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Seve
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:30 am


mostly good sound stuff there aka timmer, it's just sometimes you give me the impression that you think less is always more, in terms of regulation or oversight, which it's not

tiffanywint wrote:
Seve wrote:
if one country has an export surplus, someone else must have a deficit
But that's OK. It doesn't mean the country that imports more than it exports has to be broke. There can still be a healthy trade dynamic in play even if import re-sellers are driving commerce, moreso than the manufacturing sector and exporters.
taken to a conclusion, yes it does mean they will go broke
which is a weakness of capitalism
in Europe the Germans export, the Greeks etc can't seem to learn to compete, but they continue to consume and go broke
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:40 pm

In the free market (free of government regulation), if someone goes broke, then they deserve to. Fair game.
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:24 am

Sharky wrote:
In the free market (free of government regulation), if someone goes broke, then they deserve to. Fair game.

your understanding of the "free market" is either remarkably optimistic or remarkably naive
(I'd roll my eyes, but we don't seem to have that one anymore)
laugh

also, countries are different Sharky, if you can't see that then...
if Greece goes bung they can't all just walk up the road and get a job in Germany

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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:27 am

:roll: :roll: :roll:
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Seve
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:59 am

Sharky wrote:
:roll: :roll: :roll:

ok here are a couple of examples of how a market "free of government regulations" doesn't work

1) deregulation in building industry over here brought us 100s of rotting homes 10 years later, after builders used untreated timber in inappropriate ways when bullding houses which were not picked up by less stringent inspection rules

central and local government have been sued and it has cost the tax payer millions, thankyou free market

2) reduced regulation and inspections in the mining industry contributed to the death of 30 or so miners over here earlier this year, inadequate safety measures were not picked up due to cut backs in inspection resources

in both cases deregulation was supposed to free up the market and allow people to get on with business
instead it created a mess
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tiffanywint
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:59 am

Seve wrote:
Sharky wrote:
:roll: :roll: :roll:

ok here are a couple of examples of how a market "free of government regulations" doesn't work

1) deregulation in building industry over here brought us 100s of rotting homes 10 years later, after builders used untreated timber in inappropriate ways when bullding houses which were not picked up by less stringent inspection rules

central and local government have been sued and it has cost the tax payer millions, thankyou free market

2) reduced regulation and inspections in the mining industry contributed to the death of 30 or so miners over here earlier this year, inadequate safety measures were not picked up due to cut backs in inspection resources

in both cases deregulation was supposed to free up the market and allow people to get on with business
instead it created a mess
But I don't think anyone's advocating no government regulation. The two examples above address needed regulation of public safety standards. I'm happy to concede this task to government, even with all the inherent bureaucratic inefficiences in the administation of the programs.

What conservatives are demanding in the current economic crisis are drastic reductions in public spending. The debt burden is sucking the life out of the economy which has to pay for all the government spending.Greece can't meet its obligations. Its government has crushed its economy. The private sector (the productive sector) can no longer sustain the public sector ( the unproductive sector).

We should only be paying for the government we need and the less of it the better as government by definition is corrupt. I defer to David Mamet's excellent book here. Mamet maintains government has to be corrupt because it has power, and as we all know power corrupts, so it only stands to reason that a free citizenry should seek to limit the size scope and influence of its rulers.

Crony capitalism is a problem; big government colluding with industry sectors to limit competition. The telecom business is a classic. Two giants, and a third if we're being generous, control the industry in Canada. Amazing how consumer prices seem not to vary. Also amazing, that just when it looked like another major player was about to enter the market and maybe shake things up, the government regulator shut them down. Why? Too much foreign investment in their company. Oi vey. So the status quo is maintained and the cozy relationship between the telecoms and the government continues. Actually I'm not that bothered by this scenario. It's just an inevitable tradeoff to maintain a stable market, even if the supply side of the equation is being abused at the expense of the demand.

Same thing with gas prices. The government and the oil companies collude to fix the prices. There is no retail competition, but maybe this is a trade-off that we must endure to ensure a stable supply of such a vital resource. However in both cases the regulation often works against the consumer. It's like medicine we have to take. So I think what we need is to keep the pressure on government not to get carried away with its power. That's a tall order though.

Ultimately what we need is limited government, all across the board. Breaking down the public sector unions and allowing FDR to rest peacefully is the most important step I think. This may take a civil war though, or the complete collapse of society under the weight of back-breaking sovereign debt. The socialists will not let go of their entitlements without a fight. At the municipal levels, services whereever possible should be contracted out. This not only takes pressure off the local governments but also provincial and federal governments that are always being called on to bail bankrupt city govenments. Even stuff like fire-fighting. Just divide up the city and award the contracts. Government plays a regulatory role here in maintaining standards, but it doesn't have to maintain a bloated jobs-for-life public-sector unionized fire-fighting force, and the tax-payers catch a break, and maybe have some cash for their own pensions, after they have covered off the public sector pensions of course.

Read Mamet's book. He knows what ails society.
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:49 pm

well, I all for reduction in public spending, however the message I get from conservatives also includes indiscriminant freeing up regulation, and every time they've done that over here it has led to a rash of criminal business activity

IMO corruption is really the biggest threat that any society faces, be that public or private corruption, in the long term it's the relative lack of corruption which will seperate the winners from the losers

IMO unions are fine as long as they are properly regulated, (compulsory secret ballots before strikes, freezing assets for non complaince etc) with the aim neutralising any extreme political agenda
we don't have much trouble with unions over here anymore and we used to be up there with the worst

in America the problems arose because conservatives imagined they could deny the existance of unions all together, forcing them into the arms of organised crime, rather than working to shape their development into a more moderate form
extreme actions result in extreme responses

as for oil etc I don't see how less government involvement will result in disbanding the cartels, they come about without any encouragement government (eg De Beers)
in fact the opposite is required - strong government action to force competition which otherwise will not happen

what you are talking about in the telecom industry, which was for so long a monopoly, is an example of corruption, big business exerting undue influence on government to see things their way, instead of responding to the publics desire for competition

if you want to identify the root cause, follow the money, he who has the gold makes the rules
politicians may have some power, but want money, so they can be bought, that's generally how it works
so for a lot of those bad things you've mentioned the weakness of the politician is only a symptom, not the disease
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:52 am

I think it should be obvious that what is destroying our free societies is profligate government spending and this includes lots of useless regulation and interference in the market place, to adance liberal agendas, as opposed to real public safety concerns. Liberals quite simply build fiefdoms with taxpayers money and this is perfectly fine with them, because they need the trappings, resources and power of government to advance their utopian progressive agenda.

Public service unions should be abolished. They thwart the will of the people. Most of us are sick and tired of working our assess off, losing jobs, work etc yet still have to pay the public sector unions entrenched list of entitlements and bloated pensions. Saving the planet is the latest liberal war cry for further entrenching their power.

Quote :
so for a lot of those bad things you've mentioned the weakness of the politician is only a symptom, not the disease
The disease is too much government. Massive sovereign debt and collapsing economies provides the overwhelming evidence. De-centralize and free the people. The left are a vicious bunch. It won't be a fight for the feint of heart.

The solution is an emphasis on individual rights and freedoms, (rather than the socialist collectivist vision), limited government and restrained regulation with the aim of promoting a vibrant market-based economy, enforcement of the rule of law, and the decertifying of all public sector-unions (in accordance with FDR's original public sector vision).

Liberals are opposed to all of the above.
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:07 am

Don't forget to vote for Meester Keyster next week, Seve. :)
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:52 am

tiffanywint wrote:
I think it should be obvious that what is destroying our free societies is profligate government spending and this includes lots of useless regulation and interference in the market place, to advance liberal agendas, as opposed to real public safety concerns. Liberals quite simply build fiefdoms with taxpayers money and this is perfectly fine with them, because they need the trappings, resources and power of government to advance their utopian progressive agenda.
although we have had our share of that, I assure you that's not at the heart of the problem here in NZ
our problem is that in a globalising world we are a small nation that is geographically remote, with a small population
in an open market, economies of scale kill us
some think foreign investment is the answer, but all I've seen come of that is companies that have their intellectual property stripped before being closed down, loss of jobs as head office functions move overseas and profits flowing overseas
because foreign investment cannot overcome the economy of scale issues either
(any magic bullet suggestions gratefully accepted here please!)

tiffanywint wrote:
Public service unions should be abolished. They thwart the will of the people. Most of us are sick and tired of working our assess off, losing jobs, work etc yet still have to pay the public sector unions entrenched list of entitlements and bloated pensions. Saving the planet is the latest liberal war cry for further entrenching their power.
you really have a thing about public sector unions don't you?
as I say we don't have much trouble with them anymore, yet they still exist
if neo communist NZ can reform from the strike ridden 70s and yet still have unions, I sure Canada can too
you've got a vote, use it

seve wrote:
so for a lot of those bad things you've mentioned the weakness of the politician is only a symptom, not the disease

tiffanywint wrote:
The disease is too much government. Massive sovereign debt and collapsing economies provides the overwhelming evidence. De-centralize and free the people. The left are a vicious bunch. It won't be a fight for the feint of heart.
you're being very naïve if you think that is the only problem
and assuming far too much good faith on the part of those involved in the business community
we used to have too much sovereign debt back in the 70s, but we bit the bullet in the mid 80s, went through some tough times and now our government spends within it's means (except when the rest of the world stuffs it up)
however we still have a problem with our balance of payments deficit, because private sector consumption of imports has generally continued to outstrip exports, because we are a small country that cannot compete in manufacturing
surely that can only go on for so long…?
but it certainly won't be government debt that causes whatever calamity results

tiffanywint wrote:
The solution is an emphasis on individual rights and freedom, limited government and restrained regulation with the aim of promoting a vibrant market-based economy, enforcement of the rule of law...
here, here (or hear, hear)

CJB wrote:
Don't forget to vote for Meester Keyster next week, Seve. :)
I voted for him last time, however he's already a shoo in this time, so I may throw my vote Winston's way, parliament hasn't been nearly as entertaining without him, Winston even dropped the word "Quantum" into an interview the other day, "Quantum of Damage" rather than solace, but what the hey
;)

alright aka timmer, here's a little case study for you to comment on..
it's happening as we speak
there will be no government intervention
I don’t know what the answer is, but in my gut I feel it's not how things should be allowed to operate

there is a market with only two players, both foreign owned
one has 75% of the market the other 25%
they operate as a cartel, the larger one dictates the pricing structure and the other agrees not to undercut it, within certain boundaries
enter a local business, offering better service at a slightly cheaper price
they achieve some success and take a growing slice of the market
the biggest player responds by importing a large team of reps from a nearby country and going around offering below cost pricing to try and destroy the new player
as soon as the new player is destroyed they will return to cartel pricing

they are likely to win, not because they offer better service or a better product or are more efficient, but purely because they have the resources to out last their opponent in a price war
to me that's not what the "free market" is supposed to promote

prime minister aka timmer, what, if anything should be done?
or does this sort of practice fit in with your view of what the term "free market" capitalism represents
:farao:
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:48 pm

Seve wrote:
tiffanywint wrote:
The disease is too much government. Massive sovereign debt and collapsing economies provides the overwhelming evidence. De-centralize and free the people. The left are a vicious bunch. It won't be a fight for the feint of heart.
you're being very naïve if you think that is the only problem
I am hardly being naive. I am simply underscoring an underlying principle, that the present experience suggests we should heed. Namely that out-of-control government spending can and does kill economies. Again I defer to the very wise David Mamet. He makes the point that government is by deifinition corrupt. Not only does the experience of centuries of human history bear this out, but also the simple notion that government makes the rules. They have the power. As you good Seve point out, corportations will lobby hard, bribe, cajol etc to twist the rules in their favour. And why wouldn't they? Public sector unions do the same thing. And why wouldn't they? So it would seem, as good Mr Mamet takes pains to explain, the smaller and less powerful government is, the freer our societies will be. Limited government needs to be an overriding principle at all levels. We are much better off with restrained regulation, than with what we have now; armies of bureaucrats issuing licenses for everything under the sun, regulating so-called hate speech, regulating lemonade stands in some places; public-sector union workers expanding their numbers and influence expoentially, and guess who pays for it all. None of these agencies and departments come cheap and they never go away either.

I do have a thing against a unionized public-sector as did FDR. He said no way, but did the polticians listen? Nope. Political leaders are wising up though.( Not liberals though.The public sector is their power base.) In Wisconsin, and a few other states this year, the poltical leadership realized it had to strip the public-sector of their collective-bargaining rights and introduced legislation to that effect. What did democrats do in Wisconsin? They literally fled the State and refused to allow quoroum. The entitlements are that entrenched. As FDR said, it makes no sense that the employees of the people, or public "servants" (in reality they are anything but) should be allowed to take an adversarial stance against the people (the taxpayers who work to pay their wages and benefits). Is there not something very wrong about so called public-servants continually striking against the taxpayer? Of course there is. We the people need to be able to hire and fire tham at will, with the normal notice and severance packages that everyone else gets. But reality is, because of the unions we can't. We are stuck with them and their numbers keep growing. Most settle in for jobs for life. Even if a department can be cut, the unions usually demand that the employees be re-assigned. No net gain there. They obviously should not be allowed to unionize. They should not have collective-bargaining rights. State legislatures are wising up. Maybe the public will too, when Greece comes to our shores and the public servants are rioting in the streets. We are moving swiftly in that direction. Especially in the USA. No one really cared until government debt (driven by government spending and entitlements) became such a burden on the economy. We can no longer afford to vote liberals into office at any level. The gig is up. They've been selling us the snake-oil long enough. We can no longer digest it. Ideally we need two major parties in every global jurisdiction to embrace a limited government approach and battle over who can deliver the goods best. That should be the only political dynamic in play, but we do need the people to wise up, otherwise our free societies are doomed. Both the Democrats and the Republicans need sane conservative leadership. Hopefully we will get that from the GOP next year. The Dem leadership of course is a nightmare. Liberals are very much in control, but if Obama is crushed next year, as he was in last year's Congressional elections, there may be hope. The Dems might move mainstream and marginalize the useless liberals in their ranks. Here in Canada, the Liberal Party is in disarray, and currently only holds 3rd party status, however it does have a centrist history. It could move right and challenge the Conservatives on their own turf. Then we would have useful debate. Meanwhile the leftists could populate the socialist NDP ranks, their natural home, and let the two mainstream parties battle over how best to reduce government spending.


Seve wrote:

prime minister aka timmer, what, if anything should be done?
or does this sort of practice fit in with your view of what the term "free market" capitalism represents
:farao:
No nothing need be done. Who cares. As long as the product is being brought to market and the consumers can buy at whatever price the market determines, all is as well as need be. Any government interference will just screw things up. There is no role for government to play here. Stick to building roads and sewers please, maintaining a military , a criminal justice system;sane immigration, the things we actually need government to do. The notion of a perfect government regulated pricing scheme is nonsense. Often when there is market concentration, government is complicit in the creation of the monopolies anyway, even if it wasn't its intentions. Any given business knows its business better than government bureaucrats do.

As David Mamet so sagely explains.

Because government by its very nature is corruptible, it stand to reason that the less of it we have, the less potential for corruption and abuse of power we have to endure. The less power we turn over to our rulers, the freer and happier, we the people will be. Amen.

Read Mamet,the reformed liberal's book. Its quiet sage and sobering. And a fun read. He's a creative type after-all.
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Sat Nov 19, 2011 7:03 pm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/15/high-school-basketball-co_n_1095995.html

Think this coach said these remarks because the student is black or because his grades are down?
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:21 am

tiffanywint wrote:
Seve wrote:
you're being very naïve if you think that is the only problem

I am hardly being naive. I am simply underscoring an underlying principle, that the present experience suggests we should heed. Namely that out-of-control government spending can and does kill economies. Again I defer to the very wise David Mamet. He makes the point that government is by deifinition corrupt. Not only does the experience of centuries of human history bear this out, but also the simple notion that government makes the rules. They have the power. As you good Seve point out, corportations will lobby hard, bribe, cajol etc to twist the rules in their favour. And why wouldn't they? Public sector unions do the same thing. And why wouldn't they? So it would seem, as good Mr Mamet takes pains to explain, the smaller and less powerful government is, the freer our societies will be. Limited government needs to be an overriding principle at all levels. We are much better off with restrained regulation, than with what we have now; armies of bureaucrats issuing licenses for everything under the sun, regulating so-called hate speech, regulating lemonade stands in some places; public-sector union workers expanding their numbers and influence expoentially, and guess who pays for it all. None of these agencies and departments come cheap and they never go away either.

so instead of spending money lobbying bent politicians and corrupting honest ones to act in ways favourable to them, they could just do what they like, cheating , bullying, twisting and subverting the market until they have established a monopoly or cartel situation and then, when competition has been eliminated from the equation and monopolistic lazyness inevitably develops, selling the consumer shoddy products with poor service at exorbitant prices
what a wonderful world you want to live in

tiffanywint wrote:
I do have a thing against a unionized public-sector as did FDR. He said no way, but did the polticians listen? Nope... Here in Canada, the Liberal Party is in disarray, and currently only holds 3rd party status, however it does have a centrist history. It could move right and challenge the Conservatives on their own turf. Then we would have useful debate. Meanwhile the leftists could populate the socialist NDP ranks, their natural home, and let the two mainstream parties battle over how best to reduce government spending.

well, once again all I can say is that here in New Zealand we still have public sector unions, and since the big sorting out of the late 80s early 90s they haven't caused much trouble,
our governments, of whichever party, have learned to spend within their means, run surpluses and pay off debt (unless there is an earthquake or world financial crisis, which is beyond their control)

surely you are not suggesting that in a free society individuals should not be free to associate in a union if they so choose?
as long as they don't try to make it a compulsory condition of employment and the running of unions is properly regulated, I see no problem with it


tiffanywint wrote:
Seve wrote:
prime minister aka timmer, what, if anything should be done?
or does this sort of practice fit in with your view of what the term "free market" capitalism represents

No nothing need be done. Who cares. As long as the product is being brought to market and the consumers can buy at whatever price the market determines, all is as well as need be. Any government interference will just screw things up. There is no role for government to play here. Stick to building roads and sewers please, maintaining a military , a criminal justice system;sane immigration, the things we actually need government to do. The notion of a perfect government regulated pricing scheme is nonsense. Often when there is market concentration, government is complicit in the creation of the monopolies anyway, even if it wasn't its intentions. Any given business knows its business better than government bureaucrats do.
As David Mamet so sagely explains.
Because government by its very nature is corruptible, it stand to reason that the less of it we have, the less potential for corruption and abuse of power we have to endure. The less power we turn over to our rulers, the freer and happier, we the people will be. Amen.
Read Mamet,the reformed liberal's book. Its quiet sage and sobering. And a fun read. He's a creative type after-all.

I'm very disappointed in you aka timmer
do you really think the "freemarket" means having no rules at all?
I'm truly shocked, that's Hitler capitalism
freemarket economic theory aims to encourage competition, not cartels and monoploly practises
freemarket economics is all about the consumer first and foremost, not the producer
demand without supply = opportunity
supply without demand = a big pile of bugger all

in the situation described above the larger player is using it's size to crush a smaller opponent in order to preserve a higher profit margin than it could sustain under competitive conditions
also, through being a monopoly player, it has become lazy and is providing substandard service to the consumer
in the past the consumer has been given no choice as to where to purchase the product, so there has been no market mechanism in operation, the consumer is a captive of the big player
now a competitor has stepped in to make a real market, but the the large overseas player is trying to destroy them by offering the product at below cost, a situation they can sustain because of their overseas backing
that's not fair and not what I believe feemarket theorists are trying to promote at all
however freemarket economic theory, like any "theory", assumes good faith on the part of the participants, which is where all theories depart from reality, and why none can be used to fully explain the world we live in
that's where an appropriate level of government intervention is required, the discussion should be about what that entails
if a cartel or monopoly situation develops it needs to be broken up
I suggest you start reading up more about the other Roosevelt (Teddy)

I'll give you a few other examples
1) oil, we have 4 big oil companies opperating here, they appear to many to operate as a cartel, unless prodded by a consumer group which sometimes leads to pressure from government

2) music, prior to internet piracy the music industry used to charge the same starting price for any CD whether it was Led Zep or Hogsnort Rupert
as if a CD was a product like a toilet roll and the music on it was irrelevant, when we all know the opposite is true
we don't pay the same price for all cars, or all washing machines, why was music different for so long?
that wasn't a free market and it wasn't good for the consumer

3) Microsoft, everyone I've ever spoken to about Microsoft hates them with a passion, because of their anti competitive business practises




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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:27 am

Quote tags sorted out.
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:45 am

tiffanywint wrote:
Again I defer to the very wise David Mamet. He makes the point that government is by deifinition corrupt....

no, it's not, and just making a statement of dogma in an authoritative way doesn't make it true
you're quoting this guy like he's some kind of "prophet" or something
he's just another cynical pundit with an agenda
"government is by definition corrupt"? Poppycock!
the majority of politicians are sincere and well meaning
but the public sector is a monopoly and therefore has the same shortcomings as a monopoly business, lack of incentive to be efficient and has a tendancy to try and charge what the market will bear, rather than giving value for money
corruption is something which increases in any static organisation over time, democracy allows for a periodic cleaning of house, a mechanism whereby those who have become corrupt or just plain lazy can be removed

tiffanywint wrote:
Not only does the experience of centuries of human history bear this out....

and no, it doesn't
most governments in history have not been democratic and have therefore suffered from the shortcomings of creeping corruption and being monoplistic in nature

economics should be about fundamentals not faith
faith causes bubbles and bubbles inevitable burst
economics strives to be a science, but it just has so many variables that none of the "rules" suggested hold in all circumstances
no economic theory has ever had the necessary empirical evidence to back it up to the point where it can be quoted like a commandment
when economics reaches the level of development that physics has then we'll all be better off
but we are still waiting for Newton to come along, let alone Einstein or Steven Hawking


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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:58 am

Economics will never have a Newton, an Einstein, or a Hawking, because economic laws simply don't exist independent of human behaviour. Economics is constantly in flux, which is part of what makes it so exciting. The closest it has to a Newton is Keynes, who has made a stunning return to relevance recently, but he'll fall out of favour again if his ideas aren't properly adapted and refined as circumstances change, as in the 70s. To quote Galbraith, 'to know and understand the refinements is our test of whether an economics student is a genius or only a near-genius.'
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:02 am

Keynes was one of the most dangerous thinkers of the last century. You want an Einstein or Newton, look to Adam Smith.
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:38 pm

Seve wrote:

so instead of spending money lobbying bent politicians and corrupting honest ones to act in ways favourable to them, they could just do what they like, cheating , bullying, twisting and subverting the market until they have established a monopoly or cartel situation and then, when competition has been eliminated from the equation and monopolistic lazyness inevitably develops, selling the consumer shoddy products with poor service at exorbitant prices
what a wonderful world you want to live in
Something to consider. Government regulation cannot force competition. It can't create competition out of thin air, so any good that government can do is very limited anyway. The reality of the marketplace though, is that the biggest obstacle to success, that many business sectors face is crazy government regulation. Government interference all over the place drives up the cost of doing business and thus drives up prices. I am not as scared of monopolies as you are. Often the business model for a start-up is to grab enough market share, so that it will be bought out by the bigger industry players, and a nice ROI for the ownership. To be bought out, is in fact the exit strategy. Such a potential end game is often what attracts the seed capital.

Take coffee shops for example. Starbucks, Second Cup, and Timothys dominate the higher-end market. A couple of others have the lower-end market. And then in any burb there is bound to be a smattering of independants that carve out a niche as well. The big players have the lions share of the market. Just the way it is. No amount of government regulation or interference is going to change that, and frankly I don't think its desirable anyway.

Ultimately its consumer demand that drives any business model. Where government corruption tends to rear its ugly head is in the awarding of government contracts; the doling out of taxpayer money. If government didn't spend so damn much in the first place, the better off the debt-to-GDP ratio might be. Corporations that heavily lobby government, also tend to be looking for a way to take advantage of regulatory rules at the expense of competitors. If government didn't have so much candy to give out in the first place, business wouldn't have quite the incentive to grease its palms.

All Mamet and other observers are saying, is that as a general priciple, the smaller the government candy shop is, the better. The burdensome government debts that we are experiencing now, I think validates this thinking

Seve wrote:

surely you are not suggesting that in a free society individuals should not be free to associate in a union if they so choose?
Private sector unions are fine, although I wouldn't want to have to deal with them. An overwhelming number of private sector workers (productive-sector employees) are not unionized. There really is no role for unions to play in most sectors. The non-union auto sector thrives in the United States. But at least a business can close its doors if union pay scales become too expensive.

Seve wrote:

as long as they don't try to make it a compulsory condition of employment and the running of unions is properly regulated, I see no problem with it?
But this is the case with public-sector unions and unlike a business, the government can't just shut down. Government is stuck with its hired help. Or more to the point the overburdened tax-payer gets stuck with more government than it wants, needs or can pay for. It makes no sense that public-sector employees should have collective bargaining rights. All we the people owe them is a legal termination-package, if we no longer require their services, and right now we need to drastically reduce government spending.


Seve wrote:

I'm very disappointed in you aka timmer
do you really think the "freemarket" means having no rules at all?
I'm truly shocked, that's Hitler capitalism?
But don't be so schocked. Nobody said that. Clearly what we need is restrained regulation and as a general guiding principle, the less the better.

Seve wrote:

freemarket economic theory aims to encourage competition, not cartels and monoploly practises
freemarket economics is all about the consumer first and foremost, not the producer
demand without supply = opportunity
supply without demand = a big pile of bugger all
"cartels and monopoly practises" Those are dramatic terms, but there really is no perfect supply and demand equation and there doesn't need to be one. Its the socialist mentality that thinks the perfect balance can be found, or even needs to be pursued. Consumers don't even have uniform standards. I might buy grapefuits at a certain price while the next guy will balk at the price I pay, and go without. His choice. Markets need to be in flux. Government's role needs to be kept to a minimum. Public safety standards is a legitimate area where government can play a role (but even here government can get real crazy. Give these bureaucrats a taste, and they can go nuts with the rules) and everyone suffers. Have some faith in the private sectors ability to bring a product to market and for the public to make discriminating purchasing decions. Its folly to expect the government to protect our every purchase.
Seve wrote:

in the situation described above the larger player is using it's size to crush a smaller opponent in order to preserve a higher profit margin than it could sustain under competitive conditions
also, through being a monopoly player, it has become lazy and is providing substandard service to the consumer
in the past the consumer has been given no choice as to where to purchase the product, so there has been no market mechanism in operation, the consumer is a captive of the big player
now a competitor has stepped in to make a real market, but the the large overseas player is trying to destroy them by offering the product at below cost, a situation they can sustain because of their overseas backing
that's not fair and not what I believe feemarket theorists are trying to promote at all
however freemarket economic theory, like any "theory", assumes good faith on the part of the participants, which is where all theories depart from reality, and why none can be used to fully explain the world we live in
that's where an appropriate level of government intervention is required, the discussion should be about what that entails
if a cartel or monopoly situation develops it needs to be broken up
Again limited government regulation is the answer. Personally I can't think of any market sector where I need the government to come to the rescue, right about now Where there is heavy demand for any product, there will always be big players. Often the big players bring efficiences that smaller players can't provide. Smaller players carve out niche markets and if the niches grow, the big players tend to move in, as the niche is no longer a niche. This is not a bad thing. Its quite normal.
Seve wrote:

I'll give you a few other examples
1) oil, we have 4 big oil companies opperating here, they appear to many to operate as a cartel, unless prodded by a consumer group which sometimes leads to pressure from government
The oil companies are a global cartel. Oil is such a vital global resource that government and the oil giants control supply. National security and entire economies depend on a steady supply of oil. I can't see that one changing. All we consumers can do is alter our consumption accordingly.


Seve wrote:

2) music, prior to internet piracy the music industry used to charge the same starting price for any CD whether it was Led Zep or Hogsnort Rupert
as if a CD was a product like a toilet roll and the music on it was irrelevant, when we all know the opposite is true
we don't pay the same price for all cars, or all washing machines, why was music different for so long?
that wasn't a free market and it wasn't good for the consumer

3) Microsoft, everyone I've ever spoken to about Microsoft hates them with a passion, because of their anti competitive business practises

I don't think government needs to play any bigger role than it already does in the music industry. I've been playing the pricing game for years and get by. I don't want government "helping" me. And Microsoft has faced anti-trust action. No-one is saying government doesn't have some role to play in keeping the economy humming along.

Bottom line though is that sovreign debt is crushing economies and putting an unbearable burden on the tax base, resulting in job loss etc. Government spending needs to be tackled and in a dramatic way. As long as people have jobs and a decent after-tax income they can participate in the market and buy as they see fit,but you need cash to play, and government spending is killing the public's ability to pay and play.
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:26 pm

Seve wrote:
tiffanywint wrote:
Again I defer to the very wise David Mamet. He makes the point that government is by definition corrupt....
no, it's not, and just making a statement of dogma in an authoritative way doesn't make it true
"government is by definition corrupt"? Poppycock!
Mamet does back the statement up and so do others. The reasoning is basic. Government has power and if you allow that power breeds corruption, which it most certainly does, then it only stands to reason, that the less power we bequeath to our rulers (government) the less potential abuse of that power we need endure. I think that logic rings very true.

Seve wrote:

the majority of politicians are sincere and well meaning
I would energetically dispute this notion.
Seve wrote:

but the public sector is a monopoly and therefore has the same shortcomings as a monopoly business, lack of incentive to be efficient and has a tendancy to try and charge what the market will bear, rather than giving value for money....
I don't think the comparison is apt. Bureaucrats perform an adminstrative fucntion. They are not concerned with a profit motive. They tend to work at entrenching themselves. Bureacurats tend to max their budgets for fear of getting a lower budget. A good business manager on the other hand looks for budget efficiences in order to keep his dvision viable.

As for pricing, a big business, any business, MUST CHARGE WHAT THE MARKET WILL BEAR. THAT IS THE ONLY RESPONSIBLE WAY TO PRICE. And any business, big or small, can go out of business, if it doesn't charge what the market will bear. The challenge for any business is finding the right business model and that business model is always in flux. Consumer demand is volatile. A business owes it to its employees, suppliers, customers, never mind shareholders, to stay viable and operate like an efficient busines. That's where business value is achieved. Only the consumer can determine consumer value-for-money and that determination will vary from consumer to consumer. Business must always charge what the market will bear, otherwise its not much of a business.
Seve wrote:

corruption is something which increases in any static organisation over time, democracy allows for a periodic cleaning of house, a mechanism whereby those who have become corrupt or just plain lazy can be removed
But the next batch faces the same pressures.

Seve wrote:

tiffanywint wrote:
Not only does the experience of centuries of human history bear this out....
and no, it doesn't
most governments in history have not been democratic and have therefore suffered from the shortcomings of creeping corruption and being monoplistic in nature.
And democratically elected governments are rife with corruption as well. Power breeds corruption. The trick is for free citizens to hand over as little power as possible to our rulers. Obviously democracy is preferable to dictatorship as the rulers have less power, but they still have power and when you consider the monstrous size of our western governments and all the power these non-elected bureaucrats have and the sheer power and scope of the fiefdoms they preside over, we've got a problem Houston. Again its not the politicians that are the big problem. Its the super bureaucracies that wield the big stick.

Seve wrote:

when economics reaches the level of development that physics has then we'll all be better off
but we won't be as there is no grand truth waiting to be discovered.
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:02 am

This looks like a very interesting discussion. If I can find a spare afternoon I'll read it.
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:58 am

well, I think we may have to agree to disagree aka timmer
competition and choice for the consumer is what we should be striving for in all areas
on the other hand…

tiffanywint wrote:
I am not as scared of monopolies as you are.
oh dear

tiffanywint wrote:
Take coffee shops for example. Starbucks, Second Cup, and Timothys dominate the higher-end market. A couple of others have the lower-end market. And then in any burb there is bound to be a smattering of independents that carve out a niche as well. The big players have the lions share of the market. Just the way it is. No amount of government regulation or interference is going to change that, and frankly I don't think its desirable anyway.
I disagree, where I come from independents dominate the high end of the market, because coffee is a product which plays to the customers desire to be seen to be "exclusive" and "cool"
after the initial novelty wore off, swill servers like Starbucks only dominate the mid - lower end of the market
IMO over here more coffee is sold by independents than chains

tiffanywint wrote:
Ultimately its consumer demand that drives any business model... If government didn't spend so damn much in the first place, the better off the debt-to-GDP ratio might be. Corporations that heavily lobby government, also tend to be looking for a way to take advantage of regulatory rules at the expense of competitors. If government didn't have so much candy to give out in the first place, business wouldn't have quite the incentive to grease its palms.
as I've explained to you, my countries government debt to GDP ratio was fine before the crunch, it's private sector debt that is the issue

tiffanywint wrote:
Corporations that heavily lobby government, also tend to be looking for a way to take advantage of regulatory rules at the expense of competitors. If government didn't have so much candy to give out in the first place, business wouldn't have quite the incentive to grease its palms.
yes they would be engaging directly in whatever undesirable activity the legislation was hoping to modify or prevent

tiffanywint wrote:
Private sector unions are fine, although I wouldn't want to have to deal with them. An overwhelming number of private sector workers (productive-sector employees) are not unionized. There really is no role for unions to play in most sectors. The non-union auto sector thrives in the United States. But at least a business can close its doors if union pay scales become too expensive.
I'm sorry aka timmer, that really is balderdash
I can join you to decry the activity of monopoly auto unions or monopoly public sector unions, who suffer from the same shortcomings as all monopolies;- lack of incentive to provide quality service and a tendency to charge what the market will bare, rather than a fair price
however to pretend that none unionised workers in relatively unskilled jobs do not generally get a ripped off and unfairly exploited is laughable
IMO you are choosing to stick your head in the sand like an ostrich

Seve wrote:

as long as they don't try to make it a compulsory condition of employment and the running of unions is properly regulated, I see no problem with it?

tiffanywint wrote:
But this is the case with public-sector unions and unlike a business, the government can't just shut down. Government is stuck with its hired help.
no, aka timmer, in my country it is not, I have just joined the public sector and I have the option to join the union or not
I will not be joining, no problem

Seve wrote:

I'm very disappointed in you aka timmer
do you really think the "free market" means having no rules at all?
I'm truly shocked, that's Hitler capitalism?

tiffanywint wrote:
But don't be so shocked. Nobody said that. Clearly what we need is restrained regulation and as a general guiding principle, the less the better.
no, not "the less the better", the appropriate amount, which in many areas will be less, but in others will be more


tiffanywint wrote:
Again limited government regulation is the answer.

harrah! yes it is!
tiffanywint wrote:
Personally I can't think of any market sector where I need the government to come to the rescue, right about now Where there is heavy demand for any product, there will always be big players. Often the big players bring [b]efficiences[b] that smaller players can't provide. Smaller players carve out niche markets and if the niches grow, the big players tend to move in, as the niche is no longer a niche. This is not a bad thing. Its quite normal.
the case I sited had nothing to do with "efficiencies" and is a bad thing, however I don't pretend to know what the realistic answer to the problem is

tiffanywint wrote:
I don't think government needs to play any bigger role than it already does in the music industry. I've been playing the pricing game for years and get by. I don't want government "helping" me.

you were ripped off for decades, overcharged for every record and tape, doubly overcharged once the CD came in, and yet you say you would have been happy to go on being ripped off?
what a generous fellow you are
I was ripped off for years too and had to lump it, but I've had my revenge…


tiffanywint wrote:
Mamet does back the statement up and so do others. The reasoning is basic. Government has power and if you allow that power breeds corruption, which it most certainly does, then it only stands to reason, that the less power we bequeath to our rulers (government) the less potential abuse of that power we need endure. I think that logic rings very true.

power tends to attract corruption over time, that's why governments need to be cleaned out about once every 6-9 years
but there will always be power and that power will tend to accumulate somewhere, so it's better to have it out in the open - with government, than accumulating in back rooms and boardrooms and pent houses and private estates, where it's misuse is far more difficult to keep track of

Seve wrote:

the majority of politicians are sincere and well meaning
tiffanywint wrote:
I would energetically dispute this notion.

and I thought Canada was the one country where you could still safely walk the streets at night?
I can't speak for any other country, but I believe most of ours mean well and for most their corruption doesn't extend further than their expense claims

tiffanywint wrote:
As for pricing, a big business, any business, MUST CHARGE WHAT THE MARKET WILL BEAR. THAT IS THE ONLY RESPONSIBLE WAY TO PRICE. And any business, big or small, can go out of business, if it doesn't charge what the market will bear. The challenge for any business is finding the right business model and that business model is always in flux. Consumer demand is volatile. A business owes it to its employees, suppliers, customers, never mind shareholders, to stay viable and operate like an efficient business. That's where business value is achieved. Only the consumer can determine consumer value-for-money and that determination will vary from consumer to consumer. Business must always charge what the market will bear, otherwise its not much of a business.

perhaps we are arguing over semantics? or perhaps not
in a competitive market the price will be lower than in an uncompetitive one
the customer might be prepared to put up with a price of $20 without rioting in the streets, but competition and choice between multiple players means that only $18 or $19 can be charged
the consumer wins, which is how things are meant to be
look at the price of a cup of coffee inside a sports venue or at the airport, where there is no competition, compared with that in the outside world

Seve wrote:

corruption is something which increases in any static organisation over time, democracy allows for a periodic cleaning of house, a mechanism whereby those who have become corrupt or just plain lazy can be removed
tiffanywint wrote:
But the next batch faces the same pressures.

just as you have to clean the bathroom every now and again, unless your wife does it for you
you can never eliminate the threat of corruption from any social system, that's why periodically there has to be change, nothing wrong with that

Seve wrote:

when economics reaches the level of development that physics has then we'll all be better off
tiffanywint wrote:
but we won't be as there is no grand truth waiting to be discovered.
oh ye of little faith!!!
you mean God has forgotten to devise a perfect economic theory by which we can all live in peace and harmony?
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:06 am

Seve wrote:
disagree, where I come from independents dominate the high end of the market, because coffee is a product which plays to the customers desire to be seen to be "exclusive" and "cool"
after the initial novelty wore off, swill servers like Starbucks only dominate the mid - lower end of the market
IMO over here more coffee is sold by independents than chains.

I think that's the problem with this argument in a nutshell (or coffee bean shell?). Canada and New Zealand's circumstances are so different that it ends up being a one way discussion. In other words, timmer's experiences clashing with seve's. Ideology's got less to do with it.
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:02 am

Sharky wrote:
Seve wrote:
disagree, where I come from independents dominate the high end of the market, because coffee is a product which plays to the customers desire to be seen to be "exclusive" and "cool"
after the initial novelty wore off, swill servers like Starbucks only dominate the mid - lower end of the market
IMO over here more coffee is sold by independents than chains.

I think that's the problem with this argument in a nutshell (or coffee bean shell?). Canada and New Zealand's circumstances are so different that it ends up being a one way discussion. In other words, timmer's experiences clashing with seve's. Ideology's got less to do with it.

yes I think you've hit the nail on the head sharky
laugh
(although his lacadasical attitude to monopolies still disturbs me)
:suspect:

it reminds me of conversations I used to have with a South African friend in London, I couldn't understand his attitude then, but later I understood that our different views arose from the environments we grew up in

I grew up in socialist New Zealand, where, cocooned in the warm protection of trade with pre Common Market Britain, we could export everything we could produce and there was plenty to go around
everyone had a job and no one really minded paying their taxes and we aspired to ensure that no one was left out or disadvantaged
there were pensions for the old, health care was free, education was free (I was paid an allowance to attend University, which never had to be repaid), and there was help and handouts for those who fell off the merry-go-round
we even imagined ourselves to be a perfect multicultural society, although there were really only two, and the indigenous culture was treated like a colourful accessory, which had little or no influence in shaping the course of society
a quiet backwater where nothing happened and nothing changed, or as a foreign visitor once described it "The Half Gallon, Quarter Acre, Pavlova Paradise"
that all changed in the 70s, Britain joined the EEC and we began to struggle to export there as French etc opposed our cheaper more efficient produce
on top of that there were the oil shocks, suddenly we were living beyond our means in order to fund the Socialist Utopia we had created in the 60s
but whatever happened after that my expectations and aspirations had been shaped
I thought of western society as a place where everyone would be looked after and no one would be seen living on the street

my South African friend on the other hand grew up in a society where one group of people being treated differently than another was a normal fact of life
his aim in life was to live somewhere where he would pay as little tax as possible and if others were sick or starving or living on the street he was unconcerned
if he had to live in a gated community and hire guards to keep others out he was happy to do so
he saw the world was dog eat dog and he was confident he had aquired the skills to never need to rely on society to bail him out
that view, to a greater or lesser degree, reflected the type of society he grew up in
he lives in the Bahama's now

I imagine Canada is a bit like Australia, a huge country with great resources and a relatively small population, that ratio of people to resources allows it to sustain the type of society that was turned upside down in New Zealand in the late 80s
Australia today still has heavily unionised and internationaly uncompetitive industries, crippling strikes and bloated beaurocracy, but it has not been pushed to the point of crisis due to the huge mining revenues which the government recieves from growing economies like China
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Mon Nov 21, 2011 6:04 pm

Seve wrote:
, swill servers like Starbucks .
I quite like Starbucks. Excellent customer service. Second Cup is quite nice as well. Very well run businesses.
Seve wrote:
,
as I' ve explained to you, my countries government debt to GDP ratio was fine before the crunch, it's private sector debt that is the issue.
That's quaint but the taxpayer doesn't get stuck with the bill when private interests take on debt.

Seve wrote:

yes they would be engaging directly in whatever undesirable activity the legislation was hoping to modify or prevent
I can't share your fear of business going about its business. Government regulation can be a very frightful thing though.

Seve wrote:
I'm sorry aka timmer, that really is balderdash..
however to pretend that none unionised workers in relatively unskilled jobs do not generally get a ripped off and unfairly exploited is laughable
IMO you are choosing to stick your head in the sand like an ostrich
Such language. Au contraire non-unionized workers do not generally get ripped off. They do their work and collect their cheque.

Seve wrote:

I have just joined the public sector and I have the option to join the union or not
I will not be joining, no problem
Smart move

Seve wrote:

no, not "the less the better", the appropriate amount, which in many areas will be less, but in others will be more
No, the less the better, for both producer and consumer. government regulation is often the tyranny of the bureaucrat and generally serves to benefit government.

tiffanywint wrote:
Again limited government regulation is the answer.

Seve wrote:
harrah! yes it is!
You are catching on!:)


Seve wrote:
you were ripped off for decades, overcharged for every record and tape, doubly overcharged once the CD came in, and yet you say you would have been happy to go on being ripped off?
Actually I wasn't ripped off. I paid the agreed price and got the product I paid for. Nothing to complain about there. Although there were the combined two levels of government retail sales tax , not to mention all the other taxes involved in bringing the product to market, that I had to absorb.


Seve wrote:

but there will always be power and that power will tend to accumulate somewhere, so it's better to have it out in the open - with government,
You're giving me nightmares. You should write horror films.

Seve wrote:

in a competitive market the price will be lower than in an uncompetitive one
the customer might be prepared to put up with a price of $20 without rioting in the streets, but competition and choice between multiple players means that only $18 or $19 can be charged
the consumer wins, which is how things are meant to be
look at the price of a cup of coffee inside a sports venue or at the airport, where there is no competition, compared with that in the outside world
But government can't create competition, only the consumer can. One can opt to not buy the stadium hot dog, but many willingly pay it, so its not a problem. The stadium sports-market chooses to bear the price.


Seve wrote:
oh ye of little faith!!!
you mean God has forgotten to devise a perfect economic theory by which we can all live in peace and harmony?
:) Yep he did actually. I think Moses brought it down from the mountain. Thou shalt be free men and engage in free trade, free from the oppressive yoke of government regulation.
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:41 am

tiffanywint wrote:
Seve wrote:

as I' ve explained to you, my countries government debt to GDP ratio was fine before the crunch, it's private sector debt that is the issue.
That's quaint but the taxpayer doesn't get stuck with the bill when private interests take on debt.

it's not "quaint" it's a fact, government debt was no longer an issue in the New Zealand economy prior to the crunch, now it's a concern only if the world economy as a whole goes down the pan

and our most ardent free market politician, former Reserve Bank Govenator Dr Don Brash, certainly does think that a trade imbalance involving private sector debt is a concern

he compared our continued private sector trade deficit to a frog in a sauce pan, where the temperature is rising a degree at a time so the frog doesn't realise that it's slowly being cooked

a even a private sector trade imbalance can't be sustained forever, something's gotta give

tiffanywint wrote:
Au contraire non-unionized workers do not generally get ripped off. They do their work and collect their cheque.
IMO you've been watching too much "Happy Days"

tiffanywint wrote:
But government can't create competition, only the consumer can. One can opt to not buy the stadium hot dog, but many willingly pay it, so its not a problem. The stadium sports-market chooses to bear the price.
capitalism is based on consumption, the more the better
so if I go to a sports ground and don't buy a drink and a hot dog, even though I would like to, because I baulk at the price, because I know I am being ripped off, that's not good capitalism
in fact public pressure from consumer groups eventually forced businesses operating at the airport to lower their prices to that charged normally
now I can go to the airport and eat, rather than feeling hungry but not eating on principle
sports grounds are still a problem though, both poor quality and over priced - due to lazy monopolistic practise
no incentive to improve product beyond the minimum of edibility and no competition to keep the price down to the same level as the outside world


removing restrictive legislation in order to allow "parallel importing" has lowered the price of many consumer goods over here, that were being sold under licence by overseas companies through a single licence holder
who was able to charge "what (some of) the market would bear" and make a super profit, while the rest of the market missed out because they couldn't afford it
competition and choice is good for the consumer, whether it be across a countries borders, at an airport, or inside a stadium

tiffanywint wrote:
Actually I wasn't ripped off. I paid the agreed price and got the product I paid for. Nothing to complain about there. Although there were the combined two levels of government retail sales tax , not to mention all the other taxes involved in bringing the product to market, that I had to absorb.
we must fight cartel and monopoly behaviour wherever we find it!
I'm amazed you don't embrace that
you seem to think the consumer exists to be milked by the supplier, as you were for most of your life, by the music industry?
wherever you find a product with no price variance across different suppliers, it's a sure sign of cartel behaviour and that the consumer is not getting a fair deal
super profits should be for those who provide a superior product or superior service, not for those who merely collude together to pervert market forces
I'm not suggesting that government regulation is the answer (although it may form part of it), I'm just pointing out examples of distortions in the market, which demonstrate how, in the real world, a free market often doesn't function as theory suggests it should
and that we need to acknowledge the existence distortions and perversions and work to eliminate them in some way


however I think we've reached the point where our differences have become irreducible and we will have to leave it to the fullness of time to see who was more correct in their assessment...
;)

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/economy/news/article.cfm?c_id=34&objectid=10767767
(particularly belief #7)

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