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The Free Speech Thread - Page 9

post #321 of 361

How Obama Came to Be the Biggest Defender of Indefinite Detention

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #322 of 361

Its amazing that there are so many on the right who are against Obama... when his administration is pretty much Bush-Cheney III, but with the "Democrat" brand name. I guess that anyone sporting such a brand is going to pacify all those trusting, doe-eyed liberals into thinking that "everything's fine now, we can stop being active and get on with our lives".

"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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post #323 of 361

This commentary was interesting all on its own:

 

"Care about the Poor? Consider Consequences"

 

But especially interesting was this bit in light of the attitude expressed by a handful of posters in this forum:

 

 

Quote:
I had perhaps the best interaction with Mystal, with whom I had interesting chats throughout the day. Mystal’s response to my proposal was basically that poor and minority students need help, and phasing out federal aid would disproportionately hurt them. It was an argument with which I could sympathize, and it made more sense than just proclaiming “college education is a public good and should basically be free.” Unfortunately, writing on his blog post-debate, Mystal said that my “view makes a certain kind of sense” but nonetheless smacks of “the classic, Republican ‘f**k ‘em’ approach that disproportionately screws the poor and minorities.”
 
Um, ouch. Ascribing callousness or cruelty to either me or Republicans because we don’t like the negative effects of aid is, frankly, precisely why we can’t have a reasoned debate about these things. Maybe I’m an exceptionally gifted multi-tasker, or maybe I’ve just contemplated some important logic and facts, but I can be against mega-inflation without being indifferent to the poor. Indeed, quite the opposite.

 

This is a common problem. You can't have a reasoned, civil discussion when things go like this:

 

Where X is something intended to (or actually does) help group Y.

 

A: X has negative consequences that exceed the benefits it provides.

B: You don't care about Y*.

 

Or...

 

Where X is something the state is doing that's intended to (or actually does) help group Y.

 

A: X could be done better in the private market.

B: You don't care about Y*.

 

*Depending on the person "You don't care about Y" might be replaced by something like: "You're just a fucking selfish, greedy Randian asshole who doesn't care and won't even do what (I think) Jesus says to do."


Edited by MJ1970 - 10/23/12 at 7:42am

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post #324 of 361
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

This commentary was interesting all on its own:

 

"Care about the Poor? Consider Consequences"

 

But especially interesting was this bit in light of the attitude expressed by a handful of posters in this forum:

 

 

 

This is a common problem. You can't have a reasoned, civil discussion when things go like this:

 

Where X is something intended to (or actually does) help group Y.

 

A: X has negative consequences that exceed the benefits it provides.

B: You don't care about Y*.

 

Or...

 

Where X is something the state is doing that's intended to (or actually does) help group Y.

 

A: X could be done better in the private market.

B: You don't care about Y*.

 

*Depending on the person "You don't care about Y" might be replaced by something like: "You're just a fucking selfish, greedy Randian asshole who doesn't care and won't even do what (I think) Jesus says to do."

 

I've always loved the argument about what Jesus would do.  Liberals love to throw this up as if it's the most obvious fallacy of conservatism that could be cited.  The problem with this is that charity, what I assume they are talking about in terms of Jesus, is entirely determined by the intent of the giver.  TAKING money from people to help the less fortunate is NOT charity.  You could call it compassionate, or you could equally call it thievery.

 

If given the option of being taxed $1000 or giving that amount to charity, I would choose the charity every time.  The reason is simple...  In giving it to a charity I actually have some say in how my charitable giving is being utilized.  If I want to support an organization that provides services to women such as shelters, birth control, and healthcare support I can find numerous organizations that don't violate my personal belief against abortion.  However if I get TAXED this money, even if it goes to a similar cause, it would likely go to an organization that does provide abortion services such as Planned Parenthood.

 

Charity is the act of giving, not enduring something being taken from you.

post #325 of 361

Obama Has Taken the Cult of the Presidency to a Whole New Level

 

 

Quote:
As I explain in my new ebook, "False Idol," "No federal chief executive in recent memory has done as much as the 'Yes We Can' president to stir Americans' longing for presidential salvation; nor has any recent president done quite as much to enhance the presidency's dominance over American life."
 
In an important new article for Newsweek, "President Obama's Executive Power Grab," Andrew Romano and Daniel Klaidman note that Obama has "expand[ed] his domestic authority in ways that his predecessor never did." Frustrated by congressional resistance to his agenda, he's pursued "government by waiver," reshaping welfare, education and immigration law via royal dispensations and decrees.
 
"Obama is drafting a playbook for future presidents to deploy in response: How to Get What You Want Even If Congress Won't Give It to You," Romano and Klaidman write. The result is an "extraconstitutional arms race of sorts: a new normal that habitually circumvents the legislative process envisioned by the Framers."

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #326 of 361

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #327 of 361

This reminds me of Sen. Fulbirght's notion that the President should be our "moral teacher and leader," a notion derided by Ronald Reagan.  

I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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post #328 of 361

We Support Gay Marriage but Oppose Forcing People to Support It

 

This is similar* to what I've been trying to get folks to see about the State's involvement in marriage at all. The push for State "granting" the right to same-gender marriages is about forcing everyone to recognize these.

 

 

*My personal position is slightly different: I'm personally opposed to same-gender marriage, I believe marriage was defined by God as a union between one man and one woman. I don't believe I have any right to restrict anyone from "marrying" whomever they wish (assuming valid consent of all parties.) But I also don't believe anyone should be forced to recognize and/or accommodate such marriages personally or in their businesses or other organizations and I would not limit that to merely artist expression situations like the one in the linked article.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #329 of 361

According to your worldview, we are currently forcing everyone to recognize hetero marriage.  It would be far easier to toss one more stone onto a mountain by also forcing recognition of same-sex marriage than it would be to dismantle the entire mountain.  You argument continues to boil down to, "It's okay to let grave injustices exist as long as I yell at the mountain loud enough and attempt to stir up support to move it."  

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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post #330 of 361
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

According to your worldview, we are currently forcing everyone to recognize hetero marriage.  

 

Are there people who don't want to recognize hetero marriage?  I'm being serious.  

 

 

 

Quote:
It would be far easier to toss one more stone onto a mountain by also forcing recognition of same-sex marriage than it would be to dismantle the entire mountain.  You argument continues to boil down to, "It's okay to let grave injustices exist as long as I yell at the mountain loud enough and attempt to stir up support to move it."  

 

The problem here is that you assume that not recognizing same sex marriage is a "grave injustice," tantamount to slavery or preventing interracial marriage.  You then attack anyone who challenges your assumption.  But there are a lot of people who don't share your view, including many civil rights leaders.  

I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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post #331 of 361

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #332 of 361

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #333 of 361

Since this is the Free Speech Thread...

 

 

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #334 of 361

Are we living in the Hunger Games?

 

 

Quote:
We don't live in The Hunger Games yet, but I'm not the first to notice that Washington, D.C., is doing a lot better than the rest of the country. Even in upscale parts of L.A. or New York, you see boarded up storefronts and other signs that the economy isn't what it used to be. But not so much in the Washington area, where housing prices are going up, fancy restaurants advertise $92 Wagyu steaks, and the Tyson's Corner mall outshines -- as I can attest from firsthand experience -- even Beverly Hills' famed Rodeo Drive.
 
Meanwhile, elsewhere, the contrast is even starker. As Adam Davidson recently wrote in The New York Times, riding the Amtrak between New York and D.C. exposes stark contrasts between the "haves" of the capital and the have-nots outside the Beltway. And he correctly assigns this to the importance of power.
 
Washington is rich not because it makes valuable things, but because it is powerful. With virtually everything subject to regulation, it pays to spend money influencing the regulators. As P.J. O'Rourke famously observed: "When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators."

 

 

Quote:
No, it's not a sign of health. And it's no coincidence that our lawmakers have weathered the recession better than America has.
 
It's a sign of illness. And it's exactly the illness that federalism and limited national government -- something I wrote about in the context of secession-talk last week -- was designed to prevent. The reason this approach isn't working any more is that we're not following it.

 

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #335 of 361

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #336 of 361
Is the government removing anyone's ability to choose a private option?

By the way, I totally oppose all farm subsidies including the ethanol lie. Mostly it's the Republicans who support them.
post #337 of 361

The Republicans support anything that makes more money.The farmers are making money on  these subsidies do not kid yourself.
 

post #338 of 361
post #339 of 361
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Is the government removing anyone's ability to choose a private option?
By the way, I totally oppose all farm subsidies including the ethanol lie. Mostly it's the Republicans who support them.

 

 

It has nothing to do with party, just location.

post #340 of 361

Oh. My. God.

 

I fear this is exactly the way liberals think.

 

How do you deal with people whose entire mindset is built on falsehoods, fallacies and caricatures?

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #341 of 361
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Is the government removing anyone's ability to choose a private option?
By the way, I totally oppose all farm subsidies including the ethanol lie. Mostly it's the Republicans who support them.

 

LOL

 

Hey look...a FACT.    

I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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post #342 of 361

Regardless of tonton's made-up claim above, I do agree about "the ethanol lie."  Ethanol is an inefficient fuel compared to gasoline.  It also results in rising corn prices, which move their way through the food supply chain.  

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post #343 of 361
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Regardless of tonton's made-up claim above, I do agree about "the ethanol lie."  Ethanol is an inefficient fuel compared to gasoline.  It also results in rising corn prices, which move their way through the food supply chain.  

 

Really corn subsidies should be completely ended. Period.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #344 of 361
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Is the government removing anyone's ability to choose a private option?
By the way, I totally oppose all farm subsidies including the ethanol lie. Mostly it's the Republicans who support them.

 

LOL

 

Hey look...a FACT.    


I stand corrected. The political tide has been shifted, and the Dems have been duped by the ethanol lie, posturing to support "clean energy" (which Ethanol is not).

 

I will write my congressman on this one. I agree with MJ, the subsidies need to be cut, as it's a waste.

post #345 of 361
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Regardless of tonton's made-up claim above, I do agree about "the ethanol lie."  Ethanol is an inefficient fuel compared to gasoline.  It also results in rising corn prices, which move their way through the food supply chain.  

 

Really corn subsidies should be completely ended. Period.


Agree.

post #346 of 361

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #347 of 361
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Is America (the U.S.) too big?

 

Yes.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #348 of 361
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

[URL=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded

Yes.
Yet... The conservatives scream, "Expansion! Growth! Big families!"
post #349 of 361
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Yet... The conservatives scream, "Expansion! Growth! Big families!"

 

What the **** are you babbling about and to whom?!

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #350 of 361

The Market is a Moral Teacher:

 

Quote:
Deirdre McCloskey, Distinguished Professor of Economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, says: "Capitalism has not corrupted the spirit. On the contrary, had capitalism not enriched the world by a cent nonetheless its bourgeois, antifuedal [sic] virtues would have made us better people than in the world we have lost. As a system it has been good for us."

 

Quote:
if markets...
 
...are given a chance to flourish, we will grow wealthier, healthier, better connected with far flung relatives and friends, better educated, better behaved, more generous, more compassionate, more tolerant, more trusting, and more just. The market will deliver cures for cancer and new, post–crude oil, energy sources. If allowed to flourish, the market will also make us better connected and more virtuous.

 

Quote:
If an individual wants to be successful in the marketplace, he or she must be concerned for others. You’re not going to get very far if you don’t think about other people when you engage in marketplace activity.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #351 of 361

That's a utopian view of the market, similar to to how the right criticizes Communism and Socialism as relying upon a utopian view of human behaviour. Yes, the market sponsors initiative and innovation, but the observed reality is that corporations left to their own devices strive to protect and grow their market share with the aim of achieving dominance, with a monopoly being the desired end state.

 

Capital has gravitational mass. The more capital you have, the more capital you can accumulate. As power in a capitalist system is relative to the amount of capital you have, power rests with the rich. No one uses the phrase "the poor and powerful". And those in power rarely take decisions that disadvantage them.

 

Smith defined a "free market" as being where buyer and seller meet on equal terms, where the transaction is not effected by external influences nor effects the external environment. So in a world of advertising, there can be no free market. In a world where supermarkets with massive buying power can dictate to suppliers the purchase price there can be no free market. In a world where a corporation can pollute the environment to produce a product there can be no free market.

 

Capitalism also depends upon continuous growth. The only analog with that in the natural world is cancer.

post #352 of 361
Quote:
Originally Posted by groakes View Post

That's a utopian view of the market

 

1oyvey.gif No it is not. But thanks for playing.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by groakes View Post

Yes, the market sponsors initiative and innovation, but the observed reality is that corporations left to their own devices strive to protect and grow their market share with the aim of achieving dominance, with a monopoly being the desired end state.

 

Of course the only way they are truly able to achieve such monopoly is by assistance from the state.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by groakes View Post

Capital has gravitational mass. The more capital you have, the more capital you can accumulate. As power in a capitalist system is relative to the amount of capital you have, power rests with the rich. No one uses the phrase "the poor and powerful". And those in power rarely take decisions that disadvantage them.

 

Yes, generally true. But what is your point?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by groakes View Post

Smith defined a "free market" as being where buyer and seller meet on equal terms, where the transaction is not effected by external influences nor effects the external environment.

 

While Smith was insightful in many ways, he was also wrong in some. The labor theory of value comes to mind. Your claim here is possibly another. But I'd have to examine the actual text to know whether what you're claiming is true or not.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by groakes View Post

So in a world of advertising, there can be no free market. In a world where supermarkets with massive buying power can dictate to suppliers the purchase price there can be no free market.

 

Don't be ridiculous. You sound downright foolish now.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by groakes View Post

In a world where a corporation can pollute the environment to produce a product there can be no free market.

 

One of the necessary conditions for a true free market is a strong private property rights regime. Pollution is, ultimately, a property rights issue that could be adjudicated as such.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by groakes View Post

Capitalism also depends upon continuous growth. The only analog with that in the natural world is cancer.

 

And you sound even more foolish now.

 

1rolleyes.gif

 

Next time come with your "A" game please.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #353 of 361
You sound foolish. Ah, the classic "it's self-evident you are a dumbass" retort. Would you accept that response as a rebuttal to your arguments?

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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post #354 of 361
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

You sound foolish. Ah, the classic "it's self-evident you are a dumbass" retort. Would you accept that response as a rebuttal to your arguments?


Yeah well, I didn't see a single rebuttal. There was a lot of "no, you're wrong" and some pointless name calling. But no rebuttal or even an argument...

 

The nearest thing to an argument was the line:

"Of course the only way they are truly able to achieve such monopoly is by assistance from the state."

Which is a ludicrous supposition particularly when MJ agrees with my point on the gravitational mass of capital.

post #355 of 361
Quote:
Originally Posted by groakes View Post


Yeah well, I didn't see a single rebuttal. There was a lot of "no, you're wrong" and some pointless name calling. But no rebuttal or even an argument...

 

When you make claims mostly of opinion there's not much to do in the way of rebuttal.

 

  • Utopian view? Opinion.
  • Unsupported monopoly claim? Addressed.
  • Unsupported claim of the gravitational mass of capital? Clarification of your point requested but not supplied.
  • Unsupported (and, frankly, irrelevant) claim of what Adam Smith said? Addressed.
  • Unsupported advertising and mass buying power claim? Well, yeah...I was getting tired from the previous ones. But this was a particularly ridiculous claim on a couple levels. First, is the implication that consumers are simply mindless drones susceptible to whatever advertisers tell them to do. There's plenty to indicate this a actually not true at all and that, over time, consumers actually become more savvy and skeptical of marketing and advertising claims. Second, the large scale buying power sometimes conveys advantage but this is often fairly short-lived as things like innovation frequently moves the mass buyer of what's valuable today to the also-ran more quickly than you imagine. In a free market there are constantly developing threats to this kind of market dominance and "power" that keep it in check.
  • Unsupported cancer growth claim? Same here. Figured you weren't really a serious student of markets and economics by this point. Capitalism doesn't "require constant growth" per se. It creates growth. You have it exactly backwards. The free market creates regular and consistent growth in wealth, prosperity and general standards of living. Further, there's nothing whatsoever to suggest that your cancer analogy is in any way applicable.
  • Pollution claim? Addressed.

 

The fact is that you simply rattled off the standard (confused and poorly informed) leftist talking points about the free market without actually providing any support for these claims. You thought you'd sound like you knew what you were talking about by invoking Adam Smith (as if he were the last word in economic and mark understanding) and using made up, impressive sounding but ill-defined, phrases like "gravitational mass of capital" and superficially correct sounding concepts like "capitalism requires constant growth" (like cancer) and make it appear as if you've given the whole subject a great deal of deep thought and analysis. In the end you simply sound like a re-warmed Marx with his fairly vacuous "analysis" of the market and what he called capitalism.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by groakes View Post

 

The nearest thing to an argument was the line:

"Of course the only way they are truly able to achieve such monopoly is by assistance from the state."

Which is a ludicrous supposition particularly when MJ agrees with my point on the gravitational mass of capital.

 

It's not a ludicrous supposition at all. What's ludicrous is the base supposition is that the supposed "gravitational mass" of capital will lead to and maintain monopoly. This is an unsupported claim. Yet there is plenty of evidence that monopolies or effective monopolies are established and/or maintained by the state.


Edited by MJ1970 - 5/10/13 at 7:51am

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post #356 of 361
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by groakes View Post


Yeah well, I didn't see a single rebuttal. There was a lot of "no, you're wrong" and some pointless name calling. But no rebuttal or even an argument...

 

When you make claims mostly of opinion there's not much to do in the way of rebuttal.

 

  • Utopian view? Opinion.
  • Unsupported monopoly claim? Addressed.
  • Unsupported claim of the gravitational mass of capital? Clarification of your point requested but not supplied.
  • Unsupported (and, frankly, irrelevant) claim of what Adam Smith said? Addressed.
  • Unsupported advertising and mass buying power claim? Well, yeah...I was getting tired from the previous ones.
  • Unsupported cancer growth claim? Same here. Figured you weren't really a serious student of markets and economics by this point.
  • Pollution claim? Addressed.

 

The fact is that you simply rattled off the standard (confused and poorly informed) leftist talking points about the free market without actually providing any support for these claims. You thought you'd sound like you knew what you were talking about by invoking Adam Smith (as if he were the last word in economic and mark understanding) and using made up, impressive sounding but ill-defined, phrases like "gravitational mass of capital" and superficially correct sounding concepts like "capitalism requires constant growth" (like cancer) and make it appear as if you've given the whole subject a great deal of deep thought and analysis. In the end you simply sound like a re-warmed Marx with his fairly vacuous "analysis" of the market and what he called capitalism.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by groakes View Post

 

The nearest thing to an argument was the line:

"Of course the only way they are truly able to achieve such monopoly is by assistance from the state."

Which is a ludicrous supposition particularly when MJ agrees with my point on the gravitational mass of capital.

 

It's not a ludicrous supposition at all. What's ludicrous is the base supposition is that the supposed "gravitational mass" of capital will lead to and maintain monopoly. This is an unsupported claim. Yet there is plenty of evidence that monopolies or effective monopolies are established and/or maintained by the state.

 

I know that you believe strongly in a completely free market, but you really do run the risk of simply being dismissive rather than addressing the points.  For example, you started by quoting McCloskey, with no reasoned defense of her position, and then dismissed a quote from Smith with no reasoned argument other than an assertion that he was wrong about other things.  And if one substitutes the word "idealized" for "Utopian", which I think is what was meant, then the observation deserves consideration.

 

Anyway, on the issue of the benefits and limitations of the free-market model, I think there are still questions to answer.  I find it easier to consider in mathematical terms, which, despite the overall complexity of economics as a whole, can be used to describe some of the more macroscopic trends.  If one starts by considering a system defined, initially, as an arbitrary market of total size S comprising an ensemble of N similarly sized trading entities with similar individual investment (c) and individual profit (p), total market profit P, an adjustable function p = f(c), an entity growth source term that increases monotonically with the second derivative of profit with investment, d²p/dc², and a stability criterion that dQ/dN ≧ 0 (normalized total market profit, QP/S, does not increase with decreasing number of trading entities), then one can perform a crude perturbation study on that system.  If we restrict the adjustable function to a couple of simple classes then the outcomes are quite straightforward to visualize.

 

For example, suppose that conditions obtain such that profit is a positive, linear function of investment (p = kc), so that the first derivative of profit with investment is constant and the second derivative is zero (dp/dc = k, d²p/dc² = 0) .  If one doubles the investment then one doubles the profit.  A consequence of this is that perturbing the market by slightly changing the relative sizes of the trading entities does not change Q, since a collection of n smaller companies makes the same profit as a single larger entity that is n times the size of the smaller ones and total market profit is just linearly dependent on total market size. So dQ/dN = 0 and the stability criterion is satisfied.  There is no market incentive for the number of trading entities to decrease, and I think that is one basis for the "idealized" concept of the free market referred to previously.

 

However, we know that to be an unrealistic function since, for many (most?) kinds of business (below market saturation), profit is a non-linear function of investment ((dp/dc is not a constant) due to many factors and, to be specific, the second derivative of profit with investment is generally positive (d²p/dc² > 0).  This leads to a positive growth term, and the trading entities will tend to get larger.  That, in itself, is not a problem while the total market is unconstrained (demand exceeds supply). With the additional constraints imposed by stochastic variations in growth rate (natural fluctuations) together with supply and demand in a finite market, then once supply has caught up with demand, entity growth can only proceed either by merger, takeover or by driving smaller competitors out of business by using lower costs to drive down market prices.  Specifically, with d²p/dc² > 0 and no other constraints, dQ/dN goes negative, and the market is unstable to entity size perturbations until N reaches unity - its minimum obtainable value. N = 1 is, of course, the definition of a monopoly.

 

If one accepts this analysis (and the trends it predicts do not seem inconsistent with market observations), then it raises a couple of obvious questions: (1) is this undesirable and (2) what prevents the N = 1 solution - is it factors overlooked in the analysis, deviation (in reality) from the pure free-market model or a combination of the two?

 

post #357 of 361
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

  • Unsupported advertising and mass buying power claim? Well, yeah...I was getting tired from the previous ones. But this was a particularly ridiculous claim on a couple levels. First, is the implication that consumers are simply mindless drones susceptible to whatever advertisers tell them to do. There's plenty to indicate this a actually not true at all and that, over time, consumers actually become more savvy and skeptical of marketing and advertising claims. Second, the large scale buying power sometimes conveys advantage but this is often fairly short-lived as things like innovation frequently moves the mass buyer of what's valuable today to the also-ran more quickly than you imagine. In a free market there are constantly developing threats to this kind of market dominance and "power" that keep it in check.

 

Of course! Advertising and marketing are ineffective. That's why corporations have given up on it and advertising revenues are dropping through the floor! So I wonder why, for example, pharmaceutical companies spend more on advertising and marketing than they do on research?

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

 

As for short lived buying power, tell that to a farmer...

 

http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2013/3/19/food-and-beverages/food-manufacturers-complain-about-coles-woolworths

 

Quote:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by groakes View Post

Yes, the market sponsors initiative and innovation, but the observed reality is that corporations left to their own devices strive to protect and grow their market share with the aim of achieving dominance, with a monopoly being the desired end state.

 

Of course the only way they are truly able to achieve such monopoly is by assistance from the state.

 

"Assistance from the State"... In the case of the television media in the US, state assistance has come in the form of deregulation - Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush Jnr (and to a degree Obama) all passed bills that deregulated the US broadcast market. The impact of that deregulation has been the ongoing consolidation of media ownership into large and more powerful corporations. GE, Disney, News Corp, Viacom, Time Warner....This has directly impacted on the quality and impartiality of the mainstream media news coverage. As Lachlan Murdoch, heir apparent to Papa Rupert's News Corp empire, put it - the single objective of News Corporation is to make a profit. So by implication, NOT to fairly report the news.

 

Not that such things are limited to News Corp. In 1996 when Roberta Baskin reported on abuse of workers at Nike factories in Vietnam it unleashed a storm of protest against Nike. Follow up stories were quashed however, as CBS required Nike sponsorship for coverage of the 18th Winter Olympics....

post #358 of 361
Thread Starter 

"Jeff Olson, the 40-year-old man who is being prosecuted for scrawling anti-megabank messages on sidewalks in water-soluble chalk last year now faces a 13-year jail sentence. A judge has barred his attorney from mentioning freedom of speech during trial.

According to the San Diego Reader, which reported on Tuesday that a judge had opted to prevent Olson’s attorney from "mentioning the First Amendment, free speech, free expression, public forum, expressive conduct, or political speech during the trial,” Olson must now stand trial for on 13 counts of vandalism. 

In addition to possibly spending years in jail, Olson will also be held liable for fines of up to $13,000 over the anti-big-bank slogans that were left using washable children's chalk on a sidewalk outside of three San Diego, California branches of Bank of America, the massive conglomerate that received $45 billion in interest-free loans from the US government in 2008-2009 in a bid to keep it solvent after bad bets went south."

http://rt.com/usa/california-man-13-prison-banks-237/

We are nurturing a nightmare that will haunt our children, and kill theirs.
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We are nurturing a nightmare that will haunt our children, and kill theirs.
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post #359 of 361

All this fashionable talk of the "free market", but is there really a example of such? I have never seen one... not even my local farmers' market lives up to this utopian ideal. The use of the phrase seems more of a (psychologically slanted) ploy to get the masses to equate/knee-jerk capitalism with freedom/liberty. 

"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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post #360 of 361
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Are there people who don't want to recognize hetero marriage?  I'm being serious.  




The problem here is that you assume that not recognizing same sex marriage is a "grave injustice," tantamount to slavery or preventing interracial marriage.  You then attack anyone who challenges your assumption.  But there are a lot of people who don't share your view, including many civil rights leaders.  

I'm surprised at you, buddy. Even you should know by now that "rights" are inherent and cannot be given or taken away. They may be ignored, or trampled, but they do not simply appear or disappear according to fashion or the whims of politicians.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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