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  •  Laissez faire capitalism also produces monoplies. (4+ / 0-)

    Look at the prices for glasses, particularly sunglasses.

    The whole of that brand-driven market is owned by one Swiss company.

    You'd think brand-name glasses were diamonds.

    •  Luxottica is Italian (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chris Jay, bontemps2012

      They are certainly greedy and out of control.

      The GOP is the party of mammon. They mock what Jesus taught.

      by freelunch on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 10:23:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It does, and it produces (most of the time) the (0+ / 0-)

      answer to monopolies.

      At present, however, the biggest and most nefarious contributor to monopolies is government action in the form of patents that should not be granted but are.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 10:40:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Corporations have rigged patents law on purpose (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CherryTheTart

        so is that Government's fault?... inherent in the nature of Government or is it inherent in what allowing some people to rewrite the rules in order to become more rich and powerful? A failure of Government is not the Government's fault... it is our fault in part for ignoring that Rich and powerful people were stealing control of OUR self government. And the real fault lies with the crooks who do the rigging and stealing.

        Patents were meant to protect the little guy, inventor, tinkerer, idea person, business start up but they have become a tool for large corporations to monopolize things far beyond the good it does everyone collectively... and instead hugely benefits a small class of super rich investors.

        Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

        by IreGyre on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 03:38:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes they have, and, in a way, it is the (0+ / 0-)

          government's fault.

          Legislators write the patent laws, and government bureaucrats  write the regulations and grant the patents. Government courts enforce the laws that legislators write.

          That powerful interests are able to corrupt the process only serves to illustrate why the government should not be in the middle of the economy. It is powerful and it is corruptable.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 03:46:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is a bad way of viewing the problem. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bontemps2012

            When one says it is "Government's Fault" they are not speaking in terms of the specific failures of a specific electorate to protect their rights through legitimate channels.

            They are speaking in abstract to the idea that all government always fails all of the time at doing these things and that therefore all government should just "Go away" and we'd be done with these problems.

            Regardless of whether or not that was your intent, when spoken in that way the words you use elicit such a general meaning. It does us no good at getting to the bottom of the problem.

            Now that we've gotten that over with there's the real question of whether or not it is a direct fault of all governments in abstract  that they can and have in varying degrees succumbed to corruption. I would say no, because it reflects the general state of humanity. Government can never be entirely immune to corruption so long as human beings are not immune to it.

            However such corruption is not the exclusive purview of government. Tyrants have and still do exist in private industry and have murdered countless millions (especially workers wishing to unionize) over the course of history in the name of securing their profits.

            The idea that if we have no government their is liberty is fallacious because government in the form of a nation state is simply one form of organized power that a person may found themselves compelled to live under.

            The idea that Tyranny would not exist without a nation state is quite silly, and even if we did not have a patent or copyright system you'd quite possibly even have a bigger problem than we do today. Because barring government stepping in to fix that problem directly then all that money that went in to say, retroactively extending copyrights could've instead been directed towards purchasing other laws.

            For example, banning public access to any and all video/audio recording devices. We might not even have a computer or even consumer electronics industry like we did today if we did not have our current patent/copyright system. In fact we could possibly have something much worse but that's the type of massive change which is hard for even the best of us to truly predict the effects of.

            TL:DR; If the Government doesn't get involved then private money and corruption can work their magic just as well as if it does. To say this is the fault of all governments in abstract is to say that you believe humans are fundamentally unfit to govern themselves..but then WHO does?

            •  Blaming "government" as an abstraction (0+ / 0-)

              is parallel to the illogic of blaming an abstract "God" for creating an imperfect universe.

              Easier to see the logical flaw when it's "God" as the Prime Mover.

            •  Fine, but running away from the tremendous (0+ / 0-)

              power of government to make things worse serves no good purpose, either.

              As individuals, we try to work our way around a world in which tremendously powerful interests impact our lives.  The most powerful of those interests -- and the one with the most potential for evil -- is the government.

              It is governments that go to war and governments that throw people in jail, governments that exercise eminent domain, and governments that reach into our pockets to take money without our permission.

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 01:22:18 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  No running here, just correctly naming the Problem (0+ / 0-)

                The words one uses to frame their ideas inherently color their approach towards solving it. I am not running away from the issue but rather attempting to seriously address it with specifics and in a way that enables us to actually figure out a corrective course of action.

                The problem is unaccountable power, plain and simple. Whether it exists in the form of a nation state run by dictatorial fiat or whether it is a large multinational run by a single micro-managing CEO.

                When human beings are allowed to make decisions which affect large groups of people with whom they have no reason to care for or consider in any matter then things get wonky.

                The government is not a single monolithic interest group and representing it as such is incredibly misleading. A specific administration may have an agenda, and political parties may have their own agendas, but government on a whole does not. It represents the sum total of our nation's varying interest groups jockying for power over what bills get written, how, etc.

                Governments are the only ones who may declare war, but they certainly aren't the only ones who GO TO war. Blackwater/Xe/Academi go to war as mercenaries, and they certainly aren't the only stakeholders who have a vested interest in going to war either.

                Defense contractors and the support network that enables our military all make a lot of cash if we go to war. To say it is "The Government" that exclusively goes to war is to obscure the politicking that brought us each war and worse yet it therefore obscures our ability to prevent future such wars.

                Similarly while it is the government that has authority to arrest. Police are often moonlighting in-uniform for the big banks and after Apple's prototype issues it's arguable a company big enough can use patent/copyright claims to suborn some of that authority on an as-needed basis for emergencies.

                Similarly they are not the only stakeholders who have vested interests in ensuring our jails become filled. Corrections Corporation of America has a vested interest in seeing lots of people jailed. DuPont, Marlboro, Budweiser all profit from our Drug Laws. Police Unions also have a very strong vested interest in draconian laws as well because we currently manage our police stations like a business and use arrest quotas (it's illegal but they still do it, they just hide/obfuscate the specifics so it barely passes the smell test).

                So to say the problem is simply "Government" and one can only solve it by "Removing all governing authority" is rather silly. We can fix the jailing issue by banning private prisons, putting the police under watch of an independent community review board (with the power to dismiss officers under review by majority vote after hearing the facts at hand in a case) and attempt to change drug laws via the ballot box for now.

                Fixing the warmongering problem is sadly harder because of the sacred cow status of the military within our society but it would certainly be doable by the right administration.

                The point is, in all of these cases by stopping at the surface you do yourself a great disservice at attempting to actually solve the problems being discussed.

                Just my two cents. :)

                •  Lots of words, straw men, little light. (0+ / 0-)

                  Nowhere have I suggested that:

                  1. We should remove government
                  2. That government is monolithic
                  Given that the US government is comprised of at least three levels: Federal, State, and local,  I would be a poor student indeed were I to suggest such a thing.

                  But government does possess unique powers and no other term encapsulates that fact as well as "government".   The federal government, as the largest, most powerful, and yet least accessible level of US government is uniquely capable of great and terrible things.

                  LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                  by dinotrac on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 06:41:30 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Straw Man? Where's the real one then? (0+ / 0-)

                    1: Then you should not use the language which implies exactly that. It's not particularly fair but it's still how it comes across.

                    When you refer to "Government" as I had described above it illicit exactly such a meaning.

                    2: You do not need to SAY it, it is reflected in your language. When you only refer to Government in abstract via the word government you are implying a Monolithic entity with a singular purpose or agenda.

                    3: Simply qualifying the word Government with the noun Federal does not change any of the above.

                    Now above all if I am so Mistaken, then WHAT is it that you are saying? You start your post by saying you are not implying government is a singular monolithic entity and you do not want to remove it...yet your second paragraph simply says: "The Federal Government is the largest, most powerful, and least accessible form of government. No other term encapsulates this better than Government."

                    Which to paraphrase says to me: "No, I didn't just say that the Government is some single monolithic evil entity which must be cast into a firey pit! I said the FEDERAL Government is the single monolithic evil entity!"

                    If you'd like to call me mistaken your response needs to do more than say you disagree with my characterization of your words you need to offer a correction and point to how what you said was substantively different than what I thought you meant and you NEED to tell me what you did mean in a way that highlights this.

                    To do otherwise invites criticisms of disingenuity.

      •  Patents have nothing to do with this. (0+ / 0-)

        0% contribution.

        •  You say that because you don't know what you're (0+ / 0-)

          talking about.

          (hint: Apple v Samsung, Microsoft v. just about everybody, patent trolls,etc)

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 06:41:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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