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Old 2010-08-16, 14:56   Link #41
Kaijo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
Tightly regulated, no. That's giving too much power to the government. Regulation should always be done with a light touch.

People who think that greedy corporate CEOs are any different than greedy senators and Congressmen are delusional. Our esteemed elected officials are in it for exactly the same reason--the money and the power.

So what do we do? Find a healthy balance and make sure there's plenty of oversight--on both the regulators and the regulated!
But who regulates the regulators that regulate the regulators? :P

Anyway, the nature of markets is to move to a monopoly; and when a company reaches that point they WILL do anything and everything under the sun in the name of profit. I hate more government, but there does need to be some degree of regulation. How much and in what forms, are open for debate, though.

While I don't doubt that congressmen can get greedy, I feel CEO's and board members far outweigh them on the greedy scale. Anyway, this is kinda going off topic, I think.
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Old 2010-08-16, 15:03   Link #42
Xion Valkyrie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
The actual truth is that capitalism and the free market specifically rely on rational actors, and total information being available. But people are inherently irrational, and it's in the interests of capitalist corporations to suppress information, so a totally free market just does not work. It has to be tightly regulated.

The next time someone mentions lasseiz-faire, capitalism, and the free market, preaching as if it's a good thing, then find the nearest chair and smack them. They are trying to hoodwink you.
Seriously. Everyone who mentions lasseiz-faire capitalism always seem to miss this.
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Old 2010-08-16, 15:07   Link #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
But who regulates the regulators that regulate the regulators? :P

Anyway, the nature of markets is to move to a monopoly; and when a company reaches that point they WILL do anything and everything under the sun in the name of profit. I hate more government, but there does need to be some degree of regulation. How much and in what forms, are open for debate, though.

While I don't doubt that congressmen can get greedy, I feel CEO's and board members far outweigh them on the greedy scale. Anyway, this is kinda going off topic, I think.
I definitely agree with Kaijo on this, since I hate more government too, and agree that CEO and board members are far more greedy than congress.
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Old 2010-08-16, 16:04   Link #44
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You're both fooling yourselves. A lot of our elected government officials are greedy corporate types. Many of them are major shareholders in big corporations.

I don't trust politicians because they're unpredictable. At least with the "greedy corporate types" I know what they want--more money. They do what's economically expedient. Politicians want money, but they also want political power, which tend to be at odds with each other most of the time. So they can do unpredictable and absolutely boneheaded things.
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Old 2010-08-17, 03:39   Link #45
Ending
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@ synaesthetic

Here, in Finland, it's not that bad. Parlament members do their job and so far the results have been adequete. There are many problems, but not enough to label them all as greedy moneygrabbers. I know it's difficult in US, though, since the country seems to be so polarized.

Last edited by Ending; 2010-08-17 at 06:27.
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Old 2010-08-17, 07:51   Link #46
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Our regulations should be anti-trust and anti-monopoly... Only those regulations that help preserve conditions close to a true perfect competition model. Unfortunately, 'regulations' in the modern US political system tend to be something else in disguise - barriers to entry for smaller business owners/entrepreneurs. Having to abide by countless regulations that, on the surface, are meant to 'protect' industry, drives every business's costs up. The unseen consequence of that is large businesses can throw away such money whereas smaller businesses are hit much harder since they don't have the financial muscle. A big company can afford to constantly pay for new government standards to be enforced, or even pay fines. Smaller business owners can't do that without taking losses, thus making the conditions for an economy controlled by oligopolies and monopolies.

IMO we need to find a balance between what we have now (too many corrupt regulations) and what we had a hundred years ago (not enough anti-monopolistic regulations).

Last edited by ChainLegacy; 2010-08-17 at 08:03.
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Old 2010-08-17, 08:37   Link #47
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To even get the process started, we'd need a reform on the political system first.

Things like term limits and the end of gerrymandering need to be implemented.
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Old 2010-08-17, 08:47   Link #48
Ricky Controversy
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I won't deny that monopoly is a concern, but what I'm more concerned about is artificial scarcity. There's a reason there is a package system for your television service provider, especially the ad-reduced channels. The content provided--movies and television--cost a lot of money to create. The studios thus reasonably want to garner profit from their work however possible. Apart from advertisement and direct sales, licensing the content off to channels is part of how they do that. The channels see profit in their availability through service providers. The providers, in turn, want to see a profit off of the content they've licensed, so it behooves them to charge you to have access to it. While there is no actual material scarcity here to merit price-tiering, there is a functional scarcity, since the intellectual property being used has a hard cost in the form of its budget.

With internet content, however, revenue generation is a different beast. ISPs do not operate under the financial burdens that TSPs do. The former has infrastructure costs to think of, yes, but they do not have the hefty licensing costs which the latter has to deal with. In the world of television, the channels you are not charged extra for are the ones that the provider itself is not charged for, because they are capable of thriving on different revenue sources--mainly advertisement. But when have you ever heard of an ISP having to pay AnimeSuki to allow their users to access the page? The same infrastructure that gets you to any one site on the internet gets you to any other with no additional cost to your ISP, so there is neither material scarcity nor functional scarcity to justify price-tiering.

Whether or not one company monopolizes ISP functionality, if any companies engage in artificial scarcity creation, it's a betrayal of consumer trust.
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Old 2010-08-17, 09:08   Link #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cors8 View Post
To even get the process started, we'd need a reform on the political system first.

Things like term limits and the end of gerrymandering need to be implemented.
It's not even just with politics. You have the do an overhaul of the social, ethical, educational and political mindset of entire generations of not an entire society. The rooting of socioethical and sociopolitical problems is so deeply entrenched in every country that merely changing the political landscape isn't going to cut it.

Which makes such and endeavor a gargantuan, if not impossible, task. You have to start from practically absolute zero.
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Old 2010-08-17, 10:36   Link #50
synaesthetic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
Our regulations should be anti-trust and anti-monopoly... Only those regulations that help preserve conditions close to a true perfect competition model. Unfortunately, 'regulations' in the modern US political system tend to be something else in disguise - barriers to entry for smaller business owners/entrepreneurs. Having to abide by countless regulations that, on the surface, are meant to 'protect' industry, drives every business's costs up. The unseen consequence of that is large businesses can throw away such money whereas smaller businesses are hit much harder since they don't have the financial muscle. A big company can afford to constantly pay for new government standards to be enforced, or even pay fines. Smaller business owners can't do that without taking losses, thus making the conditions for an economy controlled by oligopolies and monopolies.

IMO we need to find a balance between what we have now (too many corrupt regulations) and what we had a hundred years ago (not enough anti-monopolistic regulations).
This. This post wins this entire thread.

For instance, everyone here knows about Amazon's "FREE Super Saver Shipping," as well as the free two-day shipping you get with a Prime membership, right? Did you know that in certain European countries, offering that sort of service is considered "anti-competitive practices" and because of it Amazon is being fined every day the service is allowed.

They don't care. They make more money from the service than they lose from the fine. This is a glaring example of just how boneheaded the laws can be, and how they don't affect the big boys. Amazon is so huge and makes so much money every day, they aren't going to give a shit about a sub-100k fine every day for something that makes them millions.

But any small business, perhaps a little electronics e-tailer that wants to offer the same service to compete better with the big boys... would be totally wiped out by those daily fines.

These kinds of laws just lock out small businesses so thoroughly. I find it hilarious when people say that Democrats, left-leaning people and socialists are anti-corporate. They aren't anti-corporate; in fact, they love the corporate world. They want the big boys to be as big as possible and make as much money as possible--so they can tax them as much as possible.

Obama's assertion to help small businesses is completely laughable. It's true; the middle class doesn't exist anymore, but not for the reasons the left believe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cors8 View Post
To even get the process started, we'd need a reform on the political system first.

Things like term limits and the end of gerrymandering need to be implemented.
I've been saying this for years. No elected official should be able to remain in office for longer than eight years. I don't care who they are or what they do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky Controversy View Post
I won't deny that monopoly is a concern, but what I'm more concerned about is artificial scarcity. There's a reason there is a package system for your television service provider, especially the ad-reduced channels. The content provided--movies and television--cost a lot of money to create. The studios thus reasonably want to garner profit from their work however possible. Apart from advertisement and direct sales, licensing the content off to channels is part of how they do that. The channels see profit in their availability through service providers. The providers, in turn, want to see a profit off of the content they've licensed, so it behooves them to charge you to have access to it. While there is no actual material scarcity here to merit price-tiering, there is a functional scarcity, since the intellectual property being used has a hard cost in the form of its budget.

With internet content, however, revenue generation is a different beast. ISPs do not operate under the financial burdens that TSPs do. The former has infrastructure costs to think of, yes, but they do not have the hefty licensing costs which the latter has to deal with. In the world of television, the channels you are not charged extra for are the ones that the provider itself is not charged for, because they are capable of thriving on different revenue sources--mainly advertisement. But when have you ever heard of an ISP having to pay AnimeSuki to allow their users to access the page? The same infrastructure that gets you to any one site on the internet gets you to any other with no additional cost to your ISP, so there is neither material scarcity nor functional scarcity to justify price-tiering.

Whether or not one company monopolizes ISP functionality, if any companies engage in artificial scarcity creation, it's a betrayal of consumer trust.
Another excellent post. You make a very good point, and it would be a violation of consumer trust--because you know that in order to pull such an artificial-scarcity scam, the ISPs would basically be colluding with the content providers on a level that's very likely illegal.
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