Why would Libertarianism stop corporations from being unethical? Watch

Gremlins
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#81
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#81
(Original post by Jay Riall)
Well that depends what you mean by kindness really, it's a pretty expansive and inexact word.

You're talking about libertarian socialism right?
Actually I just wanted to see if you thought the kind of values you have to hold to be successful in a market economy are actually values that are desireable; people often find Objectivist morality slightly repulsive (and so they should), but really Rand is just rationalising the relations between people in a market economy - the nice guy very rarely wins. If hypothetically we could run a successful economy off people being nice to each other, would you support it? If the answer is yes, then why are you an anarcho-capitalist rather than campaigning, or thinking, or helping to figure out how such an economy might work?
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Mr_K_Dilkington
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#82
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(Original post by Gremlins)
Actually I just wanted to see if you thought the kind of values you have to hold to be successful in a market economy are actually values that are desireable; people often find Objectivist morality slightly repulsive (and so they should), but really Rand is just rationalising the relations between people in a market economy - the nice guy very rarely wins.
She is, but she does not have any sort of hegemony on the ethics or virtues of the movement. Many ancaps and libertarians are frankly disgusted at her sense of ethics. I wouldn't say I am repulsed by her morality (I think it is fairly misunderstood by many people, especially when it comes to the issue of altruism), but I definitely do think an objectivist world would not be a good world to live in. Just an fyi, Rand was not an ancap, she was a strong statist and had quite a penchant at times for strong military action (you can see this by her hard on for Ragnar in Atlas Shrugged).

(Original post by Gremlins)
If hypothetically we could run a successful economy off people being nice to each other, would you support it?
Well, there's quite a lot more to that question than running a successful economy. Individuality? Freedom? Peace? Prosperity? Choice? Creativity? Fulfillment? Independence? It's not a sensible question. But yeah, it would be nice to have an economy that runs on people being nice to each other, whatever that means.

(Original post by Gremlins)
If the answer is yes, then why are you an anarcho-capitalist rather than campaigning, or thinking, or helping to figure out how such an economy might work?
Because obviously I don't think an anarcho-capitalist society would be as horrible as you think. I think it could help solve an awful lot of problems which cause a lot of misery in this world. If I can discover an alternative which is more worthwhile pursuing, I would be interested, but I have yet to find that alternative.
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sconzey
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#83
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#83
(Original post by Gremlins)
If hypothetically we could run a successful economy off people being nice to each other, would you support it? If the answer is yes, then why are you an anarcho-capitalist rather than campaigning, or thinking, or helping to figure out how such an economy might work?
Because I think that the nicest thing I can do for you is consensually exchange something that you have that I want for something that I have that you want.

One of the nastiest things I can do to you is force you -- on pain of imprisonment -- to give me a portion of that which you produce so that I can give it to someone I deem "more worthy" than you.
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Collingwood
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(Original post by Gremlins)
Actually I just wanted to see if you thought the kind of values you have to hold to be successful in a market economy are actually values that are desireable; people often find Objectivist morality slightly repulsive (and so they should), but really Rand is just rationalising the relations between people in a market economy - the nice guy very rarely wins. If hypothetically we could run a successful economy off people being nice to each other, would you support it? If the answer is yes, then why are you an anarcho-capitalist rather than campaigning, or thinking, or helping to figure out how such an economy might work?
I don't see why respecting peoples' property and independence is somehow unkind.

This post would be rather like me saying: "Why do you want to steal peoples' property? Next you'll be saying you want to send me to starve in a gulag. Many people find Stalin repulsive, but really he's just rationalising the relations between people under socialism: obedience of the expendable masses to the rule of the guiding intellectual elite. If we could hypothetically run an economy off not enslaving and murdering everyone, would you support it?"

Obviously yes, but I guess that's not how you view socialism.
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beepbeeprichie
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#85
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#85
Nothing would stop them. Libertarians lie. They just want to continue the current system so the big corporations can benefit from their advantage which was given to them by the state, and do so under the guise of 'from each as he chooses, to each as he is chosen'.
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Mr_K_Dilkington
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(Original post by tomheppy)
Nothing would stop them. Libertarians lie. They just want to continue the current system so the big corporations can benefit from their advantage which was given to them by the state, and do so under the guise of 'from each as he chooses, to each as he is chosen'.
Except we want to take away the privileges given to corporations by the state. The system we espouse is nothing like the current one which allows big business to lobby governments for legislation and favours which are injurious to consumers and competitors. Libertarians, especially ancaps (not the faux American conservative "libertarians") are some of the most vocal critics of state-corporatism, the military-industrial complex and the grizzle public-private alliance. If you dispute that then you have no place in this thread.

Don't you have some flies to go and save from being murdered or a lion to lock up to save some gazelles?
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sconzey
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#87
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#87
(Original post by Jay Riall)
The impact of the devestating hammer-blow of your logical smackdown was rather dulled by that unexpected smilie.
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Mr_K_Dilkington
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(Original post by sconzey)
The impact of the devestating hammer-blow of your logical smackdown was rather dulled by that unexpected smilie.
lol I only just realized that was in there. laptop keyboards + beer = typing fail
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beepbeeprichie
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(Original post by Jay Riall)
Except we want to take away the privileges given to corporations by the state. The system we espouse is nothing like the current one which allows big business to lobby governments for legislation and favours which are injurious to consumers and competitors. Libertarians, especially ancaps (not the faux American conservative "libertarians") are some of the most vocal critics of state-corporatism, the military-industrial complex and the grizzle public-private alliance. If you dispute that then you have no place in this thread.

Don't you have some flies to go and save from being murdered or a lion to lock up to save some gazelles?
Then would you support systematically disassemble corporations by Nozick's third principle of compensating wrongs (perpetrated by the state)? If you do then I would be more sympathetic to libertarianism.

And for the record, as I have said innumerable times, flies don't have rights. Animal rights is another area where many libertarians fall drastically short of morality.
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sconzey
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(Original post by tomheppy)
Then would you support systematically disassemble corporations by Nozick's third principle of compensating wrongs (perpetrated by the state)? If you do then I would be more sympathetic to libertarianism.
You see, I don't get this prejudice in Socialism against corporations.

Mr Brown is a baker. He's a good baker, and bakes tasty bread and cakes. People come to his shop and buy his bread and cakes and he makes a neat profit that he puts aside each month "for a rainy day".

Word spreads of his skill with an oven and his doughy fingers. Soon the customers come so thick and fast that he can't handle them on his own, so he takes some of his profit, and hires an apprentice.

The apprentice learns fast and becomes nearly as good as Mr Brown himself, so Mr Brown uses some more of his savings and buys a store-front in a nearby town and sends off the apprentice to start the second branch, splitting the profits between them.

At which point does Mr Brown stop being the family baker; hero of the proliteriat, and start being the evil capitalist; exploiting the international working class?
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Mr_K_Dilkington
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#91
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#91
(Original post by tomheppy)
Then would you support systematically disassemble corporations by Nozick's third principle of compensating wrongs (perpetrated by the state)? If you do then I would be more sympathetic to libertarianism.
It depends on the situation tbh. In the most obvious cases, yes, I would like to see that if the people harmed could be traced and the people responsible found. There are a huge number of barriers to this though - the practicality of attempting something like that (depending on how broadly you define the offenses) would be ridiculous, there has to be a degree of efficacy in the process. There is also nothing worse than an ex post facto law. The Third World suing governments or corporations in the first for the damage caused by tariffs they raised just isn't going to happen.

(Original post by tomheppy)
And for the record, as I have said innumerable times, flies don't have rights. Animal rights is another area where many libertarians fall drastically short of morality.
Sorry, spiders then.
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Collingwood
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#92
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(Original post by tomheppy)
Then would you support systematically disassemble corporations by Nozick's third principle of compensating wrongs (perpetrated by the state)? If you do then I would be more sympathetic to libertarianism.
I don't see how this follows. By all means compensate people for identifiable harms caused by, for instance, limited liability, but disassembling companies compensates no one. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with companies, once stripped of legal protections like limited liability, subsidies, bailouts etc. People do have a right to pool their property, they just don't have a right to receive legal privileges for doing so.

And for the record, as I have said innumerable times, flies don't have rights. Animal rights is another area where many libertarians fall drastically short of morality.
You agree animals don't have rights (actually you could take a contrary stance and still be a libertarian, but almost no non-libertarians do this, so I don't see why we should be held to such a standard), yet you think it's wrong to kill them? Maybe when you actually have a coherent theory of animal rights, you can come back and tell us it's better than ours.
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beepbeeprichie
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#93
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#93
(Original post by Collingwood)
I don't see how this follows. By all means compensate people for identifiable harms caused by, for instance, limited liability, but disassembling companies compensates no one. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with companies, once stripped of legal protections like limited liability, subsidies, bailouts etc. People do have a right to pool their property, they just don't have a right to receive legal privileges for doing so.


You agree animals don't have rights (actually you could take a contrary stance and still be a libertarian, but almost no non-libertarians do this, so I don't see why we should be held to such a standard), yet you think it's wrong to kill them? Maybe when you actually have a coherent theory of animal rights, you can come back and tell us it's better than ours.
I do have a pretty coherent theory of animal rights and you would realise this if you weren't so presumptuous. I believe that SOME animals have rights and some do not. I also have an extremely good reason to delineate the former and the latter; sentience. Spiders may or may not have rights, it depends on an empirical (well, it depends on how you interpret qualia) issue. Exactly what sentience is is a difficult issue but if you have it then so do SOME animals to a CERTAIN extent. Please don't make such rash assumptions in the future.
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beepbeeprichie
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#94
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#94
(Original post by Jay Riall)
It depends on the situation tbh. In the most obvious cases, yes, I would like to see that if the people harmed could be traced and the people responsible found. There are a huge number of barriers to this though - the practicality of attempting something like that (depending on how broadly you define the offenses) would be ridiculous, there has to be a degree of efficacy in the process. There is also nothing worse than an ex post facto law. The Third World suing governments or corporations in the first for the damage caused by tariffs they raised just isn't going to happen.

Wouldn't it be easier just to dismantle all corporations given the massive co-ercion the state has played to the advantage of the corporations? But there would be no laws in an anarcho-capitalist 'state' so there would be no ex post facto law?
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beepbeeprichie
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#95
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#95
(Original post by sconzey)
You see, I don't get this prejudice in Socialism against corporations.

Mr Brown is a baker. He's a good baker, and bakes tasty bread and cakes. People come to his shop and buy his bread and cakes and he makes a neat profit that he puts aside each month "for a rainy day".

Word spreads of his skill with an oven and his doughy fingers. Soon the customers come so thick and fast that he can't handle them on his own, so he takes some of his profit, and hires an apprentice.

The apprentice learns fast and becomes nearly as good as Mr Brown himself, so Mr Brown uses some more of his savings and buys a store-front in a nearby town and sends off the apprentice to start the second branch, splitting the profits between them.

At which point does Mr Brown stop being the family baker; hero of the proliteriat, and start being the evil capitalist; exploiting the international working class?
I am not a socialist but I do have a genuine hatred of big corporations. I think that you make an important point in that there seems to be no way to easily delineate (and then condemn) big corporations from little ones. This is one of the objections that I hold to anarcho-capitalism in that free trade among individuals is acceptable but the hierarchal system that develops when big corporations arise is not acceptable. Anarcho-capitalism says that one is a natural and morally acceptable progression from the other.
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Captain Crash
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#96
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#96
(Original post by sconzey)
You see, I don't get this prejudice in Socialism against corporations.

Mr Brown is a baker. He's a good baker, and bakes tasty bread and cakes. People come to his shop and buy his bread and cakes and he makes a neat profit that he puts aside each month "for a rainy day".

Word spreads of his skill with an oven and his doughy fingers. Soon the customers come so thick and fast that he can't handle them on his own, so he takes some of his profit, and hires an apprentice.

The apprentice learns fast and becomes nearly as good as Mr Brown himself, so Mr Brown uses some more of his savings and buys a store-front in a nearby town and sends off the apprentice to start the second branch, splitting the profits between them.

At which point does Mr Brown stop being the family baker; hero of the proliteriat, and start being the evil capitalist; exploiting the international working class?
The crucial points you miss are the parts where Mr Brown's new company gives him limited liability if he decides to cut the flour with chalk to save costs.

Or when he becomes a plc whereby his only aim as CEO of the company is the short-term returns to the shareholders in order to keep his position, quite possibly at the expense of the values he held originally.

The situation you describe isn't a corporation as such - it becomes one when the company becomes a body corporate in the eyes of the law.
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Captain Crash
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#97
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(Original post by Jay Riall)
Actually most of the time they weren't temporarily undercutting competitors, they were permanently undercutting them. This was due to a huge economy of scale and more efficient logisitics and manufacturing techniques.
The charge brought against them by the US government was exactly that they temporarily undercut competitors only to restore prices once the other had gone under. And they were found guilty.
(Original post by Jay Riall)
huh, how is it possible for one company to buy up all the materials required to make something as common as a barrel (without government)?
In relatively underdeveloped areas like Cleveland, buying up metal was relatively easy in 19th century america.
(Original post by Jay Riall)
I don't even understand what the point is here? Of course Standard Oil is going to get cheaper shipping rates due to the fact it ships more oil. This is standard business practice. Why do you think a multi-pack in a supermarket is cheaper than buying the items individually?
That wasn't what I was saying. Rather it was a situation whereby Standard Oil formed under the table deals to give them
(Original post by Jay Riall)
This is standard business practise again. It's actually pretty good for business in many ways. People make a lot of money making start-up software firms and then selling them to Microsoft. Only a company with Microsofts contacts, economies of scale and infrastructure can continue with bigger projects. The company my dad worked for did just this - the MD built up his company, sold it to Microsoft when it got to a certain size (due to Microsoft being the most viable way to really expand the business) and carried on managing it. He made an absolute fortune and it is great for the customers when start-ups like this can get this kind of support from a big company.

Also, the practise you describe actually hurt Rockefeller in the long run. There was a guy (sorry, don't remember his name) who went round starting up small oil businesses all over America knowing that Standard would buy them up. He made an absolute fortune doing this until Rockefeller realized what the guy was doing, how it could go on indefinitely and realized how unprofitable it was buying up all these small competitors.
And i'd criticize microsoft for this practice too - more often than not the bought up companies lost their inovation and stagnated under the microsoft business culture. The point with Standard Oil though, was that they often temporially undercut competitors in order to force them to sell.
(Original post by Jay Riall)

Yeah, this is just an economy of scale again and it is great since it reduces Standard Oil's operating costs, which in turn leads to price cuts for consumers.
Supposedly independent countries giving favourable rates to it's secret owners is economy of scale? That's like Tescos only selling Coke rather than pepsi because they owned by Coca Cola.
(Original post by Jay Riall)

Ok, well now we're getting into completely different territory. This is just illegal, nothing to do with a legitimate monopoly and is a failure of government to keep law and order if anything (and if true).

Where is your source for all this information?
http://bschool.washington.edu/PDF/Ex...noQ_Apr_07.pdf page 4
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Captain Crash
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(Original post by Jay Riall)
Please think about why technology (and manufacturing and logistical cost amongst other things) was getting cheaper and which company was driving it...
Technology that improved prices (better transport, better steam engines etc) occured aside from Standard Oil. Besides, would not a multitude of companies competing produce a better price rate drop than a single monopolistic company developing solo?
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Mr_K_Dilkington
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#99
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(Original post by Captain Crash)
The charge brought against them by the US government was exactly that they temporarily undercut competitors only to restore prices once the other had gone under. And they were found guilty.
And yet prices magically fell and output increased? Who are we trying to protect here, consumers or inefficient competitors? Helping the inefficient competitors is invariably going to hurt the consumers, so which is it?

Edit: D.T. Armentano author of AntiTrust the Case for Repeal writes "Second, although predatory practices were alleged by the government at trial, Standard offered rebuttal on all counts. Neither the trial court nor the Supreme Court ever made any specific finding of guilt on the conflicting charges of predatory practices." So, were they found guilty or not?

He also writes "the Supreme Court broke up the Standard Oil holding company not because of any demonstrable harm to consumers (there was none) but because it discerned some vague "intent" to monopolize through Standard's many mergers, an "intent" that just as clearly never succeeded in producing any monopoly."

"Intent" which never actually achieves monopoly hardly seems like the good basis for a law.

(Original post by Captain Crash)
In relatively underdeveloped areas like Cleveland, buying up metal was relatively easy in 19th century america.
There is absolutely no way a company would be able to do this over a sustained period of time without massively cutting into their profitability, if they were able to do this at all which I doubt.

That wasn't what I was saying. Rather it was a situation whereby Standard Oil formed under the table deals to give them

(Original post by Captain Crash)
And i'd criticize microsoft for this practice too - more often than not the bought up companies lost their inovation and stagnated under the microsoft business culture.
My dad used to work for a company which was eventually bought up by Microsoft. he has worked as a software engineer for 25 years or so. He says that Microsoft bring resources, capital, management, expertise and a host of other things to most of the companies they buy up,.though obviously not all (we can't ask for perfection). Are you seriously going to try to argue that Microsoft has damaged the software market overall? Because that is absolutely hilarious.

This is from your link - "In 1870, Rockefeller teamed with his brother William, Henry M. Flagler and Samuel Andrews (the inventor of an inexpensive means of refining crude oil) to establish the Standard Oil Company."

So I guess Standard Oil was instrumental in bringing down prices and making manufacture more efficient and cheap huh?

(Original post by Captain Crash)
The point with Standard Oil though, was that they often temporially undercut competitors in order to force them to sell.
They tried this for a while and found it unprofitable and counterproductive. Also, see my first point.

(Original post by Captain Crash)
Supposedly independent countries giving favourable rates to it's secret owners is economy of scale? That's like Tescos only selling Coke rather than pepsi because they owned by Coca Cola.
Standard Oil didn't own the railroads, that's not what the sentence you quoted said. What exactly did Standard Oil do which was wrong here? Voluntary trade between two companies? Why shouldn't railroads give cheaper rates to Standard Oil if they choose (it's in their advantage to seeing as Standard Oil can give them huge amounts of business over long periods of time).

Also, what would be wrong with Tesco only selling Coke because they owned it? Should everyone be forced to carry all types of brands? The fact is it would hurt Tesco to do this since it restricts choice in their stores, which ultimately hurt profits.

(Original post by Captain Crash)
http://bschool.washington.edu/PDF/Ex...noQ_Apr_07.pdf page 4
I don't see any reference here, so I've no idea if it's true or not. For the sake of argument, let's say it was true. Anarcho-capitalists would not support coercion of this kind in any, way, shape or form, so I really don't know what you're point is here. You may as well have posted a link to the Great Train Robbery for all it means.

Thomas DiLorenzo - "Standard Oil was such an extraordinarily efficient company that even Rockefeller’s harshest journalistic critic, Ida Tarbell, described it as "a marvelous example of economy." The efficiencies of economies of scale and vertical integration caused the price of refined petroleum to fall from over 30 cents per gallon in 1869 to 10 cents by 1874, and to 5.9 cents in 1897. During the same period Rockefeller reduced his average costs from 3 cents to 0.29 cents per gallon."

Edit: oh wait I found the source of the information for the article in your link. The PBS (TV station) website and www.u-s-history.com. Not exactly the most convincing sources.

Something your link doesn't mention which is clearly crucial is that "Even in domestic refining, Standard's share of the market declined for decades prior to the antitrust case (64% in 1907) and there were at least 137 competitors (firms like Shell, Gulf, Texaco) in oil refining in 1911." An article that talks about how how badly Standard monopolized the market, but doesn't mention this crucial fact doesn't strike me as the most impartial of sources about antitrust legislation.
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Mr_K_Dilkington
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#100
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(Original post by Captain Crash)
Technology that improved prices (better transport, better steam engines etc) occured aside from Standard Oil. Besides, would not a multitude of companies competing produce a better price rate drop than a single monopolistic company developing solo?
See my point about Standard Oil's advances above. Seriously, arguing that John D Rockefeller didn't innovate in the oil manufacturing business is ridiculous.

(Original post by Captain Crash)
Besides, would not a multitude of companies competing produce a better price rate drop than a single monopolistic company developing solo?
Please show me this single company that monopolised the oil industry. I'd love to see it.
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