Saturday, March 26, 2011
CRONY CAPITALISM: Big Business v. Big Government (both bad)
Readers: see original article by Martin Hutchinson and Mike G’s comment with the link below.
Mike: I am thankful for your comment on this blog, hope you don’t mind we are turning it into a post since it raises very important topics. For ease of my older eyes and perhaps others,… I’d like to respond with your initial MG with your direct quote/comment, then my response. –Bob
STAND UP FOR AMERICA! original blog post;
MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2011
CRONY CAPITALISM: Big Business v. Big Government (both bad)
MG: First, let me say that I agree that Crony Capitalism not only exists, but harms US citizens and prohibits the very free market principles many of the “CC” practitioners supposedly espouse.
BOB: agreed, of course not all free marketers are CC practitioners many who espouse free market principles also support “fair trade": principles. i.e. fair currency values, no product misrepresentations (fake goods, shoddy workmanship, IP violations, etc.)
MG: However, I also believe that the call for "small government" is a misnomer; rather the desire should be for 'efficient' government.
BOB: in the real world now, smaller government is needed first as a means to obtain efficiency, business doesn’t stay bloated while pursuing efficiency – cut the fat (downsize) build efficiency – this involves recognition of talent, business goals, etc…
MG: Certainly, an efficient government would be smaller, but its reach would not be lessened, so much as 'fine-tuned.'
BOB: I like your words but your meaning sounds like a politician, it seems you are biased to keep the public payroll large… but fine tuned – an oxymoron in my view – but I could be wrong…
MG: The power of lobbies must certainly be reduced. Their existence has created an end-run around the legal system for big business by enabling ex post facto alterations to legal rulings and penalization.
BOB: we share the same heart beat on this point but only to a point. California is not ruled by big business it is ruled by public unions. You are revealing your naiveté in not recognizing the politicians are essentially animals who will feast from whatever trough is filled, it is the system that allows troughs to exist that is failing the American public, this is why the Tea Party came into being. The Tea Party among other groups and people recognize both the Republicans & Democrats are both equally at fault for the state of our economy, poor education, etc. Repub's spent on wars and Dem's spent just as bad on ineffective social programs.
MG: In fact, Microsoft used its size on numerous occasions to force smaller tech companies either entirely or nearly out of business. Not only did it bully the free market and force competitors from the market, but coined the term 'vaporware' to describe software yet to be produced and announced as a measure to influence smaller businesses from attempting to compete. A good example of this is Netscape -- the for-profit extension of the Mozilla project, which provided free browsers to individuals, but charged business for its software. Late to the game, Microsoft steps in to offer a free web browser, severely hampering Netscape's profitability -- and questionably flouting Copyright Law. Additionally, MS used its near exclusivity in the PC market to influence the creation and viewability of Web sites.
BOB: Mike your geekiness on this subject is boring me… Who cares? You could have bought an Apple, you could have and still can find ways not to utilize a PC or Microsoft products. Read some history a monopoly in the railroad days – a real monopoly, real political control over company towns state officials and federal politicians were issued stock shares! At that time, in the olden days, people “browsed” at work mainly, in our time - right now you definitely don’t need MS.
MG: I also take exception with your characterization of the phase-out of incandescent bulbs: In fact, it is NOT a ban, but rather the institution of energy-saving regulations. Incandescent bulbs may still be produced, but must now meet new energy-saving regulations.
BOB: yes – this is clear in the original article, please tell me something more important… is it true flourscent technology for GE is more profitiable? Why is fluorescent technology deserving of any promotion? Obama wants windmills and high speed rail, solar panels – not exactly worthy of government subsidy... Old technology… Why not a government competition for revolutionary technology? 50 year light bulb 500 mph train? Etc., etc.
MG: While I agree that the relocation of labor to foreign countries is a detriment to the U.S. and it's GDP, tying it to a movement to a more energy efficient method of lighting is disingenuous at least.
BOB: do you prefer to export jobs for the sake of the environment? Of course, easy the word environment makes some all fuzzy and warm but the GDP in effect means lost jobs and unemployment in the US fluorescent lighting with mercury, albeit small amounts is not an Alamo to defend.
MG: Additionally, the continued debate over Global Warming is also becoming tiresome. The scientific community is in agreement regarding the effects of pollutants and various emissions. Describing it as 'hysteria' is a failure to separate the problem from the opportunists.
BOB: there simply are plenty of pollutants but in California, where we pay a premium on regular gas due to California own special blend for reduced emissions that no one else has we realize government is taking from the people with an agenda of so called environmentalism for a long time. Tiresome is correct in that neither side can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that global warming is man made. Easy to say there is agreement… the world is flat, the next ice age is coming, a comet or asteroid will hit us, the “big one” is due in CA, WA/OR or Yellowstone, NY. Of course it is!
MG: Again, I would like to state that I fully agree with the main point of this article and it's contempt for Crony Capitalism; however, rather than looking upon the issues themselves with contempt, it makes more sense to be on guard against the predators (on the Capitalist side) and parasites (on the Socialist side).
BOB: very convenient to mention parasites on the socialist side but I didn’t really read anything from you in this message about that. I’m hoping you would espouse some thoughts on that for us, in detail.
MG: In an era of rampant technology, the socio-economic phenomenon of "specialization" allows for greater advancement, but has the drawback of making it difficult to acquire sufficient and accurate information to gird the consumer from those that would take advantage. It therefore falls upon the government to balance the extremes of "laissez faire" and "caveat emptier" practices -- making it possible for the American consumer to make the an educated and fair decision with its "dollar votes".
BOB: puzzled by the use of the term “socio-economic phenomenon” to describe “specialization: this has been a term used since the industrial revolution for a career. If you are talking about “rampant technology” in terms of medical treatment, electronic devices IPod /Kindle or even pharmaceuticals (you’ve seen the commercials: side effect death and your dick falls off). Consumers are generally as well educated as they need to be but with some Chinese imports not so much; pet food, toys with lead paint, baby milk, corrosive drywall, tires, etc. We have magazines like consumer reports, we have the internet, we have word of mouth, the government is only – mostly one small voice in the mix and many times it can’t be trusted! Look at the deficit!
MG: I also believe that in a free market, the creation of incentives to motivate business practices and production is not harmful, but rather a fair method of offsetting the costs of retooling, etc. The use of such practices must only be wielded fairly and with intelligent usage. While the government has shown it has difficulty with such things, that does not change the necessity for such an exercise.
BOB: be honest with yourself, where else on earth do you expect to win an argument except on the internet, or an academic journal with “…that does not change the necessity for such an exercise.” Really? Speaking with someone personally or to a group of business leaders this is just bureaucratic language and be honest about this bureaucratic language for do it this way because I said so. Business doesn’t need incentive from government. If you have the occasion to read Benjamin Franklin’s unfinished autobiography you’ll read his story of a government official giving him his good letter of credit to buy BF all the hi-technology equipment BF needed to start his business. All BS! The letter was worthless, despite this he stayed in England learned the business, the latest techniques, the latest equipment and became a leading government official independent of and in some way despite government.