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Why capitalism works

smitty_one_each (243267) writes | about 3 months ago

User Journal 66

A better model of the human condition:

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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So what you're saying... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 3 months ago | (#47324275)

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?

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 3 months ago | (#47324923)

Not that I disagree with your point, but could you pick three industries that aren't regulated by crony capitalists to eliminate competition?

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 3 months ago | (#47325223)

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.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 3 months ago | (#47325493)

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.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 3 months ago | (#47325533)

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 exist because of government regulation. Without the ability to buy politicians, none of these business models would stay profitable in the face of competition.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 3 months ago | (#47325869)

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 taken by owned politicians to prevent the cartels (national or international) from buying out the startups to ensure their dominance remains.

With Obamacare, health insurance is just a bunch of contractors working for the federal government

You have that exactly backwards. The health insurance industry has been purchasing congress people for a long time and in 2010 they cashed in on their investment when they were given the largest corporate handout in the history of corporate handouts. The health insurance industry isn't doing jack shit for the government, rather they are telling the government what to do and what will be done.

ALL three of these situations ONLY exist because of government regulation

I would be interested in knowing particularly what regulations you feel were set up by the government to give rise to the oil cartels and monopolistic behaviors that exist in the second scenario.

Without the ability to buy politicians, none of these business models would stay profitable in the face of competition.

I actually agree with you that the ability to buy politicians is the problem here. 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?

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 3 months ago | (#47326109)

"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

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 3 months ago | (#47326225)

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 become their own city-states) then that is an argument you can make if you want. It could be an interesting idea but I would expect that trade, travel, and relocation would become nightmares for the serfdom.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

pudge (3605) | about 4 months ago | (#47333393)

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.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 4 months ago | (#47334017)

This is among the chief ways that Progressives have de-stabilized our government => http://thirty-thousand.org/ [thirty-thousand.org]

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 4 months ago | (#47334227)

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 you have shown yourself over the years to be a terrible scholar of both. I was merely setting up an upper limit for his request. Interestingly enough, if you had waited a little longer before inserting your response, you may have been able to make yourself look a little less foolish [slashdot.org] . Being as you have made a reputation for yourself of shouting out false assumptions about other peoples' beliefs - and then refusing to admit to ever being wrong - that wait probably would have killed you.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

pudge (3605) | about 4 months ago | (#47334423)

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 your eyes, fail.

Interestingly enough, if you had waited a little longer before inserting your response, you may have been able to make yourself look a little less foolish [slashdot.org] .

Howso? That doesn't make me look foolish. It doesn't disagree with anything I wrote. Just because he did mean that, doesn't mean he said or implied that he meant that. He did neither. Please learn how to read.

Being as you have made a reputation for yourself of shouting out false assumptions about other peoples' beliefs

You're a liar. I never said or implied what his actual view was. I only pointed out the fact that he didn't imply it.

... and then refusing to admit to ever being wrong ...

You provided not a shred of evidence that he implied it, and then say you somehow demonstrated that I was wrong to say he didn't imply it. As usual, you're a liar.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 4 months ago | (#47334597)

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 may want to start by reading the thread from its beginning instead of jumping it at the first reply from me that makes your blood boil

How stupid can you be?

Well, what you have just done is a pretty good example. I wish it was an upper limit, however you have shown before that you can go a lot further.

I am interested to know why you don't seem to stalk other people from your perma-hate list [slashdot.org] to the degree that you stalk me. Not that I expect a meaningful response from you on that one, but one can't help but wonder...

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.

Too bad it didn't support your claim at all. I like how you have already stopped quoting your earlier claim, is this in hopes that you can get readers to forget it?

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

I'm sorry that the English language is so vexing to you. Too bad you don't know any good writers personally.

Being as you have made a reputation for yourself of shouting out false assumptions about other peoples' beliefs

You're a liar. I never said or implied what his actual view was. I only pointed out the fact that he didn't imply it.

I was referring as much to your assertion of what you thought he meant as I was to how you love to try to insert words into my mouth after I make you look silly. I will say though, I am impressed it took you this long to falsely accuse me of lying. You almost accidentally came across as mature and civilized (in spite of being non factual).

... and then refusing to admit to ever being wrong ...

You provided not a shred of evidence that he implied it, and then say you somehow demonstrated that I was wrong to say he didn't imply it. As usual, you're a liar.

See above.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 4 months ago | (#47333827)

"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.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 4 months ago | (#47334171)

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 some conservatives). Honestly I'm not sure why "small government" types are opposed to such a setup as it could in theory allow congress to be shut down entirely if all the voting was done on a national scale.

That said, if the country was broken into independent city-states with no federal government at all any more then the same thing would be possible with a slightly different way to the same feat.

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.

I suspect you are being a bit sarcastic there but I am being serious. The freedom to travel that we have within our borders for many years has only recently been enjoyed by those in Europe. If we split the country into independent states we could find new restrictions on travel and trade that had not been allowed before. Similarly states that have specific ideas on immigration could prevent people from moving in from other states.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 4 months ago | (#47334947)

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.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 4 months ago | (#47335403)

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.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 4 months ago | (#47336017)

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.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 4 months ago | (#47346089)

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 operate counter to the types of gains in efficiency that we have tended to celebrate in the past century or so.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 4 months ago | (#47346837)

"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.

" 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 operate counter to the types of gains in efficiency that we have tended to celebrate in the past century or so."

Yes, and that's the point. Efficiency reduces the number of jobs available drastically, and centralizes ownership of first level maslow industries such as food, shelter, clothing. This is a great thing for the few centralized aristocrats, but a negative thing for consumers and workers.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 4 months ago | (#47379391)

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 seems like a big problem.

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 operate counter to the types of gains in efficiency that we have tended to celebrate in the past century or so.

Yes, and that's the point. Efficiency reduces the number of jobs available drastically, and centralizes ownership of first level maslow industries such as food, shelter, clothing. This is a great thing for the few centralized aristocrats, but a negative thing for consumers and workers.

I'm not sure that the loss of efficiency is a net gain for many people. While it would put a lot of people to work would it not also leave a lot of people to find themselves in jobs with no demand? If everyone is producing food, shelter, and clothing, then what happens to the demand for computer programmers (for example)? To me it seems that you are calling for a deterioration of society as we know it (I don't mean simply by reduction of that one job that I specified but others as well).

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 4 months ago | (#47380547)

"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 city-states where each has their own. The division of the country does not seem that outlandish but the division of the currency seems like a big problem."

If you look at the Where's George data, we already do this. We may call them all dollars, but in actual trade, we're 11 different markets with very little to no trade between.

"I'm not sure that the loss of efficiency is a net gain for many people. While it would put a lot of people to work would it not also leave a lot of people to find themselves in jobs with no demand?"

The demand comes from the lack of trade with other regions.

" If everyone is producing food, shelter, and clothing, then what happens to the demand for computer programmers (for example)?"

Data is always good. Data is what creates more yield per acre.

" To me it seems that you are calling for a deterioration of society as we know it (I don't mean simply by reduction of that one job that I specified but others as well)."

It's worse than that. I'm calling for the destruction of the greedy, centralized, bureaucratic society as we know it.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

pudge (3605) | about 4 months ago | (#47333375)

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 doubt whatsoever that if these regulations did not exist, we would have much more competition, much more portability, and therefore, much lower prices for health insurance. No economist would disagree with this.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 4 months ago | (#47334037)

But there is VAST political power to be had in setting hormones against intellect with that magic word: 'fairness'.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

pudge (3605) | about 4 months ago | (#47336003)

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.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 4 months ago | (#47336287)

Sure, but, again, we can win us some elections if we blow enough rectal sunshine. Are you in?

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

pudge (3605) | about 4 months ago | (#47338023)

Sorry, no. I have these things called pride and integrity.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 4 months ago | (#47338355)

Oh. One of THOSE. (me too)

Re:So what you're saying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47383129)

Pride? You certainly have that in spades. Integrity? That is debatable.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 4 months ago | (#47334287)

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 industry imaginable?

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

Wait a minute. First of all, I thought you liked states being able to regulate commerce within their own borders? Why are you suddenly against it and looking to allow the federal government to dictate it instead? Right now, the regulations of which plans can be sold where are strictly at the state level.

In fact, you are one of many people who have bitched repeatedly about "federal regulation" on health care, without providing even a single example of a federal regulation that influenced anything before the giant handout to the insurance industry that was signed into law by President Obama in 2010.

There is simply no doubt whatsoever that if these regulations did not exist, we would have much more competition, much more portability, and therefore, much lower prices for health insurance. No economist would disagree with this.

I'm sorry that you have such a terrible grasp on economics. Perhaps you didn't take that in junior college either?

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

pudge (3605) | about 4 months ago | (#47334567)

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 created by excess regulation. Health insurers didn't "own Congress" like it does now in 1973 when Ted Kennedy and Richard Nixon started forcing us into HMOs, and they certainly didn't "own Congress" when it passed the Public Health Service Act in 1944.

There was never a time, in my lifetime and longer, that government didn't massively control the health insurance business. To say that there is some response to "general absence of regulation" is just lying.

Wait a minute. First of all, I thought you liked states being able to regulate commerce within their own borders?

... because you're stupid? I've never said anything like that. Ever. I said that if it is going to be regulated, the Constitution requires it be the states who do so, as opposed to the federal government. That doesn't mean I am in favor of states doing so.

Why are you suddenly against it and looking to allow the federal government to dictate it instead?

You're a liar. Nothing I said is in favor of federal government regulation of commerce.

In fact, you are one of many people who have bitched repeatedly about "federal regulation" on health care, without providing even a single example of a federal regulation that influenced anything before the giant handout to the insurance industry that was signed into law by President Obama in 2010.

I just gave example laws that do this. A specific regulation from those laws could include the federal employer mandates to provide insurance, a mandate which -- apart from being unconstitutional -- increases the cost of health insurance by reducing competition and portability, not to mention reduces job mobility etc.

This is indisputable, which is why you -- while expressing disagreement -- don't even pretend to try to provide an argument against it.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 4 months ago | (#47334849)

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 prevent states from regulating commerce as they see fit? You are directly advocating for revocation of the states' rights to regulate commerce, but who can revoke that right and maintain it in that condition?

In fact, you are one of many people who have bitched repeatedly about "federal regulation" on health care, without providing even a single example of a federal regulation that influenced anything before the giant handout to the insurance industry that was signed into law by President Obama in 2010.

I just gave example laws that do this

No, you did not. I would call you a liar but you don't know what that means so the term wouldn't be useful here.

A specific regulation from those laws could include the federal employer mandates to provide insurance

And how is that a regulation on the insurance industry? It doesn't dictate what kind of insurance must be provided. For that matter, it doesn't dictate that the employer actually pay anything towards it, only that they offer it (and up until now, only to full-time employees at that).

increases the cost of health insurance by reducing competition

That is probably the strongest argument you have made in a discussion with me since I started commenting on slashdot. However, it still is a weak argument in that employees were still free to seek out insurance by other mechanisms; they were not required to use the insurance available through their employer.

portability

Nice boogey-man, there. If portability was actually a concern then you should celebrate the health insurance industry bailout act of 2010, as it allows people to take the plan they had with one employer and keep it when they go to another employer.

not to mention reduces job mobility etc

... as above.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

pudge (3605) | about 4 months ago | (#47335809)

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.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 4 months ago | (#47336501)

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 produce an example of a federal regulation that actually impedes profitability of health insurance companies.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

pudge (3605) | about 4 months ago | (#47338059)

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 retarded.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 4 months ago | (#47346061)

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 to present was dependent on such things happening, however everyone knows that they never did. You then tried to abandon the topic as you cannot bear to admit to being wrong.

because after your massive whopper about what you want people to think crony capitalism is

I'm sorry that the truth is so troublesome to you.

I stopped reading.

Yet you replied to parts fo the reply that came later than that statement of fact. Hence your claim to have "stopped reading" is disproven by your own writing.

Why would I produce an example of something I never asserted?

You can pretend to have not said it, but your comments counter that claim. Has it been that long since slashdot fired you that you have forgotten how comments work here?

Once again: holy shit, you're retarded.

Your repeated use of petty insults shows you are frustrated, I presume it is because you are making yourself look like such an outrageous ignoramus.

Having completely dismantled your argument already, I'm done with you Pudge. I expect you will follow up with some silly insult (perhaps as part of another fact-free reply), in part because you just can't stand to not have the last word (even when you are thoroughly and repeatedly demonstrated to be wrong). So go ahead, take the last word. The record in this thread plainly demonstrates you to be wrong regardless of what you might claim and I don't need to say anything else.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 3 months ago | (#47325475)

You answered d_r far better than I could.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 3 months ago | (#47326075)

He could have made his point better with say, open source software, an unregulated market if there ever was one.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 3 months ago | (#47326139)

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

Re:So what you're saying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47325697)

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

He can't, but he doesn't have to. The existence of crony capitalism is counterexample to the notion that capitalism will protect us.

We had capitalism before, yet crony capitalism still emerged? Capitalism did NOT work to keep crony capitalism from emerging. "Oh we just didn't get capitalism right. It'll work the next time" would be the same excuse that socialists and communists use.

"To catch a thief, send in a thief"? Except the thief you send actually teams up with the thief he's supposed to catch, or he just becomes the bigger thief, the crooked cop who threatens to turn thieves in unless they pay up.

Hey, I agree with the OP on the notion that govenrment != virtue, but that doesn't say anything about the virtues of capitalism. There is no virtue in capitalism. Capitalism is like the gun. It's just a tool.

If you want virtue, go find it in your church, but as we all know, government and church are not supposed to mix together.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

pudge (3605) | about 4 months ago | (#47333477)

The existence of crony capitalism is counterexample to the notion that capitalism will protect us.

So the existence of A is an argument against straw man B.

How is that interesting?

He didn't say capitalism alone will protect us. As his comments made clear, he is in full agreement that crony capitalism is bad.

We had capitalism before, yet crony capitalism still emerged? Capitalism did NOT work to keep crony capitalism from emerging.

An orthogonal problem. That's like saying, "you say we should use computers for business, but computer errors have led to the downfall of businesses, so clearly, computers aren't the answer." It's just idiotic. We should both use computers, and work to reduce computer errors and their impacts. We should both have capitalism, and work to discourage crony capitalism. Duh.

There is no virtue in capitalism.

I completely disagree. Capitalism means that a person uses his natural faculties to create wealth to further his own interests. That is one of the highest virtues there is.

If you want virtue, go find it in your church, but as we all know, government and church are not supposed to mix together.

What a completely odd and meaningless non sequitur.

Re:So what you're saying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334775)

So the existence of A is an argument against straw man B.

Except it's not a strawman

As d_r reworded, the premise is that to stop greedy businessmen from getting too much power, you sick other greedy businessmen to them

But as history has shown, greedy businessmen do NOT stop each other from gaining too much power.

He didn't say capitalism alone will protect us.

And I didn't say he said it. I was attacking the notion, as the OP quoted, "If you want to catch a thief, set a thief to catch him"

An orthogonal problem

No it is not. Again, the notion here is we use a "thief" to catch a thief. That is not treating the problem as two orthogonal problems, but double downing that you solve the problems of capitalism by applying more capitalism. This is no different than the "solve problems of regulation with more regulation" approach.

I completely disagree. Capitalism means that a person uses his natural faculties to create wealth to further his own interests. That is one of the highest virtues there is.

I disagree with your disagreement. Using one's natural faculties to create wealth to further one's own interests is something even animals do. Capitalism is simply a means to an end. Adam Smith: it is not from the kindness of bakers in which we get our bread.

What a completely odd and meaningless non sequitur.

It's called throwing in additional points to stir discussion. I was addressing the notion virtue touched upon by the OP. I add it a caveat to separate church and state to to preempt notions that I'm some religious whack wanting to bring prayer into the schools or something.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

pudge (3605) | about 4 months ago | (#47335987)

Except it's not a strawman

Except, it is.

As d_r reworded, the premise is that to stop greedy businessmen from getting too much power, you sick other greedy businessmen to them

Wow. You really think that damn_registrars, of all people in the world, claiming A means B, is actual evidence that A means B?

Seriously?

I was attacking the notion, as the OP quoted, "If you want to catch a thief, set a thief to catch him"

Yes, within a certain context, where government is not siding with the thiefs. You attacked that notion within the context where government is siding with the thiefs (or, at least, you were ignoring whether government was siding with the thiefs).

As I noted in another comment, crony capitalism is not capitalism. Your claim "The existence of crony capitalism is counterexample to the notion that capitalism will protect us" is idiotic, because either it is saying that crony capitalism is capitalism, or it is saying that smitty claimed capitalism will solve all our problems regardless of what government does. Obviously, neither of those is true.

I disagree with your disagreement. Using one's natural faculties to create wealth to further one's own interests is something even animals do.

False. You do not know what "wealth" is. Try harder.

Capitalism is simply a means to an end.

It's the only reasonable means to the end. In what other system would I be free to use my natural faculties to create wealth to further my own interests? Every other system we have works to prevent me from using my natural faculties, or at least significant restricts it, or else it takes my wealth after I've created it, or else it restricts what I can do with my wealth. Capitalism is the only means we've yet seen in humanity for doing this, except for, perhaps, anarchy, which is destructive in other ways.

Adam Smith: it is not from the kindness of bakers in which we get our bread.

You offer this quote as though it disagrees with me in some way. Why?

It's called throwing in additional points to stir discussion.

But, as I said, it was not merely a non sequitur, it was also meaningless. It said nothing. It made no point, and had no meaning.

I was addressing the notion virtue touched upon by the OP.

Yes, by dishonestly and meaninglessly claiming that virtue is only for churches, and not all other aspects of our lives.

Re:So what you're saying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47349315)

Wow. You really think that damn_registrars, of all people in the world, claiming A means B, is actual evidence that A means B?
Seriously?

No, I'm basing what I said on what smitty said "If you want to catch a thief, set a thief to catch him" and that d_r's rewording is accurate and not a claim that "A means B". You're the only one claiming that.

You really think just because you don't like d_r, it means his rewording is wrong? That's an ad homenim.

Yes, within a certain context, where government is not siding with the thiefs. You attacked that notion within the context where government is siding with the thiefs (or, at least, you were ignoring whether government was siding with the thiefs).

No, I attacked both contexts. In the case when government wasn't siding with thieves, they will eventually side with them, because those thieves you send to catch other thieves end up in govenrment.

As I noted in another comment, crony capitalism is not capitalism.

And I never said otherwise.

Your claim "The existence of crony capitalism is counterexample to the notion that capitalism will protect us" is idiotic, because either it is saying that crony capitalism is capitalism, or it is saying that smitty claimed capitalism will solve all our problems regardless of what government does. Obviously, neither of those is true.

Or I am saying a third thing, where the thieves you send to catch other thieves will end up in government sooner or later, and they start siding with the thieves. And that is true, because that's exactly what happened in reality. You can play the blame game whether the thieves were at fault for bribing government or government is at fault for letting themselves be bribed, but at the end of the day the the result is the same: sending thieves to catch other thieves always end with thieves running the show.

False. You do not know what "wealth" is. Try harder.

Ad homenim. You try harder.

In what other system would I be free to use my natural faculties to create wealth to further my own interests?

Strawman. The point here was that capitalism is not virtuous in and of itself. It doesn't matter if no other system let you use your natural faculties. You can do all those things under capitalism but that doesn't make you a virtuous person. You can be a total asshole and still adhere by the rules of capitalism.

But, as I said, it was not merely a non sequitur, it was also meaningless. It said nothing. It made no point, and had no meaning.

In other words, you're just throwing another ad homenim.

In my defense, no, what I said has meaning. I attacked the notion that capitalism is virtuous in and of itself. So to elaborate, I pointed out where one can find virtue.

Yes, by dishonestly and meaninglessly claiming that virtue is only for churches, and not all other aspects of our lives.

That's not what I said. I said if you want virtue you can FIND it in church. I didn't say you can't take the virtues you found in church and apply it elsewhere. The point is capitalism doesn't provide virtue itself. It merely reflects the virtue you bring in from outside (from church, from your own values, whatever)

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 4 months ago | (#47330381)

...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 or communism, whatever other ism you can dream up are not just under some kind of cronyism, it's pure gangsterism. Weapons are the only form of currency that makes the world go 'round. Without them, what's going to make you use their script and worship their god? How are all contracts enforced? What I'm trying to say is that open markets are the key to long term success. Capitalism is great, but we are now seeing what inevitably happens as it matures. It just take a little longer than other forms of doing business. It will eventually close the market to all but its most exclusive club, as designed. Communism seems to try that right from the start, but in theory, already known to those who paid attention to the last chapter of that little book, it ends up with the most open market of them all, where everybody can lay down their damn weapon, trade soap for toilet paper, eat some red snapper cooked in garlic, and sit and smoke a joint! How simple it could be without all those sociopathic serpents tempting all those "Adam and Eve's" out there. The original sin is the only sin. and the difficulty of overcoming, being biologically hardwired in the part of the brain that still rules life on planet earth, is best exploited by those in positions of power, the serpents. It's how they got there, because the people that make it possible (that's you and me and everybody else in SlashdotLand and beyond...) think they will "get some". There's your original sinners, eh? They live among us. They're everywhere! That is what makes authority the work of the devil, well, okay, the alpha.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

pudge (3605) | about 4 months ago | (#47333699)

...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 those regulations.)

Open source is a bit player

Shrug. It's relied on in almost every business and government agency in the world that uses computers in some way.

open markets are the key to long term success

Capitalism includes open markets. In addition, it has the added benefit of civil rights, which open markets don't necessarily have.

Capitalism is great, but we are now seeing what inevitably happens as it matures.

False. We are seeing what inevitably happens when you have two additional factors: 1. government allows itself to be bought, and 2. people lie about the causes of the problems as being from "capitalism."

Problem 1 is easily solved, if we're willing: make the scope of government much smaller. A government that is not allowed to create ObamaCare will not be the target of health insurance companies looking for handouts, for example. Every single person who was in favor of ObamaCare, or the SCOTUS decision on ObamaCare, is a cheerleader for crony capitalism, because that is what the decision equates to: government can force us to buy any product it wants to, as long as they call it a tax, for the benefit of crony capitalists.

Of course, the left is always pushing crony capitalism. That's their main trade. Whether it's tax breaks for electric cars, taxes on alcohol ... Democrats do this literally all the time. It's why they exist in Congress. Republicans do it too -- in particular, tax breaks for large companies to locate here or there, subsidies for agriculture in important voting states, that sort of thing, which Democrats do too -- but Democrats do it all the time.

It will eventually close the market to all but its most exclusive club, as designed.

Then it wouldn't be capitalism, so your argument is self-refuting. Crony capitalism itself isn't actual capitalism, for that matter, because where government controls the markets, it's not capitalism, because capitalism is private control. Of course, this isn't black-and-white, but shades of grey: you could say that certain antitrust laws, laws about fraud, and so on can happily coexist with a capitalism system.

But a system, like health insurance today, where government explicitly restricts who can enter the market, mandates who must buy the products, sets up most of the rules for the market, mandates what services must and must not be provided within a certain low and high price point ... this is not capitalism, or anything seriously like it. It's anti-capitalistic.

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 4 months ago | (#47337003)

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

Re:So what you're saying... (1)

pudge (3605) | about 4 months ago | (#47338077)

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.

Big "if" (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 3 months ago | (#47326009)

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. Today, it means trying to lower your risk to zero. The Republican Party used to realize this, back in the trust-busting days. But now the trusts are funding the political power, so who's going to say no to them?

Competitive markets do not exist in nature. They only exist to the extent that you have government with the will to establish and enforce them.

Re:Big "if" (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 3 months ago | (#47326161)

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.

Re:Big "if" (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 4 months ago | (#47330421)

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".

Re:Big "if" (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 4 months ago | (#47331481)

Evolutionists

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

Re:Big "if" (1)

pudge (3605) | about 4 months ago | (#47333723)

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.

Re:Big "if" (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 4 months ago | (#47333923)

You don't know the half of it. I've even used skim milk on my Cheerios, where normally only half and half will do. It's how I keep my slim figure.

Re:Big "if" (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 4 months ago | (#47334055)

Sacrilege!

Re:Big "if" (1)

pudge (3605) | about 4 months ago | (#47336053)

You fucking asshole.

Re:Big "if" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47326201)

Why're you running away from answering a simple question, troll? http://linux.slashdot.org/comm... [slashdot.org]

Re:Big "if" (1)

Arker (91948) | about 3 months ago | (#47326615)

"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 is an aside.

"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."

This is a more telling point. A free market does require a functional legal system, and that is where we are extremely weak.

"Competitive markets do not exist in nature."

Sure they do. In any situation in which there are exchanges, they are either voluntary or forced. It's really a continuum, rather than a binary choice, but it's still true - to the degree that exchanges are voluntary they produce free-market results, to the extent they are coërced they produce rather different results.

Re:Big "if" (1)

pudge (3605) | about 4 months ago | (#47333767)

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 slow and costly.

Re:Big "if" (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 4 months ago | (#47334075)

Re:Big "if" (1)

pudge (3605) | about 4 months ago | (#47336039)

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.

Re:Big "if" (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 4 months ago | (#47336357)

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. :-)

Re:Big "if" (1)

pudge (3605) | about 4 months ago | (#47338035)

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.

I haven't seen the case strongly made. If you have a link, I'd be obliged. Stories I saw all handwaved at it.

You don't seem to understand that in modern America, "having rules and enforcing them" == "voter suppression".

But they are Republicans. Voter suppression is expected. It's OK.

Check the mirror and see if you don't notice a big ol' raaaaacist in there, or something. :-)

Only because I see YOU STANDING BEHIND ME. What the fuck, man?!?

Tell us you're an English professor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47343641)

Allegedly published (bullshit - self published) if you write like a retarded imbecile http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

"Run, Forrest: RUN!!!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47343647)

Why'd you run from answering 2 simple questions, troll? http://linux.slashdot.org/comm... [slashdot.org]

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