×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Capitalists Who Fear Change

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the great-band-names dept.

Music 297

bill_mcgonigle writes "In his essay 'Capitalists Who Fear Change,' author Jeffrey Tucker takes on 'wimps who don't want to improve.' From DMCA take-downs on 3D printing files to the constant refrain that every new form of music recording will 'kill music,' Mr. Tucker observes, 'Through our long history of improvement, every upgrade and every shift from old to new inspired panic. The biggest panic typically comes from the producers themselves who resent the way the market process destabilizes their business model.' He analyzes how the markets move the march of technology ever forward. He takes on patents, copyrights, tariffs, and protectionism of entrenched interests in general, with guarded optimism: 'The promise of the future is nothing short of spectacular — provided that those who lack the imagination to see the potential here don't get their way.'"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

297 comments

Spinning Jenny... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40377775)

...wouldn't be the worst electronic DJ name. Seems to elicit the same reaction in people.

Meanwhile back in the Neolithic... (4, Interesting)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | about 2 years ago | (#40377795)

Home farming is killing the hunting and gathering industries.

Re:Meanwhile back in the Neolithic... (5, Funny)

k6mfw (1182893) | about 2 years ago | (#40377831)

and another thing that is really devastating is painting on cave walls of last hunting expedition. Other cavemen will be able to learn from Ug's hunting tactics and Ug will go out of business!

Re:Meanwhile back in the Neolithic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40377955)

and another thing that is really devastating is painting on cave walls of last hunting expedition. Other cavemen will be able to learn from Ug's hunting tactics and Ug will go out of business!

We will add value, buying skins from the other hunters and making boots.

Re:Meanwhile back in the Neolithic... (3, Funny)

vux984 (928602) | about 2 years ago | (#40379059)

Meh, the last installment showed Ug getting eaten by a tiger.

While I'm sure other cavemen may take that lesson to heart, Ug's business is already taken care of.

Re:Meanwhile back in the Neolithic... (1)

Genda (560240) | about 2 years ago | (#40377943)

Damn these kids and their new-fangled Wheels... some poor bugger's gonna git run over I tell ya! In my day you jus slung you kill over your shoulder and drug it home like a man... then a saber tooth et ya both!!! That's the way its supposed to be done, these young whipper snappers... and there new fangled wheels.

Re:Meanwhile back in the Neolithic... (1)

codeAlDente (1643257) | about 2 years ago | (#40378063)

Those log rolling guys were sure pissed when the wheel and axle was invented. And you should have seen how the producers of the Flintstone-mobile rioted when the internal combustion engine came along. Not to mention those classical-music-pushing jerks who almost killed rock and roll. The list goes on and on. Damn producers!

There is a fundamental error (3, Insightful)

3seas (184403) | about 2 years ago | (#40377843)

fearing change is contrary to the genuine intent of capitalism. So it is in error to say capitalist are fearful of change. But control freaks... that's different.

Logical fallacy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40377899)

Meh, fallacy of equivocation here.

Re:Logical fallacy (4, Informative)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about 2 years ago | (#40378769)

No, actually, it's the "no true scotsman [logicalfallacies.info]" fallacy:

Assertion: No capitalist would fear change.

Counterexample: But these [examples listed] capitalists fear change.

Rebuttal: those are no true capitalists!

Re:There is a fundamental error (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40377903)

fearing change is contrary to the genuine intent of capitalism. So it is in error to say capitalist are fearful of change. But control freaks... that's different.

The title clearly says "Capitalists WHO fear change", not "Capitalists fear change".
Learn the difference.

Re:There is a fundamental error (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40377987)

Not really. Capitalism is based upon the selfish desire to make money. I have an iPhone I don't want... my goal is to sell it for as much money as I can get. Viceversa you want an iPhone but want it as cheaply as possible. We are both being selfish in our desires, but that's how capitalism works. Ironically it is through this selfishness that progress happens (you get your iPhone, and I get ~$300 to buy myself a shiny new android linux.... which gives some Chinese assembler a job).

Re:There is a fundamental error (4, Informative)

Internetuser1248 (1787630) | about 2 years ago | (#40378149)

This is a 'lies to children' explanation of capitalism. A more accurate definition is the ownership of capital, especially the means of production, by private interests.

Re:There is a fundamental error (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40378373)

That's not a coherent explanation, it's a list of things. What did you mean?

Re:There is a fundamental error (4, Insightful)

Loosifur (954968) | about 2 years ago | (#40378623)

That's not a coherent explanation, it's a list of things. What did you mean?

That's as coherent as it gets. Capitalism is an economic system wherein private interests own all capital, i.e. means of production. Means of production are things like tools, factories, etc., basically any durable good that is used to manufacture something else for profit. The definition doesn't get much simpler without losing some accuracy, so if you're having a hard time with it you might read a bit of basic economics.

Capitalism is based upon the selfish desire to make money.

Centrally-controlled socialist economies can also be based on the "selfish desire to make money." After all, they use the power of law and their ability to enforce laws with violence to remain the dominant (or only) economic actor. I always think it's funny that people see corporations as big, evil, monolithic robber-barons, but have no problem with an entire government controlling your access to resources with tanks and assault rifles. I mean, do you think your one vote has more impact on your happy smileville socialist government than my spending or not spending money on something has on a company?

Re:There is a fundamental error (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40378671)

You do realize that without the threat of force from the government, corporations and individual owners would have to employ vast armies in order to protect their property? Not something that would end well mind you...

Re:There is a fundamental error (3, Insightful)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about 2 years ago | (#40378921)

Well... it kind of happened. Only we called it feudalism. And, as far as we can see, it "ended" exactly where we are.

Re:There is a fundamental error (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40378785)

I mean, do you think your one vote has more impact on your happy smileville socialist government than my spending or not spending money on something has on a company?

if anything, it is about equal. i'd wager on the vote, however, when said industry has little to no competition,even a governement-granted monopoly (i.e. cable companies), or what seems like collusion (cell phone companies).

Re:There is a fundamental error (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#40378851)

I mean, do you think your one vote has more impact on your happy smileville socialist government than my spending or not spending money on something has on a company?

The major difference here is one person one vote vs one dollar one vote.

Re:There is a fundamental error (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40378923)

I've never met anyone who thought monolithic robber barons were bad but tyrannical 'socialist' governments were good. I have, however, met lots of people who thought both were bad but petty capitalism was good, and several of those also hold that everyone chipping in from the profits of our own labor was a good way to fund things like roads, schools, health care, and defense from those tyrannical robber barons and 'socialists'.

Re:There is a fundamental error (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40378407)

*whisper* ssshhh, don't speak so loud, these people don't want to know what capitalism is, they've been brainwashed all their lives to belive that "market" and "capitalism" are equivalent terms.

Re:There is a fundamental error (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#40378951)

They tried the government owning the means of production, in the name of the people. It didn't work out as well as you might have expected.

Re:There is a fundamental error (1)

value (2182292) | about 2 years ago | (#40378475)

Private ownership must be the critical part. Perhaps the entire capitalism can be derived from just private ownership. "Means of production" seems almost superficial.

Re:There is a fundamental error (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#40378895)

No, because other economic systems exist which are decidedly not capitalist, but which have some forms of private property on things other than means of production - e.g. feudalism or Marxist socialism.

Re:There is a fundamental error (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | about 2 years ago | (#40378913)

Private ownership must be the critical part. Perhaps the entire capitalism can be derived from just private ownership. "Means of production" seems almost superficial.

Not really. There are systems with private ownership of consumer goods, but where most or all of the means of production are controlled by the state.

Of course, it's rare to have privately-owned capital goods without privately-owned consumer goods. However, there are systems with some private ownership which are not capitalistic.

Re:There is a fundamental error (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#40378917)

As a side note, "capital" is (roughly speaking) a shorter synonym for "means of production", hence the name "capitalism".

Re:There is a fundamental error (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40378511)

that's it in the theoretical sense. But who really owns most of the "means of production"? corporations. Shareholders? You really still believe in that tooth fairy?

Re:There is a fundamental error (1)

Internetuser1248 (1787630) | about 2 years ago | (#40378821)

The tooth fairy? No. I was talking about the theoretical sense. If you want to talk about the reality of the world, please read my other post below and then you can pm me for further debate. Slashdot threads are not big enough for a real discussion of the current economic reality and it would be offtopic anyway.

Re:There is a fundamental error (1, Interesting)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | about 2 years ago | (#40379163)

A more accurate definition of capitalism consists of two basic things:
- right to private property
- free market

The entire capitalist system is defined by these two aspects alone. If a state grants every citizen the right to own stuff, and also buy and sell to whoever they see fit not only their stuff but also the stuff they make and the services they provide then we have a capitalist system.

Some implementations of a capitalist system may have some limits and restrictions (i.e., only a selected few can sell services as medical doctors, including prescribe drugs) but these two aspects, right to private property and a free market, are the basis of capitalism.

Re:There is a fundamental error (2)

Onymous Coward (97719) | about 2 years ago | (#40378009)

If I can continue to make lots of money by protecting the entrenched system, then the appropriate response is to put the brakes on change.

I think profit motive trumps progress, doesn't it? There isn't anything inherently profitable for all agents in allowing or encouraging change. Profit motive is the fundamental, wellspring value of the capitalist value system. Any other value is derived from that.

Re:There is a fundamental error (1, Interesting)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#40378167)

If I can continue to make lots of money by protecting the entrenched system, then the appropriate response is to put the brakes on change.

That's the socialist way; 'we won't allow you to sell a car because it will put the buggy-whip workers out of a job'.

In a free market, there will be a bazillion people trying to create new products that compete with yours, and some will be successful. 'Patents, copyrights, tariffs, and protectionism' are all government-created restrictions on trade, and would not exist in a free market.

Re:There is a fundamental error (2)

arose (644256) | about 2 years ago | (#40378631)

No, that's profit maximization. Stop trying to sweep the nasty sides of capitalism elsewhere.

Re:There is a fundamental error (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40378757)

That's the socialist way

Congratulations, you're an uneducated retard.

Re:There is a fundamental error (2)

turbidostato (878842) | about 2 years ago | (#40378919)

"In a free market, there will be a bazillion people trying to create new products that compete with yours, and some will be successful"

No, there will be a bazillion that will try. That some will success (on top of those already in the place) is mere wishful thinking (even if from time to time it becomes true).

"'Patents, copyrights, tariffs, and protectionism' are all government-created restrictions on trade"

No, they aren't. They are means, as are market analysis, commercials, r+d... that some can use to gain a hand on the market. Government and, more to the point, politicians, are just another trading object within a capitalist society.

"and would not exist in a free market."

Bullshit. In a free market politicians are as free as you to sell their labour to the best offer. And that's exactly what happens.

Re:There is a fundamental error (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#40378929)

I see you've learned your economic theory, including definition of socialism, from solid and well-regarded sources like "Atlas Shrugged".

Re:There is a fundamental error (1)

Internetuser1248 (1787630) | about 2 years ago | (#40378329)

The profit motive is not a value of capitalism, it is a mechanism whereby it's values are achieved. Specifically the core values of capitalism are economic growth, stability and yes, innovation. Profit is a tool used to motivate people to further these goals. With regard to the article and headline, the original doctrines of capitalism proposed by Adam Smith and others were designed in principle to avoid organisations like the RIAA from existing. The RIAA is in essence a cartel (officially illegal) representing an oligopoly, which a properly functioning capitalistic system should avoid. The argument could be made that the RIAA are not real capitalists, the word corporatist is probably more accurate. I am not defending capitalism here, but I am realistic in that I don't believe that capitalism is inherently evil, any more than communism or any other economic model. You can argue that capitalism is destructive and use the current system in the world as an example. You could also argue that the current system is not true capitalism. I don't care at all which of these opinions you hold and you shouldn't care which one I hold. The point we all agree on is that the current system has major problems that need to be addressed.

Re:There is a fundamental error (2)

turbidostato (878842) | about 2 years ago | (#40378963)

"the original doctrines of capitalism proposed by Adam Smith"

I read the "On the wealth of Nations..." and I have yet to see any doctrine. I see a theory on movements of capitals and wealth but no doctrine.

"...were designed in principle to avoid organisations like the RIAA from existing"

By the number of times Smith mentions the Bank of England and how it was a good influence to avoid the excesses of, say, the Scotish private bankers, I would say he would dissent.

Re:There is a fundamental error (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40378059)

Not really. The goal of a capitalist is to make money. If you are successful and at the head of your market then fear of change is natural, as change is not likely to benefit you. If on the other hand you are new and not yet established then change is likely to provide opportunites for advancement and is less likely to be feared.

Re:There is a fundamental error (1)

avandesande (143899) | about 2 years ago | (#40378083)

Recording industry has money invested in a business model and they are going to get as much money as possible from their investment as possible. It's dollars and cents, fear has nothing to do with it.

Re:There is a fundamental error (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 2 years ago | (#40378239)

Capitalims is not about change, is about getting profit. If you are getting it, and something change, you risk not getting it anymore. Of course, some people could get profits from changes, but if the people that have the big money see a risk on their profits, probably will act against change or lobby for laws to keep getting profits even if the new reality turns that obsolete.

Re:There is a fundamental error (3, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#40378251)

fearing change is contrary to the genuine intent of capitalism.

Nonsense. We've known for nearly a century that the true intent of capitalism was to put a nice cushion between the rich and the rest.

Even the most ardent capitalist apologists now admit that there are going to be a whole lot of people who just need to be cut loose. The only question left is how to keep the ones who miss the bus from cluttering up the view from the top.

Iron Law of Oligarchy (1)

Mystakaphoros (2664209) | about 2 years ago | (#40377851)

Luckily for the free market, innovation is what sabotages the Iron Law of Oligarchy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_law_of_oligarchy [wikipedia.org] Or at least it attempts to.

Re:Iron Law of Oligarchy (4, Interesting)

bhagwad (1426855) | about 2 years ago | (#40377925)

Can you imagine where we would be now if companies like the RIAA, AT&T, Time Warner and other big media/telecom firms had fully realized what the Internet would turn out to be like 20 years ago? I shudder to imagine what they would have made it instead of what it is now. I'm so grateful for their lack of imagination.

Re:Iron Law of Oligarchy (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 years ago | (#40378175)

It wouldn't really matter that much.

Me (and a circle of friends) trade music via fedex. It's just not reasonable to download a 1.7TByte music collection.

Piracy is a 'killer app'. There is more then one way to drown a litter of kittens.

What I really need is a music librarian app designed to merge/manage multi TByte music collections. Every time we run into another collection it's been sorted into different arbitrary folders (it's kind of necessary). I should get started.

Re:Iron Law of Oligarchy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40378575)

I'd recommend trying out the MusicBrainz database and the tagger Picard. Use that to retag a collection and allow the tagger to move files to appropriate folders. Granted, my collection is only about 700 gigs of personally-ripped flac. Their database enables me to be very consistent on everything.

I agree though. I'd love a good mega-music collection manager. I'd rather have one for e-books first, however.

Re:Iron Law of Oligarchy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40378981)

I tried those once.

At least with freedb once I manage to figure out that the right CDs are the ones in the Jazz category, everything is smooth sailing.

Using Picard/MusicBrainz, I never had the problem of having to figure out which cddb entry was the right one or deal with shitty cd rippers that don't let you preview the cddb info before it loads the track list (and even shitter rippers that refuse to let you pick a different one after you discover that your cd has the same track length as some toddler singalong shit (hi Grip!)). No, instead, I had to deal with it tagging the first disc off a collection as "CD1 - Album Name" "Artist / Track Name", then cd 2 would have been tagged as "Album Name [CD 2]" "Track Name/Artist" and cd 3 would be "Artist - 3 - Album Name" "Track # Track Name" and so on. There's absolutely no consistency AT ALL.

3D printing = proles own the means of production (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40377891)

Once the average home can contain everything needed to produce consumer items, there will be no more reason for big business.

Imagine a set of 3d printers, automated chemical labs, vapor-deposited chip fab in your garage. Maybe even a programmable genetic engineering machine and a computer controlled hydroponic garden to produce your food. You'd never go to the store again.

Re:3D printing = proles own the means of productio (1)

Genda (560240) | about 2 years ago | (#40378017)

Oh yeah, I can see mega-corporations just lining up for that future... trust me, if it come down to that, somebody will charge you the national debt for your data and your atomic feedstock. Just like they ream you now for oil. In fact the 3D printers will probably have some kind of draconian DRM ensuring you can only buy IP through the manufacturer so they get their slice every time you print. That or we put an end to corporate rule. Of course its a little late in the game for that move, and the corporations have already proven they're not above strangling us if we get nasty.

Re:3D printing = proles own the means of productio (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#40378185)

If you can build a car with a 3D printer you can also build a gun or a bomb, so they'll be banned.

Re:3D printing = proles own the means of productio (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 years ago | (#40378193)

Yeah, the proles will run all those machines, keep them running too.

Wait a second, aren't these the same people who can't make 'crew chief' at McDonald's? Never mind.

Re:3D printing = proles own the means of productio (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40378489)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proletariat

Anyone who doesn't own means of production is a "prole".

Re:3D printing = proles own the means of productio (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40378577)

wow dude you're an idiot hahahahaha

protip: you do not own the means of production. hope this helps, you stupid shit.

Producers? (4, Insightful)

yesterdaystomorrow (1766850) | about 2 years ago | (#40377897)

It's generally not the people who create things, make things, or provide useful services who fear change. They can adapt. But if you've spent your life's effort working your way into control of a particular set of cash registers, change is very threatening indeed.

not just the music industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40377971)

I've been in the tech industry a long time and I've seen the same fear of change in several generations of colleagues:

"No, the home PC will never catch on or become the dominant market force- look at all these things mainframes can do that PCs cannot." (Most of those folks lost their jobs as times changed and they didn't)

You see it now too, "No, mobile computing will never become the dominant market force - look at all these things my PC can do that those tablets cannot". (Those folks will either adapt with the times, or lose their jobs)

You even see it on Slashdot among the tech crowd, fear of change. "No, walled gardens will never become a dominant market force".... even as it becomes clear the general public WANTS walled gardens and will pay extra for them.

People in general fear change. Once they reach 25 or 30, they want things to keep on being like "the good old days". But that's not how the world has ever worked, and it won't start now.

Re:not just the music industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40378023)

Indeed:

http://www.inquisitr.com/76157/tablets-to-overtake-desktop-sales-by-2015-laptops-will-still-reign/

Rentseekers Fear Change : Capitalists are Jailed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40377977)

The people he describes are rentseekers, mercantalists, fascists, protectionists, etc. They are not capitalists in any meaningful sense of the term. It is near universal that a large fraction of society will seek to increase their wealth (or standard of living). That does not make them capitalists any more than the guy(s) burgling houses in our neighborhood.

I know this is semantics but he could have said "business people that fear change". The real capitalists are likely to be at odds with the law since so much is protected by trade (doctor, lawyers, hair styling), patent, or copyright.

Re:Rentseekers Fear Change : Capitalists are Jaile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40378109)

yes clearly the 'real capitalists' are the people without massive piles of money. oops, that's retarded, since a capitalist is, by definition, somebody who privately holds the means of production aka. 'capital.' sorry that you crybaby own-nothing petty bourgeois scum aren't getting your slice, but this does not somehow mean that you're the one true scotsman.

Re:Rentseekers Fear Change : Capitalists are Jaile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40378585)

When did Ayn Rand worship get out today?

Re:Rentseekers Fear Change : Capitalists are Jaile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40378925)

You are using the Marxist definition which is suspect. Capitalism is a political philosophy and it goes beyond simply owning stuff or capital. The anti-IP libertarians are furtherest on the right path. Rand did a good job but those at the helm of her namesake's organization have grabbed on to the worst of her ideas (e.g., they are overboard on IP as sancrosanct and way to pre-emptive on foreign policy).

Rather than thinking of capitalism as owning the means of production, it is more like owning the product of your own work. It is more complicated than owning a million dollar factory and assuming that only that factory - and those like it - can create value. If anything, you and Marx globbed onto a view of work and productivity that is very limited and not likely as dominant (unless one is unwilling to travel).

Re:Rentseekers Fear Change : Capitalists are Jaile (1)

turbidostato (878842) | about 2 years ago | (#40379033)

"The people he describes are rentseekers, mercantalists, fascists, protectionists, etc. They are not capitalists in any meaningful sense of the term."

No true Scotsman...

all of them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40377989)

all capitalists are afraid of any change which might lead to a real workers' democracy. there's a reason that capitalism and reactionary thinking are synonymous. hope this helps, slashdot!

And this is why federal government needs to shrink (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#40377995)

The larger the government is, the more is can be used as a cudgel to take down smaller competitors by big business.

Reduce regulation, reduce the power the federal government wields and inherently big business only has the power of whatever intellect they have multiplied by the money they have on hand.

The smaller government is the more small businesses will thrive.

Re:And this is why federal government needs to shr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40378101)

This is truly astounding! This post actually originated in a universe where history, economics, and human nature are totally different than they are in our reality!

Re:And this is why federal government needs to shr (5, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#40378103)

What regulations would you reduce? I hear that all the time but little to nothing in specifics except ways that put more power into corporate hands / push costs off on to the citizens of the country.

Re:And this is why federal government needs to shr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40378357)

Wow. I expect better from people on /. Do you even realize the sheer volume of legislation that is passed yearly on the federal level? The majority of that legislation is passed due to influence from corporate lobby groups and serve no purpose except to provide unfair advantages to large corporations. Do you really want a specific list of bill #s? It would be HUGE and I'm sure you wouldn't bother to read it.

Re:And this is why federal government needs to shr (3, Interesting)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#40378381)

No, a handful of high level suggestions would be useful. I rarely even get that. Though I am not surprised to get an offhand dismissal from an AC. That said, when people scream about "reducing regulation" it rarely has anything to do with bills that benefit corporations.

And I expect better from /. as well, which is why I'm baffled that the GGP got modded +4 with such an empty post.

Re:And this is why federal government needs to shr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40378721)

ok, so the answer is 'remove legislation which serves only to provide an advantage to 'large corporations' and 'rich people,'' not 'get rid of the minimum wage and dismantle the EPA so JOBS!!!! OK!!!!'

do you understand the difference here, or are you as much of an idiot as you seem to be?

Re:And this is why federal government needs to shr (2)

crow_t_robot (528562) | about 2 years ago | (#40378775)

Just name one. Name it and target it. You have to start somewhere. Nebulous comments about "shrinking government" without any kind of details is straight from the Fox News daily playbook.

Re:And this is why federal government needs to shr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40378897)

I would start with a repeal of the Federal Reserve. It is impossible to have a free market when your purchasing power can be stolen at will and given to large businesses. Without the Fed, all of the over reached banks would have gone bankrupt in 2008, therefore allowing the prudent smaller banks to fill the power void in banking. Instead, being prudent was punished while the very things they claim to dislike were rewarded.

Re:And this is why federal government needs to shr (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#40378713)

Pick any industry, and look up the number of regulations. The sheer number of them keeps some businesses from doing anything because of the cost of keeping track of being compliant.

The number alone, never mind any one regulation in particular, can easily keep smaller players out of the game.

So basically just reduce them by half. Any regulations, it doesn't really matter which ones - because they are mostly selectively enforced anyway whenever someone gets uppity.

Re:And this is why federal government needs to shr (3, Interesting)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#40378855)

Pick any industry, and look up the number of regulations. The sheer number of them keeps some businesses from doing anything because of the cost of keeping track of being compliant.

Unsubstantiated vagaries. I wanted one example, can you not even provide that? If you are so concerned, obviously you have specific examples you have selected as evidence for your case.

The number alone, never mind any one regulation in particular, can easily keep smaller players out of the game.

Such as? Let's go at this another way, name a company that has been shut down or kept out of a market because of regulations?

So basically just reduce them by half. Any regulations, it doesn't really matter which ones - because they are mostly selectively enforced anyway whenever someone gets uppity.

It does matter. Suggesting that you can just arbitrarily drop half the regulations in existence implies that no one rule has any more value than another, which is totally disingenuous.

Re:And this is why federal government needs to shr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40378955)

What regulations would you reduce?

Gutting the entire EPA to start would be a good place, then rebuilding the agency from the ground up. As it stands now, it's cost prohibitive to open new extraction industries in the US because of far-reaching 'environmental policies'.

Re:And this is why federal government needs to shr (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40378123)

+1
Most regulations are written by the megacorps to keep-out new upstarts.

Re:And this is why federal government needs to shr (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40378161)

wow what a stupid bunch of bilge. yes, clearly what we actually need to fix this country is to remove all of the protections workers have fought for over the last century and a half. allowing companies to shit in our water, fill our air with smog, and work people to death in unhealthy conditions will solve all of our problems and allow our kind lord and savior superkendall to finally make his first million. oops, i don't even need to refute that idiocy, you're wrong and you're way too white and comfortable to understand why.

Re:And this is why federal government needs to shr (4, Insightful)

Ironchew (1069966) | about 2 years ago | (#40378179)

Reducing government regulation only leaves a power vacuum that big players in the private sector (transnational corporations, etc.) would gladly fill. These new overlords would gladly oppress the public if it meant a secured source of profit, and they wouldn't have to worry about the pesky constitutional limitations our government operates under.

Reducing government influence is the same as reducing public influence. I don't want to return to the Gilded Age just for promises of a more efficient capitalism.

Re:And this is why federal government needs to shr (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40378597)

The smaller government is the more small businesses will thrive... Reduce regulation, reduce the power the federal government wields and inherently big business only has the power of whatever intellect they have multiplied by the money they have on hand.

This is a ridiculous assertion. It's like telling a mom and pop retailer, "Good news! You don't have to worry about those pesky regulations any more. Now go and unseat Wal-Mart, who just fired their entire facade of a regulatory compliance department after they bought a small down to dump their e-waste in for massive savings. They may have a monopoly on lots of products, a 230 billion dollar market cap, and more revenue than many small countries, but you've got your wily can-do spirit and $10,000 to spend. Go get 'em, tiger!"

Wal-Mart has literally sued to put a store on top of native burial grounds. They purposefully don't give employees enough hours, even at minimum wage, to earn health care benefits. Instead they train staff to teach them how to use government programs to make ends meet. Wal-Mart, and most large corporations, don't give a damn about people. In the small government paradise of the late 19th Century, big businesses simply had people murdered for interfering with their operations. UCC, now a Dow subsidiary, killed 20,000 people in India and still don't want to pay for the resulting costs to the community. Cigarette manufacturers killed millions of people for decades before they admitted they were selling cancerous poison. And then they tried to start marketing their product to children, and they still do in South America where governments don't have the resources to combat them.

So, I call bullshit on the justice of small government. In most cases we need better government acting in the interests of the majority, not less government letting corporations plunder with impunity.

Re:And this is why federal government needs to shr (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#40378685)

And since Wal-Mart continues to do what they do, obviously regulations are not hurting them.

Let smaller competitors compete.

Re:And this is why federal government needs to shr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40379205)

The point is regulations SHOULD hurt them. They are parasites who couldn't survive unless they abused the social safety nets designed for people who need basic necessities, not for corporations to co-opt to save money on labor costs. We should impose actual regulations instead of eliminating government regulations that somewhat reign them in. Again, the answer is effective regulation, not zero regulation.

Re:And this is why federal government needs to shr (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#40378973)

inherently big business only has the power of whatever intellect they have multiplied by the money they have on hand.

i.e. still much more than new players. Enough to erect nearly insurmountable barriers to entry, in fact.

The trick is rather to not let big business control the government, but to ensure that it works in the interest of society as a whole. Which is achieved by making it less corrupt and more transparent. Which may require downsizing it in some aspects, but certainly not for the sake of the mythical free market.

Re:And this is why federal government needs to shr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40379061)

Disagree. A government which regulates in the interests of the people will prevent big businesses from engaging in anti-competitive behavior and THAT helps small businesses thrive. What we have is a government that does not act in the best interests of the people, but instead helps big business erect barriers to entry against small businesses. Shrink the government and the problem remains because now the large megacorps can get their own way anyway. The solution is to reform government, make it the right size, and make it act in OUR interests.

Capitalism is a game where it's in everybody's interest if nobody actually ultimately wins, since "winning" means rent-seeking monopolies.

Re:And this is why federal government needs to shr (1)

turbidostato (878842) | about 2 years ago | (#40379077)

"The larger the government is, the more is can be used as a cudgel to take down smaller competitors by big business."

Quite true.

And then, the shorter the government is, the easier is for big business to crush new competitors before they become a real menace.

"Reduce regulation, reduce the power the federal government wields and inherently big business only has the power of whatever intellect they have multiplied by the money they have on hand."

Which is still orders of magnitude bigger than the intellect multiplied by the money of any little business.

Do you want a really short government with minimal regulation? Look at basically any third world country: they perfectly fit the bill. And as an added bonus you will see how good it would end up.

Stupid (1)

DogDude (805747) | about 2 years ago | (#40378043)

What a stupid article/essay/book excerpt. When things are going well for people, they don't want things to change. Really? Wow. Color me shocked by such deep insight.

Two types of "Capitalists" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40378099)

There's 2 types of capitalists. The first is the kind that ascribes to privately (or publicly through stock) held businesses and generating wealth through that. These are generally companies and industry groups that want everything for themselves and aspire to monopolize any industry and stave off anything that would lower their own profits.

The second type of capitalist is those that hold to the scientific theory of capitalism, which is a theory or rather set of theories that describe not how wealth is generated and moves around. These are generally economists, who describe what is going to happen to happen (people are self centered) and how to make it work the best for everyone instead of just a few (free trade, break up monopolies, etc.)

The two are often conflated because they fall under the same broad term "capitalist". And for the sake of clarity there really ought to be a way to differentiate the two so the general public doesn't keep getting them messed up.

Re:Two types of "Capitalists" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40378215)

why do you think you're allowed to break up monopolies? owning an entire chain of production and the sole rights to sell what you sell is the best way to make money hand-over-foot and if you think you can just walk all over that you're obviously an idiot social communist nazi muslim.

not really capitolists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40378247)

if they were really capitalists, they would want to make money. Instead, they stick to a failing system of distribution and artificial scarcity. If they would lower prices, embrace new media, and add value they would just about kill piracy and make more money than ever,

Duh (4, Insightful)

rrohbeck (944847) | about 2 years ago | (#40378349)

The incumbents prefer the status quo because that's where they make their money. If you're entrenched then change is bad.
Now apply this premise to fossil fuel companies.

Re:Duh (1)

evil_aaronm (671521) | about 2 years ago | (#40378641)

Well said, particularly the use of "incumbents." No one currently in power wants to see change. That goes for:

- Pols in DC
- Fat-cats in charge of *AA
- Leaders of N. Korea
- Saudi royals
- Owners of the successful local coffee shop
- Local school board president
- Football booster club president
- etc.

Oingo Boingo Says... (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 2 years ago | (#40378423)

There's nothing wrong with Capitalism
There's nothing wrong with free enterprise
Don't try to make me feel guilty
I'm so tired of hearing you cry

There's nothing wrong with making some profit
If you ask me I'll say it's just fine
There's nothing wrong with wanting to live nice
I'm so tired of hearing you whine
About the revolution
Bringin' down the rich
When was the last time you dug a ditch, baby!

If it ain't one thing
Then it's the other
Any cause that crosses your path
Your heart bleeds for anyone's brother
I've got to tell you you're a pain in the ass

You criticize with plenty of vigor
You rationalize everything that you do
With catchy phrases and heavy quotations
And everybody is crazy but you

You're just a middle class, socialist brat
From a suburban family and you never really had to work
And you tell me that we've got to get back
To the struggling masses (whoever they are)
You talk, talk, talk about suffering and pain
Your mouth is bigger than your entire brain
What the hell do you know about suffering and pain . . .

(Repeat first verse)

(Repeat chorus)

There's nothing wrong with Capitalism
There's nothing wrong with Capitalism
There's nothing wrong with Capitalism
There's nothing wrong with Capitalism

(Nothing about fearing change, so if we utilize Danny Elfman as a pundit, we can anticipate that in the future 3d printers will be involved in the production of large corporations, brick by brick and Mr. Tucker will take on the wimps one at a time in a fabricated Rock-em-sock-em-robots ring, printed lifesize with a GNU print file.
I actually agree with the author, but felt that preaching to the choir would make boring conversation)

The lead runner always fears change. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40378701)

The lead runner always fears change.

I wonder (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#40379013)

This is firmly in the conspiracy theory territory (so go fetch your tinfoil hat), but I do wonder sometimes about how many promising scientists and engineers working in appropriate fields around the world "accidentally" die or have their lives ruined every year to ensure that the Universal Constructor is built later rather than sooner...

Makes sense to me (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 2 years ago | (#40379167)

Folks like the RIAA and MPAA are at the top of the heap. The way things were 10 years ago, if you wanted music or movies you would likely obtain it from a RIAA/MPAA-approved source. Yes, there was indie stuff, but "nobody" bought from there. (Where "nobody" = a very tiny segment of the population... small enough to ignore.)

Then change came and threatened to shift the heap. Where would the RIAA/MPAA end up? Perhaps they wouldn't really move and would weather the change just fine. Perhaps they would find that the heap grew and they were even higher up (bigger profits). The more likely scenario, though, would be that they'd no longer be at the top of the heap. This scared them and they went to great lengths to prevent change from coming lest they lose their "King of the Heap" status.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...