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Thread: The perceived superiority of the private sector...

  1. #31
    Veteran Member PACE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Æthelfrith View Post
    The invisible hand, despite being a minor issue for Adam Smith, is used by right wing pressure groups to suggest the market is necessarily best. However, the practical nature of privatisation suggests that underhand techniques are needed to coerce 'market solutions'. Chomsky summarised it nearly:

    "That's the standard technique of privatization: defund, make sure things don't work, people get angry, you hand it over to private capital."

    Ain't theft grand!
    OF course, create the market for yourself, by the kabuki theater of public failure.
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  2. #32
    Anarquistador StanStill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fenrir View Post
    That would be hundreds of boardrooms and thousands of company heads compared to "one" central planning committee. BTW, there is little to no "democratic" input into the U.S. government these days. It doesn't really "serve" the masses anymore and hasn't since FDR, at least according to some of the good folks over there at that right wing organization, Harvard.

    Major Study Finds The US Is An Oligarchy
    So you agree with me?! Strange. The reason it is an oligarchy is because we have allowed unaccountable tyrannies (corporations) to overwhelm government with their influence. Is it any wonder that our government places the same value on democratic control (little to none, except when forced to do so) as the corporations that control it's direction?

    Still though, you seem to be saying unaccountable central planning is A-OK as long as it is smaller, but it's less and less acceptable the larger and more powerful it gets? So companies like Exxon-Mobil and Walmart and Apple are like dangerously close to being Stalinist dictatorships, huh? But I'm glad to hear that you lament the glaring lack of democracy in the US, as well as the complete lack of democracy in capitalism. Fight on, soldier!
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  3. #33
    Junior Member Claudius the God's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Æthelfrith View Post
    The invisible hand, despite being a minor issue for Adam Smith, is used by right wing pressure groups to suggest the market is necessarily best. However, the practical nature of privatisation suggests that underhand techniques are needed to coerce 'market solutions'. Chomsky summarised it nearly:

    "That's the standard technique of privatization: defund, make sure things don't work, people get angry, you hand it over to private capital."

    Ain't theft grand!
    I am impressed, you know your Adam Smith. The term "invisible hand" occurs just once or twice in his work, he casually mentioned it but it became a mantra for the right wing especially the Randians like Greenspan. There is no "invisible hand" as we all know it.

  4. #34
    Junior Member Claudius the God's Avatar
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    One of the ways we got to this mess is that we no longer enforce monopoly laws, we let companies buy each other up without any real objection. As companies buy up competitors, we get less competition and fewer jobs. As they buy up horizontal market leaders, we get consolidation and less competition and fewer jobs. Every major sector is now dominated by a few companies, there really is no competition anymore in too many markets and industries. This is because we let these acquisitions go through and guess who benefits every single time? The sales pitch is that the customer wins, that is pure hogwash.

  5. #35
    Anarquistador StanStill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudius the God View Post
    One of the ways we got to this mess is that we no longer enforce monopoly laws, we let companies buy each other up without any real objection. As companies buy up competitors, we get less competition and fewer jobs. As they buy up horizontal market leaders, we get consolidation and less competition and fewer jobs. Every major sector is now dominated by a few companies, there really is no competition anymore in too many markets and industries. This is because we let these acquisitions go through and guess who benefits every single time? The sales pitch is that the customer wins, that is pure hogwash.
    Indeed. With capitalism, the goal of competition is to kill the competition.

  6. #36
    Scucca Æthelfrith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudius the God View Post
    I am impressed, you know your Adam Smith. The term "invisible hand" occurs just once or twice in his work, he casually mentioned it but it became a mantra for the right wing especially the Randians like Greenspan. There is no "invisible hand" as we all know it.
    His focus arguably would ensure an egalitarian approach today (particularly if you factor in the negative impact of big business on bargaining power).

    It's actually relatively difficult to find economists that can be used to cheer conservatism. Most see the error in free market economics. Even the Austrians can be embedded within a socialist perspective.
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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Æthelfrith View Post
    The invisible hand, despite being a minor issue for Adam Smith, is used by right wing pressure groups to suggest the market is necessarily best. However, the practical nature of privatisation suggests that underhand techniques are needed to coerce 'market solutions'. Chomsky summarised it nearly:

    "That's the standard technique of privatization: defund, make sure things don't work, people get angry, you hand it over to private capital."

    Ain't theft grand!
    More Chomsky re: Adam Smith:

    https://chomsky.info/warfare02/

    "NOAM CHOMSKY: I didn’t do any research at all on Smith. I just read him. There’s no research. Just read it. He’s pre-capitalist, a figure of the Enlightenment. What we would call capitalism he despised. People read snippets of Adam Smith, the few phrases they teach in school.

    "Everybody reads the first paragraph of The Wealth of Nations where he talks about how wonderful the division of labor is. But not many people get to the point hundreds of pages later, where he says that division of labor will destroy human beings and turn people into creatures as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human being to be.

    "And therefore in any civilized society the government is going to have to take some measures to prevent division of labor from proceeding to its limits."
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  8. #38
    Franken-Stein DemoKKKrats excalibur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanStill View Post
    Indeed. With capitalism, the goal of competition is to kill the competition.

    The goal of big government is to control all, and never answer for it, as they make themselves immune from the laws which they impose on others.

  9. #39
    Scucca Æthelfrith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by excalibur View Post
    The goal of big government is to control all, and never answer for it, as they make themselves immune from the laws which they impose on others.
    Accountability is naturally factored in within social and liberal democracy. Neoliberalism, with a certain irony, tends to get in the way. Market fundamentalism is used to silence debate and erroneously indicate optimal policy is being followed (see, for example, contracting out of cleaning services and how that became a crucial ingredient for the spread of 'super bugs')

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by RNG View Post
    The province of British Columbia has been quite socialist (by Canadian standards) for quite some time and we carry the legacy of that in two glaring examples. Our electric power is government owned and controlled as well as our monopoly vehicle insurance. Both are what are called Crown Corporations, theoretically not run by the government but by a board of directors but are 100% owned by the government and the government of course appoints all the directors.

    Both manage to give a large dividend to the government each year. An out and out hidden tax.

    The insurance, in spite of being more expensive than the the private insurance in the neighboring three provinces has been losing money for a while to the point where major price increases are no longer avoidable.

    And the power system has been ignoring needed infrastructure maintenance and upgrades to the point where the power rates are also being escalated tremendously. And that is because otherwise the dividend to the government would have to be reduced and the fiction that the government run agencies are oh so great. But it has become time to pay the piper for those two.

    There are some things the government can do well. But oh so often they don't for short term political advantage. Way too often.
    I can give you an example which goes the other way. Where I live in Switzerland, Canton de Vaud, for over 150 years we have a state fire insurance, which is compulsory. The insurance in case of fire repays the damages as if you have to rebuy new, what you lost. The total amount of the insurance coverage is regularly adjusted and this system works very well. The fire insurance is an independant entity, which gives also subventions for fire equipments in each commune. What you have to ay to get this coverage is very low in comparison to what you pay a few kilometers away in cantons which have no state insurance. In my case I pay half for a big house, where I live, of what I pay to a private insurance for my chalet in the mountains which is much smaller. Of course the state insurance is cheaper to manage with no advertising and a good control of its costs. So competition is not everything !
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