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    (Original post by Bismarck)
    No, there's no chance of this ridiculous motivation. Corporations can grow just fine without interference from the government. Furthermore, America does not rely on exports, which means creating a foreign policy whose main objective is the increase of exports would be quite stupid. Then there's the fact that many of the leading neoconservatives are former Trotskyists and I find it incredibly hard to believe that someone can go from being a Trotskyist to being a corporate "slave". If you don't accept the ideologies of people at face value, then you have nothing more than conjecture. You can't decyphor people's intentions, which leaves little choice but to accept their definition of their own ideology. You wouldn't want me to define socialism the way I like just so I can attack it easier, do you?
    No, I don't want you to, but you don't have to (since Hillary Clinton and the New York Times are routinely described as "socialist," which gets me less than nowhere).

    I agree that "if you don't accept the ideologies of people at face value, then you have nothing more than conjecture"; but conjecture can be accurate if it's thoroughgoing and judicious. But I don't want to argue this general point here as it's clearly a matter for another thread....
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    [QUOTE]
    (Original post by Iz the Wiz)
    Oh, come on. Scholarship doesn't consist of reading "very simple guides to Plato" or going by what they tend to say; it consists of reading and understanding people like Plato.
    My point is that you don't see much importance in the cave or the forms while most do. Your views are odd.


    The Cave parable is a famous story because it's striking and thought-provoking. It is representative of Plato, but as an extrapolation, not a foundation, of his thought. You can disagree with it or with this element in his thinking, and still learn a great deal from him. (I find it amazing that you can equivocate about a butcher like Pinochet on another thread, but Plato and his cave story are inexcusable!)

    The cave shows he believes in two worlds, its because philopsophers know the intelligible world that they should rule. The philosophical and political are interlinked.



    You're not going to intimidate me with the prestige of your stupid school (I've known too many Ivy League airheads for that),

    Prestigious and stupid? Interesting...


    No, you ignoramus, I am saying that the structure of your argument is completely fallacious, and is in fact illustrative of one classic fallacious argument ("affirming the consequent").
    I think your very confused. You are merely repeating, you give me a claim but not an argument.
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    [QUOTE=objectivism]

    My point is that you don't see much importance in the cave or the forms while most do. Your views are odd.

    The cave shows he believes in two worlds, its because philopsophers know the intelligible world that they should rule. The philosophical and political are interlinked.
    Good manners would prevent me from replying with a "tu coque" ... if I had any manners, that is.

    On the contrary, the view that Plato is a totalitarian (one who, for instance, bears comparison with the ideology of North Korea) is "odd."

    Prestigious and stupid? Interesting...
    The conception shouldn't be so foreign to you. Think "Francon & Keating."

    I think your very confused. You are merely repeating, you give me a claim but not an argument.
    I gave you, not only an argument, but a blueprint & an exaggerated example; see post #101.

    (If you want to argue whether Kallipolis was an "open society," go somewhere else. I don't maintain that it was. But your argument basically assumes that the only alternative to an open society is a totalitarian society.)
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    [QUOTE]
    (Original post by Iz the Wiz)
    Good manners would prevent me from replying with a "tu coque" ... if I had any manners, that is.

    Wow! Latin, im amazed. :rolleyes:

    On the contrary, the view that Plato is a totalitarian (one who, for instance, bears comparison with the ideology of North Korea) is "odd."
    Its now mainstream.

    The conception shouldn't be so foreign to you. Think "Francon & Keating."
    If you've read the Fountainhead how comes your not an objectivist? I think this proves that how ever much i debate Plato with you it will be no use.
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    [QUOTE=objectivism]


    Wow! Latin, im amazed. :rolleyes:



    Its now mainstream.



    If you've read the Fountainhead how comes your not an objectivist? I think this proves that how ever much i debate Plato with you it will be no use.
    Hey, I figure they teach Latin at the best school in the world or whatever ...

    Yeah, The Fountainhead made me an Objectivist. The most loudmouth 15-year-old Objectivist you ever saw. (I still like that book, but let me tell you, there are much better books out there, "novels of Ideas" or otherwise.) I read Anthem and said, "this is getting a little dumb." I mean come on! "I looked at my reflection and saw how beautiful I am ... I will now swoon in the bitter narcissism that lies at the heart of a hatchet-faced old Russian crone ...." By the time I was halfway through Atlas Shrugged, I wanted my money back: it has to be one of the dumbest and corniest works of fiction ever published. And Rand spoke of it like it was better than War and Peace! She was a nut. She should have been a harmless nut, but people keep insisting on taking her seriously.

    My Objectivism ended when I was 16 in a rage of literary indignation. I still like the heroic and "vital" characters, but it wasn't hard to find out that better writers could pull them off more vividly and consistently (think Shaw and Morris---both Socialists, btw, not that it matters.)
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    (Original post by Iz the Wiz)
    Hey, I figure they teach Latin at the best school in the world or whatever ...

    Yeah, The Fountainhead made me an Objectivist. The most loudmouth 15-year-old Objectivist you ever saw. (I still like that book, but let me tell you, there are much better books out there, "novels of Ideas" or otherwise.) I read Anthem and said, "this is getting a little dumb." I mean come on! "I looked at my reflection and saw how beautiful I am ... I will now swoon in the bitter narcissism that lies at the heart of a hatchet-faced old Russian crone ...." By the time I was halfway through Atlas Shrugged, I wanted my money back: it has to be one of the dumbest and corniest works of fiction ever published. And Rand spoke of it like it was better than War and Peace! She was a nut. She should have been a harmless nut, but people keep insisting on taking her seriously.

    My Objectivism ended when I was 16 in a rage of literary indignation. I still like the heroic and "vital" characters, but it wasn't hard to find out that better writers could pull them off more vividly and consistently (think Shaw and Morris---both Socialists, btw, not that it matters.)
    Have you read her none-fiction? I fnd that more interesting especially 'Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal'.
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    Yeah, and it was pretty good. I read The Virtue of Selfishness and Capitalism, and I liked them, but it wasn't really until much later that I noticed she never talks about Capital & what it really is.

    She even registers her disgust with it in little ways. Controlling shareholders in her novels are always scummy looters, and she sweeps this realistic little tidbit under the rug by having them speak in Socialist jargon. (Today they're all Objectivists! Wouldn't she be proud....) As I recall, Reardon Steel isn't even publicly held. Rand's "Capitalism" is simply a healthy free society with open markets; she never talks about how capitalist countries are welfare states for the rich.

    A little thing to quibble with: how would a truly laissez-faire system prevent corporate collusion? (Maybe she addressed this & I don't remember. Is collusion OK with her? I remember that monopolies were OK, or at least she thought the market would preclude them.)
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    (Original post by Iz the Wiz)
    Yeah, and it was pretty good. I read The Virtue of Selfishness and Capitalism, and I liked them, but it wasn't really until much later that I noticed she never talks about Capital & what it really is.

    She even registers her disgust with it in little ways. Controlling shareholders in her novels are always scummy looters, and she sweeps this realistic little tidbit under the rug by having them speak in Socialist jargon. (Today they're all Objectivists! Wouldn't she be proud....) As I recall, Reardon Steel isn't even publicly held. Rand's "Capitalism" is simply a healthy free society with open markets; she never talks about how capitalist countries are welfare states for the rich.

    A little thing to quibble with: how would a truly laissez-faire system prevent corporate collusion? (Maybe she addressed this & I don't remember. Is collusion OK with her? I remember that monopolies were OK, or at least she thought the market would preclude them.)


    If by "collusion" you mean companies working together when they deem it in their self-interest, why not? Isn't the purpose of a corporation to make as much profit for it shareholders it possibly can?

    Potential employees decide for themselves whether or not to accept a job knowing it doesn't have these "perks" in advance. For existing employees, scrapping pensions and any other employee benefits would be covered by the contract and by fraud principles.

    Workplace health and safety would be covered by the contract and by tort principles. If there was a dangerous condition at the workplace, you would ask the same questions--e.g., was the company negligent? did the worker assume the risk?--you would ask in any other tort case.
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    (Original post by objectivism)
    If by "collusion" you mean companies working together when they deem it in their self-interest, why not? Isn't the purpose of a corporation to make as much profit for it shareholders it possibly can?

    Potential employees decide for themselves whether or not to accept a job knowing it doesn't have these "perks" in advance. For existing employees, scrapping pensions and any other employee benefits would be covered by the contract and by fraud principles.

    Workplace health and safety would be covered by the contract and by tort principles. If there was a dangerous condition at the workplace, you would ask the same questions--e.g., was the company negligent? did the worker assume the risk?--you would ask in any other tort case.
    Regarding collusion, I would refer first to price-fixing, which does not allow the market to function. Second, I don't know what this is technically called, but I think it happens rampantly: Manufacturers collude & agree to make poor quality products, which need to be repaired & replaced faster, and high-quality alternatives are extremely hard to find. Collusion prevents any large competitor from offering high-quality alternatives---the loser is the consumer. (This has become normal in America; it is most noticeable with clothes---"they don't make 'em like they used to"---but actually, almost no product of any kind lasts more than a few years.)

    On the employment side, employers could easily collude to deny labor any choices. If no one offers benefits, workplace protection, or even decent wages, then workers can't insist on them. And employers would soon see it's "in their interests" for hungry employees to accept $0.75 an hour because they have no choice.
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    [QUOTE]
    (Original post by Iz the Wiz)
    Regarding collusion, I would refer first to price-fixing, which does not allow the market to function.
    This would not happen because a competitor who lowers his prices just a bit will suddenly gain a huge market advantage, and will attract many customers (increasing profits).


    Secondly what if manufacturers collude & agree to make poor quality products, which need to be repaired & replaced faster, and high-quality alternatives are extremely hard to find.
    Again, given unrestricted markets, you can't force all competitors to produce crappy products. Somebody is going to produce a better product and the word will get out, and the business will all go to them. I haven't noticed any problem with clothing being of poor quality.

    The point is that in a free market, collusion to produce poor products, poor working conditions, or high prices is doomed to failure. If you can get a governmentally enforced monopoly where competition is prohibited, you can get away with collusion since there really is no choice other than to remain unemployed or to not buy the product. It's really hard to prevent competition -- just look at the PC market. Any collusion to produce something "undesirable" is going to be thwarted by the next smart guy who comes along and says "Hey, if I offer these guys benefits, I'll get better workers who will actually stick with the job". How can you stop this smart guy -- the only effective way that has ever been found to suppress competition is the initiation of force by the government.
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    [QUOTE=objectivism]

    This would not happen because a competitor who lowers his prices just a bit will suddenly gain a huge market advantage, and will attract many customers (increasing profits).
    What if (for instance) Coke, Pepsi and Snapple control all the cold soft-drink shipping into New York City? What if they've worked out exclusive contracts with shippers & thus barred entry into the market---and then they collude to fix prices? How could a competitor (let alone a small local one) ever have a chance?

    Or looks at the example of telecommunications. How is a small business ever going to offer cellular service? There's a limit to the technology, and meaningful competition does not exist. This is the wave of the future ... all you need next is Corporatist politicians, like the mayor of New York, signing exclusive contracts with various multinationals, and forget it, competition is dead.



    Again, given unrestricted markets, you can't force all competitors to produce crappy products. Somebody is going to produce a better product and the word will get out, and the business will all go to them. I haven't noticed any problem with clothing being of poor quality.

    The point is that in a free market, collusion to produce poor products, poor working conditions, or high prices is doomed to failure. If you can get a governmentally enforced monopoly where competition is prohibited, you can get away with collusion since there really is no choice other than to remain unemployed or to not buy the product. It's really hard to prevent competition -- just look at the PC market. Any collusion to produce something "undesirable" is going to be thwarted by the next smart guy who comes along and says "Hey, if I offer these guys benefits, I'll get better workers who will actually stick with the job". How can you stop this smart guy -- the only effective way that has ever been found to suppress competition is the initiation of force by the government.
    What's going on in the world of computers IS interesting, and it stands out as something approaching how Capitalism is supposed to work (except that government-funded institutions provided the R&D and pioneered the technology with tax dollars). But that's because (1) it's a new industry and not completely tameable yet for exploitation purposes, (2) we in the West don't really manufacture computer hardware, and the manufacture of software isn't actual labor, it's service-sector work or professional work. (Of course wages are high: we're consumers; our place in the world economy right now is to buy things.)

    In the absence of labor unions, Capitalism has always tended toward bad working conditions, and in the absence of real competition, toward poor products.
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    [QUOTE]
    (Original post by Iz the Wiz)
    What if (for instance) Coke, Pepsi and Snapple control all the cold soft-drink shipping into New York City? What if they've worked out exclusive contracts with shippers & thus barred entry into the market---and then they collude to fix prices? How could a competitor (let alone a small local one) ever have a chance?

    This can't be a problem, since there is no limit on the number of shippers into New York. For a place the size of NYC this is really a non-issue; there are thousands of actual shipping companies and millions of potential competitors. So let's take a smaller place, like Mattawa, WA, where the chances of competition are smaller. First, Don and Arnie can easily open up a competing shipping business; second, there's no law that keeps people from simply going to Royal City or Kittitas to get their soft drinks, if they are not happy with the local supply and prices. This is an arbitrary "what if" scenarios of socialists, which would never happen.
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    [QUOTE=objectivism]


    This can't be a problem, since there is no limit on the number of shippers into New York. For a place the size of NYC this is really a non-issue; there are thousands of actual shipping companies and millions of potential competitors.
    No, there aren't, and hundreds of shippers can be cut out of the loop by City Hall (as they were when for instance, Mayor Bloomberg declared Snapple NYC's "official beverage.") In actual fact, you cannot buy a can of any type of soda other than Coke or Pepsico products anywhere in Manhattan. And this wasn't the case even 3 years ago.
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    (Original post by Iz the Wiz)
    No, there aren't, and hundreds of shippers can be cut out of the loop by City Hall (as they were when for instance, Mayor Bloomberg declared Snapple NYC's "official beverage.") In actual fact, you cannot buy a can of any type of soda other than Coke or Pepsico products anywhere in Manhattan. And this wasn't the case even 3 years ago.
    Have you ever been in a Mantattan supermarket? I think not if you really think that. I know for a fact that you could get Canada Dry Ginger Ale, since I bought it a few weeks ago.
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    (Original post by Bismarck)
    Have you ever been in a Mantattan supermarket? I think not if you really think that. I know for a fact that you could get Canada Dry Ginger Ale, since I bought it a few weeks ago.
    Go to your fridge and get your Canada Dry. On the label it says "CCE." Coca Cola Enterprises.
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    (Original post by Iz the Wiz)
    Go to your fridge and get your Canada Dry. On the label it says "CCE." Coca Cola Enterprises.
    Try again.
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    (Original post by Bismarck)
    Try again.
    Okay.
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    (Original post by Iz the Wiz)
    Okay.
    Unless Coca Cola owns Cadbury Schweppes, that information is wrong.

    Look at the brands.

    According to the Canada Dry website, the company is owned by Cadbury Schweppes.
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    (Original post by Bismarck)
    Unless Coca Cola owns Cadbury Schweppes, that information is wrong.

    Look at the brands.

    According to the Canada Dry website, the company is owned by Cadbury Schweppes.
    They bottle & distribute it, so obviously its presence in NYC doesn't disprove Coke's partial domination of the market.
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    [QUOTE]
    (Original post by Iz the Wiz)
    What if (for instance) Coke, Pepsi and Snapple control all the cold soft-drink shipping into New York City? What if they've worked out exclusive contracts with shippers & thus barred entry into the market---and then they collude to fix prices? How could a competitor (let alone a small local one) ever have a chance?
    Why on earth would any profit-seeking shipping company agree to forego future business and shun future customers? Even if they did, what would stop a new shipping company from entering the business? As a rule, businesses are always seeking additional customers. Look at the millions spent on advertising. Why advertise, except to attract new customers?Businesses are focused on growth, not stagnation.


    Or looks at the example of telecommunications. How is a small business ever going to offer cellular service? There's a limit to the technology, and meaningful competition does not exist.
    Every day I see dozens of television adds from cellular customers trying to lure me away from my current supplier. Why does this not constitute "meaningful competition"?

    If there is no meaningful competition, why has the cost of mobile phone service plummeted in the last 10 years? Why have so many new features been added? If there is no meaningful competition, why can I go into a supermarket and buy a pre-paid cell phone without a contractual service period? Do you think cell phone companies are doing all of this out of the goodness of their heart? No, they are doing it to stay competitive, to keep the other suppliers from taking their customers.



    This is the wave of the future ... all you need next is Corporatist politicians, like the mayor of New York, signing exclusive contracts with various multinationals, and forget it, competition is dead.
    Under capitalism, no government official has the power to exclude competition or limit suppliers in a given area. It is only under one or another varieties of statism -- such as fascism, socialism, communism, or a "mixed economy" like we have in the U. S. -- where government officials have the legal power to use force to control businesses.




    What's going on in the world of computers IS interesting, and it stands out as something approaching how Capitalism is supposed to work (except that government-funded institutions provided the R&D and pioneered the technology with tax dollars). But that's because (1) it's a new industry and not completely tameable yet for exploitation purposes, (2) we in the West don't really manufacture computer hardware, and the manufacture of software isn't actual labor, it's service-sector work or professional work. (Of course wages are high: we're consumers; our place in the world economy right now is to buy things.)

    Are we to understand that you believe the computer industry is the only industry with "meaningful competition"? Go to your local supermarket and count the number of brands of products that exist for any one type of item. Count the number of items that have only one supplier.

    Do you not understand that all of those suppliers are in competition with one another? And if one of them finds a way to lower his price or improve his quality, the others will have to follow suit or lose market share and suffer lower profits.



    In the absence of labor unions, Capitalism has always tended toward bad working conditions, and in the absence of real competition, toward poor products
    No, it is not the case. In the USA for example union membership has declined steadily from a high of about 30% of the workforce in the 1930s to about 12% now. At the same time, real wages and working conditions and the standard of living in the U.S. have improved drastically. What does that tell you?
 
 
 
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