Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

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dyqik
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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by dyqik » Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:51 pm

Some things like the Google and Microsoft IT infrastructure/ecosystems work better when they are ubiquitous...

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by bjn » Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:59 pm

dyqik wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:51 pm
Some things like the Google and Microsoft IT infrastructure/ecosystems work better when they are ubiquitous...
Same goes for railway lines, water pipes, telephone lines and electricity. Regulate them like a utility.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by dyqik » Sat Dec 19, 2020 7:27 pm

bjn wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:59 pm
dyqik wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:51 pm
Some things like the Google and Microsoft IT infrastructure/ecosystems work better when they are ubiquitous...
Same goes for railway lines, water pipes, telephone lines and electricity. Regulate them like a utility.
Or regulate to require open standards.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by bjn » Sat Dec 19, 2020 7:49 pm

That too.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by nezumi » Sat Dec 19, 2020 8:27 pm

Ignite the blue touchpaper and stand back.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by plodder » Sat Dec 19, 2020 8:36 pm

nezumi wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 8:27 pm
Ignite the blue touchpaper and stand back.
yes. the huge internet monopolies are massively counterproductive. how the hell do you regulate something like that? break em up into competitive pieces and let tgem go at each other. as soon as there’s a winner, break them up. this is orthodox economics. it works like coppicing: let the light in and you get better productivity, more of what you want and less of what you don’t want.

for some reason we’re protective of our mega corps. They’ve had their time and they’re now shading everything out.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by monkey » Sat Dec 19, 2020 8:44 pm

plodder wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 8:36 pm
nezumi wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 8:27 pm
Ignite the blue touchpaper and stand back.
yes. the huge internet monopolies are massively counterproductive. how the hell do you regulate something like that? break em up into competitive pieces and let tgem go at each other. as soon as there’s a winner, break them up. this is orthodox economics. it works like coppicing: let the light in and you get better productivity, more of what you want and less of what you don’t want.

for some reason we’re protective of our mega corps. They’ve had their time and they’re now shading everything out.
I imagine that the reason is that the mega corps are protective of mega corps and they have lots of money for lobbyists/lawyers.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by Woodchopper » Sat Dec 19, 2020 9:01 pm

plodder wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 8:36 pm
nezumi wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 8:27 pm
Ignite the blue touchpaper and stand back.
yes. the huge internet monopolies are massively counterproductive. how the hell do you regulate something like that? break em up into competitive pieces and let tgem go at each other. as soon as there’s a winner, break them up. this is orthodox economics. it works like coppicing: let the light in and you get better productivity, more of what you want and less of what you don’t want.

for some reason we’re protective of our mega corps. They’ve had their time and they’re now shading everything out.
It wouldn’t be that hard to regulate Google etc. Just get the US and EU to agree upon standards. Then other countries follow their lead.

People’s reluctance to break up Google etc is due to higher benefits to the consumer coming from bigger organizations. I like it that there are two dominant social networks (Twitter and Facebook) and one dominant group messaging network (WhatsApp). I use each a lot and I would be inconvenienced if I had to use, say, six networks just to achieve the same outcome. I’d need much more time and there would be a greater chance that I’d miss something important.

As duqik wrote, they should though be regulated like a utility .

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by plodder » Sat Dec 19, 2020 9:05 pm

if you broke up facebook you’d quickly find the rival platforms become cross-compatibile. also, facebook owns instagram. google owns youtube. f.ck that.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Dec 19, 2020 9:26 pm

There are benefits to consumers from larger networks, but paradoxically larger corporations harm consumers. So consumers would be best served by smaller corporations competing on how they provide access, perhaps with some minimum access guaranteed by the government. As plodder says. And yes, I think Chopper's point about a trans-Atlantic agreement to get the ball rolling is a good one.

You can already cross-post between facebook, instagram and twitter, for example, so it's definitely doable to, say, force APIs to open and compatible for all social networks, for example. Yes, corporations would find ways to stretch the definition, and you'd have to keep updating the legislation: it's an arms race.

I like plodder's analogy with coppicing. I also sometimes use an ecosystem analogy when thinking about macro-economics: there are deep properties of self-organising complex systems common to both. Productivity and biodiversity (however you define it) are generally higher in moderately disturbed scrubland than a mature woodland, for example.
THINK BIG AND UPEND THE SYSTEM

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by nezumi » Sat Dec 19, 2020 9:46 pm

I'm fascinated by all the stuff on here so far and I will definitely give some considered responses but I have started this post about 14 times and it seems I'm too drunk etc. to string a sentence together. Arse.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by bmforre » Sun Dec 20, 2020 12:00 am

After the fall of nazism people in Germany seriously asked and debated how the economy could be governed to serve the common good without being stifled by bureaucracy. Some ecomists proposed "social market economy" where the overriding goals are to be decided by political debate and elections while the details of business decisions are to be left to the market.

The Soviet-controlled part of the country had communism imposed while the rest ran regulated capitalism leading to a gigantic 'one country - two systems' experiment.

There is enormous difference between 'social market economy' and 'cowboy capitalism'. Health services, education and social security not least.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by plodder » Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:00 am

for sure, i think there’s a lot to like about the most sensible european models, but they are still distorted by monopolies. capitalism is supposed to be a brutal perpetual struggle to the death, not a cosy coexistence where the biggest firms merge to stop start ups.

look at the car industry and the skepticism about whether one of the world’s richest men can break into it with a vastly improved product (tesla). It isn’t supposed to be like this.

barriers to entry should be examined and removed where possible. things like the app store can do one. way more effective than nitpicking regulation, which often creates its own barriers to entry.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by EACLucifer » Sun Dec 20, 2020 10:25 am

plodder wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:00 am
look at the car industry and the skepticism about whether one of the world’s richest men can break into it with a vastly improved product (tesla). It isn’t supposed to be like this.
Just a quick reminder that a company that can't provide spare parts for months, and builds supposedly top end cars with panel gaps reminiscent of 70s Fords, and where the bumpers come off if you drive them through a deep puddle, is not actually producing a vastly improved product.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by plodder » Sun Dec 20, 2020 10:48 am

??? Yeah, I'm sure GM, ford, Audi, BMW would be pushing EVs so hard without Tesla scaring the life out of them. Name me another new entrant into the car market?

Another good example is Amazon devouring all it sees, or huge entertainment conglomerates, or pubcos, or even big corporate landlords. As soon as they start to dominate it should be"well done lads, you've shown us how it's done, you're getting a gold star for the fridge and you've made pots of cash, but the party is over".

Without ruthless competition it ain't capitalism, it's something far more crummy. The consumer only sees a mirage of lower prices: the hidden costs in the background (eg increasing inequality) don't make up for the perceived benefits of having monopolies.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by Woodchopper » Sun Dec 20, 2020 11:58 am

plodder, economies of scale are the reason we put up with massive corporations. Capitalism is supposed, via competition, to deliver the most efficient production. However, economies of scale mean that the most efficient production and so lowest unit prices might be delivered by an industry with, say, two to five major companies.

There’s no point splitting up an industry if the end result is higher prices and lower R&D. It’s still possible to have intense competition between two or a few companies.

Of course there is a risk that huge corporations might collude and undermine competition. So strong regulation is essential.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by EACLucifer » Sun Dec 20, 2020 12:05 pm

plodder wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 10:48 am
??? Yeah, I'm sure GM, ford, Audi, BMW would be pushing EVs so hard without Tesla scaring the life out of them. Name me another new entrant into the car market?
They are pushing EVs because they know that's the way the regulatory environment is heading. Tesla still offer a product with poor build quality and abysmal customer support.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by bjn » Sun Dec 20, 2020 12:12 pm

plodder wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:00 am
for sure, i think there’s a lot to like about the most sensible european models, but they are still distorted by monopolies. capitalism is supposed to be a brutal perpetual struggle to the death, not a cosy coexistence where the biggest firms merge to stop start ups.

look at the car industry and the skepticism about whether one of the world’s richest men can break into it with a vastly improved product (tesla). It isn’t supposed to be like this.

barriers to entry should be examined and removed where possible. things like the app store can do one. way more effective than nitpicking regulation, which often creates its own barriers to entry.
Don’t conflate capitalism and free markets. They are not the same, capitalists love carving things up among themselves if they can get away with it. And there are limits to what markets can achieve anyway.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by plebian » Sun Dec 20, 2020 12:38 pm

Marx had some good points. The older I get the more I am prepared to burn it all down.
Capitalism is competition as economic theory. We're not in competition, ask not for whom the bell calls.

I'd abolish money and property and after the rich are eaten, anarco collectivist ideas seem most equitable.
Pithy, well, a right helmet at least.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by dyqik » Sun Dec 20, 2020 12:49 pm

plebian wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 12:38 pm
Marx had some good points. The older I get the more I am prepared to burn it all down.
Capitalism is competition as economic theory. We're not in competition, ask not for whom the bell calls.

I'd abolish money and property and after the rich are eaten, anarco collectivist ideas seem most equitable.
Competition as a means to improvement is pretty much the dumbest way to produce something better - it's why evolution works on the least guided version of it, as there's no guiding or foresight whatsoever there.

The problem is that getting some kind of useful guidance, agreed upon plans and foresight that can obviate the need for competition.

c.f. democracy, the worst* system of government, which also runs on competition.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by plodder » Sun Dec 20, 2020 2:39 pm

dyqik wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 12:49 pm

Competition as a means to improvement is pretty much the dumbest way to produce something better - it's why evolution works on the least guided version of it, as there's no guiding or foresight whatsoever there.

The problem is that getting some kind of useful guidance, agreed upon plans and foresight that can obviate the need for competition.

c.f. democracy, the worst* system of government, which also runs on competition.
This post is 100% wrong. It assumes that somewhere out there is a benelovent genius who can figure out how to do things in an optimal manner (at least you concede that). This is of course complete bollocks and will never happen. Competition drives innovation in a way that (forgive me) scientists and technocrats don't understand or appreciate.

The trick is ensuring there is always competition and that laws protecting e.g. the environment are robust. The inefficiency around whether the laws themselves are overbearing is a red herring if you force competition, due to the efficiency gains you realise.

The people who need stringing up are the ones who want to do away with regulation without touching monopolies. I'm sure we can all think of a few of them...

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by plodder » Sun Dec 20, 2020 2:40 pm

bjn wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 12:12 pm
plodder wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:00 am
for sure, i think there’s a lot to like about the most sensible european models, but they are still distorted by monopolies. capitalism is supposed to be a brutal perpetual struggle to the death, not a cosy coexistence where the biggest firms merge to stop start ups.

look at the car industry and the skepticism about whether one of the world’s richest men can break into it with a vastly improved product (tesla). It isn’t supposed to be like this.

barriers to entry should be examined and removed where possible. things like the app store can do one. way more effective than nitpicking regulation, which often creates its own barriers to entry.
Don’t conflate capitalism and free markets. They are not the same, capitalists love carving things up among themselves if they can get away with it. And there are limits to what markets can achieve anyway.
Wut

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by plodder » Sun Dec 20, 2020 2:41 pm

EACLucifer wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 10:25 am
plodder wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:00 am
look at the car industry and the skepticism about whether one of the world’s richest men can break into it with a vastly improved product (tesla). It isn’t supposed to be like this.
Just a quick reminder that a company that can't provide spare parts for months, and builds supposedly top end cars with panel gaps reminiscent of 70s Fords, and where the bumpers come off if you drive them through a deep puddle, is not actually producing a vastly improved product.
Thanks for your quick reminder.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by plebian » Sun Dec 20, 2020 3:44 pm

Yeah nah plods. I don't want to tweak the edges of the failed system, I want to live a comfortable life of peace and happiness and for everyone to get that.

Your talk of efficiencies are irrelevant. If we waste less than twice the food produced, producing and distributing it without reference to individual status, we're golden.

I would prefer a contented life to some arbitrary conception of progress.

If capitalism has given us advantages cool, but we're done that now, let's get on with applying it to everyone and removing the capriciousness of the accident of birth.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by dyqik » Sun Dec 20, 2020 3:48 pm

plodder wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 2:39 pm
dyqik wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 12:49 pm

Competition as a means to improvement is pretty much the dumbest way to produce something better - it's why evolution works on the least guided version of it, as there's no guiding or foresight whatsoever there.

The problem is that getting some kind of useful guidance, agreed upon plans and foresight that can obviate the need for competition.

c.f. democracy, the worst* system of government, which also runs on competition.
This post is 100% wrong. It assumes that somewhere out there is a benelovent genius who can figure out how to do things in an optimal manner (at least you concede that). This is of course complete bollocks and will never happen. Competition drives innovation in a way that (forgive me) scientists and technocrats don't understand or appreciate.

The trick is ensuring there is always competition and that laws protecting e.g. the environment are robust. The inefficiency around whether the laws themselves are overbearing is a red herring if you force competition, due to the efficiency gains you realise.

The people who need stringing up are the ones who want to do away with regulation without touching monopolies. I'm sure we can all think of a few of them...
You've just argued the exact point I'm making.

I thought it was pretty clear from the last line.

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