Politics Thread


#707

A monopsony in general and certainly in the graph depicted is related to the forces driving the market into inefficiency based on the power of a single buyer (typically the labor market). Are you saying on the national level that companies in various sectors have colluded to suppress wage growth?

If so, I would argue there is very strong evidence to the contrary. A much straighter causal line can be drawn to high unemployment caused by the recession in 2008, automation, and outsourcing than corporate consolidation. If anything there is high level of market disruption between competitors at the moment due to innovation rather than collusion. The brick and mortar retail vs online retail competition come to mind.

In any event, I don’t understand the correlation you are drawing for relationship between socialist vs. capital systems to the economic effect of monopsony. I feel like both systems are vulnerable to this form of market manipulation.


#708

Again, you are looking at the wrong indicators.

For example, using your “disruption” theory you point to the companies like Netflix and the positives that result from their entry into the mass media market. The snapshot in time is frozen there and you claim unfettered capitalism is working awesome.

The reality is quite different. We are seeing the reality play its way into our lives now with the consolidation of these distruptors into vast media monopsonies such as ATT, Disney and Comcast. As this happens, while there may not be overt collusion, the end result is the same.

Disruption works for a finite period of time only, if you fail to regulate the ability of existing entities to consolidate the benefits of the disruptions.

You point to online retailers vs brick and mortar retailers again is flawed. Amazon is transforming itself into the traditional market by consolidation just as WalMart and others try the opposite.

The problem is this: Economic growth is optimized in the Western Brentwood system (post WW2 west) with the existence of a healthy multi-competitor marketplace. Due to the lax enforcement or even non-enforcement of Anti-trust regulation in the US (especially the spirit of it) this is something we are increasingly failing to have.

Instead we are experiencing monopsonies in practice if not in name isolating and controlling the input of labor and the transfer of the economic wealth of that segment of our society to those capitalists in control of the few entities that continually consolidate.

Sinclair media almost controlled 76% of the local broadcasting market. The only reason they failed in their effort is because they were money greedy and tried to game the system to further control about 5% of the market in practical terms and that was a bar, even Trump loyalist in the FCC could not stomach.

With the Supreme court chipping away at the ability to organize the labor to counter the power in these corporate hands and with the regulations being stripped and neutered to the point that a new Gilded Age is more reality than warning the big players in the American capitalistic system is in a position to abuse and manipulate as they haven’t since the 1880s.


#709

I stated the opposite of this.

What indicators do you recommend to support you hypothesis of 1. growing monopsony and 2. Its direct correlation to decreased economic growth?

Disruption is a constant market force. I have no doubt that Amazon will face a similarly disruptive competitor in near future. Most likely from home additive manufacturing. In any case do you see Amazon as inherently bad just because it is big? It has viable competitors and there is little doubt the market is effectively pricing items Amazon and its competitors sell.

I’d agree though I suppose I don’t see most of our market as being in dire noncompetitive straights at the moment. The sector that most concerns me is agriculture actually. Monsanto as a scary level of power and few rivals. Mass media beyond the local news issue you pointed out has grown more competitive in my view. We are just consuming it differently (online).

I still don’t see how socialism answer any of the above mail either. Market consolidation to public enterprise is the ultimate objective of socialist philosophy.


#710

Socialism as in labor organization, regulation of the economy (by anti-trust law, etc) as in social programs that provide safety nets from retirement to healthcare.

Gilded Age capitalism main feature is the power of economic control being consolidated into the hands of the few capitalists that rise to Carnegie level types of control. This is exactly where we are heading. I’ll get into this using the gig/disruption economy and even contrast it to an Industry that was very analogous in the 1930’s: Hollywood.

The very fact that you don’t see mass media as being in a dangerous zone is alarming to me. This is not a Republican-Democrat or Red-Blue issue, this is an issue that involves anyone touched by today’s economy.

In the 1930’s, Hollywood studios controlled both the means of production and the means of distribution. Eventually, this was deemed monopolistic (reality monoposony but whatever) and the studios had to give up their hold over movie theaters. After this happened, the studios lost their exclusive hold on power in the industry and a lot of changes for the better occurred.

In today’s world, the means of production are increasingly being consolidated (ie. Disney buying all those studios, Time buying Warner, NBC buying Universal, etc). I hope we both can agree on this.

The traditional ways of distribution are also consolidated as well. (Disney buying ABC/ESPN etc, Comcast buying NBC-Universal, Time-Warner buying CNN and other properties of that nature.) I hope, again we can agree on this.

In the recent past there has been disruption of this market by Block Buster and later Netflix and other streaming services. People began to “cut the cable” and such by consuming product in different ways.

The laws and regulations at the time of the disruption actually encouraged this and the companies such as Netflix gained market.

Unfortunately, the laws and regulations have been weakened to the point where this disruption has been/is being subsumed by the traditional businesses. Net neutrality laws are being changed, Upstream and Downstream consolidation is being allowed (ie ATT buying Time-Warner, Comcast buying NBC-Universal) to the same level of control that the studios had in the 1930’s.

Disney created content will only be allowed to be seen via Disney owned outlets (once their contract with Netflix expires next year) … ATT created content will only be shown through ATT outlets and if these upstream and downstream arrangements are allowed to survive, Comcast and others like Sinclair will follow.

This is happening throughout the gig economy. Uber and Lyft disrupted the taxi industry which was good but now they using their power to consolidate both upstream and downstream both within the car transportation industry and without … they both are trying to merge with scooter, bikes and motorcycle ride-sharing companies. Social Media companies are continually gobbling up any potential disrupters - Snapchat, Youtube and others are being consolidated in multiple ways.

I see Amazon expanding upstream and downstream (sometimes both) as well as laterally in its home market as bad. (the upstream and downstream part is bad). Controlling the product from production to consumption is Standard Oil Trust territory - each decade since Reagan we have gotten closer to re-achieving the economy as it once existed during the Gilded Age.

Here is an article highlighting how the growth upstream and downstream is providing Amazon with growing profits faster and is representing more of their total … awesome if you are a shareholder or Jeff Besos.

“Leaving the shop behind” is just like the Hollywood studios leaving movie making behind and getting most of their revenues from movie theaters in the 1930’s.

I’ve touched on all of this and it is discussed in a lot of studies related to the Millennial workplace - from the decline of retirement security and the subsequent reliance on Social Security for this generation to the consolidation of mass media companies impacting entertainment.

Socialistic controls on capitalism, relating to many of the Roosevelt programs of the 1930s and the Great Society protections enacted in the 1960’s and 1970’s and most importantly, the spirit of the muckraking reforms of the turn of the 20th century are needed, now more than ever.

Instead we see protections being stripped and control being removed.

I’ve showed directly how monoposonies contribute directly to lower economic growth. I’ve also talked about the increasing consolidation of fewer and fewer entities in markets such as mass media limit the ability of labor to offer their services elsewhere. Showing that the current businesses have the upper hand over other inputs such as labor is as easy as looking at the most recent Supreme Court decisions and the existence of “Right to Work” laws and the way the gig economy has forced workers into the type of employment that they are in (Free-lance, independent contractor, etc).

The fact that this is an issue for the majority of workers involved in the 21st century American economy is seen today, mostly at the local and state levels. Such laws as are being passed in Seattle for Nannies, New York working on social supports for free lance individuals and even minimum wage laws are attempts to shift some of the economic power away from the few that currently hold it to a wider more diverse population in our society.


#711

This is my exact example of publicly funded research being needlessly gated away for the profit of certain academic publishers, the real “welfare queens”. :unamused:


#712

Oh, don’t even tell me about it. It’s ridiculous. We are paying for the research through public universities and research institutes, and then, in order to publish in a peer-reviewed journals the access to the research is effectively and actively blocked from the general public. Our universities spend a lot of money just to have access to platforms like Jstor and so on.

Ridiculous.


#713

Well the trouble may lie in the very presidential system, according to Linz, as mentioned just recently on this very thread by our own @Havenstone . While the electoral college does make the situation worse other presidential systems have much of the same problems with political gridlock and even our more parliamentary, European systems are still vulnerable to populism or the hacking of the electoral process by malign foreign actors.

As an aside that brings me to a delicious bit of possible irony if a more parliamentary “Second American Republic” were to keep up its idiosyncratic habit (which I totally think they should) of calling its ministers “Secretaries” the PM analogue and most powerful American politician would probably be the “Secretary General”. :joy:

At second glance @Eiwynn or @Cataphrak could either of you dump this post over in the politics thread?


Guns of Infinity(Pt 2)
#714


So about Trump supporters… Remember that the president said he’s gonna spend his own money?

If this is not strong enough…
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Russian_interference_in_the_2016_United_States_elections#Before_Donald_Trump’s_candidacy


#715

“— but will not have to go to prison or surrender her teaching license.”


#717

Yep, got removed… I will say that i did something wrong…

@Jackpot1776 Well, you know he is an idiot…


#718

Anyone else see that Trump totally outed Lebron James? Called him an idiot


#719

I agree with most of his policies, but the man himself is terrible.


#720

I will give you a list of his idiotic way with russians:
1984:
Soviet Ambassador [Yuri Dubinin] invites Trump on all-expenses-paid trip to the [Soviet Union]

October 15, 2007 :
Trump praises Putin in an interview on CNN

August 2013:
Eric Trump tells author James Dodson, “We don’t rely on American banks We have all the funding we need out of Russia”, and says, “We go there all the time”. In May 2017, Eric Trump calls this "an fabricated example of why people distrust the media.

January 2013: Mr.Carter Page, later the political advisor of the trump campaign passed on documents about the American Oil Market to two Russian Secret agents(supposedly insider information which was nonlegal since the great depression)

June 15-18: Mr.Donald Trump attended a dinner with Mr.Aras Agalarov,(A russian oligrach buisness man with inside connection with Putin himself.) Mr.Emin Agalarov(A highly popular russian singer) and Rob Stone. After the dinner, Trump announced that the Ms.Universe 2013 will be held in Moscow, and send an personal invitation to Putin to the event. He even ponders aloud on twitter whether the Russian President will be his “New Best Friend”

June 17 : In an interview on the [Fox News] show [Hannity] , [Sean Hannity]asks Trump if he has talked to Putin. Trump replies, “I don’t want to say. But I got to meet all of the leaders. I got to meet all—I mean, everybody was there. It was a massive event. And let me tell you, it was tremendous.”

Thousands of fake [Twitter] accounts run by the IRA begin to praise Trump over his political opponents by a wide margin, according to a later analysis by The Wall Street Journal .

Flynn gives a paid speech on world affairs in Moscow, at a gala dinner organized by [RT News] Flynn had appeared on RT as an analyst after retiring from the U.S. Army. Putin is the dinner’s guest of honor. Flynn is seated next to Putin; also seated at the head table are [Green Party] presidential candidate [Jill Stein] and members of Putin’s inner circle, including [Sergei Ivanov](, [Dmitry Peskov]( [Victor Vekselberg](, and [Alexey Gromov].[[136]]]For his speech, Flynn nets $33,500 of the $45,000 paid to his [speakers bureau] For all of 2015, Flynn receives more than $65,000 from companies linked to Russia.[[139]]


#721

Just imagine if she had been male. This seems to be the one instance where reverse discrimination really does get you off, both literally and of course figuratively. :unamused:


#723

I’m reminded of how Belle Gunness got away with a string of cold blooded murders of men she had seduced because the judge didn’t believe women were capable of such evil acts.


#724

So apparently Paul Manafort was found guilty of tax fraud, much like “Alfonse Capone.” Going back to Trump’s tweet earlier in the month, it makes sense that Paul Manafort would be a Darling of Ronald Reagan.

After all, he’s a tax cheat who sells out governments to oligarchs for a living.


#725

I can see Ronald Reagan turning in his grave. Just because Manafort once worked for Reagan does not mean that Reagan would have approved of his behavior since, acting as a shill for Putin’s catspaws in Ukraine. Whether or not you liked Reagan’s political positions, Reagan was a man of honor unlike either Trump or Manafort who are both as crooked as they come and willing to do nearly anything to further their own advancement.


#726

Iran-Contra is clearly what a man of honour will do.


#727

First, Reagan saw the Contra’s as freedom fighters fighting for democracy against a marxist dictatorship in a time when Communists were still viewed as a grave threat to the US. Supporting the Nicarguan freedom-fighters was thus the honorable thing to do in his eyes, despite intransigence from a Democratic House of Representatives still haunted by the trauma of the Vietnam War, which he considered short-sighted.

Second, it is unclear to what degree Reagan was personally aware of the source of the funding to the Contra’s. Reagan was increasingly suffering from alzheimers as his presidency progressed, so unlike most politicians, when he testified that he couldn’t remember how the Contra’s were funded, he wasn’t lying. He truly couldn’t remember. As someone who remembers the Reagan presidency well, I can tell you that Reagan clearly wasn’t the same man during his second term that he was during his first. His doctors and his staff pretended that his alzheimers diagnosis didn’t occur until his presidency was over, but I don’t believe that for a minute. I know what I saw long before the cause of his memory degeneration was publicly revealed.


#728

I’m confused now. Did he know what he was doing, and thus knowingly support drug runners and mass murderers against the protests of Congress? Or did he not know what he’s doing, and thus did the same exact thing in a fit of dementia-laden pique?

You can’t have your cake and eat it too.