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Old 12-09-2018, 07:26 PM
 
2,322 posts, read 1,461,727 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
You've nailed it, there.

The rest of your post is as conventional, basic economic thought as it's possible to state, without the slightest hint of being able to think outside that tiny concrete box. You don't even seem to catch the irony. You were that very earnest student in the front row, weren't you?

Q.E.D.
And you must be the aloof professor who never quite left the ivory tower and joined us in reality?

It’s always nice to see your arrogance shine through, pub911.
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Old 12-09-2018, 07:27 PM
 
24,934 posts, read 27,137,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SportyandMisty View Post
There are many prerequisites, including a well developed concept of property rights and courts to enforce them.

At the end of the day, Capitalism is the most powerful force for good yet devised.
I think people don't understand the difference between true free market capitalism and crony capitalism. People just act as if the two are one in the same. We need government to keep markets free. But what do you do when the corrupt crony capitalists and the corrupt government are in bed together? It's like asking the fox to guard the hen house.

The core issue for me is keeping systems free of corruption. There's no other substitute for that other than constant vigilance. Unfortunately, we've all fallen down on the job as far as that goes.
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Old 12-09-2018, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
2,953 posts, read 1,297,059 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddm2k View Post
Maybe not.

But what would be profound and revolutionary is if the general public would eschew such highly congested areas and build out instead of up. This hypercapitalism is taking place in hyper-dense areas with very little privacy. The first-world equivalent of selling clean bottled water in 3rd world countries, because there is no accessible comparable alternative.
Oh, we did that. We call it Los Angeles. You know, where they filmed Leave it to Beaver? It's just like that.

No doubt Jenna Jameson and her cohorts did a remake as well. That privacy helped certain industries quite a bit.

If you don't know who she is, use this link, not Google:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jenna_Jameson
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Old 12-09-2018, 08:23 PM
 
789 posts, read 519,359 times
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The fact folks seek to monetize what they can does not surprise me, given the founding principles of this country. Has it become hypercapitalistic? I don’t know. I’m not so much troubled about the packaging and monetizing of such basic necessities as clean air, water, sleep, intimacy, companionship, and common sense guidance (life coach), as much as I’m troubled that their demand is a symptom of an ailing society, filled with floundering individuals drifting further off track.

I do miss the days of “purer” capitalism, when the consumers set the tempo and the suppliers followed suit. The days of mercantilist Mrs. Olson and her competitor across town, each fighting for the consumer’s dollar by raising standards or lowering prices. Now it seems to be reversed, and consumers are given little to no choices in who supplies needed services (telecom) or necessary medicines. The end result being price gouging and/or poor service.

I’m struck in reading Bill Bryson’s memoir, “The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid” how consumer-driven capitalism existed even up until the middle of the last century. Have we regressed back to pre-FMIA days? No, but we do not have a primarily consumer-driven capitalistic system so much as one driven by monopolies and mega-corporations.
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Old 12-09-2018, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
2,953 posts, read 1,297,059 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
Good comments. Thanks.

The example shouldn't be taken too strongly - yeah, yeah, renting a mall space and fitting it with nap cubicles is perfectly fine and legal and so forth. It's the idea that something as individual and intimately personal as sleep can be sold back to us. Even the right to breathe has been monetized (unsuccessfully, in the long run) - remember "oxygen bars"?

That we have crossed the line between things that are sold to us and things that are inherent and free, with more and more of the latter are being packaged and branded and marketed and sold and embedded as an essential purchase, is disturbing. No, it's not a completely new and revolutionary thought; I'm one of those who have been analyzing and railing against consumerism for the better part of a decade. But the notion inherent in the term hypercapitalism brings together a bunch of somewhat different viewpoints into one that can be thought of as a new entity in modern socioeconomics - and something that is even more wholly negative than consumerism as a whole.

Look at it this way: by allowing ourselves to be sold everything including the right to stand in a particular spot of no other value, and sleep, and water, and air, and vague 'privileges' that no one before thought of as something that had to be purchased as a product, we're cementing ourselves even more solidly into the consumerist paradise of the conglomerate makers, who want us to buy our very right to exist from a store filled with nothing but their products.

The predecessor of this notion is a whole host of racist, discriminatory, demeaning caricatures of pushcart peddlers who would sell you your own hat if you set it down and find a way to charge you for just standing in front of them while they sold you a minimum of value for a maximum of return - insert your stereotype here. About the only moderately PC one I can offer is "Mr. Haney" from Green Acres, who would show up to sell absurd products and solutions, often ones that were already in hand by the hapless Douglasses.

Do we really want a society in which the Mr. Haneys are our guiding lights and arbiters of behavior?
I was looking for one of those oxygen bars the other week when the sky was so smoky. It would have been my first time, but I thought....that sounds good right about now.

What's wonderful about fighting is that, while it stinks in those occasions where it's giant consumer goods seller vs consumer, at least we have laws for some basic protections. Moreover, like watching Godzilla and Mothra go at it, we have a free market prize for the top prize fighter...and for the most part we get the benefits as these giants collide.

None of us are getting through this life without getting wronged by someone else at some point. Sometimes you get compensated for that, sometimes you don't, and sometimes you get vengeance. As an individual, the faster you can move forward and get to a situation where you're not wronged, the better.

All in all, most of the products I buy work as advertised, have fitness of being a product and are charged within my expectations. That's a lot neater than say....a socialist paradise with nothing available to be purchased and potentially wrong me....with no competition and no impetus for improvement. Right?
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Old 12-09-2018, 08:56 PM
 
6,944 posts, read 4,520,724 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
...And from that seed of paying for a nap, you can build upwards to the structure where individuals and families are nothing more than economic batteries, expending their lives and days and time and labor simply to maximize the income that can be scraped off of them in increasingly predatory ways.
What is your suggested alternative?
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Old 12-09-2018, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Paranoid State
12,983 posts, read 9,687,538 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
I think people don't understand the difference between true free market capitalism and crony capitalism. People just act as if the two are one in the same. We need government to keep markets free. But what do you do when the corrupt crony capitalists and the corrupt government are in bed together? It's like asking the fox to guard the hen house.
Yeah... like when our federal government decided it would be a good use of taxpayer money to:

* Invest in Solyndra.
* Invest in Fisker Automotive
* Incentives to purchase hybrid and electric automobiles

Etc.

The types of people who work in the government are not the types of people who can spot good companies and good investments. Governments don't invest; they spend money.

It is OK for a country to have an industrial policy. President George H.W. Bush famously said, "Computer Chips or Potato Chips, they're all the same to me." (Or was it Cow Chips?) He failed to see that Japan and China were both engaging in an economic war on the the USA, and their method was through stealing US based high technology and illegally subsidizing indigenous companies (in contrast to basic research) with the goal of putting US technology leaders out of business.

Thankfully, President Trump is the first president to wake up to China's aggression against the USA in the form of forced technology transfer, stealing our technology secrets via state industrial espionage, etc.

Andy Grove famously once said "China will start to respect other country's intellectual property about the time China has its own intellectual property to protect."
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Old 12-10-2018, 07:32 AM
 
2,322 posts, read 1,461,727 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohio_peasant View Post
What is your suggested alternative?
I guess you’re in the first row with me. I asked that question to the professor and waited for his or her response with bated breath. But...it was so elementary and inside the box as to be insulting!
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Old 12-10-2018, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
3,858 posts, read 1,294,161 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thatsright19 View Post
And you must be the aloof professor who never quite left the ivory tower and joined us in reality?
Ah, no. You pretty much have it backwards there.

Here's an analogy I used recently to one such professor, though: if we were discussing the me-too movement, your position would be one of rock-ribbed misogyny without the slightest clue as to why anyone would what those nutty women thought.
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Old 12-10-2018, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
3,858 posts, read 1,294,161 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mingna View Post
I do miss the days of “purer” capitalism, when the consumers set the tempo and the suppliers followed suit.
I'm not sure I agree this was ever the case - again, this is kind of an idealized basic-econ idea that sort of works until it doesn't - but you're on the right track with much of what you say.

To jump from Econ 101(Q) to a little bit of upper-division thought, the problem is that we've flipped, as a nation, a society and very nearly a globe from consuming to live to living to consume - and we didn't do that of our own choice.
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