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Old 08-26-2011, 09:22 PM   #113
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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?
Yep, you got a good point there. The government should decide what the people want and need and then subsidize, or even own and run the companies that make the product. You wouldn't have all those problems with robber barrons. Why do we need 10 or 20 types of bread in the market. One or two kinds would be enough. Look at the all the shoe styles! All you really need is one style for work and one style for walking to the train or bus station to get to you government job. A nice black government designed pair. You really don't need a car if the government builds and runs the transportation system. Just think how efficeint it would be! The government run farms, oil companies, hospitals, doctors and auto companies would make all the decisions on what the people need. How much corn and wheat to plant. How much gas to refine. They would run the health care system so well that it would be free to all the people. Just get in line!
What great ideas. I wonder if anybody has ever thought of this before!!!!!
What do you say we give it a try. Maybe it will work. NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Greg
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:58 PM   #114
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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.
There was nothing "free market" in GLB or Sarbanes-Oxley. They were both about government control.

The financial meltdown had its roots in the Community Re-investment Act, enacted in 1977 with zealous enforcement started in 1995. Freddie Mac and Fannie May created high risk sub-prime loans which were never labeled as such. The banks had to do something with them so they packed and sold them to investors. Moody's, S&P piled on by giving them completely bogus ratings. It was a game at hot potato, where the organization the ended up with bad derivative was the loser since they were of questionable value at best and worthless at worst. There was nothing free market about any of this.

The government continues its incestuous relationship with the large banks, brokerage houses and financial firms. It is a great example of what happens under government control. Stay tuned....GM is on the same path.
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:24 PM   #115
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If the GLB allowed financial institutions to combine, wasn't there another, older law, passed after the depression that prevented banks from acting as stock brokers? Wasn't that government asserting control over a free market? The purpose of GLB was to roll back the rules because the financial institutions were now able to 'self regulate'. That worked well didn't it? I disagree the GLB wasn't about free market.

Sarbanes Oxley was about government control, but more important, I believe it could have gotten another name, 'The financial auditor full employment act'. Our company now has two sets of auditors. One for financial and one for 'controls'. We also have a couple of full time employees whose only job is SOX compliance. While some good has come out of it in our company, the cost is horrific.

I don't think this is a black and white issue. I don't think total government regulation is a solution to anything, but I also don't think no regulation is the answer. It's a question of degree.

An example: AT&T wants to buy T-Mobile. Their claim is that it will allow them to provide better service. They also claim that it will result in more jobs. The reality is that it will eliminate one of the four national mobile networks. If AT&T was interested in better service and more employees, why would they need to eliminate a competitor to do it? If there was no regulation, this wouldn't be a problem.

If the government determines that this merger will reduce competition, they can veto it. Is that the government being overly intrusive or is it acting as advocate of the people? Does this type of regulation promote a freer economy? If the government says no, who benefits? If the government says yes, who benefits?
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Old 08-27-2011, 08:36 AM   #116
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There was nothing "free market" in GLB or Sarbanes-Oxley. They were both about government control.
Ok, back to the basics . . .

What should the government regulate in a free market economy?
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Old 08-27-2011, 09:30 AM   #117
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Yep, you got a good point there. The government should decide what the people want and need and then subsidize, or even own and run the companies that make the product. You wouldn't have all those problems with robber barrons. Why do we need 10 or 20 types of bread in the market. One or two kinds would be enough. Look at the all the shoe styles! All you really need is one style for work and one style for walking to the train or bus station to get to you government job. A nice black government designed pair. You really don't need a car if the government builds and runs the transportation system. Just think how efficeint it would be! The government run farms, oil companies, hospitals, doctors and auto companies would make all the decisions on what the people need. How much corn and wheat to plant. How much gas to refine. They would run the health care system so well that it would be free to all the people. Just get in line!
What great ideas. I wonder if anybody has ever thought of this before!!!!!
What do you say we give it a try. Maybe it will work. Greg
You should run for office; you sound like a great polition
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Old 08-27-2011, 02:09 PM   #118
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Ok, back to the basics . . .

What should the government regulate in a free market economy?
We've already strayed further off the OP's comments that we should have.

Why not open a separate thread and ask your question?
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Old 08-27-2011, 05:37 PM   #119
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I read somewhere that the cost to replace the batteries was around $10,000. The battery for my car cost $89. There is no incentive for better batteries when the gov. subsidizes the car for $7,500.
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Old 08-27-2011, 06:43 PM   #120
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I read somewhere that the cost to replace the batteries was around $10,000. The battery for my car cost $89. There is no incentive for better batteries when the gov. subsidizes the car for $7,500.
Not true... The govt tax credit incentive is an attempt to level the field between old technology and the new technology. New technology is always more expensive than the old ways of doing things. The auto manufacturers would love to get the cost of the batteries lower. That way they could get the cost a lot closer to the old gas engine vehicles or even make it even less expensive. Another reason the govt is putting an incentive to get an electric vehicle is to reduce the demand for gasoline. Some 60% of oil is imported and is lost money to this country. They could drill an oil well every square mile in this country and they would never meet the increasing demand here and overseas.
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Old 08-27-2011, 07:40 PM   #121
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They could drill an oil well every square mile in this country and they would never meet the increasing demand here and overseas.
Whoever told you this was very wrong. We have huge quantities of oil including shale oil that could make us energy independent and an exporter. The natural gas reserves are even much bigger. Electricity for the electric cars will mainly be coming from coal anyway. Our oil dependance is political in nature and will start to be corrected with change in political views, ANWR is located on 70 miles from existing pipeline and could be supping 1.6 million bbls a day within 3 years, but is "off limits" as is almost all of our oil.
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Old 08-27-2011, 09:42 PM   #122
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We have huge quantities of oil including shale oil that could make us energy independent and an exporter.
You're probably talking about the Green River Formation out West which may have hold over 1.5 trillion barrels of oil:
http://geology.com/usgs/oil-shale/im...-shale-map.gif.

Ignoring any other environmental impacts, extracting oil from oil shale requires significant amounts of water (1 - 3 barrels of water per barrel of oil). See http://fossil.energy.gov/programs/re...quirements.pdf

Water rights are contentious and problematic in Western states and would have to be addressed by any would-be shale developer.
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Old 08-28-2011, 07:45 AM   #123
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Unfortunately the water ratio you mentioned is with current technology. New technology testing is now banned under governmental mandate, so we don't know what the actual is. Water can also be recycled and used again and again. It is unfortunte that this huge new potential source of domestic energy that could stop imports and fix our economy is off limits because of the fear of global warming. We were just in NW ND and they were booming on the crumbs they are allowed. The entire West had record snowpacks and scoff at global warming.
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Old 08-29-2011, 01:44 PM   #124
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Maybe it will work. NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hmm, many of you have a very short memory. In 1965 The Volvo 544 was imported to the US with 3 point seat belts. Highway and safety mandated their removal. 5 years later Hiway and safety reversed their decision and mandated 3 point belts on all cars imported or manufactured in US along with modest pollution controls to be implemented in early 72. All auto manufactures balked Screaming governmental interferance and that safety and pollution was the manufactuers domain. They further said it would cost so much $ in development costs that the cost of the average car would triple.

Sorry, but without those mandates our air would be even more dirty then it is now and 1 in 4 adults involved in a head on would have perished in preventable deaths. Auto companies do things for profit not your well being. Those belts, air bags, EGR valves, and catalitic converters cost 6000$ ??? not hardly. Car companies don't care at all if you live or die, they just want your $. Without some governmental mandates things like clean air and preventable deaths are not even on their radar.
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Old 08-29-2011, 03:35 PM   #125
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There is something called the law of diminishing returns. The Feds have just mandated a 23% increase in over the road trucker mileage. As fuel in the major expense, they have already done everything they can think of already to increase fuel mileage. Making a mandate doesn't make it happen.
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Old 08-29-2011, 03:49 PM   #126
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There is something called the law of diminishing returns. The Feds have just mandated a 23% increase in over the road trucker mileage. As fuel in the major expense, they have already done everything they can think of already to increase fuel mileage. Making a mandate doesn't make it happen.
If you compare the last half century of safety and fuel efficency improvements and mandates, it's obvious that a much more valid statement would be: Until you mandate it, it won't happen!!!
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