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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Neither you nor mercury ever quite justify the psychological premise of this. If business owner cares only for him/her self, he/she does not need to look twenty years into the future. A person can easily harvest the system for him/her self and leave the rest to die. It's only a matter of smoothly disconnecting from the situation before it collapses. Business robbery is hardly an unheard of practice. So there's no reason to expect better of a business owner.

    Again, I state that if anything, the politician appealing to popular issues is actually remotely more relevant than the business owner in terms of personal concerns.
    More relevant how and to whom? I also addressed the corporate long-term perspective vs. political long-term perspective issue in my earlier post today. I would add that the need for a business owner/corporation to respond to demonstrated demand from the market is a pretty good restraint to "harvesting the system." If you don't make something people want at a price they are willing to pay, you're screwed. The government doesn't have nearly the same incentive (although there is the disincentive to be completely at odds with the electorate, since you could be voted out of office; on the other hand, the vast majority of "the government" is not elected by anyone, they are career bureaucrats).
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    More relevant how and to whom? I also addressed the corporate long-term perspective vs. political long-term perspective issue in my earlier post today. I would add that the need for a business owner/corporation to respond to demonstrated demand from the market is a pretty good restraint to "harvesting the system." If you don't make something people want at a price they are willing to pay, you're screwed. The government doesn't have nearly the same incentive (although there is the disincentive to be completely at odds with the electorate, since you could be voted out of office; on the other hand, the vast majority of "the government" is not elected by anyone, they are career bureaucrats).
    I've already mentioned in the past that it's not too hard to swindle people. You can get people to buy shit through many different means. Look at the history of Microsoft.

    You don't have to be the best man to win the market game. At least. you don't have to be the best at giving people goods. You don't understand that a business man need only provde the bare minnimum that people will accept to succeed. Because of that, anyone with the integrity to pay the price for providing more than the bare minnimum of acceptability is a sitting duck for that opportunists that don't.

    I'd also say that business owners can go halfway with their legitimacy. They can do what it takes to form a successful consumer base, but can still be corrupt in terms of handling the profits.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I've already mentioned in the past that it's not too hard to swindle people. You can get people to buy shit through many different means. Look at the history of Microsoft.
    Microsoft made a ton of money because they put out things that people wanted. I don't like the company particularly, but it's not as if no one wanted to deal with them. Personally, I like Windows a lot. I've been happy to pay for PCs with Windows on them. There sre hundreds of millions of people worldwide who have done the same.

    You don't have to be the best man to win the market game. At least. you don't have to be the best at giving people goods. You don't understand that a business man need only provde the bare minnimum that people will accept to succeed. Because of that, anyone with the integrity to pay the price for providing more than the bare minnimum of acceptability is a sitting duck for that opportunists that don't.
    Providing more for whom? Their employees? Their customers? This is vague. If it is referring to employees, part of the company's modus operandi is to hire the people they want for as little as the people are willing to work. The perspective employees want, conversely, want to make as much as they able. If you want better, more qualified workers, you pay more for them. If you meant to their customers, the person who makes the most of what people demand at the most acceptable price to them wins. What does "integrity" have to do with that?

    I'd also say that business owners can go halfway with their legitimacy. They can do what it takes to form a successful consumer base, but can still be corrupt in terms of handling the profits.
    Corrupt how, exactly? If you are talking about fraud, it's already illegal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Microsoft made a ton of money because they put out things that people wanted. I don't like the company particularly, but it's not as if no one wanted to deal with them. Personally, I like Windows a lot. I've been happy to pay for PCs with Windows on them. There sre hundreds of millions of people worldwide who have done the same.
    This is a huge over-simplification. Microsoft's entire history has been questionable in terms of it's fairness and by most accounts it has probably way under-shot the amount of quality it could have provided.

    What's horrible is that when a company gets a big as MS, it can write the history of the entire market it's involved in. It can tell everyone that it succeeded every time it failed, and no one has the power to correct them.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Providing more for whom? Their employees? Their customers? This is vague. If it is referring to employees, part of the company's modus operandi is to hire the people they want for as little as the people are willing to work. The perspective employees want, conversely, want to make as much as they able. If you want better, more qualified workers, you pay more for them. If you meant to their customers, the person who makes the most of what people demand at the most acceptable price to them wins. What does "integrity" have to do with that?
    I'm talking about customers. The point here is that there is no reason to assume a company has incentive to provide quality, especially after it's already established itself (much like a dictator, no?). Let's a company has achieved monopoly status. It is now the only source of some good or service. If people want that good or service, they will have no choice but to get it from the monopoly. Because the monopoly is in this position, it can afford to make completely shitty products, or give horrible service, and still profit. It can do this because people have no other choice.

    Now, that's a great living to achieve, a life where you provide nothing good and get more money for it than any other provider. It's so good that you can bet it's what everyone aspires to have. So, companies are going to have the achievement of that monopoly status as their priority, supposing they get beyond a miniscule, "mom and pop" size. Even a local company aims to dominate it's locale. So in other words, these companies do not seek to defeat competition, they seek to erase it. Once competition is erased, a company doesn't have to feel obligated to the customer. A company of a certain size or greated can find more prosperity in being hostile to smaller and newer companies than in actually being innovative or high quality providers.

    To make matters worse, the better a new, small company is, the more threatening it is, and therefore the more likely it is that a large company will destroy it. No one is more likely to be crushed than a small timer with a lot of innovation. The monopoly may eventually utilize the innovations it stole, but it doesn't have to, and it certainly doesn't have to do it soon or do it well.
    Even putting the implementation of innovation aside, there is definite justification in questioning the ethics of destroying a small innovator and claiming its achievements as your own and profiting off of it.

    Now, even in non-monopoly driven situations, there isn't necessarily incentive to improve on a product. A company need only provide something at bare-minnimum standards to sell it. Generally, it's also cheaper and faster to make something of bottom quality. So why make something better? Business has really put an ever growing emphasis on mass produced shit. It's more profitable than making things that are of high quality.

    In fact, in some situations, a product of low quality can benefit a company. For instance, I could run a company that produces touch-pads. It occurs to me that the faster touch-pads wear out, the sooner people buy a replacement. So I reason that I can actually make larger profits for the company if I intentionally make touch-pads that wear out faster. It's in my interest to provide a low quality product.

    Another problem is that even if there are multiple companies, you can end up with corruption through mutual affection. That is to say, if a number of large companies are complacently happy in their circumstances, they can agree to allie with each-other rather than compete, and through mutual support operate in a way similar to a monopoly, effectively bringing all of the same old problems with it.

    Oh, and by integrity, I mean having the characteristic of putting extra effort into actually doing good and getting things right.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Corrupt how, exactly? If you are talking about fraud, it's already illegal.
    As just one example, the ever growing proportion of company profit that goes to the executives' income is perfectly legal, but I'd still call it corrupt.

    I wonder about how you feel about fraud laws, though... The government has to handle those, you know?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    This is a huge over-simplification. Microsoft's entire history has been questionable in terms of it's fairness and by most accounts it has probably way under-shot the amount of quality it could have provided.

    What's horrible is that when a company gets a big as MS, it can write the history of the entire market it's involved in. It can tell everyone that it succeeded every time it failed, and no one has the power to correct them.
    I don't know that that's true. I would estimate that MS has at least as many detractors as proponents, if not more. And "quality" means different things to different people. "You can't argue with success" is an oversimplification, but if their products were truly bad, no one would buy them. I hope this isn't Mac fanboy bias.



    I'm talking about customers. The point here is that there is no reason to assume a company has incentive to provide quality, especially after it's already established itself (much like a dictator, no?). Let's a company has achieved monopoly status. It is now the only source of some good or service. If people want that good or service, they will have no choice but to get it from the monopoly. Because the monopoly is in this position, it can afford to make completely shitty products, or give horrible service, and still profit. It can do this because people have no other choice.

    Now, that's a great living to achieve, a life where you provide nothing good and get more money for it than any other provider. It's so good that you can bet it's what everyone aspires to have. So, companies are going to have the achievement of that monopoly status as their priority, supposing they get beyond a miniscule, "mom and pop" size. Even a local company aims to dominate it's locale. So in other words, these companies do not seek to defeat competition, they seek to erase it. Once competition is erased, a company doesn't have to feel obligated to the customer. A company of a certain size or greated can find more prosperity in being hostile to smaller and newer companies than in actually being innovative or high quality providers.

    To make matters worse, the better a new, small company is, the more threatening it is, and therefore the more likely it is that a large company will destroy it. No one is more likely to be crushed than a small timer with a lot of innovation. The monopoly may eventually utilize the innovations it stole, but it doesn't have to, and it certainly doesn't have to do it soon or do it well.
    Even putting the implementation of innovation aside, there is definite justification in questioning the ethics of destroying a small innovator and claiming its achievements as your own and profiting off of it.

    Now, even in non-monopoly driven situations, there isn't necessarily incentive to improve on a product. A company need only provide something at bare-minnimum standards to sell it. Generally, it's also cheaper and faster to make something of bottom quality. So why make something better? Business has really put an ever growing emphasis on mass produced shit. It's more profitable than making things that are of high quality.

    In fact, in some situations, a product of low quality can benefit a company. For instance, I could run a company that produces touch-pads. It occurs to me that the faster touch-pads wear out, the sooner people buy a replacement. So I reason that I can actually make larger profits for the company if I intentionally make touch-pads that wear out faster. It's in my interest to provide a low quality product.

    Another problem is that even if there are multiple companies, you can end up with corruption through mutual affection. That is to say, if a number of large companies are complacently happy in their circumstances, they can agree to allie with each-other rather than compete, and through mutual support operate in a way similar to a monopoly, effectively bringing all of the same old problems with it.

    Oh, and by integrity, I mean having the characteristic of putting extra effort into actually doing good and getting things right.
    How many monopolies have existed in history without the explicit approval, aid, and friendly regulation of government? Really, I'd like to see concrete examples. And you're completely wrong about businesses making shitty products on purpose because they make more money that way. Unless you are talking about something with majorly inelastic demand, competition dictates that if a company makes a demonstrably better product that is not far more expensive than the shitty one, that company will succeed. It happens every day. That is why there hundreds of thousands of restaurants in the United States, most of them not McDonald's. I really think that your idea of how the marketplace works is completely at odds with reality.



    As just one example, the ever growing proportion of company profit that goes to the executives' income is perfectly legal, but I'd still call it corrupt.

    I wonder about how you feel about fraud laws, though... The government has to handle those, you know?
    That is your opinion, and it is not shared by most people. And "profits" don't pay executive salaries, they are included in business expenses. You HAVE to understand that concept. Executives of publicly traded corporations make a large portion of their money from stock options, which tend to be higher when a company is either in a hot new industry or market, or when they are very profitable. I suppose your going to tell me how oil companies make insane profits next, even though their profit margins are lower than the average (successful) sitdown restaurant's.

    And fraud is illegal, and should be. That is a clear violation. Who suggested removing government from prosecuting crimes? I don't see what you're getting at with that one.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

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    These are from Drill for more oil.

    Also, this particular argument seems to be getting kind of rough around the edges, with some posts drifting toward insults (mainly of the "you are an idiot" variety.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    In fact, in some situations, a product of low quality can benefit a company. For instance, I could run a company that produces touch-pads. It occurs to me that the faster touch-pads wear out, the sooner people buy a replacement. So I reason that I can actually make larger profits for the company if I intentionally make touch-pads that wear out faster. It's in my interest to provide a low quality product.
    And people catch on to this. Consumers know American automobiles don't last as long as Japanese automobiles. No one harbors any illusions that the stuff you buy at Wal-Mart isn't junk, but they still lots of junk despite their reputation.

    As just one example, the ever growing proportion of company profit that goes to the executives' income is perfectly legal, but I'd still call it corrupt.
    Well, the people who run large corporations just love to give money away to CEOs who don't deserve it. That's why they're in business in the first place, to give money away to a single individual who wasn't even around when the company was founded. It has nothing do with the ability of the CEO to raise company profits by more than his compensation. Nope, not at all.

    Since corporations make their money by raping children, CEOs are effectively paid millions to rape thousands of children. Despicable! I think I'm finally starting to get it...

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    The previous argument also borders on "you are stupid". Please back off with these parts of posts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zergling View Post
    The previous argument also borders on "you are stupid". Please back off with these parts of posts.
    I'm not using abusive language here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I don't know that that's true. I would estimate that MS has at least as many detractors as proponents, if not more. And "quality" means different things to different people. "You can't argue with success" is an oversimplification, but if their products were truly bad, no one would buy them. I hope this isn't Mac fanboy bias.
    As many destractors as supporters? You're using a popularity contest to determine MS's value? You're the one who says Democracy is fetishized and that supporters are ignorant and persuaded by shallow pandering.

    Quality is always subjective, it's true. For instance, quality to person A could be really crappy for person B, because person B comes from a world where the companies don't make garbage, so he gets to use things that are actually affective. Meanwhile, person A has had so little access to companies that are inclined to put effort into things that he can't imagine what a truly affective product is like, so he thinks crap is quality.

    You're comment that, if products were truly bad no one would buy them, is only half correct. A company like MicroSoft has to make a produc that functions in serving a needed purpose. That, however, is all Microsoft has to do. That's what I mean when I say "bare minnimum". The company doesn't have to make anything at a level of quality beyond just barely functioning in order to sell it. This, if for no other reason, is because a monopoly doesn't have to fear that customers will get any better options.

    And no, I'm not a Mac user. I could hardly go into splitting the details of all of MicroSoft's transgressions, but I'm sure somebody, if not tons of people, have collected a list.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    How many monopolies have existed in history without the explicit approval, aid, and friendly regulation of government? Really, I'd like to see concrete examples. And you're completely wrong about businesses making shitty products on purpose because they make more money that way. Unless you are talking about something with majorly inelastic demand, competition dictates that if a company makes a demonstrably better product that is not far more expensive than the shitty one, that company will succeed. It happens every day. That is why there hundreds of thousands of restaurants in the United States, most of them not McDonald's. I really think that your idea of how the marketplace works is completely at odds with reality.
    I honestly don't have statistics on that, do you? It would probably be blurred by definition issues anyway. So let's do somelogical analysis on the subject, since at the moment we can't do empirical analysis.

    You're point doesn't hold for the following reasons: While it is true that government regulation can and sometimes has reinforced monopoly, it is also true that government regulation has the potential to be the best way to destroy monopolies. In contrast, there is absolutely no reason to think that a lack of regulation would reduce monopolies.

    I'm a little vexed, because so far, this is one of the most unfounded arguments you have used, and I don't know where it came from. How would a lack of regulation prevent monopoly? The theoretically model of monopoly developing behavior outlines something that could develop out of total anarchy. No regulation is necessary. Human nature and a multitude of people living together is all it takes. We may be talking about business and monopolies here, but this is not a strictly economic model. This applies to political power, and it applies to military power. It's flatly just a power model.
    People, without regulation, will seek to dissolve all competition to reap the undoubtable benefits of being an unchallenged power.

    Now, if a government had established several policies in favor of monopolies, than monopolies will do even better than in an unregulated environment, duh. Government reinforcement tends to strengthen things. But on the other hand, government, unlike a situation without regulation, can also inact means to directly prevent monopolies from taking place. Government stands as something that can actually stop monopoly.

    So in summary:
    Government regulation done wrong = monopolies .
    Government regulation done right = no monopolies.
    Lack of goverment regulation done in any way you can imagine = monopolies.
    So it makes more sense to go with government here.


    Most of your points about the affects of demand are still only based on the assumption that we are not dealing with monopolies or mutually affectionate companies.

    Unless you are talking about something with majorly inelastic demand, competition dictates that if a company...
    Yes... if there is competition, and a company that doesn't seek sucess by simply repeating the shitty product tactic.


    Also, your point about McDonald's needs to be reframed.
    Are there more restaurants using the fast food model than restaurants that are not? That's a better question, because it's not a reasonable comparison to pit one chain against an entire model.



    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    That is your opinion, and it is not shared by most people. And "profits" don't pay executive salaries, they are included in business expenses. You HAVE to understand that concept. Executives of publicly traded corporations make a large portion of their money from stock options, which tend to be higher when a company is either in a hot new industry or market, or when they are very profitable. I suppose your going to tell me how oil companies make insane profits next, even though their profit margins are lower than the average (successful) sitdown restaurant's.
    How are you so sure that most people don't share my opinion? A lot of people in this country are disgusted with how rich the rich are, and that sentiment has been getting progressively worse as of late. It's even more important when considering that the USA is unusually friendly to the rich by most standards in the first place. Internationally I definitely have the majority on my side.

    Your comment about oil profit margins is unknown to me. I have to wonder some things.
    Is this before or after taxes?
    Is this with or without tax breaks and subsidies?
    Is this based off of the public statistics provided by the oil companies themselves?
    What do you mean by oil company anway? It's vague.
    I suppose you could be talking about the fact that Exxon is not making money off of gas stations, and as such is selling them, but is that what you're talking about?

    even though their profit margins are lower than the average (successful) sitdown restaurant's.
    That's very important. What is the rate of success for those resteraunts, and what is the rate of success for an oil company? Let's say in the last fifty years...

    And no matter what the answers are to these questions, I still have the right to complain about the money made. We are talking about companies that employ a few thousand people but make billions of dollars, and most of those employees don't even get paid very much. How do we justifiably explain the amount of money CEOs make?

    Your point almost helps me in some ways, because if you actually are right, then what we've learned here is that a company could have shitty profit margins and the guy running it could still be rich enough to live without making anymore money for the rest of his life.

    The income per capita is ultimately the thing that is important for peoples' lives. There's obviously no way that much money is going to resteraunt owners.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    And fraud is illegal, and should be. That is a clear violation. Who suggested removing government from prosecuting crimes? I don't see what you're getting at with that one.
    I wasn't suggesting you said that, but I do think there's a conflict here. You seem to have so little trust in the government that I don't know why you'd put any stock in the illegality of fraud. You seem like someone who would suspect the investigators more than the investigated. After all, you said the business people might be liars, but politicians have to be liars, and then said that most people in the government are unelected toadies (that last part was a paraphrase, of course).
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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