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Comment Re:In "competition", consumers always lose. (Score 1) 327

Probably part of that too.

However you just can't get around the fact that it is not economical to run multiple phone, gas, power, sewer and cable lines to every house. Even if you could, would you want the streets dug up or blocked every time a new company wanted to compete?

It really only makes sense as a managed monopoly. Pure capitalism isn't the best fit for everything. Use the right tool for the right job.

Comment Re:In "competition", consumers always lose. (Score 2) 327

Well of course the government is enabling the financial sector, but they kind of have to now. The problem was not breaking up the "Too big to fail" before they failed. If you are on a sinking ship with nowhere else to go, you'll give anything to keep it afloat even if it is junk.

Btw, you just can't blame the government. It's the citizens too. Remember all the outrage over bailing out the bank. You'd think that they'd want to at least break them up now, or get tighter controls since we foot the bill for the banks screwups.

But NO!!!! Now all you here from that crowd is "We don't want government telling business what to do". If I didn't know better, I'd say it was just all manufactured outrage to get pro-business Republicans elected. But hey, I'm just not that cynical. Oh wait.. I'm:)

Comment Re:In "competition", consumers always lose. (Score 1) 327

I don't know the particulars, but my guess is that the monopoly was given in order to secure investment in order to build out the infrastructure.

That is btw another good example of where government is needed. It is necessary to manage situations where the overhead of duplicated effort is prohibitively expensive. Without the duplication of effort there is no choice. Without choice, market forces can not work. For utilities it is simply not practical to have multiple lines wired to every house. Therefore we have managed monopolies instead.

Oh and one more thing. I hope you are not trying to imply that government is always the problem, because I can easily list cases where not enough government oversite was the issue. Lets go with Enron and Bernie Madoff of the top of my head as prime examples.

Comment Re:In "competition", consumers always lose. (Score 1) 327

Yes, I thought you were saying that there was no role for government action in a well run capitalistic system. I say that not only is there a role, but a necessary role.

It is true that government itself can become a problem (see software patents), but you can't use a slippery slope argument to prevent all government involvement.

Oh btw, I do disagree that government is currently doing more bad than good. I think the greatest threat to our current economy is the unchecked cancerous growth of the financial sector. It is taking an ever increasing percentage of GDP and giving back nothing extra but instability.

Capitalism is a great engine for finding an optimal solution to the problem of supply and demand. However it is not guaranteed to correctly frame the problem of supply and demand. The current focus on short term profits, and the ability of middle men to make money on volume not outcomes is perverting the system. Government is needed to ensure the risks to the overall financial system are taken into account and that failure becomes an option for the high risk takers.

Comment Re:In "competition", consumers always lose. (Score 4, Insightful) 327

Assuming we're not talking about assasination, the way to "eliminate competitors" in a free market is to have a better product.

  • Or undercut your competition by temporarily subsidizing your product with money made from other sources.
  • Or undercut your competition by reducing production costs by dumping your hazardous wastes, neglecting the safety of your workers, or off-shoring to countries that don't enforce standards.
  • Or simply buy up your competition to eliminate competitors.

I don't see how more government control would help that.

That is what government regulation is for. It is to ensure that the best product wins under its own merits and that all costs are taken into account.

Comment Re:Oh shut up (Score 1) 2058

"It would be a case of 'Pay $75/year in insurance, or pay the full cost if there is a fire.'" And what if they can't pay the full cost of the fire. And how would you know... right then... while the house is burning down? Oh and since libertarians aren't against all governments, then we are just debating which government services are essential. Personally, since my body doesn't seem differentiate between my dying from a terrorist bomb or cancer, I'd put health care on the essential list. Truth be told, since my chance of dieing from a terrorist attack is much, much, much less than from say a heart attack, I prioritize health care above the military.

Comment Re:Because we all know (Score 1) 1565

Well I do not know what "transactions" you are talking about, but it is a little too convenient and self-serving that you want to be the ultimate decider as to the scope of your actions.

Also, how do account for the fact that you might not even know the true scope. There are many unintended consequences out there and unless you are an expert in everything, you might not even be aware of them.

Perhaps you are selling an ice cream that is toxic to red headed left-handers, or maybe the new landscaping for your home will cause the next owner of your house to cut a power line with a rotor tiller.

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