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"Trusts" vs. Trust. (was: Re: No digital coins)
Marc Horowitz says:
> >> What is wrong with large organizations per se?
> This is way off-topic, but....
> Large organizations have too much power. Take a look at the sorts of
> things Andrew Carnegie was able to do. Like running at a loss in
> order to squash small competitors.
Never happened. Its a myth, plain and simple. "Predatory pricing"
doesn't work -- any real business man can tell you that.
Unfortunately, decades of propaganda tell us all sorts of garbage.
Right now, some folks in Arkansas are suing Walmart for this very
offense -- Wallmart's real crime, of course, is providing too much
choice to the consumer at too low a price for the taste of their
As for Andrew Carnegie's empire, U.S. Steel, which was formed by
merging Carnegie's operations and all the other big steel producing
operations in the U.S., controlled well over 95% of steel production
in the U.S. when it was started -- and within a few years, was down to
under 50%. Oh, and Standard Oil was dropping in market share as fast
as a stone when it was broken up.
Anyone REALLY believe Microsoft is a monopoly, please raise their
hands. I hate MS-DOS, but no one is FORCED to use it -- its just,
unfortunately, a standard.
> That's where the Sherman antitrust legislature comes from.
Nah. The Sherman Antitrust Act and all its friends are based partially
on myths, and partially on the desire of businessmen to get government
ENFORCEMENT of cartels. The ICC, for instance, was created entirely to
enforce cartel pricing on the railroads. Airlines scream loudly for
regulation -- because they don't like the low prices competition has
forced over the last decade. Most monopolies are things created by the
government -- phone companies or utility companies being given
exclusive franchises even though there is no real reason two or more
sets of lines couldn't be run. I can name exactly one significant real
monopoly -- that is, a monopoly that was not formed with the collusion
of the government and that wasn't a trivial case like "only pizza
parlor in the village" -- in U.S. history. The case in question was
Alcoa, and the only reason they maintained an aluminum monopoly as
long as they did was that they did everything they could to lower
aluminum prices and maintained minimal profits -- had they tried
jacking up profits, other companies would have appeared instantly.
> Before you call me a government-lover, I have to say that I'm not
> sure which I find more abhorrent: "capitalist" companies engaging in
> unfair business practices, or government regulation. If someone
> wants to explain how we can get away without both (in personal email
> :-) I'd love to hear it.
Monopolies, cartels, etc, are all a myth. The longest any of J.P.
Morgan's railroad cartels lasted was a matter of months (until he got
the Interstate Commerce Commission created to get government to
enforce his cartels for him -- but thats another story). Cartesls and
monopolies are naturally unstable entities. OPEC was able to control
prices for only a couple of years before things crashed -- oil now is
near the same price it was in 1973 measured in real dollars (and OPEC
has NO regulation of its activities at all.)