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  • #46
    Over exaggerated

    The problem is people do not follow protocol or are unaware and therefore pay a bribe to get around. Ppl are too self-important to wait in line, and follow the procedures. In short they do not have the time or are unwilling to take any

    Whenever i question ppl about how things work they are unable to explain how things work, a dead giveaway. They want the job done and they wanted it done yesterday. Nine times out of ten they do not follow the rules or requirements and then blame somebody else. At least in India you can pay a bribe and get away with it, in the west they'd bounce you out of the office and who would blame them. So i'd be very circumspect of any claims of being unable to get stuff done without paying a bribe.

    I've been through half of whats mentioned there and do not even speak the local lingo, so this northerner whining about things does not cut it with me. The only time a bribe was really required was registering property and that was only because the other party was going out of town on short notice. Otherwise it could have been done without any bribe whatsoever. Oh it would take time, no instant gratification but then thats the way it goes.

    You'd be amazed what you can achieve with govt officials if you have the right attitude. Govt officials move at their own pace and their clocks are different to those in the private sector. You need to accept that as its no different dealing with govt ppl anywhere else in the world.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 18 Dec 10,, 22:15.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by crooks View Post
      You fundementally misunderstand the issue. It's not a pair of nike runners we're talking about, business jargon doesn't come into it. Water is a resource we have no option but to consume. We have to, or we die. So price is rather irrelevant, at least in terms of demand. Demand is automatic. Water baron, wants max profit we agree, but he has a monopoly of the supply of something we will buy no matter what he charges. There's no choice in the matter. Surely as a neoliberal you can agree that it's in his 'rational self interest' to rape his consumers in such a case? When, as is inevitable in a pure capitalist system, competition breaks down and unbreakable oligarchy/monopoly appears, it's the aim of the monopoly to make as much money as possible while suppressing all other alternatives. What else would the savvy businessman do when presented with such an opportunity? As you say, he's in the business to make money, regardless of anything else. Greed is good, and all that jazz.
      Crooks, demand is automatic but not binary. You can demand lower or higher quantities of water. Therefore, price is not irrelevant. This misunderstanding of economics can go further -- there exist private operators of water distribution, why don't they charge 400,000 per unit?

      I don't know of any business owners who feel that they'd like to rape their customers. This is another misunderstanding of supply and demand -- to maximize the seller's gains, he must charge whatever price he can that matches the demand curves of his consumers. Consumer demand curves are extremely elastic at the margin, because of the tremendous quantity consumed -- the water we need to drink is much less than how much is used for commerce, industry, washing your laundry, etc. You are conflating the slope of the demand curve at the first few units consumed with those at the margin.

      Your assertion that monopolies are the end stage in capitalism is another common misunderstanding that ignores change. The formation and sustainance of monopolies independent of government survive by providing a excellent value to consumers. However, government and government-sponsored enterprises often can remain in existence forever irrespective of their performance due to law.

      Your point acknowledges this in your claim that "it's the aim of the monopoly to make as much money as possible while suppressing all other alternatives" -- this is accomplished by pricing the product at prices so low, by being so efficient in giving consumers what they want, that it excludes other suppliers. This efficiency comes, as you've said, through employing the least number of people necessary to accomplish the job. Would you like all enterprises to be a jobs program, thereby employing the maximum number of people?

      What does your acknowledgement of unsustainable water practices in LA imply considering their water is distributed by government? Agitation at grassroots, boycotting the supplier, protests and media attention are all good ways to voice opposition to a company, but the supreme method will be where people voluntarily choose to do their business with another company. If you and your group of socialist friends felt oppressed at being given water for profit, I'd assume the vast majority of consumers would still be happy. In your experiences, have decisions by government that have clearly bad for society ever changed by the methods you have discussed? Even the most ardent supporter of some cause, when assuming office, tempers their actions -- or finds it tempered by other interests.


      @Astralis: Other than ravaging deflation, I think falls in prices are universally good if made voluntarily. The only way I can see this happening is when there is or will be way more product available, or some revolution in efficiency makes it possible to lower costs. I'd love for gasoline to drop to $0.01 anytime.

      I don't thank the Sherman Antitrust act for the absence of the monopoly boogeyman at all. Standard Oil brought prices down so extremely that whale oil, electricity and coal oil were no longer used in homes for lighting. His company, faced competitors who charged $2.50 per barrel of oil, and Standard Oil's effect on the market brought prices to $0.05 per barrel of oil. I've said before that the economic status is never arrested -- a series of errors in oil exploration on Standard's part and competitors like Gulf Oil lead to its decline in market share. This is all good for consumers.

      Government is said to be slow, in this regard, the Standard ruling was too late and fought against a monopoly that never engaged in activity monopolies are feared of. All in an industry that faced high barriers to entry.

      Alcoa provided almost all aluminum, because of its use of electrochemistry to reduce aluminum oxides rather than heating in a reducing atmosphere. The capital required to start up this is tremendous, and it's still how new aluminum is made today. This is not what you call a low-barrier-to-entry. They also dropped the price of aluminum to incredible lows from where it began.

      I find nothing more venal and disgusting than people, who in the face of competition, resort to government to make up for their inability to succeed in the market.
      Last edited by S65; 19 Dec 10,, 00:05.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by crooks View Post
        You fundementally misunderstand the issue. It's not a pair of nike runners we're talking about, business jargon doesn't come into it. Water is a resource we have no option but to consume. We have to, or we die. So price is rather irrelevant, at least in terms of demand. Demand is automatic. Water baron, wants max profit we agree, but he has a monopoly of the supply of something we will buy no matter what he charges. There's no choice in the matter. Surely as a neoliberal you can agree that it's in his 'rational self interest' to rape his consumers in such a case? When, as is inevitable in a pure capitalist system, competition breaks down and unbreakable oligarchy/monopoly appears, it's the aim of the monopoly to make as much money as possible while suppressing all other alternatives. What else would the savvy businessman do when presented with such an opportunity? As you say, he's in the business to make money, regardless of anything else. Greed is good, and all that jazz.
        You automatically assume the "water baron" exists and will exercise a monopoly to maximize profit. It's the same argument that assumes a predatory pricing scheme works. It doesn't.

        We need water, yes. We also have 2 feet and can choose to move to other locations if we can't afford to live here. If you are prohibited to move, then you have other things to worry about besides water. We don't have the right to live anywhere we want. We have the right to pay a price to live wherever we want. Same with water. We don't have a right to water. We have the right to pay the going rate for what we want.

        Water demand is inelastic. Or is it? Do I need to take a bath every single day? How about every other day? Do I need to water that lawn? Every day? We don't consume a lot of water for survival. We consume a lot of water for other less vital purposes.

        Originally posted by crooks View Post
        That's just one example of a broader point I'd make, that shows how economic libertarianism is complete insane and collapses like a house of cards when actually taken from paper to a real-life scenario. Water privitisation. It makes no sense, in any way whatsover. But you just can't admit that, the religion demands defence in even the most impractical of scenarios.
        Your arguments are based on econ 101. Econ 101 has a lot of good things to offer, except for real world scenarios. Upper division econ taught me to junk the assumptions made in econ 101 because they simply don't work in the real world.

        And why is it that my views are "religious" if they don't agree with you? Maybe you are the one clinging onto the religion that is socialism.

        Originally posted by crooks View Post
        I don't know enough about it to comment, though years here have told me I'd need to research it myself rather than take your word on it. My own time in LA as I've said before left me with the impression of a city that's not sustainible in any sense, including water.
        The city is sustainable, if we have sensible policies as opposed to the socialist policies, both in the city and in the state government.

        Originally posted by crooks View Post
        And it's hilarious that you think public sector lawyers are bad - water baron will use your money to defend his monopoly as well, with far better paid lawyers and the threat of axing the no doubt minimal number of jobs at his plant if his profits are lowered, the only difference at all being that axe, the scale of money, and that there's no electoral process involved at any time.
        Tell me, what do these so called "water barons" have that's more powerful than the state?

        You want to talk about money? What is the world's most valuable company? What is that company's annual income? Let's compare that to the nation it resides in. Too much? Let's compare that to the budget of the state/province it resides in.

        Example: Google has a market capitalization of $190 billion. Its annual sales is $28 billion. California has a GDP of $1.8 trillion as of 2007. Its annual government budget is $120 billion with a tax receipt of $100 billion (roughly...this is government accounting we're talking about). Anyway you look at it, the state is vastly more powerful than any private company. Let's talk about violence. The state has various law enforcement agencies and an army of lawyers, with virtually unlimited resources to pay them indefinitely. Google has a lot of lawyers, but the budget to pay for them comes out of the income. It can't arbitrarily jack up the price to pay for them. It could issue bonds, but that will have to be paid back later, which means the future prospect of earning has to match the investors' expectations. Meanwhile, the state can jack up fees and tax rates. I'm not afraid of the Google Security Team. I am afraid of California's police and state agencies.

        Remember, personal wealth is no match for institutional wealth. Private wealth is no match for public wealth. The so called water baron is not even close to what the state can do. You can see what happens in Venezuela as a pretty good example of that.

        Originally posted by crooks View Post
        I can run for office, agitate at grassroots levels, petition my local reps, call in the media, and many other things. Vs I just don't get why those multinationals don't respond to my angry letters? There's also the fact that I'm in favour of an indepedent consumer protection group (like Elizabeth Warren's one, but with teeth) that monitors the cost of private and government services for inflated costs and sheltered industries. But you probably think that's socialist too lol.
        You think Chavez will let you run for office?

        You keep using this imaginary "water baron" to make your point that privatization is dangerous. I can use dictators to make my point. Hugo Chavez? Kim Jon Il? King Abdullah? The Chinese Communist Party? They'll let you run for office to cut in their action. I think you have a better chance agains the "water barons."
        Last edited by gunnut; 20 Dec 10,, 20:50.
        "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by gunnut View Post
          Again, the politics, which means government, is involved. It is not a private process any more.

          Pickens is a sleezeball. He pushed whatever energy source to replace oil because he stands to make large sums of money from it. That in itself is not bad. The problem is he wants the power of government to subsidizing his profit motive.
          T-bone is only following the M.O. of every other large corporation/industry. Ie, "buy congress and make government limit the competition and keep the customers in line." Like taking candy from a baby and the funny/sad part is that people usually put all the blame on government while big business skates free. Government is greedily getting its hands dirty, but business/wealthy special interests is pulling the strings and that relationship has to be broken. We are supposed to have a government, "of the people, by the people", not a government for the highest bidder. Until the people take their government back, T-bone is well within his right to write out a fat check and buy congress just like other businessmen do.

          As a side note I am wondering how long it will be before Lincoln's Gettysburg address will be attacked because he dared say, " this nation under God".
          Removing a single turd from the cesspool doesn't make any difference.

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by gunnut View Post
            You automatically assume the "water baron" exists and will exercise a monopoly to maximize profit. It's the same argument that assumes a predatory pricing scheme works. It doesn't.
            If there is a potential monopoly that water baron can take advantage of, he will exist, that is how the free market works. Deregulate any industry and we can watch it happen together with some beer and popcorn. By your own logic, he'd be a fool not to. Capitalism, especially involving resources, kills competition in the longer run, and it's in his 'rational self interest' (You guys term, not mine) to maximise profit through monopolisation. What else does the savvy businessman do? You seem to think competition is automatic or will spring from the ground, it's truly not, and it won't. Same process happens with lots of small companies competing, it's just slower. The cheapest and most cunning will eventually win out. Failures, mergers, downsizing, all the corporate propaganda crap. Then, when some cobbled together giant is so big it has you by the balls, you're stuck that way for eternity without either government intervention or armageddon. They'll sabotage legitimate competition and new ideas using their existing weight. When you're a monopoly 10% is in the doing, 90% is in the stopping. Which is why the free market cannot work, it's not the theory (well it is, but not mainly), it's where we end up. Rationally oppressed.

            Originally posted by gunnut View Post
            We need water, yes. We also have 2 feet and can choose to move to other locations if we can't afford to live here. If you are prohibited to move, then you have other things to worry about besides water. We don't have the right to live anywhere we want. We have the right to pay a price to live wherever we want. Same with water. We don't have a right to water. We have the right to pay the going rate for what we want.

            Water demand is inelastic. Or is it? Do I need to take a bath every single day? How about every other day? Do I need to water that lawn? Every day? We don't consume a lot of water for survival. We consume a lot of water for other less vital purposes.
            Of course, you're correct on water. There is a certain amount we consume by need, and the rest by non-essential means. And indeed I'd be partial to the argument that water charges are good in the sense that they encourage less waste. Ireland is lush and has an abundance of water, so we waste it. The day may come when we don't have as much and wished we didn't.

            The point I'm making with water is the neccesity - could he depress demand by charging excessive amounts? Yes, and we'd no doubt reduce ourselves to a shower a week and using urine on the garden (in doing so lowering our living standards to cope with punative pricing, highlighting another schweet side effect of this dreadful process). But that's offset by the long-term guarantee of constant demand. Or he can just sell to rich people and it's high demand mixed with high profits. And no need to pipe to poor districts! Money saver.

            On people's feet, I love the dexterous wordplay, but that's just stating fact like the start of a contract, without actually saying anything. Where you live is dictated by your job, your education, your parents, your class and your accent, in addition to a million other things you have limited control over. Because we need money to buy a house where we buy is intimately linked to our money, and social mobility is low in the US (it's high in socialist Sweden, funnily enough). You seem to have no comprehension of the fact that people in slums don't tote up their sums and move to a 4 bedroom in the suburbs, for an obvious reason. It's not rational interest, it's your means.

            So in terms of why someone wouldn't move if they're oppressed by a company (or indeed a state or race), not everyone can.

            Originally posted by gunnut View Post
            Your arguments are based on econ 101. Econ 101 has a lot of good things to offer, except for real world scenarios. Upper division econ taught me to junk the assumptions made in econ 101 because they simply don't work in the real world.

            And why is it that my views are "religious" if they don't agree with you? Maybe you are the one clinging onto the religion that is socialism.
            I've never taken any economic classes, anything I say is self-taught with books and my own observations - I don't see how anything I say is unrealistic though, because that's what I'd charge you with. Ya have your plan, and you want to see it enacted. Just cause you believe in it, like. You don't seem to have given the consequences much thought, and don't seem to care. Just privatise it, baby! Fine by me that you think that way, but it's a bit rich to say my views lack a real life blás. I've given you an example that was sketched out in about 30 seconds, and you name the scenario I'll tell ya where I think neoliberalism will bring you. It's a predictable movie.

            Your views are not religious because I disagree with them, they're religious because they have all the characteristics of faith. Zero evidence for your conclusions, runs contrary to every example ever enacted anywhere (I quite like Somalia, mind) and is clearly balony when scrutinised, but you still hold it as the pancrea to all ills. Plus, when there's a problem exposed, regardless of any factor whatsover, ya just blame the unions/big gov/liberal/taxman. Which presumably are neoliberalism's version of the Devil or Lady Gaga. I actually haven't laughed as hard on this board, ever, as when you said on another thread that you guessed this country's ills were the result of bad or excessive regulation. That's Islamic or Christian fundamentalist levels of delusion, but ya still probably think yourself to be rational!

            I remember you saying one time that you used to be left wing. Shocking as this will no doubt be, when I was a teenager I was a big Randhead and held right wing libertarian views. My family was virulently left wing and so perhaps that was my way of rebelling. It's lasted for about 3 years before I actually opened my eyes and saw it's a steamy pile of crap to legalise the subjegation of working people, destroy society and at the same time claim that defending the powerful is exotic or radical. I thought I was cool with my 'Rand was right' t-shirt - how wrong I was. Burned the shirt and my Atlas Shrugged. It was when I dropped idealism and embraced practicality that I returned to my very comfortable home on the left. Socialism is not my religion or even my policy, but if it helps make me a boogieman I'll happily go all in: Yaboogidieboogidieboo.

            Originally posted by gunnut View Post
            The city is sustainable, if we have sensible policies as opposed to the socialist policies, both in the city and in the state government.
            I've been. Water, location, expansion, infrastructure, race relations. It's about as sustainible as the cellulite boobs all the women seem to have. But for the guaranteed misery it'd almost be worth privatising the network to see how a place with such income disparities, highly limited water and urban sprawl would cope without public provision.

            'New Gaza' might be a cute nickname.

            Originally posted by gunnut View Post
            Tell me, what do these so called "water barons" have that's more powerful than the state?

            You want to talk about money? What is the world's most valuable company? What is that company's annual income? Let's compare that to the nation it resides in. Too much? Let's compare that to the budget of the state/province it resides in.

            Example: Google has a market capitalization of $190 billion. Its annual sales is $28 billion. California has a GDP of $1.8 trillion as of 2007. Its annual government budget is $120 billion with a tax receipt of $100 billion (roughly...this is government accounting we're talking about). Anyway you look at it, the state is vastly more powerful than any private company. Let's talk about violence. The state has various law enforcement agencies and an army of lawyers, with virtually unlimited resources to pay them indefinitely. Google has a lot of lawyers, but the budget to pay for them comes out of the income. It can't arbitrarily jack up the price to pay for them. It could issue bonds, but that will have to be paid back later, which means the future prospect of earning has to match the investors' expectations. Meanwhile, the state can jack up fees and tax rates. I'm not afraid of the Google Security Team. I am afraid of California's police and state agencies.

            Remember, personal wealth is no match for institutional wealth. Private wealth is no match for public wealth. The so called water baron is not even close to what the state can do. You can see what happens in Venezuela as a pretty good example of that.
            The state is quite literally everything that exists, people, resources and enterprise, within in a drawn line. Companies are private enterprise that contain employees usually numbering less than 100,000. That Google (23,300 employees) is worth over 10% of California's (34mn people) GDP is staggering, and that it's sales are almost a quarter of state public spending is amazing. You've inadvertantly given a hilarious example of how massive global corporations truly are.

            Insitutionals have huge, huge power, you're correct - and companies are institutions too.

            Originally posted by gunnut View Post
            You think Chavez will let you run for office?

            You keep using this imaginary "water baron" to make your point that privatization is dangerous. I can use dictators to make my point. Hugo Chavez? Kim Jon Il? King Abdullah? The Chinese Communist Party? They'll let you run for office to cut in their action. I think you have a better chance agains the "water barons."
            What be the point?

            Do you think that somehow I like Chavez or Communism? Your policy will lead to water baron, unquestionably. Public ownership of water doesn't lead to Hugo Chavez or the CCP (which would merrily do deals with a water baron, like it's doing deals with Google - so much for ethical business). It makes perfect sense. But again, forget water or oil, sense is a real finite resource with some of the right wingers of this world.
            Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.
            - John Stuart Mill.

            Comment


            • #51
              Originally posted by crooks View Post
              (1)If there is a potential monopoly that water baron can take advantage of, he will exist... (2)he'd be a fool not to. (3)Capitalism, especially involving resources, kills competition in the longer run, and it's in his 'rational self interest'... (4)to maximise profit through monopolisation... (5)competition is automatic or will spring from the ground, it's truly not, and it won't... (6)The cheapest and most cunning will eventually win out... (7)when some cobbled together giant is so big it has you by the balls, you're stuck that way for eternity without either government intervention or armageddon... (8)They'll sabotage legitimate competition and new ideas using their existing weight... (9)could he depress demand by charging excessive amounts?

              (10)On people's feet, I love the dexterous wordplay, but that's just stating fact like the start of a contract, without actually saying anything. Where you live is dictated by your job, your education, your parents, your class and your accent, in addition to a million other things you have limited control over... (11)I've never taken any economic classes...
              I am dismayed that my ideas have not been considered. I will respond more obviously to your thoughts.

              1. This is false because every market features the potential for monopolization (one supplier in the market). Crooks could monopolize water by providing it for free. Crooks could monopolize airplane production by producing them for $1 per jetplane. Crooks could monopolize healthcare by providing all services for $1. Clearly, monopolistic outcome is not directly consequent to the presence of potential.

              More extremely, Crooks could be raping many children right now -- does the presence of this potential mean that he is? EDIT: Or that he will?

              2. You believe that monopolies exist to maximize profit. This is correct, but an incomplete thought, because all businesses ideally exist and realistically strive to maximize profit in their self interest.

              3. Capitalism clearly does not kill competition in the long run. It encourages competition because everyone wants to profit, and when the opportunity for profit presents itself, competition arises. I know you think monopolies squelch competition, I will respond to that in number 8. Government however usually does not respond to competition, waste and inefficiency in ways beneficial for society. By this I mean when programs fail, go overbudget or take longer than stated, society is saddled with the cost of continuing such projects because politicians persuade voters to continue them or the waste rides along with some other desired program. We can look at the number of companies in existence today compared to 50 years ago -- I expect a trend where the number of businesses increases over time.

              4. You do not maximize profit through monopolization. Suppliers maximize profit by looking at their business' supply curve, looking at their consumers' demand curve, and try to provide the quantity where those lines intersect at the price where those lines intersect. Of course, government can get in the way with various anticompetitive laws and regulations. Or government can make itself the supplier, and involuntarily obtain revenue via taxation. This is what contributes to government waste.

              5. Speak for yourself. If someone sees a clear opportunity to profit, they'll go for it. The fact that entrepreneurs must finance such entrances to markets speaks to their faith that an idea will work. Government is not the personification of society's goodwill; bureaucrats often face different incentives than society and this often yields action detrimental to society. If a government program performs poorly, the consequences to bureaucrats are usually much less adverse than in the private sector.

              6. Yes, people prefer the person, group, business and company who can supply desired products at the lowest cost. Do you prefer suppliers that provide undesirable products at extraordinarily high cost?

              7. It is not true that companies solely increase in size. Many companies fail when they are too large to respond effectively to market changes and competition. Look at the largest companies today, how many were at their size 20 years ago? How many of the largest companies 20 years ago exist today? Change and company turnover are resultant from consumer sovereignty in free markets -- you have to persuade their money away from your competition. Once again, there is no consumer sovereignty with government, because it has the legal authority to obtain money from individuals. Yes, you can vote, but only periodically. Businesses must respond quickly or else face losing money, and jeopardizing their survival.

              8. Large and small companies can stifle competition, by taking advantage of government to create laws and regulations that have anticompetitive effects. This conclusion stands for itself by the presence of lobbyists acting on the behalf of private companies seeking to collude with government against their competition. I don't think gunnut wants privatization for the sake of privatization, but desires the application of competitive and free markets to better raise the standard of living for all. It just so happens that privatization comes along as part of the package. Having well functioning markets requires careful government, we are not saying we can do away with it. Our position is much more nuanced than you would like to believe.

              9. If your favorite water baron raised prices, this would not reduce consumers' demand for water. There is a difference between "demand" and "quantity demanded." Quantity demanded is how much would are willing to buy at a specific price. Demand is the quantitative relationship between price and quantity demanded. If water's price increased, demand would not change but the quantity of water demanded would. To have a change in demand, you would need to change the reasons and motivations for which water is consumed, such that the cost-to-benefit and thus the cost-to-quantity demanded for water would change, at every price level.

              An example of a change in demand would be where people learn the water they are drinking is poisoned with carcinogens; this would lower the quantity of that water demanded at every price. An example of a change in quantity demanded would be where water doubles its cost --we would trace our demand curve to where the higher price is, and see the quantity associated with that price. If water's price went back to its original state, you would follow your demand curve back to the original price level, and consume the original quantity of water.

              10. You are right that where we live is a multifactorial choice. Yet not all living areas are equal in terms of resource cost. Why do you wish to make water a government provision, subsidized by all taxpayers, to lighten the cost of living in areas where it is very costly to provide water? This effectively subsidizes the choice of living in areas where it's costly to live. Shouldn't we seek to have people migrate to areas that are better endowed with the resources for human population? Ancient settlers founding cities realized this, why do you forget it today?

              11. Maybe you should!

              I understand there is an emotional context to what you are promoting. However, acting on such predilections exacerbates the real and negative consequences and does not produce the best outcome. I am not blindly advocating for privatization, I have reasons. I do not call for anarchy, and believe there is a role for government in improving the standard of living. Just because it is difficult to change government such that well functioning, competitive markets can arise does not mean we should not strive towards that goal.
              Last edited by S65; 22 Dec 10,, 16:53.

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by crooks View Post
                If there is a potential monopoly that water baron can take advantage of, he will exist, that is how the free market works.
                And I will say any time you have government control it will lead to over control. The "water baron" will exist at the same frequency as an overzealous government regulatory body, or even worse, a dictator.

                I'm not afraid of "Apple Security Squad" (ASS for short) or the "Google Security Squad." I'm afraid of the IRS, the FBI, the courts, the police, and every single alphabet agency there is under the sun. I can sue the government when the government allows me to sue it. It then will defend itself to the last of my dollar. The government is a far more menacing entity to freedom than a merchant.

                Originally posted by crooks View Post
                Deregulate any industry and we can watch it happen together with some beer and popcorn. By your own logic, he'd be a fool not to. Capitalism, especially involving resources, kills competition in the longer run, and it's in his 'rational self interest' (You guys term, not mine) to maximise profit through monopolisation. What else does the savvy businessman do? You seem to think competition is automatic or will spring from the ground, it's truly not, and it won't. Same process happens with lots of small companies competing, it's just slower. The cheapest and most cunning will eventually win out. Failures, mergers, downsizing, all the corporate propaganda crap. Then, when some cobbled together giant is so big it has you by the balls, you're stuck that way for eternity without either government intervention or armageddon. They'll sabotage legitimate competition and new ideas using their existing weight. When you're a monopoly 10% is in the doing, 90% is in the stopping. Which is why the free market cannot work, it's not the theory (well it is, but not mainly), it's where we end up. Rationally oppressed.
                Your mistake is that you believe the government is automatically good. The problem is the "water baron" will probably buy the government to do his enforcement for him. It's better to keep the government out.

                Originally posted by crooks View Post
                Of course, you're correct on water. There is a certain amount we consume by need, and the rest by non-essential means. And indeed I'd be partial to the argument that water charges are good in the sense that they encourage less waste. Ireland is lush and has an abundance of water, so we waste it. The day may come when we don't have as much and wished we didn't.
                Nah...if that happens, you have bigger things to worry about.

                Originally posted by crooks View Post
                The point I'm making with water is the neccesity - could he depress demand by charging excessive amounts? Yes, and we'd no doubt reduce ourselves to a shower a week and using urine on the garden (in doing so lowering our living standards to cope with punative pricing, highlighting another schweet side effect of this dreadful process). But that's offset by the long-term guarantee of constant demand. Or he can just sell to rich people and it's high demand mixed with high profits. And no need to pipe to poor districts! Money saver.
                But like you said, water is a necessity. Poor people need water too. They will pay for it. There aren't that many rich people compared to poor people. There's only so much water rich people can use. It's the mass quantities that makes money. Not the high margin but low volume goods. You can see that in things like gasoline and computer graphics card.

                Gasoline has a pretty flat demand curve. We use what we need to and not too much more or too much less. Even for rich people. They can only use so much gas. Oil company has to truck gas to poor areas because that's an untapped resource for them. Rich people already has all the gas they need. Gotta sell more to poor people to take advange of the fixed capital cost already sunk into production.

                There are various segment of computer graphics card. There's a very small demand for very high margin cards. The mark up is insane, probably 400% or more on an $800 card. But there aren't that many people using these. So the computer companies sell scaled down cards very cheaply to millions of other customers who don't want nor need the $800 card.

                Edit: I think the CPU market is a better example about fixed capital cost and why Intel sells cheap chips to poor people.

                Originally posted by crooks View Post
                On people's feet, I love the dexterous wordplay, but that's just stating fact like the start of a contract, without actually saying anything. Where you live is dictated by your job, your education, your parents, your class and your accent, in addition to a million other things you have limited control over. Because we need money to buy a house where we buy is intimately linked to our money, and social mobility is low in the US (it's high in socialist Sweden, funnily enough). You seem to have no comprehension of the fact that people in slums don't tote up their sums and move to a 4 bedroom in the suburbs, for an obvious reason. It's not rational interest, it's your means.
                Social mobility is high in the US. But that's another topic.

                If you want, you can pick up and move to a different area. Yes, job is important. But that's all up to you. Are you willing to make your own life better? Or are you happy being enslaved by the "water baron?"

                California has an unemployment of almost 13%, 3% higher than national average. The state has lost people for the past 10 years I think. Where did these people go? Are thay all rich? I can tell you from personal experience that they aren't all rich. My co-worker just picked up his family and moved from LA to DC area. He's not rich. Another guy that I recently bought a pistol from will be moving out after new year. He's far from rich. He's selling his gun collection to finance the move.

                I think you're mistakening the word "social mobility" with "mobility." People can move laterally, as well as in social strata.

                Originally posted by crooks View Post
                So in terms of why someone wouldn't move if they're oppressed by a company (or indeed a state or race), not everyone can.
                They can't? Or they don't want to?

                Originally posted by crooks View Post
                I've never taken any economic classes, anything I say is self-taught with books and my own observations - I don't see how anything I say is unrealistic though, because that's what I'd charge you with.
                That will depend on the books and material you read. If you read all sorts of stuff by Krugman and his type who advocate government control, then you will see how government control can work. If you read Walter Williams and Milton Friedman, then you will be weary of how much government control can screw up. I live in California. I know how the government can screw up.

                Originally posted by crooks View Post
                Ya have your plan, and you want to see it enacted. Just cause you believe in it, like. You don't seem to have given the consequences much thought, and don't seem to care. Just privatise it, baby! Fine by me that you think that way, but it's a bit rich to say my views lack a real life blás. I've given you an example that was sketched out in about 30 seconds, and you name the scenario I'll tell ya where I think neoliberalism will bring you. It's a predictable movie.
                You're right. I don't care about the consequences. I care about freedom. We must have the freedom to succeed and the freedom to fail. It's call individual responsibility. Privatizing is about freedom. Government control is NOT freedom. I can choose not to do business with any company I don't like. I can't choose not to do business with my government.

                Here's another thing, you rail against monopoly, yet the government is the biggest monopoly around. You might have a say in it. You might not. Do you just tell the people who disagree with the current government to F off?

                Originally posted by crooks View Post
                Your views are not religious because I disagree with them, they're religious because they have all the characteristics of faith.
                I'd say the same thing about you. You have absolute faith in the government. I have absolute faith that government will screw up.

                Originally posted by crooks View Post
                Zero evidence for your conclusions, runs contrary to every example ever enacted anywhere (I quite like Somalia, mind) and is clearly balony when scrutinised, but you still hold it as the pancrea to all ills.
                Same for you. I gave my examples of dictatorships like North Korea and Cuba. You listed this mythical "water baron."

                Originally posted by crooks View Post
                Plus, when there's a problem exposed, regardless of any factor whatsover, ya just blame the unions/big gov/liberal/taxman.
                Because they are the problems in my country.

                Originally posted by crooks View Post
                Which presumably are neoliberalism's version of the Devil or Lady Gaga. I actually haven't laughed as hard on this board, ever, as when you said on another thread that you guessed this country's ills were the result of bad or excessive regulation.
                Sure. Here's a good example: minimum wage. It's a bad regulation that distorts the market and puts people out of work. You can laugh. But it's the truth. You just choose not to see it because of your absolute faith in the government.

                Originally posted by crooks View Post
                That's Islamic or Christian fundamentalist levels of delusion, but ya still probably think yourself to be rational!
                And you have the delusion of a socialist.

                Originally posted by crooks View Post
                I remember you saying one time that you used to be left wing. Shocking as this will no doubt be, when I was a teenager I was a big Randhead and held right wing libertarian views. My family was virulently left wing and so perhaps that was my way of rebelling. It's lasted for about 3 years before I actually opened my eyes and saw it's a steamy pile of crap to legalise the subjegation of working people, destroy society and at the same time claim that defending the powerful is exotic or radical. I thought I was cool with my 'Rand was right' t-shirt - how wrong I was. Burned the shirt and my Atlas Shrugged. It was when I dropped idealism and embraced practicality that I returned to my very comfortable home on the left. Socialism is not my religion or even my policy, but if it helps make me a boogieman I'll happily go all in: Yaboogidieboogidieboo.
                I was a bleeding heart liberal when I was younger. Then I got a job in the private sector.

                Originally posted by crooks View Post
                I've been. Water, location, expansion, infrastructure, race relations. It's about as sustainible as the cellulite boobs all the women seem to have. But for the guaranteed misery it'd almost be worth privatising the network to see how a place with such income disparities, highly limited water and urban sprawl would cope without public provision.
                Hong Kong.

                Originally posted by crooks View Post
                'New Gaza' might be a cute nickname.
                Of course the terrorist overlord in that plot of land had nothing to do with the problems.

                Originally posted by crooks View Post
                The state is quite literally everything that exists, people, resources and enterprise, within in a drawn line. Companies are private enterprise that contain employees usually numbering less than 100,000. That Google (23,300 employees) is worth over 10% of California's (34mn people) GDP is staggering, and that it's sales are almost a quarter of state public spending is amazing. You've inadvertantly given a hilarious example of how massive global corporations truly are.
                1. Not all of Google's operations are located inside California.

                2. I'm not afraid of Google. It has no power over me. I am afraid of ALL the government agencies in California. It controls the courts and the armed thugs who execute that control. I am powerless against the state.

                Originally posted by crooks View Post
                Insitutionals have huge, huge power, you're correct - and companies are institutions too.
                No doubt. At least we agree on this point.

                My point is that companies are less evil than government. I'd rather deal with a company than a government agency. The so called "water baron" controls water. What else does he control? The government controls EVERYTHING in your world. I don't want that. I don't want a government that controls my water, my fuel, my communications, my money, my housing, my health care, my transportation...etc. I want them to be separate.

                Originally posted by crooks View Post
                What be the point?

                Do you think that somehow I like Chavez or Communism? Your policy will lead to water baron, unquestionably. Public ownership of water doesn't lead to Hugo Chavez or the CCP (which would merrily do deals with a water baron, like it's doing deals with Google - so much for ethical business). It makes perfect sense. But again, forget water or oil, sense is a real finite resource with some of the right wingers of this world.
                The point is government will invariably encroach on individual liberty. Chavez started out as a popular fighter for the poor. People supported him because he was against this evil corportaion that's been raping the land the exploiting the poor. He is against private control of vital resources. He has already taken over large sectors of the Venezuelan economy. Did people put him in power to do that? Or were the people fooled into thinking he will make things better? Are things better?

                The danger in your belief is that you seem to think the government is intrinsically good. It may have some good intentions, but when you use brute force to affect change, especially in the economy, uninteded consequences appear, and often for the worse.

                I don't think corportions are good. Far from it, I know for a fact they are out to screw me over. That very fact protects me from them. I can choose to do business with them on my terms. I will buy a product when I think I'm getting a good deal.

                This all change when the government enters the picture. A single monopoly with legislative power and an army to execute that control is never a good thing. The biggest lie in history is that some people managed to convince others that this is a good thing.
                Last edited by gunnut; 23 Dec 10,, 00:04.
                "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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                • #53
                  Government control is a bad thing, some government oversight is proper.


                  Talk of "Water barons" my local government is a prime example.

                  The water table is only about 140 feet here so many people in the outlying areas were not on the local water system. The city, got with the county and funded a county wide water distribution system.

                  For only a $500.00 hook up fee,during the first 6 months, you could get on the system. Because of the grants to build the project, and increased participation, there wasn't going to be a rate increase of more than 5%.
                  And there was a building boom going on so projected revenue was high

                  Fast forward 2 years. The city and county isn't seeing the money they thought they were going to. The housing boom went bust and lots of people liked their well water. Which came from the same source as the city water.

                  The County commission, concerned about water quality passes an ordinance that those on well water must have the water checked monthly by the County Health dept. Lab test cost $250.00. Also all new construction must be hooked up to the city/county water system. Tap fee isn't $500. It is now $7,000.

                  Jump forward another year. Water rates increased 33%. Of course the city commissioners that set the rates waited to pass the increase after the election.

                  I'm all for private water supply

                  All of this by the government controlling the water system
                  Last edited by Gun Grape; 23 Dec 10,, 21:17.

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                  • #54
                    But...Grape, can't you vote them out or even run to be the city's water chief? Surly in a democratic society one could change the government by voting.

                    How about not paying the government? I'm sure the government is a very understanding entity and won't dream of forcing you to pay the extortions like some kind of "water baron."
                    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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                    • #55
                      Gun Grape, thats pretty much what happened here.

                      Privatise the bloody thing.

                      It's cheaper to get a rainwater tank & recycling system than what it is to be connected.
                      Ego Numquam

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Chunder View Post
                        Gun Grape, thats pretty much what happened here.

                        Privatise the bloody thing.

                        It's cheaper to get a rainwater tank & recycling system than what it is to be connected.
                        Heh...we have 2 cases of "public" water officials turning out to be the dreaded "water baron." Very interesting...
                        "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          The UK has had privatised water for some time... I can recount a true anecdote. I was hitching to Canterbury (20 miles) during some Uni holiday and landed up hitching outside some filtration plant on the main road. There was evidently some kind of 'do' going on - alot of big cars and suits were lurking. I wasn't there long and some guy leaving the plant stopped and gave me a lift. Naturaly I asked him what was going on... It turns out where we lived all most of the water was stored underground - the local ground being very porous with alot of chalk. Because most of the land was used for agriculture the fertilisers etc used by farmers soaked through to the water in the ground. These nitrates etc in the water, if not filtered out, could cause "blue baby disease". I'd never heard of this terrible "blue baby" death... so I asked how many cases of this heinous problem there been? "There's been one in the US..." What??? None here? Apparently not a single case and now thanks to this £X million worth of plant there has never been such a case...

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