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Old 08-25-2011, 01:26 PM   #99
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:19 PM   #100
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The Edsel was just another gasoline-powered vehicle. Volt is entirely new technology. Apples and oranges.
A product is a product. It sells for a profit or it sells for a loss. If it sells for a loss long enough, it takes its company with it.

The history in Detroit was that that the car makers told us what to buy for a very long time. Then competition with the Japanese came. Some of the Japanese cars weren't very good but they stood behind their mistakes (at least in the beginning) and the cars got better and better. Detroit was on the wrong side of several trends and suddenly the Japanese were selling more cars. Now, Korean cars have done even better. The competition in the marketplace drove better quality and more features. Think back to the Detroit cars of the 60s and 70s and now quickly they fell apart. They would not have stayed in business at all if they hadn't responded the market place trends. They didn't have to do that when they were the only game in town.

Competition is starting in electric cars. There are several choices. The more competition, the better because, in the end, the consumer will be able to choose the type of electric car that best meets their needs. Electric cars may well be the new hulahoop.

Subsidizing the Volt with tax dollars does nothing to help the competitive environment. Several of the solar product makers had that kind of help and are now out of business. Their products did not meet the needs of the marketplace. It will not work to try to go back to Detroit telling us what kind of car to buy.

There is a camping parallel. Some of CG owners worked together to try to get local governments pass ordinances to ban parking overnight at Wal-Mart. It hasn't worked out well for them. The RVers who stay overnight at Wal-Mart, for the most part, were not going to go to the CG under those circumstances anyway. The result was that a lot of us now won't stay in one of the CGs that belonged to the organization that was responsible. Trying to control the consumer is not the way to go. That goes for CGs and electric cars.
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:49 PM   #101
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Trying to control the consumer is not the way to go. That goes for CGs and electric cars.
One of the challenges is that both sides try to game the government in their favor. Industry tries to manage competition with laws and consumer groups try to limit industry with laws.

Pure free market doesn't really work. So what does?
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:07 AM   #102
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One of the challenges is that both sides try to game the government in their favor. Industry tries to manage competition with laws and consumer groups try to limit industry with laws.

Pure free market doesn't really work. So what does?
I believe that the pure free market DOES work but we haven't had it over a 100 years in many of our industries. Apple is a great example of a company that has redefined maarketplaces with superior products without a lot of government intervention.

The commerce clause says "regulate", not dominate, stifle or take over.
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:19 AM   #103
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I believe that the pure free market DOES work but we haven't had it over a 100 years in many of our industries. Apple is a great example of a company that has redefined maarketplaces with superior products without a lot of government intervention.

The commerce clause says "regulate", not dominate, stifle or take over.
Pure free market brought us Standard Oil and the rest of the robber barons. I am not sure the 'experts' would agree with you. Do you have examples of where pure free market is working?
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:28 AM   #104
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Somehow I just can't see these actually being a viable alternative during a -20* Chicago winter. As Seajay said, maybe in warmer climes, but around here, it ain't gonna work.
Not going to work during the winter (up to 6 months long up here) in northern Minnesota - 2' snow storms (lake effect storms) with -25F temps.
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:29 AM   #105
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We are starting to see right now what happens when you over regulate the free market.
Stagflation. Our version of the free market has made us the most successful company in the history of the world. The Volt will live with it's decision with or without billions of dollars of government money thrown at it. The consumers will decide it's success, not the government no matter how hard they try.
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Old 08-26-2011, 09:45 AM   #106
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Do you have examples of where pure free market is working?
Easy one -- the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, the act that allowed commercial banks, investment banks, securities firms, and insurance companies to combine. A great victory for the banking industry.

Oh, wait, that also caused the 2007 financial meltdown which nearly brought down the planet's entire economic system . . . and we're still feeling it. Bad example.
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Old 08-26-2011, 09:47 AM   #107
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Our version of the free market has made us the most successful company in the history of the world.
Interesting slip up.
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:13 AM   #108
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Pure free market brought us Standard Oil and the rest of the robber barons. I am not sure the 'experts' would agree with you. Do you have examples of where pure free market is working?

The robber barons were anything but free market. History Now. The Historians Perspective

I would certainly agree that monopoly is a problem but I believe that many monopolies are government induced or government sponsored. A free market, by definition, has competition. When that competition is eliminated via artificial means, it is no longer a free market. Sometimes competition is stifled via laws but it can also be stifled via unlawful acts - which are never handled via the established legal mechanisms.

If not sustained via artificial mechanisms, monopolies are the most attacked entity in a free market. They are obviously successful and enterprising folks try to do things to participate in that success. While the process has some up and down swings in it, it is still the best one around. Using the government to deal with monopolies is one of the least productive means.

There is no perfect system. Free markets are subject to huge up and down swings. Trying to flatten out those swings produces modern day Europe.
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:19 PM   #109
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The robber barons were anything but free market. History Now. The Historians Perspective
Mmmmm . . . you link to the Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History. An organization founded by Lewis E. Lehrman and Richard Gilder, two wealthy businessmen and conservative Republicans. In 1982, Lehrman was the Republican candidate for the governor of New York.

Here's a NY Times article about them. Check out page 5 . . . about staff members afraid to talk:
Shift at Historical Society Raises Concerns - New York Times

So what point of view would an organization founded by these two men promulgate? Consumer? Green? Business?
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:20 PM   #110
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Free markets are subject to huge up and down swings. Trying to flatten out those swings produces modern day Europe.
What's the matter with Europe?
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:25 PM   #111
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What "Free Market" advocates fail to understand is that a free market would be inherently unstable, because it would be positive feedback system. Any engineer can tell you that a positive feedback system is unstable, and oscillates ("boom and bust" in the case of an ecomomy).

The ecomomy consists of investors and workers, both of which have similar behaviour and effects. If the ecomomy goes up, both have more wealth to invest or spend in the ecomomy (feedback) and are more inclined to do so, which further pushs the ecomomy up. That's positive feedback. Similarily, if the ecomomy declines, both have less wealth to feed back into the ecomomy, and are less inclined to as well, which further pushes the ecomomy down. Again, positive feedback.

To get a stable system, negative feedback needs to be added (cruise control in your car would be a good example of a negative feedback system). This can be (and to an insufficient degree, is) accomplished by government. Currently we get some negative feedback from (1) the Federal Reserve (they raise and lower interest rates to control inflation), (2) stimulus spending by congress in a recession (invarably too little, too late) and (3) unemployment compensation (the most effictive since it's automatic and quick).

I'd like to see us add more (and better) negative feedback by (1) indexing spending on construction and repair of infrastructure to monthly GDP growth (Ike did this in the initial Interstate Highway construction project), and (2) index tax rates on a month by month basis to GDP growth (an automatic tax cut when ecomomy slows and automatic tax increase when growth increases).
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:18 PM   #112
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Obviously I need a spellchecker. Can't explain how I so consistently missed the "n" key ("ecomony" instead of "economy") in my previous post but it wasn't intentional.
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