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cbae cbae
  • US Treasury Secretary < TARP

    , Maddus Mattus wrote

    *snip*

    On the Enron situation and free markets;

    Free markets are not perfect,.. They are based on trust,..

    Free markets are based on greed, and you have to trust that something beneficial can come from that greed. When that greed is reigned it, some (or even most) of us can stand to benefit. When it's not reigned in, only a few stand a benefit, and most of us are hurt by it. You just don't understand the concept of moderation, do you?

    We're clearly at a point in which we cannot trust good things to come out of greed because the greed is way too excessive.

    Violate that trust and the free market will reject you. As it rejected Enron. It's now no longer there.

    Enron was exposed as a fraud, and they had no business being in business in the first place. They were losing billions of dollars and using offshore entities to hide the losses, enabling their books to look great, their stock price to stay high, and their execs to engage in illegal insider trading.

    They had to file for bankruptcy not because the free market rejected them. They had to file for bankruptcy because their company was exposed as a complete sham.

    Sure, it has cost a lot of people a lot of money. But the positive thing is that, it's no longer costing a lot of people a lot of money.

    Riiight. Entire retirement savings wiped out for tens of thousands of people, and you think it's no longer costing people a lot of money. LOL.

    And what happens when the next Enron pop-ups up? Or how about the next WorldCom? Or the next Madoff Investment Securities?

    The thing is, for most companies, even if they violate a trust with the public, they continue without skipping a beat.

    How many of these companies involved in accounting scandals do you suppose are still in business?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accounting_scandals

    I would say a majority of them are.

    So much for rejecting these companies, huh?

    Let's look at bad government policy.

    It rarely gets revoked. Even if the evidence is staring them in the eye, it takes eons for politicians to admit and correct their mistakes.

    *snip*

    Policies get overturned all the time, and when they are, bad things usually happen. Glass-Steagall for instance. That's why the government takes its time to repeal regulations.

    On the other hand, when government adopts new policies, especially those affecting businesses, the policies are phased in over time. Not because the government wants to be slow, but because the companies being affected * and moan like crazy.

    This thread is about TARP. TARP is a mistake. A huge collosal mistake, HUGE.

    You really have no clue about TARP. You can Monday morning quarterback all you want, but was it a colossal mistake to even attempt to avert a global economic meltdown? Really? Besides, what's done is done, and we did avert a global economic meltdown--for now.

    But as I said already, the biggest mistake is not adopting new measures to avoid having to bailout these companies ever again. Re-enacting Glass-Steagall, breaking up the banks, and enacting a Sherman Antitrust Act-type statute to prevent banks from getting "too big to fail" is what we need to do.

    No measure to prevent companies from becoming too big to fail is going to happen magically by itself in the free market. I can tell you that. You really think having to go through a period global depression is going to "learn these companies" not to become too big to fail ever again completely ON THEIR OWN? LOL. Sorry, but reality doesn't work that way.

  • Are we our own worst enemy?

    , Maddus Mattus wrote

    @evildictaitor:

    That's not the point.

    The point is, they can use patents to become big and powerfull coorperations.

    Patents? That's seriously the first and only thing you're going to mention after I challenged you to connect the dots between excessive regulations and corporations hoarding obscene amounts of cash? LOL!

    If any companies are abusing the patent system, it's the ones that have ALREADY become big and power. They didn't get that way because they abused the patent system.

    It's astounding how you confuse cause and effect so often.

    Who benefits from a patent system?

    The consumer? Don't think so, he has less choice.

    The employees? To a certain degree, they benefit because their jobs are protected.

    The stockholder? Hell yeah, they are guaranteed an income, by law!

    Stockholders guaranteed an income BY LAW? If you believe that, I have about a thousand penny stock shares for the Brooklyn Bridge to sell you. LOL

    So you can see, patents benefit the employees and the stockholder at the expense of the consumer.

    When companies cut corners by ignoring environmental regulations, they benefit the employees and stockholders at the expense of consumers' and everybody else's health.

    When companies are allowed to merge at-will without any regulatory oversight, it benefits only select employees (i.e. executives) and shareholders at the expense of mid and lower-tier workers in addition to the consumer.

    See how that works?

    Cbae is advocating against big coorperations and for the small business owner. Kudos to him, but if you look where small business is thriving, it's China. Because of it's lack of regulations, everybody can compete.

    China has a unique combination of vast amounts of natural resources, vast amounts of cheap labor, technological/engineering know how, flexibility to take on new markets, willingness to drastically reduce profit margins to win new customers and/or larger orders, and, yes, a willingness to ignore safety, environmental provisions, and IP laws many countries of the West observe.

    But, they're also very forward-thinking unlike the US and other countries of the West. Despite its vast coal reserves and what seemingly is a disregard for air pollution, China is now the leading producer (and investor in) clean, renewable energy.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jackperkowski/2012/07/27/china-leads-the-world-in-renewable-energy-investment/

    Sorry, but your country has absolutely ZERO chance of deregulating itself into another economic power like China. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

  • Are we our own worst enemy?

    , Maddus Mattus wrote

    *snip*

    Ah, my confrere, but the difference between a company and a government is, the monopoly of force. I can choose not to do business with a certain company, I cannot choose not to do business with a government. Government can dictate what I can and must do, a company cannot. Huge difference.

    You're free to leave the country. Please don't come into mine though. Smiley

    *snip*

    You did when you cry out for regulations to prevent so called market failures.

    *snip*

    First, I didn't cry out for anything. Second, I was defending the government's response to prevent a total economic collapse. That's a little bit broader in scope than any one particular "market".

    No it's not. It's their duty to see that it does not come to that point, and if it does, we should ride it out, not pour tax dollars from current and future citizens into it.

    The government's primary job is to preserve the nation's existence and well-being. Their duty to make sure it didn't get to that point was because of deregulation. Just letting everyone ride it out is about the most idiotic thing you can do. Thankfully, we didn't do that. However, the second most idiotic thing is to NOT readopt regulations that would have prevented this from happening in the first place, and unfortunately, we ARE doing just that. The reason that we aren't able to prevent this from happening by breaking up the banks is because we have too many morons who are beholden to the very banks that caused the mess without having any reason to be.

    *snip*

    I believe it's at the hart of the problem, as you believe it is at the heart of the solution.

    *snip*

    Jup,. Regulations prevents competition, lack of competition creates big fat lazy big companies.

    How do regulations prevent competition? Are anti-trust laws anti-competitive? Really? Are you really that out of touch with reality?

    What about environmental or labor laws? Most small companies get exemptions. How did these regulations foster big companies getting bigger and make smaller successful companies disappear like endangered species?

    This is not to say no small companies exist. Lots of people start small companies with an exit strategy of being bought out by a larger company. It's absolutely sad what's become of entrepreneurship.  Small companies have ZERO hope of ever becoming a large company, and it has NOTHING to do with regulations. They get all the regulatory exemptions and actual benefits (e.g. SBA 8(a) advantages afforded to small, minority-own companies that want to contract with the government, for instance). Yet, they still have little chance of competing because the game is absolutely rigged.

    *snip*

    So, they are holding the patents wrong? Where have I heard that before?

    The idea behind the system is valid, the effects it has are the opposite. That's what I've been trying to tell you for ten threads now. The intention is there to do good, no doubt, but in the process they do harm. There is a difference between the fiction of paper and stone cold reality.

    *snip*

    The patent laws are specific enough and allow for no consideration for current market implications. Prior art and first to file rules are really the only determining factors in the validity of a patent. Just as the SEC can use a little common sense in what mergers can or can't happen because of monopolistic implications, the patent laws can allow for common sense to be applied to whether or not a patent should be considered valid based on current market implications rather than the first to file and prior art rules.

    No it's not. My solution is where two people do business voluntairly, to let them do it without regulation. Only when dealings between these two affect a third in a negative way, is there a role for government.

    *snip*

    Who died and let you decide what the role of the government should be? 

    I trust that people spend their own money the wisest. I do not trust some other guy to spend my money wise on yet another guy. I've explained this to you before.

    Why allow it to happen? Do you think you are God? You cannot stop these processes by regulations. If government is the key to success, why isnt everybody succesfull?

    *snip*

    Fewer regulations would allow for more competition. More competition leads to more efficient businesses. More efficient businesses leads to less overhead. Less overhead means no CEO can offord a $300M paycheck.

    *snip*

    Each regulation recuires more red tap. You need a guy to enforce the regulation.

    So, if you want better regulation, you first have to get of a bunch, otherwise you would increase red tape.

    *snip*

    Round and round we go. Same *. Different day. Are you STILL not understanding the point of this thread?

    Lets try to find some common ground.

    We can all agree that oligopolies are bad for the economy, right? IMO, oligopolies are monopolies in sheep's clothing. They have all the anti-competitive effects of monopolies without the regulatory baggage of monopolies.

    Do you dispute that M&A activity was at an all time high in the past 10 to 15 years?

    Do you dispute that companies, especially banks, are now larger than ever with smaller regional banks virtually disappearing as they're being gobbled up by larger banks?

    Do you dispute that the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act was the single biggest regulatory move the US government made in the past 20 years?

    Do you consider the repeal of Glass-Steagall "enacting more regulations" or "deregulating"?

    My claim is that the advent of information technologies, automation, deregulation, and the increasing desire for making *-tons of money from the equities markets have pushed companies to merge and grow huge instead of improving their products and services to improve earnings organically.

    So if you don't dispute any of things that I mentioned, then you can't dispute my claim.

    All of the market forces that I mentioned all fit. Even if you take away deregulation, what I described still makes sense, and what I described as happening (formation of oligopolies) is actually happening.

    Now, you tell me how the repeal of existing regulations would have prevented Apple, Microsoft, and Google from accumulating $200 billion in cash.

    Give me SPECIFIC regulations this time. Cause and effect. Connect the dots. Point A to point B. Until you do that, you're just talking out of your *.

  • Are we our own worst enemy?

    @Maddus Mattus: When there are only foxes, the only choice you have is to be eaten by one fox over another. That's not really much of a choice, is it?

  • Dislike "Xbox Music".

    , JoshRoss wrote

    *snip*

    Round-robin DNS doesn't work?

    It does, but the client computer is still issued a single IP address by the DNS server. It doesn't issue two and allow the client computer to choose whichever one it wants.

  • Dislike "Xbox Music".

    You know how with DNS it doesn't matter how many domain names you use to point to a server as long as they all point to same unique IP address, and that the converse (a single domain name pointing to multiple IPs) doesn't work?

    It's kind of the same with this. Microsoft has only one service for purchasing music. It doesn't really matter if they rebrand it or use multiple brands, as long as it always refers to the same music purchasing service.

    And, yes, "Xbox" is a brand. Is "Xbox Music" any less appropriate for purchasing music for your Windows computer than "iTunes App Store" is for purchasing a game for your iPad?

  • Cheap "Touch PC" control panel? Or - How to Hack a GPS?

    About 6 - 7 years ago, my brother bought me one of those handheld golf course GPS devices. It was essentially a Windows Pocket PC with the golf GPS software pre-installed. There was no "locking" of the device at all. In fact, I even purchased GPS navigation software for it separately, and used it for navigation instead of using it for golf. I actually used it more as a music player using the built-in Windows Media player. Admittedly, it was a little dangerous to using while driving since the UI was designed for stylus and not fat fingers. Smiley

  • Are we our own worst enemy?

    , Maddus Mattus wrote

    *snip*

    No, you live in some cocoon where you think everybody else should pay for your ideals and you will use the law to make them see.

    Strawman argument. Don't bring this garbage into this thread. That's not what this thread is about.

    *snip*

    A company is just a collection of individuals working together. If it operates within the law and brings down an entire market, so be it. The internet brought down newspapers and is bringing down the entertainment industry. Do you want government to bail them out? Because their business model is oudated? We would still be in the stoneage if everything lasted forever, change is the norm.

    The government is a collection of individuals. Who cares? Have a point.

    When did I say the government should bail out companies because some other industry is taking over its industry?

    I said that governments should bail out companies that have their fingers in so many pies that they'll cause a global economic depression if they go under. That is an OBLIGATION of the government. But the point of this thread is to discuss HOW companies become like this in the first place and perhaps talk about how to prevent it from happening.

    All you're doing is using every post as a way to spew your anti-tax/anti-regulation diarrhea no matter the relevance to the discussion.

    Do you really think that too many regulations and too high a tax rate is the reason for companies to grow through M&A and become too big, fat, and lazy to fail? Really?

    *snip*

    Two wrongs does not make a right. You constantly name problems that are the result of regulations that are in place (i.e. software patents), your solution to these problems are MORE regulations. Kudos for being original. Your solution to the problem is more of the problem.

    They're not two wrongs. One's a wrong and the other is a "this sucks but we have no choice".

    Patents are very business-friendly and foster entrepreneurship. The problem is that there aren't enough restrictions on what patents should protect. The difference is that I believe that there is an optimum amount of law and regulation to protect the free market from destroying itself. And we have witnessed the free market practically doing so several times, so don't even bother arguing this point. This optimum amount maybe to decrease or increase or simply replace old ones with new ones. It's really not an issue of the number of regulations. It's an issue of having the CORRECT regulations.

    You won't even acknowledge even the remote possibility that just having the CORRECT regulations is the solution. Your solution ALWAYS is to eliminate regulations and laws wholesale as if the free market has the self-control to police itself from self-destruction.

    Your indomitable trust in the free market to rise from any failure is why you're not living in reality. Do I think that the few humans that survive a nuclear holocaust would one day be able to repopulate the Earth? Yes, I do, because I believe in the human spirit (the metaphorical kind, that is). But I think we should do whatever we can to never have to find out how strong the human spirit is. The same goes for the free market. If we fall into a global economic depression, will the world eventually climb out of it? Probably, but why allow that to happen?

    *snip*

    We've not had a free market in at least a 50 years in the west. That's why we are doing so poorly. The less regulated countries are doing just fine.

    Who's doing poorly? The ultra-wealthy (both companies and individuals) couldn't ask for a better situation. That's the problem. Not everybody can be ultra-wealthy. Explain how fewer regulations would prevent this type of corporate or individual wealth imbalance.

    Please explain how fewer regulations would limit the economies of scale that large corporations enjoy and stifle smaller competition.

    *snip*

    yes, scary isnt it, trusting people who do CONSENTUAL business with each other? Taking responsibility for your own actions?

    What do you propose? More red tape?

    Not more red tape. The correct regulations is what I'm proposing. Eliminate stupid regulations and adopt more effective ones. Different (correct) regulations != more regulations.

    *snip*

    I am for free choice, so monopoly is bad and government should step in and protect the consumer.

    Oligopolies are even worse than monopolies. With a monopoly there's chance that the monopoly will grow complacent leading to other companies to rise and become successful. With oligopolies, the big, fat companies can't be complacent, but they won't necessarily do things to benefit the consumer. If one company decides to send jobs overseas, the other companies, in order to compete, will follow. The problem is that having a choice of two or three companies isn't much of a choice either.

    Crisis are bound to happen, you cannot stop them.

    Bullshit. They can be avoided. Economic crises aren't like tsunamis that hit too quickly to react to it. You're only making an excuse for the short-sightedness that the free market has. The free market is only concerned about the next quarterly report, and that's the truth.

    Just let them hit, pick up the pieces and rebuild. Look at Iceland, it's doing fine.

    Says who? Is everybody doing fine?

    Look at the crisis that hit the EU, did they let it hit? Nope and now nobody has a solution as we are all-in, only way out is a bankrupt EU.

    That's your own fault for trying to compete with the US economy and currency through one huge M&A deal. You turned yourselves into too big to fail. Besides I didn't see the European free market joining the EU kicking and screaming.

    It's people like you that I can't stand.

    The feeling is mutual. Believe me.

    You want government to take you by the hand and protect you from the big bad world.

    Toughen up!

    Why don't you toughen up? I'm all for paying my taxes and investing in infrastructure and providing a safety net for the less fortunate.

    You want everything to be as easy as possible for you. That's not tough. You tell the less fortunate to be tough, but you yourself are a WUSSY. Truth hurts doesn't it?

    There is no better system then the free market, I challenge you to find any that has worked as well in the past,... There is none,..

    I believe in the free market too. But a regulated free market that ensures its own survival is much better than an unfettered one that CAUSES its own destruction.

     

  • US Treasury Secretary < TARP

    , Maddus Mattus wrote

    @cbae: You should take a long hard look in the mirror and see if that post is actually more about yourself then about whomever it is adressed to.

    The less regulated economies are doing better then ours, if that isnt proof, I don't know of anything that will convince you of your views.

    Socialism has never ever worked, the free market is what your ancestors used to create a world power.

    "You must unlearn what you have learned." - Yoda

    And now I'm going to give these threads a rest, as we end up performing the same moves.

    Do you have hotkey assigned for posting this garbage? You repeat this * over and over gain, and you've never explained how you go from point A to point B when you reduce regulations.

    Please explain what particular regulations caused banks to commit fraud, caused companies to become too big to fail forcing the government to have to bail them out, caused 3 companies to accumulate $200 billion to the detriment of competition, caused the top 1% to see their wealth increase 300% while the middle class has seen theirs go up by single digits. Seriously. Quit talking out of your nether regions and provide any shred of proof to back up your nonsensical talking points.

    And just to make clear, I have not advocated socialism. Don't confuse taxing and regulating free market companies as socialism. You are thoroughly confused, my friend.

  • US Treasury Secretary < TARP

    , Maddus Mattus wrote

    @DeathByVisualStudio: that's a myth!

    Companies cannot rape society, they are a part of it!

    So, if they rape society, they rape themselves.

    Government regulation does far more damage then companies ever can. Because government gets its power from force, where a company gets its power from mutual consent.

    If they piss the consumers off, they seize to exist. How different is that from government?

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but government is part of society too. You can't just make up your own definition of what society is. Nobody gave you the position of "definer" no matter how important you think your opinions are.