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Comment Re:"Business People" (Score 1) 192

What in the world do you think a stock price means in the context of "rational"? The price of a stock is the last price that the stock was traded for.

That is, if the price goes up or down, that means that someone actually owned shares, and sold it to someone else looking to buy. Why would someone want to buy a stock? A stock is a share of ownership, including the capital owned by the company (machinery, contracts, and IP), plus the expected payouts to the owners (shareholders) over the course of the company. If one of the company's brands becomes more valuable (for licensing opportunities), or if they invest in a new line of factories, or if they don't have anything better to do than pay out massive dividends, it makes sense that the value of the company -- and therefore the trade price of the shares -- would go up, too.

If you think you can do so much better than these individual traders making what you clearly think is such a boneheaded decision, then why not buy or sell some shares yourself?

Comment Re:Companies shouldn't have political power (Score 1) 416

Companies can't make political donations. Or rather, candidates aren't allowed to accept money from corporations.

Individuals can make such donations, with their own money; the FEC requires you report your employer when making a political contribution. This is sometimes, erroneously, reported as the company making the contribution.

Companies can also run advertisements and even make movies critical of certain candidates, but is hardly equivalent to "buying an election" or any of the other nonsense you'll frequently hear people complaining about.

Comment Re:Free Market (Score 1) 167

There's a few different variants of this, and it's been a while since I've reviewed it. One variant deals with how prices integrate future uncertainty in them, and if the future was exactly certain you end up with a division by zero problem. But we're not presuming we can predict the future here.

The more relevant variant is simpler: If you knew the consumer's marginal value of an item they desire, you would never charge anything less than the price representing that value. Since we have perfect information, we don't have the problem of sunk costs, and can avoid selling things at a loss since we wouldn't have produced those to begin with. There's nothing new about price discrimination (it's why children and families pay less at movie theaters), but in this case we enter a scenario called perfect price discrimination, and the result is there is no market demand curve (or, one person becomes the market for supply-and-demand purposes), and therefore there's no market-clearing price.

Comment Re:Free Market (Score 1) 167

Hmm, how about most of history? You funnel all the money and power into the hands of a select few, the corporate entities continue to merge for growth and to stifle competition...

Most of history really doesn't have any basis for comparison. Corporations have existed, but we haven't had the means for them to operate globally until about two centuries ago.

So there's only been a small handful of anything we could call a monopoly or a cartel. The lightbulb cartel is the only legitimate example of a domestic cartel I can think of - it lasted fifteen years and collapsed all by itself. Standard Oil is commonly cited as a monopoly that was "broken up", it was done so on the myth that low prices were bad for customers (same myth that caused business owners to be thrown in jail for selling products too cheaply during the Great Depression).

We have endless examples of states doing horrible things to their citizens. Economic policy in the Soviet Union directly caused 5.5 MILLION deaths.

How many deaths have corporations caused by being "too powerful"?

Comment Re:Caps are to Recoup Costs (Score 1) 167

I like the joke, but the term you're looking for is called "marginal profit". If adding the feature, or building and selling one additional unit, will bring in more revenue than it cost to make, then you'll sell the additional unit.

This became settled science over a century and a half ago.

Comment Re:Free Market (Score 1) 167

Citation needed? You're comparing two different kinds of power.

To achieve socialism's alleged ends, politicians say they need "power" (i.e. violence), but socialism is impossible in the first place because it lacks a price mechanism to inform people what is productive and what is wasteful.

But in capitalism, no actor threatens violence. The kind of "power" you talk about here is merely owning money, a completely voluntary action.

Even my the financial metric, the government is still way more powerful: Last year, the government accounted for 18% GDP. Walmart, by contrast, was a mere 2.6%.

So once we've cut the size of the government by an order of magnitude, then I'll take this idea seriously.

Comment Re:Free Market (Score 1) 167

No economic law or theorem presumes the existence of perfect information. Supply and demand and everything works all the same, regardless of the type, informed-ness, and rationality of the actor.

In fact, it's a mathematical theorem that there were perfect information, prices could not exist (and therefore, there cannot be such a thing as perfect information).

Comment Re:Oh, how the mighty have fallen (Score 1) 103

The sentiments that job automation is a good thing is correct for the reasons listed (near-free cost-of-living), but communism and socialism are economically impossible. It's not a matter of getting the implementation right, but outright mathematics: Without a price mechanism, you can't tell if your resource allocation decisions are productive or not.

Comment Re:Pay up ! (Score 1) 218

The FCC is the same agency that gave us the nipple-protection panic and the Broadcast Flag. There is no problem with the Internet that I want the FCC fixing.

In any event, net neutrality has nothing to do with bandwidth caps. And there is no problem, to date, that their 'net neutrality' rules have fixed or could have prevented.

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