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Passionate Homo ...
post Jun 13 2009, 07:00 PM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spnEaO3yumk

My liberal heart's bleeding all over this one.

Should this company be regulated? Bare in mind, this generated a whole lot of jobs, especially for quack doctors and corporate lawyers.

This post has been edited by Passionate Homo Sapiens Ingester: Jun 13 2009, 07:04 PM


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post Jun 14 2009, 05:45 AM
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Well, obviously they shouldn't be allowed to sell AIDs in the USA, but I don't think we have all the facts on this one. I find it difficult to believe the Japanese government would allow drugs into the market without any questions.

If they did actually break the law in those countries, the people should be punished according to the laws in the countries effected, as a show of good faith and diplomacy, if nothing else.


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Passionate Homo ...
post Jun 14 2009, 01:12 PM
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Mine was more a question of whether, in the best of all worlds, this company should be regulated by the state.


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post Jun 14 2009, 03:23 PM
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QUOTE(Passionate Homo Sapiens Ingester @ Jun 14 2009, 11:12 PM) [snapback]1507825[/snapback]
Mine was more a question of whether, in the best of all worlds, this company should be regulated by the state.

You mean should there be health and safety regulations? Yes, there should.


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Passionate Homo ...
post Jun 14 2009, 04:23 PM
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I'll rename the topic "ask a libertarian" later:

When, then, does it become inappropriate to start regulating companies for abuse of people's rights?


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post Jun 14 2009, 10:44 PM
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Anything to do with health should not be for the reason - PROFIT.
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post Jun 15 2009, 02:54 AM
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Read up on the Codex Alimentarius.


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post Jun 15 2009, 07:18 AM
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QUOTE(Passionate Homo Sapiens Ingester @ Jun 15 2009, 02:23 AM) [snapback]1507837[/snapback]
When, then, does it become inappropriate to start regulating companies for abuse of people's rights?

Which rights are we talking about here? The totally reasonable right not to get AIDS when you buy a product or go to work, or the totally outrageous 'right' to low prices?

The visible hand [regulation] is necessary to stop people from being killed, but it's usually an epic failure at stopping people from getting ripped off. The invisible hand [market] works fine to stop being being ripped off, because no one will buy an ineffective product more than once, but even if people stop buying AIDS infected drugs, there are still people infected with AIDS, that could kill them, and what's more, spread to everyone else. Ineffective or overpriced products don't spread.

But I could ask the same question of you. At what point does it become inappropriate to start regulating companies? Should there be a few fairly reasonable regulations in place, should the government tell everyone how to do business, or should we just nationalise everything? How do we draw the line?


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Passionate Homo ...
post Jun 16 2009, 02:20 AM
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That's not entirely true. Anyone who owns a toaster from the 1980s will testify that the best way for companies to make money is not by making the best products. My parents gave me an ugly old white toaster and kettle when I moved out for the first time. I still use them, but ever summer without fail, my parents have a shiny new aluminium one...the last one broke, you see. But this one was only half the price of my one! See, I'm a real sucker.

Not that you can regulate for that. But my point is, companies don't strive to give the best to people, even on the mundane end of the scale.

I don't know that there's an upper limit. I think there should at least be monopoly laws, for example, because they foster competition.

I don't think any kind of economic regulation should be automatically considered contrary to the spirit of government. I mean, in any situation people will manipulate a situation to their own ends unless it's expressly forbidden: De Beers, Executive Outcomes, international tobacco, Fannie and Freddie, even WAL-MART abuse their positions at the head of markets. To say nothing of the Association Internationale Africaine, a company so evil, unregulated and bent on profit that it earned a mention in a Billy Joel song...even down to rogue tradesmen and building contractors, some industries need regulation to stop them abusing a trust afforded them unknowingly by consumers.

Excessive deregulation leads to a world of social darwinism and eventually imposition of an unbreakable status quo wherein might makes right, nepotism is a powerful influence and there is little to stop a completely unfair distribution of wealth, whether based on socialist or theoretical supercapitalist definitions.

...At least, in line with the best possible theory I can imagine.


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post Jun 16 2009, 06:08 AM
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QUOTE(Passionate Homo Sapiens Ingester @ Jun 16 2009, 12:20 PM) [snapback]1508112[/snapback]
That's not entirely true. Anyone who owns a toaster from the 1980s will testify that the best way for companies to make money is not by making the best products.

Were the best toasters in the 1980s the least popular? Otherwise, I don't see your point. All technology sucks when it's new, by our standards.

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My parents gave me an ugly old white toaster and kettle when I moved out for the first time. I still use them, but ever summer without fail, my parents have a shiny new aluminium one...the last one broke, you see. But this one was only half the price of my one!

Sounds like a good argument for the effectiveness of the invisible hand. Cheap goods break quickly; that's why their crummy breaking toasters aren't twice the price of your reliable toaster.

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companies don't strive to give the best to people, even on the mundane end of the scale.
If they want to succeed, they do. Indeed, there are some companies that scam you and try to get away with highway robbery price wise, but those are never the notably successful firms. Consider, for instance, McDonalds. Why did they bother putting in McCafe if consumer demand is irrelevant to them? They were being condemed as unhealthy, and tried to change what they offer.

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De Beers, Executive Outcomes, international tobacco, Fannie and Freddie, even WAL-MART abuse their positions at the head of markets.

Purchasing conflict diamonds is harldy something either hand can stop, if your referring to Executive Outcomes supposed securing of resources in the third world, you might as well just referrence the Mafia, given that such actions are hardly the epitome of the free market, I don't know what your beef with International Tobacco is, Fannie and Freddie abused governemnt subsidies, so that's more of an argument against economic interventionism, and I don't know what your beef with Wal-mart is, either.

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To say nothing of the Association Internationale Africaine, a company so evil, unregulated and bent on profit that it earned a mention in a Billy Joel song...
Weren't they owned by the Belgian Government? unsure.gif

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even down to rogue tradesmen and building contractors

Define rogue.

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Excessive deregulation leads to a world of social darwinism and eventually imposition of an unbreakable status quo wherein might makes right, nepotism is a powerful influence and there is little to stop a completely unfair distribution of wealth, whether based on socialist or theoretical supercapitalist definitions.

There is no economic pie. Other people being richer doesn't make everyone else poorer. Perhaps you'd like to give me a crash course on how, should Wal-Mart or WeHuffKittens Inc. start making more money or be deregulated, everyones salary would decrease or prices would raise?


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Passionate Homo ...
post Jun 16 2009, 06:52 PM
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QUOTE(Skinny. @ Jun 16 2009, 07:08 AM) [snapback]1508131[/snapback]
<The whole toaster story>
My point was, companies realised that they could make a lot more money selling crap toasters. My shitty-looking one cost £10 in 1982, my parents buy a new shiny £4 one every year or two. It was better for the toaster companies to deliberately make life more difficult for consumers. Built-in obsoletism, I think they call it.

This is not an example of something that I can think of a genius peice of regulation for. My point is, companies don't exist to do what's best for their customers. They exist to do what's best for them -- very often it helps their customers.

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De Beers, Executive Outcomes, international tobacco, Fannie and Freddie, even WAL-MART abuse their positions at the head of markets.

Purchasing conflict diamonds is harldy something either hand can stop, if your referring to Executive Outcomes supposed securing of resources in the third world, you might as well just referrence the Mafia, given that such actions are hardly the epitome of the free market, I don't know what your beef with International Tobacco is, Fannie and Freddie abused governemnt subsidies, so that's more of an argument against economic interventionism, and I don't know what your beef with Wal-mart is, either.
Fanny and Freddie was lazy short-hand for banks which built profit on debt for as long as they could get away with it. I'm aware of the libertarian arguments against regulation here: the government did this and that bad thing and made banks do stupid things or made it possible that they could. As a side-note, I don't think the government should be trying to stimulate the property market by unstable artificial means...but anyway.

They were allowed to build on unstable means, and means which an unregulated system entirely allows. I know existing regulation made the exact things they did possible, but the fact is, these people are bent on getting as much money as possible in any way they're allowed. And your guess is as good as mine is as good as Alan Greenspan's whether no regulation or the existing regulation would have created these problems sooner or later. But I do think that less fiddling (incentives to do stupid stuff, mostly) and more limits on what kind of fucking with people's money they're allowed to do, would decreasethe risk of embarassingly massive collapses.

As for the other companies, I don't want to turn this into a big emotional circlejerk, they were just more illustrations that companies don't have their consumer's best interests at heart (least of all big tobacco).

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To say nothing of the Association Internationale Africaine, a company so evil, unregulated and bent on profit that it earned a mention in a Billy Joel song...
Weren't they owned by the Belgian Government? :unsure:
No.

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even down to rogue tradesmen and building contractors

Define rogue.
"rogue noun (rogues) 1 a dishonest or unscrupulous person. Also as adj ē a rogue trader." - Chambers 2009.

Unscrupulous. Now that's a good word.

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QUOTE
Excessive deregulation leads to a world of social darwinism and eventually imposition of an unbreakable status quo wherein might makes right, nepotism is a powerful influence and there is little to stop a completely unfair distribution of wealth, whether based on socialist or theoretical supercapitalist definitions.

There is no economic pie. Other people being richer doesn't make everyone else poorer. Perhaps you'd like to give me a crash course on how, should Wal-Mart or WeHuffKittens Inc. start making more money or be deregulated, everyones salary would decrease or prices would raise?
If I owned the biggest company in the world and had no morals, I'd keep the opposition floundering and employ whoever I goddamn want. See:nepotism. See also:the south of England.


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post Jun 17 2009, 03:56 AM
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Jeese Mello, if you love the government so much why don't you marry it?

/debate

Anywhoz...

QUOTE
Built-in obsoletism, I think they call it.
This doesn't sound like a case of corporate greed raping everyone. It sounds more like a case of crummy electronics being sold for 4 pound (I don't have the symbol on my keyboard). A very reasonable price, even for something that breaks easily.

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They were allowed to build on unstable means, and means which an unregulated system entirely allows. I know existing regulation made the exact things they did possible, but the fact is, these people are bent on getting as much money as possible in any way they're allowed. And your guess is as good as mine is as good as Alan Greenspan's whether no regulation or the existing regulation would have created these problems sooner or later. But I do think that less fiddling (incentives to do stupid stuff, mostly) and more limits on what kind of fucking with people's money they're allowed to do, would decreasethe risk of embarassingly massive collapses.
If the government offered $100 for every wolf head that was brought to them, then the amount of wolves started to rabidly decrease (only after this happening) who would you be mad at, the hunters, or the government?

It's the same scenario here. The government subsidises loans, people abuse the subsidies and lend out bad loans, then everyone suggests we put new regulations on the bankers, so they can only make certain loans, even though they never would have in the first place, had it not been for the government. Is there an example of the financial bubble bursting in somewhere like Switzerland (which has almost no banking regulations whatsoever)?

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(least of all big tobacco).
People want smokes. Tobacco companies give them smokes. Sounds like they're doing a good job to me.

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To say nothing of the Association Internationale Africaine, a company so evil, unregulated and bent on profit that it earned a mention in a Billy Joel song...
Weren't they owned by the Belgian Government? unsure.gif
No.
Ya, I think they were. "The Association Internationale Africaine (English: International African Association) was a faux organization created by King Leopold II of Belgium to further humanitarian projects in the area of Central Africa that was to become the Congo Free State and subsequently today's Democratic Republic of the Congo."

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Unscrupulous. Now that's a good word.
But how do you mean "unscrupulous"? Ones that are out to rip them off? If so, that sounds more like a case of individual irresponsibility.

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If I owned the biggest company in the world and had no morals, I'd keep the opposition floundering and employ whoever I goddamn want.
Cool story, bro. I guess monopolies really do have absolute power, minus barriers to entry. rolleyes.gif


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Passionate Homo ...
post Jun 18 2009, 12:06 AM
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QUOTE(Skinny. @ Jun 17 2009, 04:56 AM) [snapback]1508291[/snapback]
QUOTE
Built-in obsoletism, I think they call it.
This doesn't sound like a case of corporate greed raping everyone. It sounds more like a case of crummy electronics being sold for 4 pound (I don't have the symbol on my keyboard). A very reasonable price, even for something that breaks easily.
I never said it was a travesty in itself. I'm saying that optimisation of quality and value is not in a company's best interest all of the time, as the perfect supercapitalist model would hold.

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QUOTE
They were allowed to build on unstable means, and means which an unregulated system entirely allows. I know existing regulation made the exact things they did possible, but the fact is, these people are bent on getting as much money as possible in any way they're allowed. And your guess is as good as mine is as good as Alan Greenspan's whether no regulation or the existing regulation would have created these problems sooner or later. But I do think that less fiddling (incentives to do stupid stuff, mostly) and more limits on what kind of fucking with people's money they're allowed to do, would decreasethe risk of embarassingly massive collapses.
If the government offered $100 for every wolf head that was brought to them, then the amount of wolves started to rabidly decrease (only after this happening) who would you be mad at, the hunters, or the government?
Lol, rabidly. 'Cos of wolves get it?

That would really depend on what the problem with wolves was in the first instance. In medical ethics there is a principle of ordinary and extraordinary means, whereby doctors are only required to offer ordinary means of care. It's a Catholic principle, and one I won't go into the specifics of, but the basic idea is Hippocratic: You do no harm first and foremost and then endeavour to do good -- ordinary means are natural therapies often regarded as non-medical. Extraordinary means such as surgery may cause harm, and are often regarded warily. A related principle is double-effect: if you do something with the primary intention of doing good with a secondary ill effect (eg pain relief which could hasten natural death, abortion(!)) then it could be acceptable. Applying these to the wolf analogy, if wolves suddenly took a liking to infant legs, then you would be principally doing good in killing wolves.

If wolves were probably bad for the leisure economy (tourists don't like the idea of holwy things innit) and you were speculating that killing wolves would be good, this would probably be regarded as an extraordinary means of dealing with a problem.

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It's the same scenario here. The government subsidises loans, people abuse the subsidies and lend out bad loans, then everyone suggests we put new regulations on the bankers, so they can only make certain loans, even though they never would have in the first place, had it not been for the government. Is there an example of the financial bubble bursting in somewhere like Switzerland (which has almost no banking regulations whatsoever)?
There are crimes beyond compare associated with Swiss banking. Ordinary regulation (see above) would go a ways to solving this I should wager.

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(least of all big tobacco).
People want smokes. Tobacco companies give them smokes. Sounds like they're doing a good job to me.
I entirely agree. I would deregulate all drugs and leave it to individual choice. But for the purposes of the list I put up, which I have already made clear, the tobacco industry serves to illustrate my point.

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To say nothing of the Association Internationale Africaine, a company so evil, unregulated and bent on profit that it earned a mention in a Billy Joel song...
Weren't they owned by the Belgian Government? :unsure:
No.
Ya, I think they were. "The Association Internationale Africaine (English: International African Association) was a faux organization created by King Leopold II of Belgium to further humanitarian projects in the area of Central Africa that was to become the Congo Free State and subsequently today's Democratic Republic of the Congo."


First sentence of the Congo Free State article: "The Congo Free State was a corporate state privately controlled by Leopold II, King of the Belgians through a dummy non-governmental organization, the Association Internationale Africaine."

This post has been edited by Passionate Homo Sapiens Ingester: Jun 18 2009, 12:10 AM


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post Jun 18 2009, 06:30 AM
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QUOTE
I'm saying that optimisation of quality and value is not in a company's best interest all of the time, as the perfect supercapitalist model would hold.
Your example applies perfectly to the success of the Austrian econmic model. Not everyone can afford top goods, thus there is demand for crappy goods people can buy cheaply.

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Lol, rabidly. 'Cos of wolves get it?

laugh.gif

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That would really depend on what the problem with wolves was in the first instance. [...]Applying these to the wolf analogy, if wolves suddenly took a liking to infant legs, then you would be principally doing good in killing wolves.

If wolves were probably bad for the leisure economy (tourists don't like the idea of holwy things innit) and you were speculating that killing wolves would be good, this would probably be regarded as an extraordinary means of dealing with a problem.
Depends how severe you consider the initial reason the government started trying to stimulate the housing market -- people "not buying enough houses". I would probably equate it to the wolves eating our sheep... kinda... sometimes.

But my point was, once the government stopped giving out money for wolf heads, would we also need to put insane new regulations on the hunters?

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There are crimes beyond compare associated with Swiss banking.
Number of economic meltdowns associated with their lack of regulation over loans: ...

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First sentence of the Congo Free State article: "The Congo Free State was a corporate state privately controlled by Leopold II, King of the Belgians through a dummy non-governmental organization, the Association Internationale Africaine."

Even so, being called government isn't what makes them bad. Using coercion is the primary concern; did the Association Internationale Africaine use coercion to govern the people of Congo?


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post Jun 18 2009, 11:56 AM
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Onto the toaster bit: to explain it easy, when they invented the TV, the first versions were balck and white. They start building a shitload of tv's. After 3 months or so, they came up with coloured tv's. Now they could've brought out the coloured tv directly, but then they'd be stuck with a shitload of black and white tv's. So they sold them first and then came out with the coloured tv. Everybody wants a coloured tv and buys that. That's what companies do. Just like they have a 3d tv now, but they want all the HDtv's to be sold.


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post Jun 18 2009, 05:10 PM
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QUOTE(NCP @ Jun 18 2009, 12:56 PM) [snapback]1508481[/snapback]
Onto the toaster bit: to explain it easy, when they invented the TV, the first versions were balck and white. They start building a shitload of tv's. After 3 months or so, they came up with coloured tv's. Now they could've brought out the coloured tv directly, but then they'd be stuck with a shitload of black and white tv's. So they sold them first and then came out with the coloured tv. Everybody wants a coloured tv and buys that. That's what companies do. Just like they have a 3d tv now, but they want all the HDtv's to be sold.

That isn't how it works at all, they also have 120" TV's and massive projectors, just if they tried to sell them no one would buy them as they can't afford it as the manufacturing process hasn't been refined enough to make it a cost effective product. It is the same with most new products they are over priced and not as good as the next cheaper version that comes out a few months later.

However in monopolistic markets the case maybe different where they just bring out a new version which is similar to the first but at the original price level for example the PS3, where they seem to be adding something worth about $10 and putting the price back up by $50.

This post has been edited by psychÝ: Jun 18 2009, 05:14 PM


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Passionate Homo ...
post Jun 20 2009, 05:11 PM
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QUOTE(Skinny. @ Jun 18 2009, 07:30 AM) [snapback]1508478[/snapback]
QUOTE
I'm saying that optimisation of quality and value is not in a company's best interest all of the time, as the perfect supercapitalist model would hold.
Your example applies perfectly to the success of the Austrian econmic model. Not everyone can afford top goods, thus there is demand for crappy goods people can buy cheaply.
I find it hard to believe that at half the price, they can't make the same quality of product 20 years later. I think they are holding back their best to make more money.

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QUOTE
That would really depend on what the problem with wolves was in the first instance. [...]Applying these to the wolf analogy, if wolves suddenly took a liking to infant legs, then you would be principally doing good in killing wolves.

If wolves were probably bad for the leisure economy (tourists don't like the idea of holwy things innit) and you were speculating that killing wolves would be good, this would probably be regarded as an extraordinary means of dealing with a problem.
Depends how severe you consider the initial reason the government started trying to stimulate the housing market -- people "not buying enough houses". I would probably equate it to the wolves eating our sheep... kinda... sometimes.

But my point was, once the government stopped giving out money for wolf heads, would we also need to put insane new regulations on the hunters?
We're looking at debt here. This is more like bringing the wolves back to life and giving the hunters a load of money not to hunt wolves.

In other words, it's more complicated than you're making out. And all because of "yeeeeah more money" incentives, rather than humanitarian regulations.

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There are crimes beyond compare associated with Swiss banking.
Number of economic meltdowns associated with their lack of regulation over loans: ...

QUOTE
QUOTE
First sentence of the Congo Free State article: "The Congo Free State was a corporate state privately controlled by Leopold II, King of the Belgians through a dummy non-governmental organization, the Association Internationale Africaine."

Even so, being called government isn't what makes them bad. Using coercion is the primary concern; did the Association Internationale Africaine use coercion to govern the people of Congo?
They enslaved them, coercion implies they had some choice. In any case, I don't see your point. It was a private enterprise that killed millions because no one stopped them. They managed PR well enough that no one really cared. The politically aware - those with means and interest to research for themselves, were the only ones who could hope to stand up to such bullies. When the press leaked news of the conditions, the government took over the country. And yeah, there was still segregation and education was dominated by Christian missionaries...but it's the best evidence I've ever seen that sometimes outside forces help a system.


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post Jun 21 2009, 02:51 PM
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QUOTE
I think they are holding back their best
And selling it for cheaper because not everyone can afford their best. What's your point?

QUOTE
We're looking at debt here. This is more like bringing the wolves back to life and giving the hunters a load of money not to hunt wolves.

Fuck this, let's just talk literally. Why are these new regulatiosn necessary, given a lack thereof has never caused any problems without irresponsible subsidies.

I should also point out that banks like Bear Sterns didn't take advantage of the deregulation that went on under Clinton. There wasn't much investment going on there, as opposed to banks that aren't doing quite as bad today.

QUOTE
They enslaved them, coercion implies they had some choice. In any case, I don't see your point. It was a private enterprise that killed millions because no one stopped them. They managed PR well enough that no one really cared. The politically aware - those with means and interest to research for themselves, were the only ones who could hope to stand up to such bullies.

Sounds like half the world's governments.


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Passionate Homo ...
post Jun 21 2009, 03:49 PM
Post #19


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QUOTE(Skinny. @ Jun 21 2009, 03:51 PM) [snapback]1508829[/snapback]
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I think they are holding back their best
And selling it for cheaper because not everyone can afford their best. What's your point?
That's not even right. Everyone can afford their best. There is no doubt over this, as I've already said.

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We're looking at debt here. This is more like bringing the wolves back to life and giving the hunters a load of money not to hunt wolves.

Fuck this, let's just talk literally. Why are these new regulatiosn necessary, given a lack thereof has never caused any problems without irresponsible subsidies.
It's very well saying "well you shouldn't have done it in the first place". The fact is, it has already happened. Subsidies (which were not needed and were put in place for financial stimulation, with not even lipservice to stability) have led to it, but it's disingenuous to think that the best thing to do would be to remove the subsidies then do...nothing. I don't see where the logic is in that.

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They enslaved them, coercion implies they had some choice. In any case, I don't see your point. It was a private enterprise that killed millions because no one stopped them. They managed PR well enough that no one really cared. The politically aware - those with means and interest to research for themselves, were the only ones who could hope to stand up to such bullies.

Sounds like half the world's governments.
I don't think that's fair at all. It's ridiculous to compare the Congo Free State to anything but the worst governments in history. It's certainly worse than any government in North American history, and dare I say worse than any British or French government for hundreds of years. Its crimes, compared to its means, are certainly at least comparable with the fascist governments of the mid-1900s. To compare that to "most governments" is not in the spirit of reason.


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QUOTE(LMOZ)
drive carfuly,because every secend a shrak can teleport itself to your car, and try to drive your car (if you have one) with shark in it.
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