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Old 08-17-2010, 01:39 PM   #2661
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You should go live in a hole.
Who, me? I already do. It's called Canada. Well, it's actually kind of flat, but still.
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:48 PM   #2662
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Old 08-17-2010, 02:20 PM   #2663
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...If I treat people with respect then they are usually more helpful...
Amazing how many people have yet to figure that out. And probably never will. Yet my 3 year old already has and applies it liberally ever day to get what she wants.
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Old 08-17-2010, 03:11 PM   #2664
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The government is supposed to represent the people as a society, aren't they? I thought the government is supposed to be our voice when we need society to hear it? In any case, the role of our government has long been abandoned by the assfucks in Office and they are essentially there to support criminals and the tax man. It's bullshit. I meant the government implement these or anything as a representation of the masses, so it would be the people that are directly affected that would be making the decision to tax or whatever.

The founders created our government as a necessary evil. When the articles of confederation failed they needed a more centralized government, which was only ratified when the bill of rights was authored. We are the only country in history to specifically grant unalienable rights to its people and limit the powers of its government. The government has no granted rights to do what it does today, in fact I'm willing to bet that 99% of the laws it passes are not constitutional as there are not granted these specific powers.

For example, anti-trust laws.

The only true monopoly can only exist by government. Think about that, the only true monopoly can only exist by government. It is impossible for a private company to create a monopoly unless by force, ie. the government. There will always be some new technology, some new technique, some new approach, that will compete. you'll argue, but if they price fix and lower prices so low that they are operating at a loss of profit there's no way to compete, but ill argue that eventually they'll run out of money and the competitor will have no competition. There is a great essay by Alan Greenspan titled "Antitrust" that really doves into this.

The gov't does not act on our behalf when to interfere in such concerns. And no where in the constitution does it say the gov't has to right to interfere.

FDR acted on our behalf during the great depression, he acted as our voice. He decided that the government should be intimately involved in the economy and can act above and beyond the Constitution in order to "serve the public." of course at an expense of someone else. The national debt as a % of the GDP went from 16% in 1929 reaching 130% by 1947 when he left office. The ends justify the means of course.

Everything he did was "for the people" by trampling the Constitution and through use of gimmicks to get people inspired by him and to continue to vote for him even though he was a class A **** up. He created minimum wage which is biting us in the *** today and gives unfair advantages to unqualified workers and causing a major part of the immigration problem today. Social Security which is creating more and more debt today expanding the precedent for the wealth fare state shifting the US from individualism to collectivism, paving the way for the socialist loyalist leading the country today.

Remeber kids -

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have." - TJ
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Old 08-17-2010, 03:29 PM   #2665
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Very interesting. That's a kickass post, not gonna lie. I may have to take a look at this essay. Kudos.

I dislike governments.
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Old 08-17-2010, 03:38 PM   #2666
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In other words: Gov't is helping themselves to what's yours to help you help others who won't help themselves.
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Old 08-17-2010, 03:41 PM   #2667
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In other words: Gov't is helping themselves to what's yours to help you help others who won't help themselves.
Exactly.
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Old 08-17-2010, 03:45 PM   #2668
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end the fed.
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Old 08-17-2010, 03:46 PM   #2669
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Very interesting. That's a kickass post, not gonna lie. I may have to take a look at this essay. Kudos.

I dislike governments.
Go read Milton Friedman's "Capitalism and Freedom". Then go back and read F.A. Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom". Then subscribe to the mises.org daily blog.
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Old 08-17-2010, 04:15 PM   #2670
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The only true monopoly can only exist by government.
With regard to the concept of monopolies in general, allow me to posit a contrarian view.

Consider, in a historical contact, your local telephone company. For the sake of this discussion, we'll time-warp back to the 1950s, before VOIP and cell phones. And assume, for the sake of argument, that there are no local, state, or federal laws whatsoever that govern telephone companies. It's a completely free-market economy.

We all clear on the rules?

So, here we have a little midwestern town, and the residents think it'd be pretty keen to have phone service. So Company A comes along and says "Ok, we'll lay down the infrastructure, run wiring all over the town, and build a building with a big switch in it, so you all can have phone service."

And they do. They go to the county government and acquire easements. Then they drive wooden poles into the ground, string wire across them, construct a building, install the switch into it, and connect all the wires together. As time passes and the town grows, the company runs more wire, increases the size of the switch, and hooks up more and more subscribers. And it's great, because anybody in the whole town can pick up their phone and call anybody else, and from the customer's point of view, the system just magically works.

At this point, Company A constitutes a de-facto monopoly. Everyone in town who has a telephone is a Company A subscriber.

Now, what if Company B came along and decided that they wanted to offer telephone service in the local market as well? Of course, there's nothing to stop them from going to the county, requesting easements, running wire, building a switch, and so on. Problem is that Company A has already got 100% of the homes and business in town which have telephones wired to their switch. No new users will want to sign on with Company B, since they wouldn't be able to talk to anybody- all the other folks in town are on Company A's system.

Of course, if Company B were able to run some wires over to Company A and interface with Company A's switch, then it would be possible for people using Company B as their service provider to talk with people who are already on Company A, and vise versa. It wouldn't matter who your service provider was. But of course, it's not in Company A's best interest to allow this. Right now, they have a lock on the market, and allowing people to subscribe to Company B and yet still enjoy the benefit of talking to all of Company A's existing infrastructure would hurt their bottom line. So obviously, Company A is going to maintain a closed switch architecture, and Company B won't be able to sign on any subscribers to a system that's not able to talk to the vast majority of existing telephones in the town.

The only way to break this defacto monopoly is by gov't intervention. Unless some regulatory body comes along and forces Company A to allow Company B to interact with it, there will be no competition in this market for telephone services.
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Old 08-17-2010, 04:32 PM   #2671
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For the sake of this discussion, we'll time-warp back to the 1950s, before VOIP and cell phones.
Your story fails because (1) you are applying an historical circumstance as if it's a physical law, and (2) you are too narrowly constructing your "market".

What I mean:

(1) Landline telephony was the dominant form of long distance communication for a lengthy period, but part of its dominance is due to the historical circumstances at the time. If a company is pursuing monopoly control, then other companies have an incentive to seek other avenues. Perhaps wireless communication gets developed earlier. It's extremely difficult to imagine the products and services that will exist even 10 years into the future -- and it's equally difficult to post what alternate histories may have developed under different circumstances.

(2) You are thinking of a "telephone" market, but really, the consumer market doesn't have demand for telephones in particular -- it has demand for cheap and efficient long-distance communication, and so even if a company dominates one product for a period of time, competitors still exist.
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Old 08-17-2010, 04:35 PM   #2672
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Now, what if Company B came along and decided that they wanted to offer telephone service in the local market as well? Of course, there's nothing to stop them from going to the county, requesting easements, running wire, building a switch, and so on. Problem is that Company A has already got 100% of the homes and business in town which have telephones wired to their switch. No new users will want to sign on with Company B, since they wouldn't be able to talk to anybody- all the other folks in town are on Company A's system.

Of course, if Company B were able to run some wires over to Company A and interface with Company A's switch, then it would be possible for people using Company B as their service provider to talk with people who are already on Company A, and vise versa. It wouldn't matter who your service provider was. But of course, it's not in Company A's best interest to allow this. Right now, they have a lock on the market, and allowing people to subscribe to Company B and yet still enjoy the benefit of talking to all of Company A's existing infrastructure would hurt their bottom line. So obviously, Company A is going to maintain a closed switch architecture, and Company B won't be able to sign on any subscribers to a system that's not able to talk to the vast majority of existing telephones in the town.
I re-read your post and had a passing thought on this section -- consider it in terms of the market shift from ICQ --> AOL IM --> MSN --> Google Talk, etc.

Maybe one street or one group of families decides that having cheaper phone bills is more important than having communication to the rest of the town.
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Old 08-17-2010, 05:02 PM   #2673
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Originally Posted by mgeoffriau View Post
Maybe one street or one group of families decides that having cheaper phone bills is more important than having communication to the rest of the town.
This is a good point. And so you open another door of the so-called market. A market within a market.
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Old 08-17-2010, 05:08 PM   #2674
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I think Joe was touching on the issues of how governments hurt successful businesses and give new businesses open doors to the market, and give them a free pass on the legwork that the successful business has already done. That isn't right.
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Old 08-17-2010, 05:10 PM   #2675
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A theory behind government is that government should provide for things that have a public mutual benefit that no individual alone would be able or willing to provide for the public.

As an example: No one is going to go out of their way to build and maintain freeways for everyone else to use them. The costs are just too great, and benefits relatively far too miniscule for any individual or small group to do that. If everyone contributed their fair share, however; the costs become relatively minute compared to the huge cumulative gain that is seen. This is an example of highly effective governing serving an economic purpose. It should be noted that the vast majority of moneys which the government spends on maintaining roadways and creating new ones comes from a tax on highway-use fuel. This is a pay-per-use system, and people are charged a fee to use the roadways which is relative to how much they use those roadways compared to every other person. A business with 10,000 cross-country 18-wheelers is going to pay FAR greater taxes than an individual in a sedan who commutes 10 miles daily. People who don't use the roads won't pay road taxes because they don't buy gas. (Well, they may end up paying taxes to buy fuel for their lawn tractor, but consider how few pennies they would pay per year.) Before the mass market growth of alternative fuel vehicles, the government implementation of taxes in this system was very nearly perfect.

If we consider the telephone example, here is but one of many unique approaches to how the issue could have been resolved.
At the point where a telephone system was considered a benefit to society, relative to the costs, it should fall on the government to create the full infrastructure to support telephone communications. At the time of creations, people who are 'late adopters' will feel that they've been overtaxed for this service because they do not have any intention of using the service immediately, but if we identify that phone service is being requested at an alarmingly high rate, it makes sense for government to step in to create the infrastructure. Companies who have already created their own infrastructure should be rewarded, and refunded the cost that the government would have paid to create a similar government system. The systems would then be linked together permanently. After the infrastructure is complete, government turns over control of the system to civilian companies, who will be required to provide and maintain phone service through the infrastructure. Each company may set its own pricing for phone service to maintain and upkeep phone service, as well as provide any additional 'perks' that it can through the line. If the company wants to add stuff to provide more services (caller id, 3-way, tone dialing) then it may do so at its own expense, so long as the ability to call anyone with a phone is not interrupted. Any customer may select any phone service provider to maintain their communications link, and use of another companies added services requires an agreement signed by both companies. New primary infrastructure (running a grid of lines to a new town) is paid for with government moneys. Secondary infrastructure (linking the grid to a person's home) is paid for by the company (which is likely to charge the individual for this service, but may also sign an agreement with the individual to not switch service providers for 'x' months/years in order to run the line at 'no cost' to the consumer)

Again, I'm sure it's not perfect, but consider it another possible approach to solving the same problem.

To add to this theory, the burden (tax) that the gov't places on the people should scale with how much benefit said consumer gets from using this service. As with the highway example, people that use the freeway more end up paying more tax.

Now consider this theory relative to government handouts. How much of a benefit do the top 2% of income earners seeing for the 90% of all tax monies they contribute for something socialistic such as unemployment or welfare? This is definitely reason to cry 'foul'.
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Old 08-17-2010, 05:30 PM   #2676
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Originally Posted by mgeoffriau View Post
Your story fails because (1) you are applying an historical circumstance as if it's a physical law, and (2) you are too narrowly constructing your "market".
I chose the example of local-service telephony as it is:

a: One that everyone is familiar with, and

b: A story that has completely played out, to the point where we are able to empirically analyze it as a case study, rather than postulating and hypothesizing about what might become.


There are certainly many industries where this logic does not apply. And there are some infrastructure industries (wireless telephony, IP, etc) where the market has steered itself towards a competitive, multi-provider environment. You could, for instance, point out that all wireless telephone carriers are inter-operable. However even this example has a couple of flaws:

A: Using my Sprint phone, I can call somebody on the Verizon network. However, this is because of the aforementioned government-mandated interoperability. All cell phone carriers interface to the common public-switched phone system.

B: Most cell phones sold in the US are "locked" to a single carrier, and until just recently, it was technically a crime to "unlock" one and service it with a different carrier.

In fact, if you want a very recent example, take the iPhone. Apple has gone to some lengths to prevent owners of this device from installing applications onto the phone other than those officially sanctioned by Apple and distributed through their store. In effect, Apple sought to create and maintain a monopoly on software applications for this platform. It was just a few weeks ago that the federal government ruled that DMCA Section 1201 protects the rights of iPhone owners to "jailbreak" the phones in order to install software on them from other sources or service it with a wireless carrier other than AT&T.


Sure, you can argue that eventually Apple might have been de-throned by some other technology, but Apple wasn't alone in this scheme. I think it's safe to say that the community of users as a whole are better off with this rule in place than without it.
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Old 08-17-2010, 05:42 PM   #2677
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I'll point out that in many of the cases you are talking about, the incompatibility of competing systems is the result of intellectual property rights -- which is, as it happens, another case of government fiat encouraging monopolies.
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Old 08-17-2010, 09:04 PM   #2678
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God dammit, **** ebay clutch kits. Every single part of this kit has failed me. First it was the PP and Disk, and now the bearings are going after about 1k miles.

Jesus ******* christ. Do it right the first time people!
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Old 08-17-2010, 09:42 PM   #2679
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God dammit, **** ebay clutch kits. Every single part of this kit has failed me. First it was the PP and Disk, and now the bearings are going after about 1k miles.

Jesus ******* christ. Do it right the first time people!
There is only a few clutches that would ever be worth buying.

This thread is really gay now that everyone has a political hardon. **** the gov't. I get it.
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Old 08-17-2010, 09:50 PM   #2680
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I drove all day and I'm still in TX, **** this state is large. Should reach Mississippi fairly quick tomorrow though.
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