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Super computer proves Occupy Theory

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) writes | more than 2 years ago

Government 9

In News to Nobody except those who worship capitalism, proof has come that just 147 corporations own 40% of the world- and a larger group of just 1,318 corporations (the 147 are included in that) own 80% of the world's most productive wealth. Many of these companies are in the "too big to fail" range- the 2007 dataset used included Lehman brothers, who were in the top 14

In News to Nobody except those who worship capitalism, proof has come that just 147 corporations own 40% of the world- and a larger group of just 1,318 corporations (the 147 are included in that) own 80% of the world's most productive wealth. Many of these companies are in the "too big to fail" range- the 2007 dataset used included Lehman brothers, who were in the top 147 at the time.

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couple of points I'd like to highlight (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | more than 2 years ago | (#38720172)

#1:

Because Progressivism/modern Leftism is a philosophy of centralized control towards saving the earth and rooting out economic and social injustices everywhere, Slashdotters and other solid Leftists everywhere assume big business types are as well of the world domination mindset. But this is one group of people projecting their way of coming at things onto another group of people that's very different from them.

As someone I guess you might accuse of "worshipping capitalism", I can say that capitalists are only trying to make money. For some reason the more money you get, the more you seem to want/think you need. These people are not for changing you or the world, they're only thinking about themselves.

Altho certainly what TFA points out in relation to this is a valid concern, that even tho big business is not about fundamentally transforming everything into a NWO, like Islamic fundamentalists are with their Caliphate and Left-leaning people are with their socialistic utopia, the build up of too much power, even sans the desire to use it in the worst way like Liberals and terrorists do, is still of concern.

It's for the same reason that we all (well, the non-malicious and sane of us, that's left in this world) should oppose our governments growing in power, as even tho we might not think a current administration *would* abuse it, leaving in place the *ability* to, is just too unwise.

I'm rambling here, but basically I agree with the stated concern over basically big players in the private sector being able to exert too much influence over what is of the public sector. I wish we had a "separation of business and state" doctrine -- these "public/private partnerships" and GSE's are a crock.

#2:

I would like to see "too big to fail" businesses (that are public corporations) broken up. Public corporations are given special rights and advantages by the U.S. govt., and with this artificial advantage in the free market should come the tradeoff of being artificially limited to a certain size. Don't like this, then don't take your company public -- eschew the potential for a flood of capital into your business, for the freedom to grow in any direction you like, if that's what you choose.

But we don't have the scope of sovereignty to tell other country's businesses what to do. If their host nations want to join with ours for this purpose, like the EU, then fine, but until then, we need to delink ourselves from this global Mutually Assured Economic Destruction thing. The U.S. needs to become economically independent, so that we can't be brought down by others' foolishness.

Decentralize, decentralize, decentralize. A tendency of capitalism is centralization towards greater efficiencies (of scale). This should be resisted from going too far, as long as in doing so we respect rights and sovereignty. And can be achieved by potentially some legislation, and even better, education like what TFA uncovers plus the will to vote with one's dollars. For example after some buyouts my checking account is now with #6 on that list. I now have more reason to be concerned that I'm, in my own small way, supporting what might really be too dangerous.

Re:couple of points I'd like to highlight (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 2 years ago | (#38721466)

Don't like this, then don't take your company public -- eschew the potential for a flood of capital into your business, for the freedom to grow in any direction you like, if that's what you choose.

The thing is, this is already true. Almost every small business owner dreams of "going public" even though it means that they'll be giving up the freedom to run their company as they see fit (as opposed to how the shareholders' elected board sees fit) and the remainder dream of their kids taking over and making it a family business, which works about the same in the long run but usually takes a generation or two before it ends up sold off or split up in some divorce proceeding or contested will, or inherited by someone who never wanted to do it, who had always wanted to be a lumberjack, leaping from tree to tree.

Re:couple of points I'd like to highlight (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38726714)

Actually, Bill Dog- you and I are much closer on this, than those who claim the magical mystical invisible hand of the market makes everything right. For exactly the reasons you bring up above- efficiency of scale, greater profits- the trend in pure capitalism, with or without government's help, will *always* be towards the monopoly. Even distributed-ownership schemes such as Mondragon Corporation in Spain, trend towards market-distorting monopolies.

There is no difference between government overreaching and damaging civil liberty, and the private sector overreaching and damaging civil liberty. Power is power- and centralized power over millions of people WILL be abused, eventually.
 

Re:couple of points I'd like to highlight (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | more than 2 years ago | (#38745816)

There is no difference between government overreaching and damaging civil liberty, and the private sector overreaching and damaging civil liberty. Power is power- and centralized power over millions of people WILL be abused, eventually.

I don't wish to be disagreeable, but this is (Leftist) crap. In turn:

* I don't like sloppy thinking and I don't like sloppy usage of terms. "Civil" rights are those in relation to govt. -- i.e. between the citizens and the state. To call rights between parties in the private sector "civil rights" is like calling high school civics class a business class. It's nonsensical, and to the extent that wikipedia for example is sloppy with the term is just corruption of things by the Left, who are for an ever-expanding set of (positive) rights and so desire for terms and concepts to be muddied.

If I punch you in the face your human rights have been violated. As a human being you have a right to not be punched in the face. If a cop punches you in the face it's not only a human rights violation but also a civil rights violation, because for example the govt. is not punching everyone in the face equally.

And there's a HUGE difference between government overreaching and the private sector overreaching. And that difference is that govt. is the ultimate authority and power. It is a monopoly, it has no checks and balances except what it picks and chooses to recognize, and there's nothing to appeal to beyond it (in this life). Governments like corporations like unions like advocacy groups etc. are just organizations of men, but govt. is by far the most dangerous organization of men, because of its unique position.

And except for abusive working conditions, how can a corporation violate your rights? You don't have a right to a good or service at a particular price. You don't have a right to anything from me. Within the private sector, I owe you nothing except what we've contracted for. I've no contractual agreement with my local Vons to not charge me an arm and a leg for groceries, so they pick a price, and we decide to buy or not, and they get to see how well their pricing level works out for them.

* The levels of centralization compared are miles apart. As an American, from TFA there's at least 37 million companies and investors, to 1 U.S. federal govt. 37 million players is not a very centralized market. 43,000 transnational corporations, to 1 federal govt. 147 "superconnected" companies, "mainly banks", so in direct competition with each other, to 1 federal govt.

Power is not power. A corporation can raise the price it charges for a good or service. It can't make me buy it. It can't make me do anything. But govt. can. Govt. has guns and jails. Corporations do not. There's too much collusion between the two, but there still is most definitely a (single) 800 lb gorilla in the room. One might be able to make a case for some ginormous corporation effectively having more power than say a state govt, but nobody measures up to big daddy, in terms of how bad he can fuck you over.

Re:couple of points I'd like to highlight (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 2 years ago | (#38752454)

First off, you're right. I should have written human rights. Though, actually, I guess what I really meant was human needs- which to me are all tied up in a *single* human right, the right to life. Deny somebody the right to breathe oxygen, he'll die just as much as if he's under fire in a war or under an abortionist's knife; no difference.

"And there's a HUGE difference between government overreaching and the private sector overreaching. And that difference is that govt. is the ultimate authority and power. It is a monopoly, it has no checks and balances except what it picks and chooses to recognize, and there's nothing to appeal to beyond it (in this life). Governments like corporations like unions like advocacy groups etc. are just organizations of men, but govt. is by far the most dangerous organization of men, because of its unique position."

But in the end result, it's just like any other monopoly. NO monopoly is there the ability to have checks and balances.

"And except for abusive working conditions, how can a corporation violate your rights? You don't have a right to a good or service at a particular price. You don't have a right to anything from me. Within the private sector, I owe you nothing except what we've contracted for. I've no contractual agreement with my local Vons to not charge me an arm and a leg for groceries, so they pick a price, and we decide to buy or not, and they get to see how well their pricing level works out for them."

Except, of course, in a monopoly situation, which as you indicated above with your governmental example. ESPECIALLY if that monopoly controls food, clothing, shelter, transportation, clean water, clean air, or medical care for a given region. Any monopoly able to lock the market in one of those areas- say Vons being the only grocery store you have- has the ability to basically say "Your money or your life" in setting prices.

And there are many other places in this world, other than the United States, where such monopolies exist. Even in the United States- as true ownership gets concentrated among fewer and fewer companies- the oligarchy is just a stage towards the monopoly, and all monopolies under a system where property rights trump right to life, have the ability to cut people out of the market at will.

"Power is not power. A corporation can raise the price it charges for a good or service. It can't make me buy it. It can't make me do anything. "

True. But your own body can- and in those very basic areas I mentioned, there is very little difference between a monopoly controlling your air supply and a monopoly with an army and guns. Human beings have needs.

And right now, those 147 companies have *proven* that they can play the game so well, that they're *bigger* than any government- that they can in fact force governments to pay THEM tribute at will. That's what caused the current recession- those 147 mostly banks, banding together, cooperating instead of competing, and saying "We WILL destroy your country unless you pay us bailouts"- and every country from the United States to Germany surrendered and asked "How much do you want"?

THAT is power, my friend- the power to get governments to be mere puppets in your hand. So much for your 800 lb gorilla- when push came to shove, it was the elephant of the banking industry and their right of private property that prevailed- and governments had *NO* way left to protect their citizens.

Re:couple of points I'd like to highlight (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | more than 2 years ago | (#38778573)

Any monopoly able to lock the market in one of those areas- say Vons being the only grocery store you have- has the ability to basically say "Your money or your life" in setting prices.

But again, Vons doesn't owe you anything. It's impossible for Vons to be the only store I have, because I don't even have that in the first place, because I don't own it. It's not my store. If Vons builds a grocery store in my area, I'm lucky, and happy. The grocery industry does not owe me food, nor do they owe us the convenient location of such.

When I moved into my area there was no grocery store, then Vons moved in (and they're still the only one), but we've kinda gotten the impression that they charge more than grocery stores in less rich areas. I have the option of shopping just down the street, or I can drive into another community for possibly better deals. Vons wasn't here when I moved in to my (newly-built) condo, and they could just decide to pack up and move out some time in the future. Doing so would not be a violation of my rights. No matter how badly I need food.

that they can in fact force governments to pay THEM tribute at will

Except this is totally untrue. Govt. encouraged going down the path of mounting financial danger (i.e. the piling up of riskier and riskier home loans), with the implicit understanding that it would insure it all, of privatizing gains but socializing losses. What banker could resist going along with that. Well, evidently some did, at least for the most part, but they were forced to take bailouts as well. Yep, sure sounds to me like industry pushing around poor widdle Uncle Sam.

Re:couple of points I'd like to highlight (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38786093)

But again, Vons doesn't owe you anything. It's impossible for Vons to be the only store I have, because I don't even have that in the first place, because I don't own it. It's not my store. If Vons builds a grocery store in my area, I'm lucky, and happy. The grocery industry does not owe me food, nor do they owe us the convenient location of such.
 
True, but neither do we as a culture owe anybody the right to own property and be in business in the first place. It's a bit of a chicken and an egg thing.
 
  When I moved into my area there was no grocery store, then Vons moved in (and they're still the only one), but we've kinda gotten the impression that they charge more than grocery stores in less rich areas. I have the option of shopping just down the street, or I can drive into another community for possibly better deals.
 
That is assuming you can get down the street (sometimes, down the street is a couple of hundred miles) or can afford gas for your car (from the OPEC monopoly, who can basically set the price at whatever the hell they want). There is a reason monopolies are bad.
 
  Except this is totally untrue.
 
Bush paid the tribute.
 
  Govt. encouraged going down the path of mounting financial danger (i.e. the piling up of riskier and riskier home loans), with the implicit understanding that it would insure it all, of privatizing gains but socializing losses.
 
The Bankers didn't have to play along. And besides, the bankers had bought the government to begin with back in the early 1980s through campaign contributions- so it was their government passing those laws.
 
  What banker could resist going along with that. Well, evidently some did, at least for the most part, but they were forced to take bailouts as well. Yep, sure sounds to me like industry pushing around poor widdle Uncle Sam.
 
It wasn't just Uncle Sam, it was also Germany, Spain, England, Ireland, Greece, Japan, China...the list goes on and on and it wasn't just about housing. It's an INTERNATIONAL Financial System- and it's an INTERNATIONAL problem- there isn't *any* government that wasn't forced to pay bailouts or resisted when the coup came.

Re:couple of points I'd like to highlight (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38791131)

What BD refuses to acknowledge is that the government is really nothing more than the enforcement arm of the corporation. A monopoly cannot exist by economics alone. It takes brute force to protect and enable a monopoly. Guns, prisons, the bureaucratic maze, all those things. Even things like civil rights and environmental law only become possible when they become a business/bureaucratic opportunity. This is the governments' purpose, to provide security for the corporation. All individual liberties are entirely ancillary. Only provided to mitigate rioting and property damage. There's a formula for that, called the riot index [ssrn.com] , a sort of 'cost/benefit' ratio that balances austerity and social unrest. That he continues to recite the mass media's left/right tag lines, only makes me think that he can't be serious and is just trolling a few members here. I'm sure it's all in good fun, of course. Except when he actually votes away the rights of others he disagrees with. Nobody should be allowed that kind of power. There is no Bush. There is no Obama. They are only names drawn from a hat. They will die off, while the system remains. There is only economic opportunism. Behind all the fancy complex philosophies in the world, used to cover up the singular motivation, is the nature of the talking chimpanzee (and everything else). It's that simple.

Re:couple of points I'd like to highlight (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38776637)

The government, in fact all governments exist for the convenience of a very tiny portion of the 'private' sector. It takes big money to set up a government, and the people with that kind of money will be the ones to set policy. A government doesn't hear those who shout the loudest, it only cedes to those who pay the most. Neither corporation nor government can survive without the other. It is a symbiosis, not an opposition that enables their function. It's not government or corporation occupying any unique position. It's simply government/corporation as a single unit. If either part step out of bounds, the other part will reign it in. It takes lots of money to bring down a government, and only that top part of the 'private' sector has the means to do it.

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