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  1. #41
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Yeah, it sounds like you're holding a double standard there, either they are simply institutions and any wrong doing the fault of the individuals peopling them, like cars arent to blame for drunk drivers, or the institution has something wrong with it and will withstand even the best individuals attempts to put them to good purposes. You cant have it both ways.
    There is no double standard at all. Some organizations are formulated by for a purpose that is evil, even if they believe they are doing good (the Ku Klux Klan, the Mafia, communist and fascist political parties, and so on). Some are set up for a purpose that is useful (corporations would be one), and they can do good or do ill in the course of pursuing their agenda. That is not a double standard. It's a readily observable trend in society.


    Now you could argue that despite being corrupted or subject to institutional malaise corporations are the best possible of all possible institutional arrangements but I dont think you're arguing that.
    I am saying that they are useful to society. Quite necessary to modern economics and standards of living, actually. They are not the best possible of institutional arrangements at all times, though. Look at how many more sole proprietors and partnerships there are in the world, even in economic powerhouses like the United States.


    Yeah, it sounds like you've encountered some sloppy thinking about externalities, in fact it seems like you're pretty partisan in favour of corporations and apt to react a certain way to what you preceive as criticism of them. It doesnt mean there's not an issue with externalities, whether its the people you imagine to be morons or villains which are mentioning it or not.
    I am not partisan in favor of corporations at all. Look back over my posting history and you will see how I criticize corporations for using the government and collusion to game the system to their own benefit. I reference Gabriel Kolko regularly. The criticism "partisan in favor of corporations" is silly. The equivalent would be saying that I am partisan in favor of people or horses or boats. The bottom line is that many of the critics of corporate behavior are off-base with their criticisms, and it often stems from a juvenile and economically tone-deaf view of the world.


    I'm not a supporter or defender of capitalism but I would agree that capitalism's supporters and defenders have been much more articulate and clear than their opposite numbers and detractors. Although being good writers doesnt make them correct. At least not all the time.
    I am a supporter and defender of free market capitalism, and I wish the world (especially the United States) moved more in that direction. I do not like the unholy union of Big Business and Big Government that we have endured for the past century or so, and one which is rapidly accelerating under Obama.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  2. #42
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qre:us View Post
    Okay. We'll have to disagree then on the increasily common aspect. That's where we differ.

    My response wasn't to explain why it's moreso competition, my response was tackling your point of oligopoly as cooperation, and explaining why I couldn't buy the 'cooperative' angle.
    You must buy some of it, since an oligopoly would be impossible without cooperation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Qre:us View Post
    I do believe that in the global market, oligopoly as cooperation, as you explained it previously, is much less common than the the capitalistic bent of competition for monopolizing the market. Sure, countries make cooperative deals with one another, e.g., free trade agreement, and even that, isn't all cooperative as it speaks of itself on paper. But, at the global level, dropping and rising values of currencies, driven by all the likely shifts in economies, and, differing monopoly on natural resources, rather than a near equal dispersion, hints towards competition driving the vehicle more than cooperation. And, it's also hard to believe that the vested interests of all the players in the global economy merges so well as to make it that oligopoly you speak of.
    It will take time. Time in which we have to assume that a crisis doesn't just obliterate society (which I'm increasingly thinking is optimistic). But if it goes like it's going, we will see more oligopolies and yes some monopolies (Microsoft already is one) at the global scale. Real compeition will fade. At the current state, the most exploitation is regard more and less developed nations. Africa, South America, and speckled parts of Asia here and there are still quite exploited. But developed nations are already becoming rather cooperative (and by that, I mean their respective businesses are, of course), even if we see some petty spats here and there. And developed with developing nations are forming really interesting co-dependencies. China and India or sort of apexes of this attention.

    Global economy is actually still quite young. We are off to the expectedly bloody start. As it settles, I think it settles into something uniform, something collusive, which frankly disturbs me. Economic hegemony today is political hegemony tomorrow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Qre:us View Post
    Cooperation is likely when the other has a similarly equal "worth", so it does well to play nice with them because they will likely have something you need, and/or, their action can likely affect you. Unfortunately, this is not so, within all players of the global economy. So we see a lot more exploitation of the advantage one (top dog) has over the other (weaker betas), to gain advantage over another top dog, and on it goes. Chasing the $.
    Not everyone is on the same page, but a lot of them are. Someone on a different page will either be devoured or step it up and become one of the fold. After the dust clears, we have oligopoly until some serious lightning strikes, and who knows what that would be and how long it would take.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  3. #43
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    Socialism will never be as trendy as Capitalism until it also invests large quantities of money into research and marketing to make it so.

    Corporations manufacture thinking to maintain their advantage. Making literally anything trendy is their greatest expertise.

    If someone's brain is so soft that corporations can manufacture their thinking for them, I don't feel much sympathy if they are emptying their bank accounts for trendy shit they don't even particularly like.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  4. #44
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    You could say that, and some dictators were/are worse than others, but that statement wouldn't stand to reason. Soviets and dictatorships are bad IN AND OF THEMSELVES, even if they are made up of people with good intentions. Corporations are useful and often produce positive results both for themselves and society at large, but they can also do very bad things. They are exactly like individual humans in that aspect.

    It's tiresome due to the fact that the concept of "externalities" (which are real, and sometimes positive rather than negative) is being twisted to fit truly crazy political agendas. I have had people seriously tell me that corporation derive all or most of their profits by foisting externalities onto the general public. That's colossally stupid, and a perfect example of the danger of teaching people a concept without providing the full context.
    I agree with your points that corporations are useful and can produce positive results for themselves and society at large. I also agree that it seems stupid to say that corporations derive all or most of their profits by foisting externalities on the general public.

    However, I do think that those externalities, which are real, are appearing to result in some really negative impacts.

    The question I am struggling with is whether or not the good outweighs the bad if we think about the overall human condition.

  5. #45
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Btw, just to be a little bit fastidious, "competition for monopolizing the market" is an oxymoron. Competition drives prices down, gives the consumer more room for choice, and when products are substitutes will drive profits down (profit margin, to be more exact). That's why Magic Porifean is correct in his assessment of "capitalism" as a lobby system, esp. at the highest levels. IF competition was as widespread as theorethical market models make it to be, companies would have almost zero profit margin (compensation of the entrepreneur included in the costs, of course), consumers would have a really high platitude of choice with relatively low prices, equality - purchasing power basically - would increase, per capita. Notice that the type of competition campaigned by economists is completely transparent, thus in many ways "cooperative" because companies would just try to outdo eachother by completely fair means. Something similar to a group of friends playing a game one against the other.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  6. #46
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    If someone's brain is so soft that corporations can manufacture their thinking for them, I don't feel much sympathy if they are emptying their bank accounts for trendy shit they don't even particularly like.
    So, ready to sign the warrant to destroy 99% of the human race?
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  7. #47
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Btw, just to be a little bit fastidious, "competition for monopolizing the market" is an oxymoron. Competition drives prices down, gives the consumer more room for choice, and when products are substitutes will drive profits down (profit margin, to be more exact). That's why Magic Porifean is correct in his assessment of "capitalism" as a lobby system, esp. at the highest levels. IF competition was as widespread as theorethical market models make it to be, companies would have almost zero profit margin (compensation of the entrepreneur included in the costs, of course), consumers would have a really high platitude of choice with relatively low prices, equality - purchasing power basically - would increase, per capita. Notice that the type of competition campaigned by economists is completely transparent, thus in many ways "cooperative" because companies would just try to outdo eachother by completely fair means. Something similar to a group of friends playing a game one against the other.

    And one of the most negative things that corporations do is to lobby the government for subsidies, tax abatements, eminent domain takings, favorable regulations, etc. It's pretty easy to win when you set your own rules.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  8. #48
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    So, ready to sign the warrant to destroy 99% of the human race?
    No, I will just let people continue to spend their dough and feel happy that I actually think about what I consume. I know that in my career I will have to make some truly shitty movies that will make tons of money because lots of people just don't care what they see. There is nothing really wrong with that, either. Shitty movies make a lot of people very happy and a few people very rich, and that is all fine.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  9. #49
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    And one of the most negative things that corporations do is to lobby the government for subsidies, tax abatements, eminent domain takings, favorable regulations, etc. It's pretty easy to win when you set your own rules.
    Now just imagine there was no government. In that case, business could agree to make rules with each other and there wouldn't even be a chance of a third party bringing the hammer down.

    My formulation goes like this:

    No government: Monopoly or oligopoly is inevitable.
    Government: Monopoly and oligopoly may be aid, or it may be attacked.

    Your odds are at leat better with the government.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    No, I will just let people continue to spend their dough and feel happy that I actually think about what I consume. I know that in my career I will have to make some truly shitty movies that will make tons of money because lots of people just don't care what they see. There is nothing really wrong with that, either. Shitty movies make a lot of people very happy and a few people very rich, and that is all fine.
    I think most of the human race can have their thoughts partially manufactured. I would presume yours have been, too. The issue then, is that if you really don't care about it one way or the other, than you basically don't care about the state of things for all of humanity. You're just saying "let it be". You have no social policy.

    Or to put it another way... If people have such soft brains that governments are able to manufacture their thoughts, and tell them what makes them happy, then you shouldn't have sympathy for them either. The government will make populist moves, it will make a lot of people very happy, and a few people very politically powerful (and realistically, very rich).
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  10. #50
    it's tea time! Walking Tourist's Avatar
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    Bad entertainment is profitable???

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    No, I will just let people continue to spend their dough and feel happy that I actually think about what I consume. I know that in my career I will have to make some truly shitty movies that will make tons of money because lots of people just don't care what they see. There is nothing really wrong with that, either. Shitty movies make a lot of people very happy and a few people very rich, and that is all fine.
    I'm a little teapot, short and stout. Here is my handle and here is my spout. Every time I steam up, I give a shout. Just tip me over and pour me out.

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