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PostPosted: Tue 08 Dec , 2009 7:49 pm 
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TheEllipticalDisillusion wrote:
Been discredited by whom? What's the Subjective Theory of Value say then? Why is it better? What are the benefits of it?


HERE is a pretty good discussion on it.

Almost nobody out there defends Labor Value Theory anymore, as Angus_Og pointed out. But he doesn't know as many extremists as I do.

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It is a myth that coercion is necessary in order to force people to get along together, but it is a persistent myth because it feeds a desire many people have. That desire is to be able to justify hurting people who have done nothing other than offend them in some way.

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PostPosted: Mon 14 Dec , 2009 1:26 pm 
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Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman has a great column today on the causes of the economic collapse and how conservatives on the right are in a state of denial about it because it clashes with their chosen axiomatic belief set. For some in our society, beliefs about politics, economics and science have taken the place of religion - but with the same basic idea that they believe in something simply because they want to believe in something. All the history, facts and evidence make no difference to them at all.

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Disaster and Denial



By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: December 13, 2009
When I first began writing for The Times, I was naïve about many things. But my biggest misconception was this: I actually believed that influential people could be moved by evidence, that they would change their views if events completely refuted their beliefs.



And to be fair, it does happen now and then. I’ve been highly critical of Alan Greenspan over the years (since long before it was fashionable), but give the former Fed chairman credit: he has admitted that he was wrong about the ability of financial markets to police themselves.

But he’s a rare case. Just how rare was demonstrated by what happened last Friday in the House of Representatives, when — with the meltdown caused by a runaway financial system still fresh in our minds, and the mass unemployment that meltdown caused still very much in evidence — every single Republican and 27 Democrats voted against a quite modest effort to rein in Wall Street excesses.

Let’s recall how we got into our current mess.

America emerged from the Great Depression with a tightly regulated banking system. The regulations worked: the nation was spared major financial crises for almost four decades after World War II. But as the memory of the Depression faded, bankers began to chafe at the restrictions they faced. And politicians, increasingly under the influence of free-market ideology, showed a growing willingness to give bankers what they wanted.

The first big wave of deregulation took place under Ronald Reagan — and quickly led to disaster, in the form of the savings-and-loan crisis of the 1980s. Taxpayers ended up paying more than 2 percent of G.D.P., the equivalent of around $300 billion today, to clean up the mess.

But the proponents of deregulation were undaunted, and in the decade leading up to the current crisis politicians in both parties bought into the notion that New Deal-era restrictions on bankers were nothing but pointless red tape. In a memorable 2003 incident, top bank regulators staged a photo-op in which they used garden shears and a chainsaw to cut up stacks of paper representing regulations.

And the bankers — liberated both by legislation that removed traditional restrictions and by the hands-off attitude of regulators who didn’t believe in regulation — responded by dramatically loosening lending standards. The result was a credit boom and a monstrous real estate bubble, followed by the worst economic slump since the Great Depression. Ironically, the effort to contain the crisis required government intervention on a much larger scale than would have been needed to prevent the crisis in the first place: government rescues of troubled institutions, large-scale lending by the Federal Reserve to the private sector, and so on.

Given this history, you might have expected the emergence of a national consensus in favor of restoring more-effective financial regulation, so as to avoid a repeat performance. But you would have been wrong.

Talk to conservatives about the financial crisis and you enter an alternative, bizarro universe in which government bureaucrats, not greedy bankers, caused the meltdown. It’s a universe in which government-sponsored lending agencies triggered the crisis, even though private lenders actually made the vast majority of subprime loans. It’s a universe in which regulators coerced bankers into making loans to unqualified borrowers, even though only one of the top 25 subprime lenders was subject to the regulations in question.

Oh, and conservatives simply ignore the catastrophe in commercial real estate: in their universe the only bad loans were those made to poor people and members of minority groups, because bad loans to developers of shopping malls and office towers don’t fit the narrative.

In part, the prevalence of this narrative reflects the principle enunciated by Upton Sinclair: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” As Democrats have pointed out, three days before the House vote on banking reform Republican leaders met with more than 100 financial-industry lobbyists to coordinate strategies. But it also reflects the extent to which the modern Republican Party is committed to a bankrupt ideology, one that won’t let it face up to the reality of what happened to the U.S. economy.

So it’s up to the Democrats — and more specifically, since the House has passed its bill, it’s up to “centrist” Democrats in the Senate. Are they willing to learn something from the disaster that has overtaken the U.S. economy, and get behind financial reform?

Let’s hope so. For one thing is clear: if politicians refuse to learn from the history of the recent financial crisis, they will condemn all of us to repeat it.

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There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs. - John Rogers


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PostPosted: Mon 14 Dec , 2009 4:02 pm 
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Goldman Sachs employees seeking handgun permits in droves

And since Dubai was mentioned:

US poet Louis Daniel Brodsky wrote:
Dubai World

Dubai World,
Fronted by the oil-inebriated United Arab Emirates,
A confederation of trickle-down-economics sheik-down artists,

Who put all their Western Easter eggs in leaky baskets:
A ski "mountain" moved into an indoor resort,
A beach cooled by under-the-sand, refrigerated pipe work,

Golf courses drenched, hourly, with desalinated ocean water,
Man-made islands kneaded into a vast palm-leaf array
And a map of Earth's landmasses --

A surreal Xanadu out-Las Vegasing Las Vegas,
A dizzying Disney World Shangri-la of mother's milk and money,
A Bahamian Paradise Island Atlantis resurrected from silica . . .

Dubious World,
Drowning in an oasis of debt, hoping to cross the Red-Ink Sea
Before the parted waters close, squeeze it dry.


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PostPosted: Mon 14 Dec , 2009 7:04 pm 
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The best part of that Goldman article is that they don't feel remorse for taking taxpayer money AND getting end of the year bonuses, instead they are getting ready to defend themselves from the poor. We live in an aristocracy and anyone who tells you differently has his head in the sand of "freedom" and "liberty" and "the American dream."

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PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec , 2009 4:28 am 
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No, TED. We live in an aristocracy of pull, and I want to prevent the government from being powerful enough to implement corporatism, from being powerful enough to give bailouts to Goldman, from being powerful enough so that pull counts for more than talent.

The government is powerful enough to give you anything, so is therefore powerful enough to take everything, and it is taking everything. Those who wanted to receive have enabled this.

There's nothing "freedom" or "liberty" about corporatism, as I've been saying for years. But there are those so religiously faithful to the ideology of redistributionism that they have enabled themselves to be looted, and then they blame it on those who have not been in power at all. How could libertarian ideology be at all responsible when the most we get in the polls is five percent?

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It is a myth that coercion is necessary in order to force people to get along together, but it is a persistent myth because it feeds a desire many people have. That desire is to be able to justify hurting people who have done nothing other than offend them in some way.

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PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec , 2009 1:32 pm 
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Cenedril_Gildinaur wrote:
from being powerful enough to give bailouts


But if the government isn't powerful enough to bail corporations out, then it also isn't powerful enough to prevent them from eating us alive either. Few people particularly like the government, but it's a heck of a lot better than the sorts of monsters that would grow into the power vacuum if it went away. The government needs to be the biggest kid on the block, it needs to be answerable to its citizens, and it needs to be driven by the good of the people rather than by profit.


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PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec , 2009 2:45 pm 
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Quote:
There's nothing "freedom" or "liberty" about corporatism, as I've been saying for years. But there are those so religiously faithful to the ideology of redistributionism that they have enabled themselves to be looted, and then they blame it on those who have not been in power at all.


And there are those so religiously faithful to the ideology of the laissez faire market that desire a return to a time when corporations had the most power and the working class were treated like cattle paid barely a living wage to work long hours in dangerous conditions because there was NO regulatory agency keeping the businesses "honest." At least the government provides a protection for the people. Remember, this is a government for the people, of the people and by the people, not for big business, of big business, and by big business.

What is your stake in denouncing the government's ability to regulate big business? Are you a big business owner?

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PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec , 2009 3:11 pm 
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from Dave LF

Quote:
Few people particularly like the government, but it's a heck of a lot better than the sorts of monsters that would grow into the power vacuum if it went away. The government needs to be the biggest kid on the block, it needs to be answerable to its citizens, and it needs to be driven by the good of the people rather than by profit.


Your point about the power vacuum is excellent. It matters little if someone claims that they are not in favor of corporations if the end impact of their policies and beliefs would increase the power of corporations and the wealthy. Some people put so much stock in their own belief systems that they are in a perpetual values lock where the beliefs they hold become more dogmatic than traditional religion. The free market believers and advocates of right wing economics would indeed take us back to the Gilded Age of the late 1800's where the common man was little better than a serf.

TED accurately points that out in his post:

Quote:
And there are those so religiously faithful to the ideology of the laissez faire market that desire a return to a time when corporations had the most power and the working class were treated like cattle paid barely a living wage to work long hours in dangerous conditions because there was NO regulatory agency keeping the businesses "honest." At least the government provides a protection for the people.


Corporations and the wealthy can afford to exercise all of their rights under the law and have the resources and tools to purchase power, influence and control. Government of the people, by the people and for the people is the only powerful entity standing in the way of complete corporate take over of all that matters in this country.

In the end, the professed beliefs of someone mean precious little compared to the effects their beliefs have on society. For anyone to claim that they are not favoring corporations while attempting to decrease the power of a democratic government is like the ostrich hiding their head in the sand.

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There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs. - John Rogers


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PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec , 2009 3:54 pm 
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TheEllipticalDisillusion wrote:
Quote:
There's nothing "freedom" or "liberty" about corporatism, as I've been saying for years. But there are those so religiously faithful to the ideology of redistributionism that they have enabled themselves to be looted, and then they blame it on those who have not been in power at all.


And there are those so religiously faithful to the ideology of the laissez faire market that desire a return to a time when corporations had the most power and the working class were treated like cattle paid barely a living wage to work long hours in dangerous conditions because there was NO regulatory agency keeping the businesses "honest." At least the government provides a protection for the people. Remember, this is a government for the people, of the people and by the people, not for big business, of big business, and by big business.

What is your stake in denouncing the government's ability to regulate big business? Are you a big business owner?


The problem is that the corporation is itself a creation of the government, and therefore all the special privileges it has from the government are not the result of a free market ideology. When you open the door to government intervention you have to accept government intervention that you don't like as well as government intervention you do like. Remember how much you disliked it when Bush Jr. acquired all the powers Clinton accumulated? And remember how Republicans disliked it when Obama acquired all the powers Bush Jr. accumulated?

Professed beliefs that the government should wield broad economic powers to protect the people are exactly what has led to the government having the broad economic powers to bail out the super rich at the expense of the people.

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It is a myth that coercion is necessary in order to force people to get along together, but it is a persistent myth because it feeds a desire many people have. That desire is to be able to justify hurting people who have done nothing other than offend them in some way.

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PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec , 2009 4:01 pm 
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If that is the case the problem is not that the government is too powerful, it's that the government is corrupt.

Here's a question: at some point in the past, the US government did not exist and therefore had no power. Today, the government has what you consider too much power. Logically, at some point between then and now, it must have had the exact right amount of power. Yet even with that ideal amount of power, the government wasn't able to prevent itself from becoming what it is now. So how can it have been ideal?


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PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec , 2009 4:07 pm 
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Well of course it is corrupt. But the critical point is that while a powerful government can do good, a corrupt weak government is restrained from doing much harm, while a corrupt powerful government can do much harm.

The problem is that government does not attract the best and the brightest, but those whose basic desire is to rule others. Not everyone enters government to rule others, but those who desire to rule others enter government. There are many places they can enter government, be it in enforcement or as a politician, but the nature of the job attracts those who are by nature the least qualified.

They promise everything to everyone, and thus have a rhetorical advantage over those who promise only to keep the peace.

And once in, they appoint those who are like minded to related jobs, and so you get judges who ignore the laws when handing down judgments that favor the corrupt officials who appointed them in the first place. It is the nature of government to grow.

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It is a myth that coercion is necessary in order to force people to get along together, but it is a persistent myth because it feeds a desire many people have. That desire is to be able to justify hurting people who have done nothing other than offend them in some way.

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PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec , 2009 4:34 pm 
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You say that it is the nature of government to grow and to become corrupt. Yet you seem to believe that through action and constant vigilance, the people can interfere with the government's natural tendency to grow. I say that through action and constant vigilance, the people can interfere with the government's natural tendency to become corrupt. In both cases, we're forced to rely on the people having the will, knowledge, and ability to effectively stand up for themselves. In both cases, the result is misery if they fail. But in your case, even if the people succeed in keeping the government weak, there will still be malevolent aristocrats or corporations to worry about. In my case, success means the government will be strong and honest enough to protect you from them.


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PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec , 2009 4:48 pm 
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from Dave

Quote:
If that is the case the problem is not that the government is too powerful, it's that the government is corrupt.


One lesson we all should have learned by now is that there are indeed corrupt people in the government.
And there are corrupt people in small private business as well.
And there are corrupt people in large corporations.
And there are corrupt people in religions institutions.
And there are corrupt people in all parts of life.

You know why? Because some folks are simply oriented that way. No law can change that basic fact of life. No government can change that basic fact of life.

Back in college in my political science theory classes we used to spend lots of time debating the idea as to if Man is good or bad. And we read all the stuff that went with it. And what I found out was that it was all a bunch of crap. It was all a fancy smokescreen to justify a particular line of ideology and the actions that went with it.

Real life has taught me that some folks are basically good. And some folks are basically bad. And some are near sainthood while others are six feet of stacked evil and should be flushed down the toilet of life as fast as possible to spare the rest of us their stench.

It matters not where corporations came from. It matters not what the history of corporations is. It matters not at all.

What does matter is that corporations are with us in the real world. What does matter is that corporations wield immense power because of the money they have and the influence it can purchase. What does matter is that the average working person is getting the short end of the stick as the wealthy and corporations increase their power. And what matters the most is that the only thing standing in the way of an all out corporate state where people are treated like serfs is the fact that we live in a democratic republic where we have a government of the people, by the people and for the people. You take that out of the real world and we will all be living on a corporate plantation singing the modern version of "Sweet Chariot" as we doff our caps to the corporate masters as their limo drives by.

Policies advocated by the right wing economists over the past thirty years have cut taxes on the rich by half. At the same time, their is a concerted attack on the middle class by attacking labor unions, good wages, good benefits and the removal of jobs overseas which pay good wages and benefits.

The toadies who advocate right wing economists - and I include the Trickle down crowd, the Austrians, the smaller government crowd, the Club for Growth fanatics, the republican and libertarian right wing think tanks and their ilk - are all in one way or another responsible for both creating an environment where such things are possible and for the passage of such policies.

In the end, we will all line up on one side or the other of corporate rule. And right now, many have already assumed the position to better serve their corporate masters. The only question for them - will their ass kissing servitude earn them some KY to ease their pain?

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There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs. - John Rogers


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PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec , 2009 5:00 pm 
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Dave_LF wrote:
You say that it is the nature of government to grow and to become corrupt. Yet you seem to believe that through action and constant vigilance, the people can interfere with the government's natural tendency to grow. I say that through action and constant vigilance, the people can interfere with the government's natural tendency to become corrupt. In both cases, we're forced to rely on the people having the will, knowledge, and ability to effectively stand up for themselves. In both cases, the result is misery if they fail. But in your case, even if the people succeed in keeping the government weak, there will still be malevolent aristocrats or corporations to worry about. In my case, success means the government will be strong and honest enough to protect you from them.


It's true that in both cases, the result is misery if they fail. And as a result those who desire corruption have a vested interest in ensuring the people are not vigilant but instead are slothful and uninformed. In other words, the products of our government schools.

Now it is common enough to equate those big businesses that are the creation of government privilege with the government itself. Yes, businesses can be corrupt. But there is one big advantage the people have over businesses that they do not have over government - they can easily take their business elsewhere. Seriously, that is why we have those who are aristocrats in all but title in government but not in business - except those businesses that are heavily connected to the government which I admit is now most of them.

The differences between Corporatism and Capitalism are huge, it takes an act of willful blindness to not see them. The two could not be more different, they are as different as Capitalism is from Socialism. One could even go so far as to say that Corporatism is Socialism for the rich. Corporations wield immense power because the government gave it to them. All the money in the world cannot force someone to do something he doesn't want, but if that money lobbies the government then he is compelled by law.

Both the means and the ends of Corporatism and Capitalism are different. The means of corporatism are political pull, the means of capitalism are competition. The ends of corporatism are power, the ends of capitalism are profit. The means of socialism, by the way, are political pull and the ends are power as well. Under corporatism and socialism the people are reduced to servitude under their politically powerful masters, just different masters.

And the ironic thing is, it is the socialist who made corporatism like this possible because they granted power to the government. The leaders did so because they wanted power, and the followers did so because they were useful fools who actually thought that with the right people in charge a government that can do anything is a force for good.

Socialist, left Keynesian, and welfarist think tanks on one side and corporatist, right Keynesian, and supply side think tanks on the other were fighting the same war, flanking the free market from opposite sides. They only differ on who should be in charge of the absolute state, not on whether or not there should be an absolute state. On the one hand there are those who must doff their hat to their socialist masters, on the other there are those who must doff their hat to their corporate masters. And the common enemy to both is the free market, limited government, and a free people.

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It is a myth that coercion is necessary in order to force people to get along together, but it is a persistent myth because it feeds a desire many people have. That desire is to be able to justify hurting people who have done nothing other than offend them in some way.

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PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec , 2009 6:28 pm 
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A long time ago the US Government allowed slavery to legally exist in parts of the USA. Later, the US Government rectified that error with strong action that made slavery illegal. The historical fact that government took the first action did not preclude government from later taking the second and opposite action. Mistakes can be rectified. Mistakes should be rectified. Mistakes which are hurting the people of the nation must be rectified by the elected representatives of the people - the Government. That is one of the points in having a democratic republic as the USA does.

There is no power able to go toe to toe against the wealthy corporations outside of our legal government. For anyone to pretend otherwise by invoking vague and outdated ideologically based theories is simply foolish and contrary to reality and the world we live in.

Any discussion of the corporation and the monster it became without proper government oversight, without proper government regulation, and without proper government passed legislation should include the wisdom of Edward G. Ryan of Wisconsin who said in 1873 on the eve of his becoming Chief Justice of Wisconsin's Supreme Court,

"[There] is looming up a new and dark power... the enterprises of the country are aggregating vast corporate combinations of unexampled capital, boldly marching, not for economical conquests only, but for political power.... The question will arise and arise in your day, though perhaps not fully in mine, which shall rule --wealth or man [sic]; which shall lead --money or intellect; who shall fill public stations --educated and patriotic freemen, or the feudal serfs of corporate capital...."

Sadly, the Gilded Age in which Ryan lived saw a gross and dangerous expansion of both wealth and corporate power in the hands of the few and misery for the many. The feudal serfs, lackeys and toadies of corporate capitalism made a lot of headway during the next fifteen years. But in 1888 President Grover Cleveland echoed Justice Ryan's sentiments:

Quote:
"Corporations, which should be the carefully restrained creatures of the law and the servants of the people, are fast becoming the people's masters."

Well into the twentieth century corporate excesses were acknowledged and condemned by some pretty prominent persons. Louis D. Brandeis, a multimillionaire (from his own law practice and astute investments) by the time he became a Supreme Court Justice in 1916, referred to corporations as
Quote:
"the Frankenstein monster which States have created by their corporation laws."


The villagers eventually took care of both Dr. Frankenstein and his monster. Today, the villagers, through their elected representatives in government, need to take action to tame the beast.

_________________
There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs. - John Rogers


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PostPosted: Thu 17 Dec , 2009 1:33 pm 
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Cenedril_Gildinaur wrote:
But there is one big advantage the people have over businesses that they do not have over government - they can easily take their business elsewhere.


But this is only true in the early stages. As you head toward time infinity, either due to superior practices, dumb luck, or both, some individual businesses will gain an edge on their competitors. Once that happens positive feedback sets in, and soon you have monopolies who are too big and powerful to fear either upstarts or their customers or their employees. And who can't be voted out.

Quote:
Corporations wield immense power because the government gave it to them.


I am no fan of what the government has turned corporations into; but I want to chuck the corporations, not the government.


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PostPosted: Thu 17 Dec , 2009 3:39 pm 
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from Dave LF

Quote:
I am no fan of what the government has turned corporations into; but I want to chuck the corporations, not the government.


Exactly Dave. Most excellent. This idea that the vague and unnamed "government" is at the root of this is disingenuous at best and outright deceptive and dishonest at worst. Is this the US Government we are talking about? Is it the current Administration of Obama? Is this a Constitutional problem? Was this done by individual states? Or does it go back farther and much deeper than that?

To throw out the right wing boogeyman of "the government" is simply not looking at the real situation.

Corporations go back many many centuries and started long before the USA had a government or even before the Pilgrims came here.


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

Quote:
History

Main articles: History of corporations and List of oldest companies


1/8 share of the Stora Kopparberg mine, dated June 16, 1288.
The word "corporation" derives from corpus, the Latin word for body, or a "body of people". Entities which carried on business and were the subjects of legal rights were found in ancient Rome, and the Maurya Empire in ancient India.[6] In medieval Europe, churches became incorporated, as did local governments, such as the Pope and the City of London Corporation. The point was that the incorporation would survive longer than the lives of any particular member, existing in perpetuity. The alleged oldest commercial corporation in the world, the Stora Kopparberg mining community in Falun, Sweden, obtained a charter from King Magnus Eriksson in 1347. Many European nations chartered corporations to lead colonial ventures, such as the Dutch East India Company or the Hudson's Bay Company, and these corporations came to play a large part in the history of corporate colonialism.
During the period of colonial expansion in the seventeenth century, the true progenitors of the modern Corporation emerged as the "chartered company". Acting under a charter sanctioned by the Dutch monarch, the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC), or the Dutch East India Company, defeated Portuguese forces and established itself in the Moluccan Islands in order to profit from the European demand for spices. Investors in the VOC were issued paper certificates as proof of share ownership, and were able to trade their shares on the original Amsterdam stock exchange. Shareholders are also explicitly granted limited liability in the company's royal charter.[7] In the late eighteenth century, Stewart Kyd, the author of the first treatise on corporate law in English, defined a corporation as,
"a collection of many individuals united into one body, under a special denomination, having perpetual succession under an artificial form, and vested, by policy of the law, with the capacity of acting, in several respects, as an individual, particularly of taking and granting property, of contracting obligations, and of suing and being sued, of enjoying privileges and immunities in common, and of exercising a variety of political rights, more or less extensive, according to the design of its institution, or the powers conferred upon it, either at the time of its creation, or at any subsequent period of its existence."[8]
[edit]Mercantilism
See also: Mercantilism and South Sea Bubble


A bond issued by the Dutch East India Company, dating from 1623, for the amount of 2,400 florins
Labelled by both contemporaries and historians as "the grandest society of merchants in the universe", the British East India Company would come to symbolize the dazzlingly rich potential of the corporation, as well as new methods of business that could be both brutal and exploitive.[9] On 31 December 1600, the English monarchy granted the company a fifteen-year monopoly on trade to and from the East Indies and Africa. By 1611, shareholders in the East India Company were earning an almost 150% return on their investment. Subsequent stock offerings demonstrated just how lucrative the Company had become. Its first stock offering in 1613-1616 raised ₤418,000, and its first offering in 1617-1622 raised ₤1.6 million.[10]
In the United States, government chartering began to fall out of vogue in the mid-1800s. Corporate law at the time was focused on protection of the public interest, and not on the interests of corporate shareholders. Corporate charters were closely regulated by the states. Forming a corporation usually required an act of legislature. Investors generally had to be given an equal say in corporate governance, and corporations were required to comply with the purposes expressed in their charters. Many private firms in the 19th century avoided the corporate model for these reasons (Andrew Carnegie formed his steel operation as a limited partnership, and John D. Rockefeller set up Standard Oil as a trust). Eventually, state governments began to realize the greater corporate registration revenues available by providing more permissive corporate laws. New Jersey was the first state to adopt an "enabling" corporate law, with the goal of attracting more business to the state.[11] Delaware followed, and soon became known as the most corporation-friendly state in the country after New Jersey raised taxes on the corporations, driving them out. New Jersey reduced these taxes after this mistake was realized, but by then it was too late; even today, most major public corporations are set up under Delaware law.
By the beginning of the 19th century, government policy on both sides of the Atlantic began to change, reflecting the growing popularity of the proposition that corporations were riding the economic wave of the future. In 1819, the U.S. Supreme Court granted corporations a plethora of rights they had not previously recognized or enjoyed.[12] Corporate charters were deemed "inviolable", and not subject to arbitrary amendment or abolition by state governments.[13] The Corporation as a whole was labeled an "artificial person," possessing both individuality and immortality.[14]
At around the same time, British legislation was similarly freeing the corporation from the shackles of historical restrictions. In 1844 the British Parliament passed the Joint Stock Companies Act, which allowed companies to incorporate without a royal charter or an Act of Parliament.[15] Ten years later, limited liability, the key provision of modern corporate law, passed into English law: in response to increasing pressure from newly emerging capital interests, Parliament passed the Limited Liability Act of 1855, which established the principle that any corporation could enjoy limited legal liability on both contract and tort claims simply by registering as a "limited" company with the appropriate government agency.[16]


The problem of corporations grown too large, too powerful and too greedy is one that is with us now. The only thing standing between the USA as a corporate state run by rich corporations, their toadies and apologists is the elected government of the American people. An individual is virtually powerless to stand up to the resources and power of a corporation. Groups of citizens are virtually powerless compared to the resources and power of a corporation. It is only our elected government that has the power and resources to do so.

Past governments, past administrations may indeed have facilitated the growth and power of corporations. So what? It happened and its history and its reality. Now it must be dealt with. And only government has the resources and legal power to do that.

_________________
There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs. - John Rogers


Last edited by sauronsfinger on Thu 17 Dec , 2009 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu 17 Dec , 2009 4:00 pm 
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Dave_LF wrote:
Cenedril_Gildinaur wrote:
But there is one big advantage the people have over businesses that they do not have over government - they can easily take their business elsewhere.


But this is only true in the early stages. As you head toward time infinity, either due to superior practices, dumb luck, or both, some individual businesses will gain an edge on their competitors. Once that happens positive feedback sets in, and soon you have monopolies who are too big and powerful to fear either upstarts or their customers or their employees. And who can't be voted out.


But that has never happened in practice. Sure it has happened due to superior lobbying, giving businesses monopoly grants, but that hasn't happened in practice.

On the other hand, we have direct evidence that a similar cycle happens in government, where the more it grows the rate of growth accelerates. With every other product people eventually reach a point where they are sated, but with government people demand more the more there is. Once that happens positive feedback sets in, and soon you have tyrannies that are too big and powerful to fear either upstarts reformers or their own citizenry.

Dave_LF wrote:
Cenedril_Gildinaur wrote:
Corporations wield immense power because the government gave it to them.


I am no fan of what the government has turned corporations into; but I want to chuck the corporations, not the government.


But in order to chuck the corporations, you need to chuck the rules that made the corporations, which brings us right back to the government. You are treating the symptom, and unless you treat the cause the symptoms will simply regrow. You chuck the corporations and in 10 years you'll want to chuck a whole new batch of corporations.

The corporations are only too large, too powerful, and too greedy because the government that created them is too large, too powerful, and too greedy, under past and current administrations. The only thing standing between the USA and corporatism is the few remaining vestiges of free market that still exist in the United States today in the hands of the American people. As daunting as it may seem for an individual or a group of individual to stand up to a corporation, so daunting that the weak willed say it is virtually impossible, it is even more difficult for an individual or group of individuals to stand up to the even greater resources and power of the government. It is only the little bit of remaining liberty, including the little bit of free market, that enables them to do so at all.

Asking the government to fix this problem is like finding out that one has taken a little cyanide, and so must take a lot as a remedy. Sure, allopathic medicine says that the disease is also the cure, but in instances like this it is nothing more than suicide.

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It is a myth that coercion is necessary in order to force people to get along together, but it is a persistent myth because it feeds a desire many people have. That desire is to be able to justify hurting people who have done nothing other than offend them in some way.

Last edited by Cenedril_Gildinaur on Tue Feb 30, 2026 13:61 am; edited 426 times in total


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PostPosted: Thu 17 Dec , 2009 4:14 pm 
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Dave
the answer is NOT going back to the time before corporations existed.... the answer is NOT pretending that we are living in the Middle Ages .... the answer is NOT stripping away the one true representative of the people powerful enough to take on the corporations... for we cannot pretend that the reality of the world does not exist as some would prefer and pretend. We are not ostriches for whom hiding our head in some ideological sand will make it all better because we simply believe.

The foolish and simplistic idea that 'the bad old government had a hand in creating the situation, so it is forever barred and banned from ever having a hand in solving the problem' may indeed serve some extremist goal of those who simply hate the institution of government. However, it ignores the realities of history and the mechanics of how government actually functions in our land.

Government in the USA once allowed slavery to legally exist. Did that mean that government in the USA could then never take on the problem of slavery since it was once complicit in slavery? Of course not. And to even follow that line of "reasoning" is foolish and senseless. The US Government took painful steps to rectify the problem of slavery and that sorry institution was eradicated from the land in 1865. This was accomplished through the Government of the people, by the people and for the people. The idea that the Government was complicit in slavery in the first place in a previous historical era means nothing to the modern government facing real modern problems.

The answer is having our democratically elected government regulate corporations and do what should have been done years ago. The answer is empowering the Government of the United States of America to strongly regulate corporations and get them under control so that they act in the public interest as well as serve their owners.

_________________
There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs. - John Rogers


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PostPosted: Thu 17 Dec , 2009 10:14 pm 
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Naill Ferguson comments on who is vindicated and who is revealed as a failure due to the Great Keynesian Depression of 2009.

Naill Ferguson is a professor of both History and of Economics at Harvard University AND Harvard Business School. He's got all the credentials.

Dead Men Walking

Quote:
There is nothing like a really big economic crisis to separate the Cassandras from the Panglosses, the horsemen of the apocalypse from the Kool-Aid-swigging optimists. No, the last year has shown that all is not for the best in the best of all possible worlds. On the contrary, we might be doomed.

...

At such times, we do well to remember that most of today's public intellectuals are mere dwarves, standing on the shoulders of giants. So, if they had e-mail in the hereafter, which of the great thinkers of the past would be entitled to send us a message with the subject line: "I told you so"? And which would prefer to remain offline?

Adam Smith has had a bad year. Karl Marx had had a good one.

...

A special mention is also due to early 20th-century Marxist theorist Rudolf Hilferding (1877–1941), whose Das Finanzkapital foresaw the rise of giant "too big to fail" financial institutions.

...

Joining Smith in embarrassed silence, you might think, is Friedrich von Hayek (1899–1992), who warned back in 1944 that the welfare state would lead the West down the "road to serfdom." With a government-mandated expansion of health insurance likely to be enacted in the United States, Hayek's libertarian fears appear to have receded, at least in the Democratic Party. It has been a bumper year, on the other hand, for Hayek's old enemy, John Maynard Keynes (1883–1946), whose 1936 work The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money has become the new bible for finance ministers seeking to reduce unemployment by means of fiscal stimuli. His biographer, Robert Skidelsky, has hailed the "return of the master." Keynes's self-appointed representative on Earth, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, insists that the application of Keynesian theory, in the form of giant government deficits, has saved the world from a second Great Depression.

...

The biggest intellectual losers of all, however, must be the pioneers of the theory of efficient markets – economists still with us. . . . Now, with so many quantitative hedge funds on the scrap heap, their ideas don't seem quite so capital.

...

And the biggest winners, among economists at least? Step forward the "Austrians" – economists like Ludwig von Mises (1881–1973), who always saw credit-propelled asset bubbles as the biggest threat to the stability of capitalism.

...

Of course, history offers more than just the lesson that financial accidents will happen. One of the most important historical truths is that the first draft of history – the version that gets written on the spot by journalists and other contemporaries – is nearly always wrong. So though superficially this crisis seems like a defeat for Smith, Hayek, and Friedman, and a victory for Marx, Keynes, and Polanyi, that might well turn out to be wrong. Far from having been caused by unregulated free markets, this crisis may have been caused by distortions of the market from ill-advised government actions: explicit and implicit guarantees to supersize banks, inappropriate empowerment of rating agencies, disastrously loose monetary policy, bad regulation of big insurers, systematic encouragement of reckless mortgage lending – not to mention distortions of currency markets by central bank intervention.

...

Consider this: The argument for avoiding mass bank failures was made by Friedman, not Keynes. It was Friedman who argued that the principal reason for the depth of the Depression was the Fed's failure to avoid an epidemic of bank failures. It has been Friedman, more than Keynes, who has been Bernanke's inspiration over the past two years, as the Fed chairman has honored a pledge he made shortly before Friedman's death not to preside over another "great contraction." Nor would Friedman have been in the least worried about inflation at a time like this. The Fed's balance sheet may have expanded rapidly, but broader measures of money are growing slowly and credit is contracting. Deflation, not inflation, remains the monetarist fear.

_________________
It is a myth that coercion is necessary in order to force people to get along together, but it is a persistent myth because it feeds a desire many people have. That desire is to be able to justify hurting people who have done nothing other than offend them in some way.

Last edited by Cenedril_Gildinaur on Tue Feb 30, 2026 13:61 am; edited 426 times in total


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