, sure, you can call it whatever you want to, but when I say "capitalism works" and someone says "crony capitalism is proof it doesn't," that's just stupid, because crony capitalism flatly violates some of the primary tenets of capitalism.

  • This assumes that rich people can't talk to one another.

    When you're a billionaire, or even a hundred millionaire, the came competitive effect does not apply, because after all, who are you competing with? For what?

    Second, it also assumes that people are accountable for their failures, and as we have seen with at least one very wealthy family who has ties to the oil business AND ties to the national intelligence infrastructure. that's simply not true.

    Competition used to mean risking money to make money. To

    • No, it asserts that the rich ARE talking and forming cartels.
      So you break them from the bottom up, via competition.

      Competitive markets do not exist in nature.

      I've got a phalanx of carnivorous Evolutionists that devour to differ.

      • Is Evolutionists a proper noun?

        And I do eat my veggies...

        I firmly believe in eating anything that tastes good.

        And a balanced diet is Hostess Cupcakes with skim milk.

        And yes, he is talking about a certain "method", which is indeed anecdotal, a single tree in the forest, before it was clear cut, because, you know, "property".

        • Evolutionists

          As a capitalist, I feel free to capitalize at will.

        • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

          And a balanced diet is Hostess Cupcakes with skim milk.

          You're a disgusting and despicable person who is no better than Adolph Hitler or George Bush. Defaming Hostess treats by washing them down with barely milk-flavored water is treasonous.

    • by Arker (91948)
      "This assumes that rich people can't talk to one another."

      No, it just assumes that they are (usually) individually more concerned with their individual gains or losses, than they are with class warfare. Occasional reversals here dont matter, this assumption only fails if 'class consciousness' becomes a more powerful motivational force here than individual profit, which seems, how shall we say? ludicrously unlikely.

      Now in that context the Marxists seem particularly foolish (or malicious, depending) but that
      • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

        Indeed. As I mentioned above, in my view -- and this is where many libertarians are wrong, I think -- we need a strong legal framework protecting our rights from violations by others. You can mostly do this via contract law, of course, but one way or another, economic wrongdoers -- that is, people who commit fraud and otherwise violate the actual rights (as opposed to the imagined rights) of others -- need to be held accountable, and our legal system just sucks at doing that, in large part because it is s

          • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

            Nice, except you said "altruism," which is an illusion. True, Cochran is not altruistic, but no one ever is.

            This is the first I've heard of this. I want to know specifics. For example, does state law say you cannot participate in GOP runoff if you participated in Dem primary? And is that what happened? If so, then yes, Cochran should lose, but really, MS screwed up, because they should have disallowed those Dem primary voters from participating.

            • For example, does state law say you cannot participate in GOP runoff if you participated in Dem primary?

              I think that's the case McDaniel is making, and I haven't heard it refuted.

              And is that what happened? If so, then yes, Cochran should lose,

              The McDaniel camp is investigating, and alleges this.

              but really, MS screwed up, because they should have disallowed those Dem primary voters from participating.

              You don't seem to understand that in modern America, "having rules and enforcing them" == "voter suppression".
              Check the mirror and see if you don't notice a big ol' raaaaacist in there, or something. :-)

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