News What Alternative kind of Government do you Support?

  • Thread starter Smurf
  • Start date
1,354
4
Smurf said:
It's too late to be arguing this. Can't we all just get alone?
:surprised

Never ever ever.
 

russ_watters

Mentor
18,992
5,146
Hurkyl said:
And don't forget to account for the fact that there are others (e.g. teenagers) competing for those same jobs.
You mentioned cashiers before: you just posted the solution. Teenagers are the ones who should be doing the minimum wage jobs - adults should get better jobs (we'll get to skills...).
And if the number of people who need to sustain themselves exceeds the number of jobs available to them that pay a living wage, then there's a problem, né?
Fortunately, in a mature capitalistic society, that isn't the case. Its ironic that some of the so-called socialist countries in Europe have several times the unemployment as the US.
Because a person has a right to life.

There are unskilled workers who must support themselves. Thus, there must be unskilled work that pays enough to support an unskilled person.
I really think you misunderstand what "right to life" - and maybe even the concept of "rights" itself means. Rights are negative, not positive: they are protected, not given. Having the right to life means no one is allowed to kill you, it does not mean (for example) that the government is required to provide you with healthcare.

The same goes for standard of living: the Constitution is there to protect your "...pursuit of happiness" - it does not exist to provide happiness for you.

So that brings us to those unskilled workers: why are they unskilled? Are they unskilled because they didn't finish high school(for example)? If so, the government has done all it is required to do - the rest is up to them. Government welfare and the minimum wage exists to counter real hardship - not to fix everyone's mistakes. Child welfare, disability, short-term unemployment compensation - these are the types of things government is responsible for.

Requiring people be paid a living wage for any job and be provided with all their needs is more consistent with socialism/communism and has proven itself to not work: it doesn't pull the underpriveledged up, it pulls everyone down.
 
Last edited:

loseyourname

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
1,717
5
plover said:
How do you get companies that see this as in their best interest? The ones we have now fight transparency kicking and screaming.
Companies don't have to see this as in their best interest. If it were, then we wouldn't need any kind of government, now would we? All companies have to do is comply or be fined very heavily.

And how do economies of scale operate? If governmental decisions are all local and but corporate decisions can be global, you'd end up with a kind of corporate feudalism, with your proposed central governments sort of serving the role the church played in medieval feudalism.
I'm not sure what you mean. Governmental decisions in this system would only pertain to local decisions, except of course in defense and diplomacy. It wouldn't be all that different from the local governments already in place, except that the powers would be very minimal. Economies of scale can operate exactly the way they already do, but without interference. You'll have to elaborate on why you think global business decisions would interfere with the wills of localities.
 

BobG

Science Advisor
Homework Helper
110
80
loseyourname said:
I'm not sure what you mean. Governmental decisions in this system would only pertain to local decisions, except of course in defense and diplomacy. It wouldn't be all that different from the local governments already in place, except that the powers would be very minimal. Economies of scale can operate exactly the way they already do, but without interference. You'll have to elaborate on why you think global business decisions would interfere with the wills of localities.
Canton, OH is a good example of what some of you have been talking about. Is it illegal or unethical for Hoover to move its headquarters from Canton to Iowa the same year Timken closed three of its Canton factories? The young have two choices - seek a future somewhere else or accept a lower economic lifestyle in their hometown near their families.

Does the fact that a large corporation can close its factories interfere with the wills of localities?

First, the example of the bizarre. NFL owner threatens to move franchise to another town if the tax payers don't foot the bill for a new stadium equipped with luxury loges. Think the city caves? (Okay, Cleveland didn't. Oh, wait, then they changed their mind so they could replace the franchise that left.)

Major corporations have more economic power than an NFL franchise - in fact, more economic power than many small countries. They have lots more economic power than a city. Local governments will do just about anything to keep a big corporation from closing the doors on the local factory - they've seen what happened to cities in the rust belt (PA, OH, MI, etc). You can hold a company as long as the equipment in the factories and the building is still new, but when it comes to remodel and improve, big companies can find somewhere where the taxes are lower and the workers willing to work for less.

Of course, a strong central government forcing localities to buy from certain companies doesn't work that much better. In fact, Northern states banding up and imposing high tariffs on British goods so Southerners would buy from the North was as big (if not bigger) reason for the civil war as slavery was.

People do what they can do to keep making a living and local governments making local tax laws, environmental laws, etc more corporate friendly are just part of what people do. But the Constitution only guarantees an equal chance to pursuit of life, liberty, etc., it doesn't guarantee success.

People have no more right to a guaranteed middle class life in their hometown than the Native Americans had that their hunts would always bring in bountiful loads of food.
 

honestrosewater

Gold Member
2,071
5
russ_watters said:
Rights are negative, not positive: they are protected, not given. Having the right to life means no one is allowed to kill you, it does not mean (for example) that the government is required to provide you with healthcare.
This is a great clarification (whether I agree or not)... but you still haven't succeeded in drawing a clear line since a person can die from neglect. Ex. someone is drowning in a well, you have the chance to but don't throw them a rope and they die. Did you kill them? What if saving them would have put your own life at risk? You have to decide how much an individual is required to give to the government & their fellow-citizens. In deciding this, you should ask if "being required to give" is the same as "being stolen from" and what contradictions, if any, would result.

You also must decide if a right's utility matters. To someone dying of startvation, protection from being shot in the head may be very close to, if not compeltely, worthless. Similarly, of what worth are property rights to a person who owns no property? Or has no chance of aquiring property? Is the right to keep property worthless without the right to aquire property?
 
Last edited:

loseyourname

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
1,717
5
BobG said:
Canton, OH is a good example of what some of you have been talking about. Is it illegal or unethical for Hoover to move its headquarters from Canton to Iowa the same year Timken closed three of its Canton factories? The young have two choices - seek a future somewhere else or accept a lower economic lifestyle in their hometown near their families.

Does the fact that a large corporation can close its factories interfere with the wills of localities?
Under my system, the corporation would be treated the same regardless of where it was located; that is, income tax would be non-existent and the taxes they do pay would be the same in Ohio or Iowa.

As far as wages are concerned, it's difficult to fault a truly transparent capitalist system that operates without interference. No one is ever forced to work for low wages, but if they are willing, then that's the way it goes. No one if ever forced to work for or buy from any one company and ultimately nothing ever occurs that the worker and consumer did not consent to. You might end up living in a situation dictated by majority will that you did not want, but that's exactly what happens under any democratic system.
 
310
2
The problem with fining companies, is it's not the people responsible for the hardships that pay, they'll simply reduce wages to make up for the lost money, or fire people, thus causing more unemployment.

I think the real problem probably lays in the Corporation and the fact that it is legally a person. we need to correct this and prevent them from gaining too much control. In the beginning of the industrial revolution a corporation was set up for a specific purpose, like building a hospital, or a bridge, a corporation would be comissioned to do that and it would have extremely well defined rules it had to obey, now they have almost no rules and run almost unchecked internationally. That is the problem me thinks.
 
1,354
4
Smurf said:
The problem with fining companies, is it's not the people responsible for the hardships that pay, they'll simply reduce wages to make up for the lost money, or fire people, thus causing more unemployment.

I think the real problem probably lays in the Corporation and the fact that it is legally a person. we need to correct this and prevent them from gaining too much control. In the beginning of the industrial revolution a corporation was set up for a specific purpose, like building a hospital, or a bridge, a corporation would be comissioned to do that and it would have extremely well defined rules it had to obey, now they have almost no rules and run almost unchecked internationally. That is the problem me thinks.
Trust Busting ---> Zaibatsu Busting ---> COnlgomerations Busting? ----> Corporation BUsting?

Now we're all small business owners and employees (even though many small businesses are corporations for legal reasons. Heck some people incorporate themselves for legal and tax reasons).
 

loseyourname

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
1,717
5
Smurf said:
The problem with fining companies, is it's not the people responsible for the hardships that pay, they'll simply reduce wages to make up for the lost money, or fire people, thus causing more unemployment.

I think the real problem probably lays in the Corporation and the fact that it is legally a person. we need to correct this and prevent them from gaining too much control. In the beginning of the industrial revolution a corporation was set up for a specific purpose, like building a hospital, or a bridge, a corporation would be comissioned to do that and it would have extremely well defined rules it had to obey, now they have almost no rules and run almost unchecked internationally. That is the problem me thinks.
There is no problem with fining companies. How many business owners have you known? Every one that I have suffered a great deal of hardship from being fined. Believe me, the last thing they want to do is lower wages or fire people. They do not benefit from low worker morale.

People are always quick to bemoan the corporation and blame it for all of the world's ills. Consider the fact that no corporation would ever exist if you were not either working for it or buying from it. Every corporation in existence is there because the consumer wants it to be there.

I believe what you're thinking of, as far as bridge-building and such is concerned, are public authorities, which I have a bit of a love affair with myself. I think there should be far more of them.
 
310
2
All I want is more restrictions on corporations, more rules, and god damnit, fine the people responsible, not the corporations, Exxon can take a thousand blows and still make more from the exploitation than it paid for doing it. The people can't.
 

loseyourname

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
1,717
5
Smurf said:
All I want is more restrictions on corporations, more rules, and god damnit, fine the people responsible, not the corporations, Exxon can take a thousand blows and still make more from the exploitation than it paid for doing it. The people can't.
More rules and more restrictions is in general what leads to higher prices and lower wages and attempts to evade the rules and restrictions. If you just let the free market operate under full disclosure, then it's simple. Don't work for Exxon and don't buy from Exxon if you don't support Exxon. Any company that wants to remain in existence has no choice but to satisfy its customers (read: you).
 
310
2
I can see the logic in that, under ideal free market conditions I might even agree with you but the corporations have already accumulated too much power and the effectiveness of the free market to prevent monopoly is compromised. The media controls the minds of the people and the corporations control their lives. We have arrived at a state where a great number of people are dependant on these corporations, it's like an addiction, the media is keeping us psychologically addicted while the lifestyle keeps us physically addicted.

This causes for more serious measures than simply letting the free market take control...
and for gods sake Corporations shouldn't be legal people!
 

Hurkyl

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
14,845
17
I really think you misunderstand what "right to life" - and maybe even the concept of "rights" itself means. Rights are negative, not positive: they are protected, not given.
The "right to life" isn't very well protected if, say, an area has 10,000 people that can't afford to move, but only enough wages to support 7,500 people, now, is it?


Fortunately, in a mature capitalistic society, that isn't the case.
If that's the case (and stays the case), then good -- however this is not what has been argued thus far.
 
1,354
4
Hurkyl said:
The "right to life" isn't very well protected if, say, an area has 10,000 people that can't afford to move, but only enough wages to support 7,500 people, now, is it?




If that's the case (and stays the case), then good -- however this is not what has been argued thus far.

YOU DO NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO A GOOD LIFE

You only have a right to a life. No standard of living is included in that.
 

BobG

Science Advisor
Homework Helper
110
80
In a way, I agree with Smurf.

Coorporations are nothing more than a collection of the people who run the company, people who work for the company, people who invest in the company, and people who buy from the company. Coorporations don't pay taxes. Since every coorporation is exposed to about the same tax costs, all can pass their tax burden on in higher prices (or lower wages and benefits and lower dividends). Coorporations are taxed because people do see them as faceless. It's easier for politicians to tax through corporations than it is to tell people directly that their taxes are going to be raised. (i.e - corporations collect taxes for the government through higher prices)

Being non-human, corporations are also amoral. They act to do one thing - generate money. Folks that generate money for them stay hired - those that don't generate money get fired. But, that may change.

Watch the technology that's starting to come out. You'll soon be able to scan products on the shelf and automatically retrieve info about the company from your laptop or wireless connection. Not that you'd want to do that kind of research in the middle of grocery shopping, but if you subscribed to a service that catered to your concerns (from an environmental group or a union group, for example), a quick scan could tell you whether that particular product was politically correct (at least in the eyes of the group who's service you subscribe to).

The same could theoretically apply to investors. The most common initial investment for the middle class novice is mutual funds. The investor often might not even know what companies those mutual funds are invested in. Since it's an overall strategy of diversity that usually determines your probable rate of returns vs. the specific companies you invest in, investment groups could sell politically correct mutual funds that cater to the political interests of its investors. Provided a good overall strategy for types of investments to make, a monkey throwing darts can usually pick stocks on a par with investment advisors, since no one knows how each and every stock is going to perform. The only danger is that, by picking only stocks politically correct to an investor, the investor might wind up picking too narrow a spread where all are likely to go up or down together.
 

plover

Homework Helper
187
0
loseyourname said:
More rules and more restrictions is in general what leads to higher prices and lower wages and attempts to evade the rules and restrictions. If you just let the free market operate under full disclosure, then it's simple.
Why are dictates to operate under full disclosure any different from the corporation's point of view (as opposed to a larger scale economic point of view) than any other rules and restrictions? They're a hindrance to be skirted as much as can be gotten away with and to be weakened by any political means available. So now you have an enforcement problem. How do you enforce the rules without being even more intrusive? How do you have the resources to carry out the inspections and record keeping necessary for enforcement without expanding the government? All this seems to lead back to my original question: how do you get companies that see full-disclosure as in their best interest?

In your original post that I responded to, I see you as saying that the rules of transparency are "all strictly regulated by an impartial third-party committee that is not politicized". How do you create such an animal? How is it different (in theory) from current regulatory agencies? How are the complexities of enforcement reduced to the point where an area can be overseen something conceived of as a simple committee? Even honest accounting can be fantastically complex, who is analyzing all these corporate records for fraud? And how can this be done without oversight at the properties of the corporations to check whether the records match the realities they describe? What prevents various types of money laundering through the jurisdictions of other "committees" (especially those whose rules are codified differently) for large corporations?

I'm not saying that full disclosure would not be a good idea, intuitively, it strikes as me an improvement over current policy, but then I don't think the rights (including privacy rights) that ought to be granted to corporate entities can be derived by analogy from those of individual citizens—corporations and humans are just too ontologically different. My line of inquiry is more directed toward questioning whether the suggestions you outline really do reduce the complexity of government. One way to summarize this might be to ask: doesn't using these suggestions to minimize government reduce to the problem of maximizing the degree to which corporations see full disclosure as being in their best interest?
Don't work for Exxon and don't buy from Exxon if you don't support Exxon. Any company that wants to remain in existence has no choice but to satisfy its customers (read: you).
But it's possible to find all the corporations in a given industry reprehensible and still be unable to live without the services of that industry. There's nothing to prevent the group of corporations that dominate an industry from colluding to agree on practices favorable to the industry but unfavorable to consumers. (Just like we have now...)
 

plover

Homework Helper
187
0
franznietzsche said:
YOU DO NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO A GOOD LIFE
For all of human history (including now), there have been parts of the world where you didn't have a right not to be enslaved; there are a lot fewer places where this state of affairs holds than there used to be. For communities organized into settlements large enough that everyone does not know everyone else, it has mostly been the case that you didn't have the right not to be executed at the whim of your ruler or of some other person considered to have high social rank; this state of affairs has also become much rarer. Rights are an abstraction, and they change with time and societal structures. While it is empirically true that (for all practical purposes) there is no place in the world where a right to be free of the ordeals and corrosions of poverty is in effect, and while there is no clear path as to how that can be changed, to try to frame that state of affairs as an eternal truth is just a failure of imagination, to call it undesirable is to enshrine contempt and to denounce the ideal of universal human dignity.
 

russ_watters

Mentor
18,992
5,146
Hurkyl said:
The "right to life" isn't very well protected if, say, an area has 10,000 people that can't afford to move, but only enough wages to support 7,500 people, now, is it?
Unless the ability to move will prevent their death, "right to life" does not apply.
If that's the case (and stays the case), then good -- however this is not what has been argued thus far.
Well, this thread is about different forms of government. "A mature capitalist society" applies to the US and most of the west - so the best case would be for the rest of the world to become mature capitalist societies as well.
 
1,354
4
russ_watters said:
Unless the ability to move will prevent their death, "right to life" does not apply. .

Exactly. There is a right to live, not a right to live well. There is no right to material, only a right to yourself.
 

vanesch

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
5,007
16
russ_watters said:
Unless the ability to move will prevent their death, "right to life" does not apply. Well, this thread is about different forms of government. "A mature capitalist society" applies to the US and most of the west - so the best case would be for the rest of the world to become mature capitalist societies as well.
This is where we're probably just nitpicking on words: the US and most of the west is capitalistically inspired, in that the economy is largely dominated by the free market. All evidence points out that that is probably a good thing. However, the word "capitalism" means that one would like to see EVERYTHING to be done that way. In most of the western societies, there is still a role for the state beyond just being police and justice, so they are not "capitalist" societies.
As far as I'm a supporter of the free market, I oppose to the capitalist dogma (as I oppose every dogma!). There shouldn't be any a priori on to how to organize society. And as far as I think that MANY things are best dealt with by a free market, I'm also of the opinion that SOME things are best dealt with in other ways. That doesn't mean I'm a communist or so (although it isn't an insult!). Back when I still had voting right I often (but not always) voted for rather right-winged parties (as long as they didn't have any ties with traditionalists/religions) because I was of the opinion that their leaders were more responsible managers than left wing parties, although the ideas set forward by those parties were closer to my opinion (but the people proposing them were sure to make a mess of it). Of course, what is "right-winged" in Europe is probably ultra-liberal in US ears :-)
 
39
1
vanesch said:
This is where we're probably just nitpicking on words: the US and most of the west is capitalistically inspired, in that the economy is largely dominated by the free market. All evidence points out that that is probably a good thing. However, the word "capitalism" means that one would like to see EVERYTHING to be done that way. In most of the western societies, there is still a role for the state beyond just being police and justice, so they are not "capitalist" societies.
As far as I'm a supporter of the free market, I oppose to the capitalist dogma (as I oppose every dogma!). There shouldn't be any a priori on to how to organize society. And as far as I think that MANY things are best dealt with by a free market, I'm also of the opinion that SOME things are best dealt with in other ways. That doesn't mean I'm a communist or so (although it isn't an insult!). Back when I still had voting right I often (but not always) voted for rather right-winged parties (as long as they didn't have any ties with traditionalists/religions) because I was of the opinion that their leaders were more responsible managers than left wing parties, although the ideas set forward by those parties were closer to my opinion (but the people proposing them were sure to make a mess of it). Of course, what is "right-winged" in Europe is probably ultra-liberal in US ears :-)
Indeed, there is little doubt in my mind that, if left to total laissez-faire capitilism with no laws or regulations whatsoever, human nature would quickly render us to relying on anecdotes to avoid the foisting of crap in the supermarkets. ("Psssst! The diet supplement in Aisle 9 is really toxic waste; I saw people outside the store, keeled over. Pass it on, caveat emptor.)

There is little doubt in my mind that the umbrella of 'human nature' covers the occasional desire to lie, cheat, and steal, and if you combine that with unbridled laissez-faire capitalism, you just grant license to the worst among us to rape, pillage, and burn. However, if you combine it with some form of totalitarism, you get Joe Stalin. Human nature is human nature.

But, the fundamental principle of capitalism is not that we all get to do whatever the Hell we want, independent of laws or taxation to support the commons. The fundamental principle of capitalism is that -your- finite life and the results of its selective exertion in the seeking and holding of value are yours to imperfectly direct, and a consequence of that is the principle that ownership of value is possible. It is a principle that acknowledges the glaring inability of any imperfect penguin armed one of us to either grasp or run the world for everyone else, no matter how many credits we've accumulated at the community college. It is a principle that says, the imperfect decisions to hold and seek value are personal and accrue to the individuals that make them and hold them, and that as indivuduals with common rational interests, we notice that our mutual self-interests are best served when that principle is permitted range within the bounds of reasonable laws and regulations, ie, in building and living and prospering freely in the strongest nation on earth. The proof is in the pudding; better to live in a maelstrom of impersonally competing values that sort themselves out in the market, then be subject to the penguin armed vision of a selective one or few(Hillary's Central Committee,) trying to deal with the intractability of our many economies by hubristically and hand wavingly referring to 'them' as an 'it' as their first sign of complete ignorance.

Apply these concepts to the creation of any manmade value, especially health care. It does not fall from the sky, unabetted, to be 'redistributed' like rainfall. Real human beings, with their singular skins and souls handed to them at their creation, create the values we seek via the heated exertion of their finite singular lives. To assert that those values are anybodies birthright, to be 'redistributed' by the tribal elders, emphasizes munificence at the cost of ignoring slavery. (Not that you have, but many have.) Munificence at the cost of slavery of any kind is too expensive to tolerate. By that, do I mean to argue against the concept of welfare, or a safety net? No, but a 'safety net' is for the destitute, not the middle class.

By that, I mean to argue against the concept that health care providers should be prohibited from voluntary commerce, or health insurers should be prohibited from voluntary commerce, or providers of hospital services should be prohibited from voluntary commerce, or drug companies should be prohibited from voluntary commerce. To the extent that the tribe sticks its nose into that commerce to weed out fraud, the intrusion is justified. To the extent that the tribe sticks its nose into that commerce to control, manipulate, or distribute it according to some pygmy armed grasp of the world, it is statist folly.
 

Hurkyl

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
14,845
17
Unless the ability to move will prevent their death, "right to life" does not apply.
?

I don't follow what you're trying to say.


I just don't see how it's possible to claim the "right to life" is protected if, through no fault of their own, it is impossible for people in otherwise reasonable circumstances to live.

(I add reasonable to exclude situations like suffering from an incurable terminal disease, being shot by an insane madman, etc)
 
Last edited:

vanesch

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
5,007
16
Zlex said:
Apply these concepts to the creation of any manmade value, especially health care. It does not fall from the sky, unabetted, to be 'redistributed' like rainfall. Real human beings, with their singular skins and souls handed to them at their creation, create the values we seek via the heated exertion of their finite singular lives. To assert that those values are anybodies birthright, to be 'redistributed' by the tribal elders, emphasizes munificence at the cost of ignoring slavery.
Well, this is one of the points where I don't really agree. First of all, I would like to fight the idea that "money spend by the state is lost money for the economy". If well-managed, the money flows are comparable.

Let us first consider the free market situation for health care:
- there are private insurances covering health care
- there are private companies making pharmaceutical products
- there are private hospitals

So essentially, the money input flow into this system consists of the insurance fees and some consumption of pharaceuticals.

If well-managed, at about similar money flows, you can:
- impose an obliged insurance, which takes the form of a tax
- have private or public pharmaceutical companies
- have private and public hospitals

There is a redistribution from the rich (which pay higher obliged insurance tax) to the poor (which pay less) ; it almost doesn't make much of a difference for Joe Average.

It doesn't make much difference for the rich, anyway, because compared to what they make, it is a small amount of money. It makes not so much of a difference to the average person, at least, when he's smart enough to take an insurance. It makes the difference of a life to a poor person.

Previsions of what should be done and not on the long term are, concerning health care, more a matter of specialists, and are not very well informed by market signals. So this can be managed "centrally" (as compared to, say, the production of perfume, or air plane tickets) ; it will even probably be better managed centrally than distributed, it being a matter of specialists, and not of consumers.

It doesn't make much difference to the pharmaceutical companies. Instead of having their goals set purely by the market, they get their goals set by a mixture of competition and information from health care management.

Doctors can choose: work in the public sector, work in the private sector, or a mixture of both.

The private sector can take care of all the extra whims and desires of the rich, according to the market mechanism.

EDIT: I just added the above description as an example, just to show that a society can choose to adopt it or not. It is a political choice, and it is not necessarily a bad choice.
 
Last edited:

russ_watters

Mentor
18,992
5,146
Hurkyl said:
?

I don't follow what you're trying to say.


I just don't see how it's possible to claim the "right to life" is protected if, through no fault of their own, it is impossible for people in otherwise reasonable circumstances to live.

(I add reasonable to exclude situations like suffering from an incurable terminal disease, being shot by an insane madman, etc) [emphasis added]
Maybe I missed something, but how does not being able to move kill people? Are you saying that not having enough money to move kills people? If yes, how (give an example)? and if not, its not a right to life issue.

vanesch - when I say "capitalism," it should not be construed to mean 'completely free from goverment control.' In the same way, when I say "democracy" I don't mean a direct/absolute democracy. I fully recognize that pure systems don't work.
 

loseyourname

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
1,717
5
plover said:
Why are dictates to operate under full disclosure any different from the corporation's point of view (as opposed to a larger scale economic point of view) than any other rules and restrictions?
They aren't necessarily in the best interest of every company, but they are certainly in the best interest of smaller or newer companies (in particular, companies that are not corporations) as it allows competition to be fairer. I'm really just trying to get as close as possible to fair competition (which means every company must know what the others are doing) in every market where that is possible and optimal. I realize that it won't be in all markets, but it should be at least in all markets for life-essential products, such as food and basic services and such.

They're a hindrance to be skirted as much as can be gotten away with and to be weakened by any political means available. So now you have an enforcement problem. How do you enforce the rules without being even more intrusive? How do you have the resources to carry out the inspections and record keeping necessary for enforcement without expanding the government? All this seems to lead back to my original question: how do you get companies that see full-disclosure as in their best interest?
The inspections and record-keeping problem can be lightened greatly in the coming years with better IT, but even then, I realize it is pretty big. The funding would basically have to come from the companies themselves, at some agreed-upon rate of taxation. Another source of revenue (that would be directly related to how much work the committees must do) would be the money from the fines imposed for violations. Enforcing the rules would require a great deal of intrusion, and like you, I don't have any problem with this because I don't feel that a company should have the privacy rights afforded an individual either. They should have whatever privacy rights are necessary to keep them competitive (that is, their records should be kept private from other companies in markets that are not truly fair and open), but I don't think having to open up to a committee of some sort that will not disclose their information, so long as they are in line, constitutes a violation of this basic privacy right.

As far as making them see that this is in their best interest, ultimately, I don't see why is wouldn't be. If cheating were allowed, then the best cheater would win. If cheating is not allowed, then the best business wins. Cheating only helps now because only very large companies can get away with it. If you removed all regulatory committees, then any company could get away with it, and the larger companies would lose their competitive advantage anyway.

In your original post that I responded to, I see you as saying that the rules of transparency are "all strictly regulated by an impartial third-party committee that is not politicized". How do you create such an animal? How is it different (in theory) from current regulatory agencies? How are the complexities of enforcement reduced to the point where an area can be overseen something conceived of as a simple committee? Even honest accounting can be fantastically complex, who is analyzing all these corporate records for fraud? And how can this be done without oversight at the properties of the corporations to check whether the records match the realities they describe? What prevents various types of money laundering through the jurisdictions of other "committees" (especially those whose rules are codified differently) for large corporations?
Hey, I'm not saying it would be easy, but ultimately we can see that any company that gets by through money-laundering and lying eventually fails, no matter how they may profit in the short-term. Ridding ourselves of just about any taxation outside of what is needed for oversight and ridding ourselves of price regulation and other such measures that help businesses to fail will go a long way toward ridding ourselves of accounting fraud, and of course, it would completely rid of us tax fraud. That alone would make the job a great deal easier. When you have less rules, it is much easier to enforce the existing rules.

To use the example of a drug company free from restriction by the FDA, let them use risky and unproven drugs just so long as they are forced to be open about it. Any patient willing to take the risk can take the drug, but if ultimately they do more harm than good, the company will fail. Any patient harmed in the process has no one but himself to blame (or possibly his doctor). Ridding us of the costs of FDA approval and lawsuits in this manner, by itself, would drastically cut the operational cost structure of all pharmaceutical companies and greatly reduce prices, which in turn would make healthcare cheaper.

There's nothing to prevent the group of corporations that dominate an industry from colluding to agree on practices favorable to the industry but unfavorable to consumers. (Just like we have now...)
Collusion like this is already illegal. The only industry I can think of that obviously does this is the oil exporting industry, but most of that is done outside of this country and so is outside of our control. What other industries are you thinking of? I think it has historically been done by airlines and possibly automakers, but we've seen that new entrants to these markets that do not take place in the collusion ultimately did well. And, of course, those that broke the rules payed the price. There is the problem of companies not openly colluding, but just guessing at what the others will do, and keeping practices fairly uniform that way, but what are you going to do about that anyway? I don't see how this practice would become any more or less prevalent under any amended system.
 

Related Threads for: What Alternative kind of Government do you Support?

Replies
67
Views
7K
  • Poll
  • Last Post
4
Replies
97
Views
11K
Replies
39
Views
2K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
42
Views
5K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
47
Views
4K
  • Last Post
3
Replies
55
Views
7K
  • Last Post
Replies
15
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
11
Views
1K

Hot Threads

Recent Insights

Top