Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cartel-Buster Institute for Justice Goes Up Against the Portland Taxi Cartel with A Legal Challenge


Portland, Ore. -- "Can the government protect you from cheap fares and innovative service merely to shield politically connected businesses from competition? 

That is the question the Institute for Justice and its clients want answered in a federal lawsuit filed today in Portland, Ore, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon. Their lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of Portland's limousine and sedan regulations, which punish small limo and sedan companies that offer discounted rides through online deal sites like Groupon.com. 

In 2009, the city passed a law requiring a $50 minimum fare for limousine and sedan rides to or from Portland International Airport. The law imposes a city-wide minimum fare that requires limos and sedans to charge at least 35 percent more than what taxis would charge for the same route and imposes a minimum wait time of at least one hour before customers can be picked up. 

"These laws amount to nothing more than naked economic protectionism; they are designed to protect the profits of Portland's taxicab companies, and now they are being enforced at everyone else's expense," said Institute for Justice Attorney Wesley Hottot, which represents the plaintiffs. "Portland's minimum-fare law and minimum wait time have nothing to do with protecting the riding public. They have everything to do with protecting the city's taxicab companies from competition and driving up prices for consumers." 

Portland's Revenue Bureau recently targeted two limo and sedan companies—Towncar.com and Fiesta Limousine, both of which joined IJ to file suit against the city—for offering promotional fares on the daily deal website Groupon.com. When the companies offered their customers $32 one-way trips to the airport, city enforcers immediately threatened them with a combined $895,000 in fines and suspension of their operating permits. The companies canceled the promotions and refunded their customers."

Watch video above for an overview of the case.  

MP: Kudos to the Institute for Justice for its ongoing "cartel busting" efforts on behalf of small business owners in America. There is probably no other organization anywhere in the entire world that is doing greater work defending small businesses and entrepreneurs against economic protectionism, empowering individuals to earn an honest living, and promoting economic and social justice.   

109 Comments:

At 4/26/2012 11:28 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

The justification of the law is priceless:

"But Red Diamond, the taxi representative to Portland's City Council, defends the law, saying taxis provide an essential community service that limousines do not. "What's the point of having them out there providing the same service at the same cost if they're ultimately not providing greater services to the community?" he said. "It undermines our abilities to provide broader service to the community, and the reason it's regulated is because our community depends on these services. The rules are there for very basic, common sense, practical reasons.""

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/26/portland-livery-law-taxi-cab_n_1316151.html

That is just a beautiful quote. I mean, Jon Stewart couldn't make this stuff up.

 
At 4/26/2012 11:32 AM, Blogger Benjamin said...

And when is the Institute for Justice apply the same skills to undermine an even larger, and state-mandated cartel: The state licensing of lawyers.

When the Constitution was written, lawyers were not licensed.

 
At 4/26/2012 11:41 AM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

Everything governments do remind me of the fact that true monopolies are created only by the goverment.

 
At 4/26/2012 12:05 PM, Blogger Krishnan said...

This (and such stories) remind me of the Anti Dog-Eat-Dog rule/legislation and the "Moratorium on Brains" mentioned in Atlas Shrugged

Once a business is established and making money, they do everything they can to stop others from trying such ideas - Government should be pro-market and not pro-business (as many have stated so clearly)

It is indeed reprehensible what GOVERNMENT is doing to protect a few against the economic interests of the many

 
At 4/26/2012 12:23 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

isn't this a case of business itself taking over government to protect it's interests against competitors?

we keep saying "it's the govt" but isn't it "business" taking over govt?

and the solution is?

to kick business out of govt?

or to not have govt able to make such decisions?

Much of govt "regulation" is inspired not by those nasty liberals or statists but good old fashioned business types trying to use govt to wall off their competitors.

eh?

 
At 4/26/2012 12:28 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

"The law imposes a city-wide minimum fare that requires limos and sedans to charge at least 35 percent more than what taxis would charge for the same route and imposes a minimum wait time of at least one hour before customers can be picked up."

That probably gives downtown Portland the coveted limo-free zone moniker. :>)

 
At 4/26/2012 12:33 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

this is tangentially related. It has to do with how many pawnshops can operate in Virginia. Localities apparently have significant authority over the kinds and types of businesses.

The localities in Va can limit the number of pawnshops - by Va code:

"
§ 54.1-4002. Local limitations as to number of pawnshops.

A. In addition to all limitations and restrictions and notwithstanding any other relevant provisions of this chapter, the governing body of any county, city or town may reasonably limit by resolution or ordinance the number of pawnshops that may be operated at any one time within its territorial limits."

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+54.1-4002

 
At 4/26/2012 12:36 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Much of govt "regulation" is inspired not by those nasty liberals or statists but good old fashioned business types trying to use govt to wall off their competitors.

Right. That's why a major tenant of free-market capitalism is to provide the state with as little power as possible.

Those of us who believe this (call us libertarians or whatever you like) feel that a government with too much power will find itself imposing the will of the few on the many. So, the idea is to prevent the government from obtaining much power in the first place.

I am about to be overly simplistic, but please bear with me.

"Statists" (liberals, Democrats, Socialists, and all the other terms that are incorrectly used interchangeably) argue that because business has so much influence in government, that business must be controlled.

"Libertarians" (Republicans, capitalists, right-wingers, and all the other terms that are incorrectly used interchangeably) argue that because government is given so much power that businesses become interested, and that government must be controlled.

Let me rephrase it using this example:

The Libertarian Argument: The government has the power to regulate the taxi companies and control them. They do not want people free from these regulations to steal their business. So, the taxi companies lobby for protection from the government. The government's ability to regulate should be reduced/eliminated from this market.

The Statist Argument: The government has the ability to regulate the taxi market. The taxi companies don't want other businesses stealing their clients. They use their political clout to influence politics. Government must be strengthened to reduce/eliminate the taxi influence."

Both sides see the same problem: taxi's influence of the government. The solution differs.

 
At 4/26/2012 12:40 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

The conclusion I forgot to type:

Libertarians will argue "if we didn't give the state the power in the first place, we wouldn't have these problems." This the ideological issues the libertarians have with the statists.

Statists will argue "if we strengthened government regulations in the first place, we wouldn't be having thee issues." Thus the ideological issues the statists have with libertarians.

 
At 4/26/2012 12:41 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

so long as government is able to make such decisions, business will always court and co-opt it.

the only way to take such influence out of government is to take influence away from government.

 
At 4/26/2012 12:44 PM, Blogger Moe said...

LarryG

AMEN

 
At 4/26/2012 12:48 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

Larry: Why will the business take over govt if the govt is too small to affect commerce? Ergo, the solution is to make govt small.

 
At 4/26/2012 12:48 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

in the vein alluded to by Morg and Jon - the forefathers had some of that in mind because some states are Dillon-rule states and some are Home-Rule.

Dillon-Rule states (in general) limit localities to ONLY what they are explicitly given the power to do whereas (in general) Home Rule ( I think Portland is) allows localities to do whatever is not specifically prohibited by the state.

Many of the most outrageous and egregious anti-competitive laws and regs seem to emanate from localities but states also have their problems.

In Va, a Dillon-Rule state, the state itself requires a Certificate of Need for medical facilities.

and the current owners of such facilities routinely appear at the hearings in opposition to new facilities.

 
At 4/26/2012 12:54 PM, Blogger Moe said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4/26/2012 12:54 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Many of the most outrageous and egregious anti-competitive laws and regs seem to emanate from localities but states also have their problems.

I'll agree with you there. There are few Federal regulations compared to state regs.

For example, in New Hampshire it is illegal to cut hair without a license.

In Massachusetts, you have to prove there is a demand for your business, and that demand cannot be satisfied by any other business in the town, before you'll be granted a liquor licence.

 
At 4/26/2012 12:55 PM, Blogger Moe said...

Absolutely; businesses have always courted and co-opted it, but usually behind closed doors. In 2010 that door was blown out and they laid down a red carpet

 
At 4/26/2012 12:58 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

somewhat ironically - the govts most easily changed by voters is - local govts.

but anti-competitive practices seem to be not on the radar screen of most local voters.

you'd think the folks in Portland would themselves find their govt's actions unacceptable and toss them.

 
At 4/26/2012 1:04 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

you'd think the folks in Portland would themselves find their govt's actions unacceptable and toss them.

That is assuming that:
1) This law is known
2) If it is known, voters care

Many people don't care about anti-competitive practices. Often times, they don't see it.

 
At 4/26/2012 1:13 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Those of us who believe this (call us libertarians or whatever you like) feel that a government with too much power will find itself imposing the will of the few on the many. So, the idea is to prevent the government from obtaining much power in the first place.

Right. But, I've come to the conclusion that this is basically impossible.

Politicians have incentive to consolidate power in order to benefit from monetizing it. The purchase of special favours by industry is simply the monetization of political power. Politicians have incentive to consolidate power and industry has incentive to purchase it. I don't see that changing.

Unfortunately, as the late great Milton Friedman so rightly pointed out, everyone is all for free markets, but their industry is a special case and requires subsidy. Friedman also pointed out that when government is powerful, industry becomes more powerful as well.

IJ fights the good fight. I support them (including donating to them), but I realize they're winning small battles in a war against the encroachment of government that we are losing.

 
At 4/26/2012 1:13 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

true - but they feel it when they need a cab, eh?

there's a real downside to this in terms of transit and mobility.

transit pretty much sucks ... in no small part because it only covers a very small proportion of A to B destinations.

transit is very expensive. It is by and large subsidized from gas taxes and local taxes, 3 cents of the Federal gas tax.

If someone could get on a phone app and que up for the nearest ride for a competitive price, it would be a job creator as well as enhance personal mobility for many.

it could be a win-win.

so the law actually does harm the cause of those who would benefit from a more efficient system.

but as you say - unless the public "sees" the issue - and forces changes.. nothing much happens.

 
At 4/26/2012 1:34 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

true - but they feel it when they need a cab, eh?

Maybe, but I don't think the average person uses a cab that often. I can count the number of times I've been in a cab on one hand. I drive everywhere. But that's just me.

but as you say - unless the public "sees" the issue - and forces changes.. nothing much happens.

Right-o. One thing I've discovered is Americans are very selfish (I have only been out of the country once, so I don't know how this attitude is throughout the world). If it isn't staring in our face and kicking us in the gut, quite frankly, we don't give a damn.

Let's take something as mainstream as climate change. We all know about it (agree, disagree, doesn't matter. It's in our conscience). But how much "popular" support does it really have? You could a few talking heads and scientists, but that's really about it. Folks will adjust their lives a little, but not much. Maybe recycle a bit more. Maybe turn down the heat. But that's about it. If we are to believe the experts, the amount of emissions we have to reduce are huge. But few are willing to make the cuts necessary. Why? Quite frankly, we don't see the results of climate change so it doesn't matter. It might as well not exist.

PS, that example wasn't meant to draw us into a climate change debate. That'll be for another time and place. I am just making a point and I'd like to ask everyone here to not get hung up on the example, but the idea behind it.

 
At 4/26/2012 2:00 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"isn't this a case of business itself taking over government to protect it's interests against competitors?"

Correct.

"we keep saying "it's the govt" but isn't it "business" taking over govt?"

Yes it is.

"and the solution is?

to kick business out of govt?
"

Not sure how you would go about that one.

"or to not have govt able to make such decisions?"

Now, THAT'S the ticket.

"Much of govt "regulation" is inspired not by those nasty liberals or statists but good old fashioned business types trying to use govt to wall off their competitors."

Absolutely. And if there were no influence to be bought, they couldn't cause mischief.

 
At 4/26/2012 2:01 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

If it isn't staring in our face and kicking us in the gut, quite frankly, we don't give a damn.

JM, I think you're going to find that's a pretty common human trait. There aren't enough hours in the day to be deeply concerned about everything that matters.

 
At 4/26/2012 2:03 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon M: "The justification of the law is priceless:"

That is indeed a gem, thanks.

"It undermines our ability..."

As if Red Diamond is actually providing services to the community.

 
At 4/26/2012 2:12 PM, Blogger Moe said...

"To kick business out of govt?"

"Not sure how you would go about that one."


Some thoughts; you could reverse Citizens United, bulldoze K street, close the revolving door between Washington and lobbyville...

 
At 4/26/2012 2:14 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

We can't easily change national or even state govt but it sure is disheartening when we essentially give up on changing local govt.

I mean.. if we can't do that....

We just had a big election and out went half of our board.... and business regulations have been stoutly called into question.

a hated tax on businesses was eliminated for small businesses.

The tax rate was reduced.

a tax on businesses was eliminated for small businesses....

although the board was (as I related earlier) shocked to hear that they had the power to limit how many Pawn Shop there could be.

The Sheriff made no bones about it. He said that the more pawn shops you have - the more theft occurs.

hmmmmm.... there MUST be some kind of parable there for politicos and govt, eh?

 
At 4/26/2012 2:21 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Some thoughts; you could reverse Citizens United, bulldoze K street, close the revolving door between Washington and lobbyville...

There's no effective way to stop lobbying for power. So long as power is concentrated, there is incentive to monetize it and so long as it can be monetized, it will be.

Besides, in a representative republic you cannot stop any entity from lobbying in its own interest. Lobbying, whether by you or by a company, is the right of everyone and it's the way your representatives know what you want in order to (theoretically) better work in the interest of the rep's constituents.

You have to limit what can be lobbied for, but I don't see how that will be accomplished either.

 
At 4/26/2012 2:25 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"you'd think the folks in Portland would themselves find their govt's actions unacceptable and toss them."

What Jon M. said - and in addition, the minimum fare rule between downtown and the airport may affect mostly people who don't live in Portland, but are traveling, and who Portlanders are more than happy to fleece.

 
At 4/26/2012 2:32 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

There's no effective way to stop lobbying for power. So long as power is concentrated, there is incentive to monetize it and so long as it can be monetized, it will be.

Right. I mean, if you ban lobbying for business, you'd have to ban the AARP, NRA, AOPA, NAW, VFW, The American League of Lobbyists (no joke, they're a real thing), American Wind Energy Institute, AMA, Renewable Fuels Association, MOAA, AAPD, NAACP, etc etc etc. You'd also have to ban writing letters to representatives, town meetings, fundraisers, voting, rallies, protests, and any other way people communicate with their elected officials.

 
At 4/26/2012 2:41 PM, Blogger Moe said...

Granted, lobbying has always existed in the U.S. This is not the lobbying I refer to.

I refer to the last few decades which has been marked by an exponential increase in lobbying activity and expenditures. it is a business now.

I'm not suggesting killing the vine - prune it.

 
At 4/26/2012 2:45 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I refer to the last few decades which has been marked by an exponential increase in lobbying activity and expenditures. it is a business now.

Coincidence it has correlated with the exponential increase in government size and power?

I'm not suggesting killing the vine - prune it.

Ah, the ol' "I believe in free speech as long as you say what I like" approach.

 
At 4/26/2012 2:45 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Moe, you're witnessing the inevitable result of a more powerful government.

You're suggesting pruning the wrong vine.

 
At 4/26/2012 2:45 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: "pruning and monetizing"

well..there is monetizing and there is MONETIZING.

WalMart knows the difference between monetizing in the US and monetizing in Mexico.

eh?

 
At 4/26/2012 2:51 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"The Sheriff made no bones about it. He said that the more pawn shops you have - the more theft occurs."

Let me go out on a limb here, and guess that the Sheriff is an elected official.

If so, that statement should be run through the "political speech" filter to help determine how much actual fact it contains.

First of all, the Sheriff is impugning pawnshop owners by suggesting that they routinely deal in stolen goods, or worse yet, are doing the stealing themselves to keep their shelves stocked.

Then, if taken to either logical extreme, one could conclude at one end, that if there were no pawn shops, no theft would occur.

On the other end, one could conclude that there is unlimited demand for stolen goods, and the only limiting factor is the number of pawn shops available as outlets.

If that guy was running for office, you could probably ignore everything he said without missing anything important.

 
At 4/26/2012 2:56 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Thanks for reminding me, Ron.

That was a good story, Larry, and it is good to see citizens taking interest in their town politics.

If I may ask, is your town big or small? I only ask to get a sense. In my life, I grew up in a small town (population of about 10,000), went to college in a big town (population of about 70,000) and now live in a very small city (population about 40,000). I find more political activity occurred in my small home town than in my past two residences. In fact, at one point we completely disbanded our entire town's government until the state said we had to have something other than rule by town meeting.

I wonder if the size of the voting pool makes a difference to what people think and do, politically. When you live in say, Portland, ORE vs. Wareham Massachusetts, you may say "my vote doesn't matter here." Just a thought

 
At 4/26/2012 3:01 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: the sheriff

is indeed elected.

but the state itself has passed a law that allows the locality to limit the number of pawnshops and the Commonwealth Attorney (also elected)also backed up the Sheriff.

The Sheriff said a high percentage of stolen property is recovered from the pawn shop who have to report - get this - every item they buy.

 
At 4/26/2012 3:04 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: town size

about 120K... commuter exurb of DC.

the last election voted in small govt fiscal conservatives and they are axing taxes and regs on businesses.

We don't have many cabs, even less limos but a crap-load of commuter vans and buses.

 
At 4/26/2012 3:16 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Moe: "Some thoughts; you could reverse Citizens United, bulldoze K street, close the revolving door between Washington and lobbyville..."

I haven't been in DC for many years, but every time I was there in the distant past, that bulldoze idea was being implemented. I think it had something to do with the subway system, but I was thankful to not be a driver on those occasions.

Citizens United was a good decision, as it reversed a clearly unconstitutional restriction on free speech.

If we have a right of free speech and a right to assemble, why shouldn't we have a right to free speech when we are assembled?

An organization is no more than an assembly of individuals with a common interest.

The revolving door problem can also be addressed by less government, not more.

You can't limit the right to lobby one's elected representatives, nor can you limit who a former representative can work for when they leave office, so the only solution seems to be to limit the power representatives or regulators have while in office, so they are less attractive to potential buyers.

 
At 4/26/2012 3:20 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon M: "Right. I mean, if you ban lobbying for business, you'd have to ban the AARP, NRA, AOPA, NAW, VFW, The American League of Lobbyists (no joke, they're a real thing), American Wind Energy Institute, AMA, Renewable Fuels Association, MOAA, AAPD, NAACP, etc etc etc. You'd also have to ban writing letters to representatives, town meetings, fundraisers, voting, rallies, protests, and any other way people communicate with their elected officials."

Right. The upside might be that without having any idea what anyone wanted them to do, perhaps representatives would do nothing at all.

I know, I'm dreaming.

 
At 4/26/2012 3:28 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon M: "Coincidence it has correlated with the exponential increase in government size and power?"

Although I'm a strong defender of correlation /= causation, if there's one exception, that's got to be it.

 
At 4/26/2012 3:32 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Although I'm a strong defender of correlation /= causation, if there's one exception, that's got to be it.

Well, this isn't really an exception to that rule. The correlation does not prove that the rise in lobbying is due to the rise in government. However, it is the result that theory would predict.

 
At 4/26/2012 3:32 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I find more political activity occurred in my small home town than in my past two residences. In fact, at one point we completely disbanded our entire town's government until the state said we had to have something other than rule by town meeting."

So you are now working to disband the State, I hope. :)

 
At 4/26/2012 3:35 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

So you are now working to disband the State, I hope. :)

I can neither confirm nor deny that statement.

 
At 4/26/2012 3:46 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I can neither confirm nor deny that statement."

I know, if you tell me you will then have to kill me.

If it IS true, and later becomes NOT TRUE, you can say, as Nixon's press secretary Ron Ziegler once did, "This is the operative statement, the others are inoperative."

 
At 4/26/2012 3:48 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I know, if you tell me you will then have to kill me.

I wouldn't have to kill you. But I might.

 
At 4/26/2012 4:00 PM, Blogger Moe said...

Citizens United was a good decision, as it reversed a clearly unconstitutional restriction on free speech.

Yes, I remember those dark days when corporations were completely shut out of our political system. They were so small and inconsequential. No earnings, no profits, no jobs for the rest of us. Our car companies, steel companies, banks and pharmaceutical companies – they were the worst in the world. Hopefully, we won’t have to be embarrassed much longer.

 
At 4/26/2012 4:02 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Yes, I remember those dark days when corporations were completely shut out of our political system. They were so small and inconsequential. No earnings, no profits, no jobs for the rest of us. Our car companies, steel companies, banks and pharmaceutical companies – they were the worst in the world. Hopefully, we won’t have to be embarrassed much longer.

Don't forget that Citizen's United also allows for associations, such as NAACP, AARP, and all of those to donate limitless money as well.

 
At 4/26/2012 4:08 PM, Blogger Moe said...

Jon: What exactly is your point? Did they not exist before Citizens United?

Innovation, execution and hard work have been replaced with lobbying, crony capitalism and bailouts of failure — all of this paid for by we the taxpayers. Sorry this is so hard for some to grasp.

 
At 4/26/2012 4:19 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Jon: What exactly is your point? Did they not exist before Citizens United?

Forgive me for being unclear.

My point is this: many of the lobbying organizations we celebrate for one accomplishment or another (Civil Rights for the NAACP or medicare for the AARP) are subject to many of the same laws and regulations that businesses are. The reason for this is they are a business as you did so rightly point out. Whereas prior to Citizen's United, people in groups could only do so much before protesting was required: the amount of exposure to legislatures, both directly and indirectly through fundraising, was severely limited. Now, these lobbying organizations can have more access to the politicians to promote their causes, whether it be civil rights, awareness of problems facing the elderly, veteran's benefits, student benefits, etc.

What Citizen's United said was "A group of people have the same expectation of freedom of speech as a single person". If anything, we have increased the common man's ability, though PACs, lobbying organizations, or his own wallet, to access his elected representatives.

It's easy to look at one side of Citizen's United and say "these businesses have too much power and they are doing things I don't like, so let's limit their speech!" But to do that, you'd also have to cut out the tongues of people saying things you like.

Part of having the freedom of speech is allowing everyone that right and defending it always, not just when it is things we like to hear.

After all, if we don't defend freedom for everyone, then we don't like freedom; we just like the idea of it.

I think you have a right to be concerned about the influence business has in government. I do too. I am happy to see IJ attacking that power. But to take away freedom is not a way to ensure it. You need to take away the ability of one to harm another's freedom and the only way to do that is to reduce the arbitrary power (and make no mistake, it is arbitrary) the government has over our lives.

 
At 4/26/2012 4:38 PM, Blogger Moe said...

Jon; Your efforts with that post are appreciated - thank you.

However, it's not the speech; speeches accomplish squat -it's the money. In my opinion:

If you blame Big Government – you’re only half-way there

If you blame Big Business (OWS!) – you’re only half-way there

There’s two ugly heifers tangoing here folks and we’re paying for the lessons.

 
At 4/26/2012 4:44 PM, Blogger Moe said...

If there were truly a desire for this "free speech" on the behalf of Corporations - Why have we not heard them voice complaints about it in the past? Were they too shy?

Citizens United was/is not about free speech - it is about money, money they wanted to hand to politicans to gain favors and money politicians were all to happy to take.

 
At 4/26/2012 4:48 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: the right to "assemble" and "its about the money".

yup.

well you only get one vote whether you assemble or not and you do not get a separate vote for your "associations".


but a company that is using it's profits to lobby the govt regardless of how it's customers or employees or stakeholders feel is not really a representative "assembly" of "like-minded" either.

I don't begrudge groups of people of lobbying and even the money used for expenses.

but money that will actually change hands especially if there is an element of quid-pro-quo... goes way, way beyond "free speech".

We have a long, long history of money in politics ... I believe Abraham was the most recent and several folks went to jail and it was not because they were exercising their "free speech".

It was out and out corruption and no one should fool themselves about money and politics and free speech.

 
At 4/26/2012 4:57 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Moe,

I keep going back to this. Money is not the only currency with which to buy power.

The government has too much power. Politicians will sell power - it's what they do. And that's true regardless of how the Citizens United case was decided.

Get used to it. Whether you like it or not (and I don't), this is the it's going to be in from now on.

 
At 4/26/2012 5:30 PM, Blogger Ken said...

Larry,

Much of govt "regulation" is inspired not by those nasty liberals or statists but good old fashioned business types trying to use govt to wall off their competitors.

Are you claiming that no liberal is a businessman?

 
At 4/26/2012 5:37 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

perhaps a few but most are professors, union members and other kinds of scum sucking parasites.

 
At 4/27/2012 6:50 AM, Blogger Moe said...

Methinks:

Money dwarfs any other form of influence a million times over.

Name one that even remotely compares.

Shrugging ones shoulder and bending over is not what made this country what it was.

 
At 4/27/2012 7:11 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

I don't think so, Moe.

I can force you to do a lot more if I point a gun to your head than I can persuade you to do with money.

Those with money will buy the power of the guys holding the guns because the guys with the guns sell their services.

If money were that powerful, industry wouldn't seek government.

And it's not just money. In order to stay in their positions of power, the politicians pander to serpents like your lazy, unemployed neighbour. You think I'm any happier that I'm forced to pay for him than I am about farm subsidies for Con Agra?

I didn't tell you to bend over. I told you to understand that this is reality. You're going to have to figure out how to live your best live within its boundaries - particularly since you can't seem to understand that money is not the only currency and power for sale will always be bought. You'll always try to muzzle people and a government with the power to muzzle people you don't like has the power to muzzle you.

 
At 4/27/2012 7:19 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

yeh.. I'm not understanding the things that money cannot buy and only non-money can achieve.

money can even buy votes so what are the things that influence govt that are not money or obtaining with money?

 
At 4/27/2012 7:58 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

For starters, Larry, "friends of Angelo Mozillo". Instead of cutting them checks, he gave the dishonourable Senators big discounts on their home financing. The Friends of Angelo Mozillo were extended rates unavailable to you and me.

And that's but one example. You can imagine others - free rides on private jets, sex, the use of vacation homes, services or products the company sells provided free of charge.

Basically, for a guide, take a look at how companies bribe celebrities. And those bribes are going to be impossible to trace.

 
At 4/27/2012 8:03 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

the "friends" got money ultimately ...right?

I, unfortunately, pretty much agree with your analysis about money and power but ultimately doesn't everything get valued ...monetized as you say?

I'm not sure what other "trade" mechanisms are universal.

Perhaps you do have a clearer vision of what, besides money, is also in play. I just don't see it clearly yet.

 
At 4/27/2012 8:13 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

I already said - sex, favours, barter.

No, ultimately, the friends of Angelo got discounts on their mortgages. Money never directly changed hands. Money you don't have to spend in order to reach your desired level of consumption is like money placed into your pocket without the money ever going into your pocket directly.

Yes, eventually, this particular scheme was uncovered. But so what? The damage was done and the scandal was a small price to pay. Far more schemes remain hidden and the probability of discovery is small with the probability of discovery plus truly bad outcomes even smaller.

 
At 4/27/2012 8:19 AM, Blogger Moe said...

Methinks;

My point is missed...

Are guns influencing our political system?

Let's stay on point.

Name anything that -in our curent environment - is more corrupting than momney in our politics.

 
At 4/27/2012 8:22 AM, Blogger Moe said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4/27/2012 8:23 AM, Blogger Moe said...

Sorry - Your post hit before I finished mine.

I guess we can agree to disagree on this one.

No doubt sex, drugs, cocaine, bend-over pages - they all exist as corruptive influences, but IMO - miniscule compared to cold hard cash.

cheers.

 
At 4/27/2012 8:27 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

okay. I guess a "free" prostitute is more palatable than money to buy one.

I get your point.

this is not an American problem.

this is not really even a Governance problem.

it's a known human condition.

When Lewis & Clark were handing out trinkets and metal tools - it was not just for "good relations".

but we do have a rule of law that defines what a bribe is and is not.

sex is a special category of which some are more susceptible to than others especially on a gender basis.

just hard to visualize tempting a female with a prostitute though I'm sure it's not unheard of.

:-)

 
At 4/27/2012 8:41 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

I give up.

 
At 4/27/2012 9:45 AM, Blogger givemefreedom said...

It's no use Methinks. Your efforts are wasted with him.

He has the ability to post on this site. We have the right to completely ignore him.

That is what I will do.

 
At 4/27/2012 11:28 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Words of wisdom, GMF.

 
At 4/27/2012 11:30 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

let me get my violin out for you.

 
At 4/27/2012 1:25 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Methinks: "I give up."

Please don't do that. I, for one, enjoy your comments immensely, and learn from them. You have the ability to condense a large amount of insight into a compact, sensible package of written words
(hence my suggestion of a book). I have to believe that others benefit also, just not the ones you are addressing directly. :)

I know it must be frustrating to deal with a tag team as you are doing, and still try to find time to run a business, but consider how much good you are doing for the larger CD community.

 
At 4/27/2012 1:30 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Lord O'Mighty!

She's only giving up on "certain" people, methinks...pun intended.

 
At 4/27/2012 1:46 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Ron H.,

Thank you. You are too kind to me.

I'm just giving up on Moe and Larry on this thread. They clearly don't understand what I'm saying and I'm pretty sure I can't say it more clearly.

 
At 4/27/2012 2:52 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"okay. I guess a "free" prostitute is more palatable than money to buy one."

"I get your point."

I don't think so.

"this is not an American problem.

this is not really even a Governance problem.

it's a known human condition.
"

But that is a different discussion.

"When Lewis & Clark were handing out trinkets and metal tools - it was not just for "good relations"."

What was it for, Larry?

"but we do have a rule of law that defines what a bribe is and is not."

The dictionary definition works as well as any.

"sex is a special category of which some are more susceptible to than others especially on a gender basis.

just hard to visualize tempting a female with a prostitute though I'm sure it's not unheard of.
"

Are you aware, Larry, that there are prostitutes available of every gender and age, to satisfy any and every possible sexual appetite? You need to get out more, or at least watch more TV.

Here's the thing:

It's not even necessary that corruption be involved.

Let's just say, as an example, that you suffer from overactice bladder, and sometimes have trouble finding a bathroom in a timely manner when you are out and about in your town.

You and a group of your fellow incontinents might form a club, "Dribblers R Us", and agree that it would be helpful to you for the city to build public restrooms on every corner to accomodate those with your problem.

Your group might raise funds to buy posters and billboard ads promoting your favorite candidate for city council, who is sympathetic to your cause, and you might in fact succeed in getting them elected.

Should your organization be prohibited from spending their own money to influence an election in that way, so as to get restrooms built at taxpayer expense?

Your group might spend thousands, and get millions in benefit. This is the attraction of political influence, whether it's for a "good purpose" or an "evil purpose".

Alternately, your group might hire a clever lobbyist to convince the existing city council that an ordicance forbidding private businesses in town from denying anyone access to their private restrooms, would be a great benefit to the community. That ordinance might also include a requirement that businesses install large signs showing directions to their restroom, so no time would be wasted by incontinents in agony. These signs would be at businesses' own expense, of course.

That, Larry, is the gun-to-head Methinks refers to, and is worth far more to the interest group that hires it, than the money spent.

If money alone were sufficient, your group could offer to pay local businesses for unlimited access to their restrooms, but that wouldn't get nearly the bang for your buck the gun-to-head method does.

The answer is not to limit speech and money spending on speech, but to reduce the value of politicians by reducing the power those politicians have to sell.

 
At 4/27/2012 2:58 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Methinks: "I'm just giving up on Moe and Larry on this thread. They clearly don't understand what I'm saying and I'm pretty sure I can't say it more clearly."

Phew! That's a relief, and you're correct. I can't imagine a clearer explanation.

Sometimes I compose a response to a comment here, that runs to several thousand words, only to realize that you have already provided a better, more complete answer in just a few sentences.

 
At 4/27/2012 3:16 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Oh, wow. I consider myself (who am I kidding? everyone considers me) pretty verbose.

BTW, according to people who have looked into the matter more closely than I, the Dribblers (nice touch, btw. I need that kind of Friday afternoon fun) can get a million dollars of taxpayer funded benefit for every $20K in
campaign contri-....political bribes.

Now, where else can you get such great returns?

 
At 4/27/2012 3:35 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: "the dribblers".

yes.. I wanted to ask Methinks but she was getting testy...

trying to see this from your POV, taken to it's logical (careful there) conclusion.. Govt beyond the most simple and basic is flawed by the human condition that will inevitable result in some groups using govt to further their own interests at the expense of others.

correct me as appropriate...

then, once you think I understand - ... I would ask a somewhat loaded question about who decides which property rights are not discriminatory and inherently catering to one group or individual over another are worthy of "govt".

and then tell me why modern day 3rd world/developing countries are better "govt" than industrialized countries "govt"... if you're still feeling good about the conversation.

 
At 4/27/2012 3:44 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Larry, with returns like these, all concentrated interests have motive to use government to benefit from diffuse interests.

Why do you think governments in developing countries are somehow less invasive? Most underdeveloped countries have an exceptionally strong central government - often in the form of a strongman who was able to consolidate power and hold onto it. Usually brutally.

 
At 4/27/2012 3:46 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Or I should say, to benefit at the expense of the diffuse interests. Think: concentrated interests of producers vs. the diffuse interest of consumers.

 
At 4/27/2012 3:53 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Why do you think governments in developing countries are somehow less invasive? "

I perceive (perhaps wrongly) that those govts are more basic and less "developed" with regulations.

and that they have a better chance of staying less complicated than the industrialized countries.

Heritage ranks countries on economic freedom....

do you equate economic freedom with less govt per se or am I off on another tangent?

 
At 4/27/2012 4:09 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

I perceive (perhaps wrongly) that those govts are more basic and less "developed" with regulations.

Well, the developing world is a big place, so it's kind of hard to talk about the whole of the developing world. In general, however, there is anything BUT an absence of government power. Do you know, for instance, that the Ethipian famine in the 1980's was entirely manufactured by the Ethiopian dictator.

You don't have to look far from home. Look at Haiti. Or even the U.S. Virgin Islands where there are something like 55 senators for just over 100,000 people. The regulations and invasive government there is ridiculous and that's pretty much par for the course in the Caribbean.

I equate more economic freedom with a government that is less involved in the economy. It doesn't protect producers from competition, does not pour sand in the gears of business and it redistributes wealth minimally if at all. It does, however, maintain rule of law and upholds contracts and maintains property rights.

 
At 4/27/2012 4:34 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

thank you Methinks.

and your top 3 govts that meet your ideals best?

p.s. - points well taken about "strongmen" dictatorships. in those cases, the word "govt" seems ambitious.

 
At 4/27/2012 5:29 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"re: "the dribblers".

yes.. I wanted to ask Methinks but she was getting testy...
"

Can't say as I blame her. You and Moe working as a tag team would wear on anybody's patience.

"trying to see this from your POV, taken to it's logical (careful there) conclusion.. Govt beyond the most simple and basic is flawed by the human condition that will inevitable result in some groups using govt to further their own interests at the expense of others."

That is absolutely correct. Sometimes that government is one tyrannical thug, sometimes a group, sometimes a majority, but inevitably someone loses out.

It appears that ANY amount of government will inevitably lead to an undesirable outcome for some or most.

To believe that government is necessary, is to believe that someone else can tell you how to manage your life and your money better than you can do it yourself.

Anything you can imagine government must do, can be done by groups of individuals who take action voluntarily, or hire a business to do it for them.

In the case of the Dribblers, If you were a non member, but sympathetic to their plight, you could form a group called "Friends of the Dribblers", and could raise funds, and donate your own to help them establish additional accommodations in town. That's preferable to forcing every person to pay whether they want to or not.

"correct me as appropriate..."

LOL Don't worry, Larry,. I will. :)

"then, once you think I understand - ... I would ask a somewhat loaded question about who decides which property rights are not discriminatory and inherently catering to one group or individual over another are worthy of "govt"."

If I understand the question, Here's my answer: No one decides. Rights are inherent in our nature as humans, including a right to ourselves, our property, our liberty, and our freedom to pursue our own ends. Government is the antithesis of liberty, and can only restrict our rights.

The only legitimate role of government is to protect our rights and our liberties, but it isn't a necessary one.

"and then tell me why modern day 3rd world/developing countries are better "govt" than industrialized countries "govt"... if you're still feeling good about the conversation."

Third world countries do not have preferable forms of government. Often they are governed by thugs who do pretty much as they please, and who intercept aid flowing in from rich countries who think they are being helpful.

Two things most very poor countries lack are protection of property rights and enforcement of contracts.

 
At 4/27/2012 6:22 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Well, Larry, an HOA is a form of government. Certainly you're familiar with dictatorships as a strongman government.

In terms of economic freedom, I would say Singapore and Hong Kong are better than the United States. Singapore doesn't rate high on political freedom - which I don't care about. It also doesn't rate high on some personal freedoms. Chewing gum is illegal and possession of drugs carries the death penalty.

 
At 4/27/2012 8:36 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

pretty much what Heritage ranks.

thanks.

 
At 4/27/2012 8:41 PM, Blogger givemefreedom said...

Well said Methinks. Perhaps you are having an effect on Larry.

A government that "gets out of the way".

 
At 4/27/2012 9:22 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

don't get carried away GMF...

While I agree with many of the criticisms of govt including most of the excesses, I think there are things that govt can do that can serve and Synergize (win-win)collective interests.

and while the US is not top ranked by Heritage for economic freedom, it's ranked higher than all but about 8 other countries.

 
At 4/27/2012 11:30 PM, Blogger givemefreedom said...

See, Methinks is having an effect because at least that post is adding to the discussion.

And no one attacked you personally.

So there is one of the fundamental questions that must be answered. How much individual freedom should people give up in order to protect the society.

I believe it should be as little as possible.

 
At 4/28/2012 1:42 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"While I agree with many of the criticisms of govt including most of the excesses, I think there are things that govt can do that can serve and Synergize (win-win)collective interests."

There are no collective interests, Larry, only individual interests. Some individuals may have the same interest as others, but they aren't collective. That notion is causing you a lot of trouble understanding comments here. Perhaps you meant to write common interests.

And, please avoiding the use of words such as "synergize", as you have used it incorrectly, and doing so makes you appear to be stupid. Lord only knows, you should avoid that at all costs.

 
At 4/28/2012 7:29 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

it's a longer discussion than one thread.

I probably did not precisely word as I intended or you would thought correct but guy..that does not make one stupid...

common individual interests - collective interests?

I still do not know who died and appointed some of you folks King of all things written and thought.... seems pretty nazi to me. And mean-spirited as hell at times.. why? reminds me of cur dog pack at times.

I can imagine some of you in a public forum standing up not to just offer your own thoughts but then to ridicule and insult others you disagree with. You'd be invited to leave if you did that in many forums.

Most blogs invite all thoughts and urge people to not attack each others but to stay on the topic itself but for some here to think they are the arbiters of what is intelligent or correct or logical dialogue is beyond the heights of arrogance.

people have the right to speak. You have to right to ignore them.
when you cross he line and attack them - your self-proclaimed virtues are overshadowed by your behavior.

back to the subject itself:

there are collective (common individual) interests - beyond basic property rights that add additional benefits - that are not rights but enhance rights.

I'm not convinced that there is such a thing as natural rights of which there is universal agreement among all people,

there are schools of thought..

"rights" are basically what are agreed to when people form a govt because the ultimate self interest is to form a govt to protect those rights.

that's on obvious big time compromise that has obvious risks and flaws.

synergistic was the wrong word.. could not home in on the right one ( still cannot, input invited) but the thought was that with govt, there can be benefits that accrue that would not be present without a govt.

On supply and demand...

as soon as there is agreement to a govt - supply and demand principles become vulnerable to actions of governments.

anything a govt might do to "protect" property rights - seems to me to be a threat to pure, unfettered supply/demand and I'm willing to discuss it with polite and tolerant folks but I myself will not tolerate mean-spirited dialogue and Ad Hominems.

you get back what you throw at me.

if you don't like getting hit - don't hit first.

Anyone who believes that others have nothing relevant to say have a lot to learn themselves but you are free to move on without comment which i highly recommend if you cannot keep a civil tongue.

 
At 4/28/2012 11:02 AM, Blogger givemefreedom said...

Oh well, after reading the above, perhaps I was wrong.

 
At 4/29/2012 2:28 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"still do not know who died and appointed some of you folks King of all things written and thought...."

Words are important, Larry, they have specific meanings, and choosing an incorrect word to use may make a world of difference in the meaning others take from your comments.

A careful rereading of my previous comment should convince you that I didn't call you stupid, but advised that using incorrect words could make you "appear to be stupid".

You must be aware that the word "collective" is extremely important in discussions of economics and politics, which is, after all, what most discussions at CD are about, and has well established and commonly understood meaning when used in those contexts.

Therefore, care should be taken when using that word in comments.

As, for "synergize", it has become a frequently used buzzword in speeches intended for public consumption, and may or may not have meaning any longer. It is just such a good sounding word, it MUST mean something good, and worthy of our support.

In a discussion of government actions, however, it really seems like a stretch.

 
At 4/29/2012 3:09 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"still do not know who died and appointed some of you folks King of all things written and thought...."

Words are important, Larry, they have specific meanings, and choosing an incorrect word to use may make a world of difference in the meaning others take from your comments."

very true and something I have been reminded of here in CD. But different people think different ways about things and they speak of them in different ways also and that does not make them necessarily wrong as much as different.

we all learn. we all need to learn. HOW we learn varies by individuals.

I have no trouble with folks pointing out incorrect use of words and the such. What I have trouble with is the insulting way in which some choose to do it.

"A careful rereading of my previous comment should convince you that I didn't call you stupid, but advised that using incorrect words could make you "appear to be stupid"."

uh huh. that's a clever technical distinction especially when several are stringed together in what is clearly not an attempt to reconcile but insult.


"You must be aware that the word "collective" is extremely important in discussions of economics and politics, which is, after all, what most discussions at CD are about, and has well established and commonly understood meaning when used in those contexts. "

I did ask... I did tried to get the meaning to where it better suited.

"Therefore, care should be taken when using that word in comments."

you have to be willing to understand that you may have mis-interpreted also.

you're down in the weeds here IMHO and that's fine as a discussion point but not as justification for insulting folks.


"As, for "synergize", it has become a frequently used buzzword in speeches intended for public consumption, and may or may not have meaning any longer. It is just such a good sounding word, it MUST mean something good, and worthy of our support."

I agree. I did mea culpa and attempted other means to get to the meaning I intended.


"In a discussion of government actions, however, it really seems like a stretch."

in every single case? come on guy.

I don't mind at all being chided for a lack of precision in words.

I actually find that useful.

There are clearly some things that govt does that would not happen or happen well if left to private industry in my view.

regulation of the commons is an example.

protection of rights is your favorite but I'd just point out that different folks have different ideas of what "rights" are and are not and at the end of the day there is no standard that everyone agrees to...worldwide.

 
At 4/30/2012 1:40 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I don't mind at all being chided for a lack of precision in words.

I actually find that useful.
"

If so, what are you complaining about?

"There are clearly some things that govt does that would not happen or happen well if left to private industry in my view.

regulation of the commons is an example.
"

LOL

You have picked a great example of something government does NOT do well, and which can't reasonably be done due to human nature. Surely you've heard of the "tragedy of the commons", or "collective" if you prefer. The solution is private ownership.

"protection of rights is your favorite..."

It is my ONLY.

"...but I'd just point out that different folks have different ideas of what "rights" are and are not and at the end of the day there is no standard that everyone agrees to...worldwide."

Why are you concerned with a standard or worldwide agreement, which isn't possible?

Believing that we all have fundamental rights as a part of being human doesn't require anyone else to believe it. They will benefit from that belief in any case.

 
At 4/30/2012 1:48 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

If so, what are you complaining about?

the means-spirited way that dialogue occurs in CD at times. It really does detract from discussions that could be meritorious.


" You have picked a great example of something government does NOT do well, and which can't reasonably be done due to human nature. Surely you've heard of the "tragedy of the commons", or "collective" if you prefer. The solution is private ownership."

naw.. it does not work when it comes to things like air quality, rivers and oceans.

worldwide agreements do work - not perfect but there are treaties.

standardization is something that govt brings to the table.

If we had no standards for communications frequencies, we'd have a disaster...

could industry do it? yes.. but would they? nope.

 
At 5/02/2012 2:09 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"If we had no standards for communications frequencies, we'd have a disaster...

could industry do it? yes.. but would they? nope.
"

You must be kidding. How do you think standards developed for CDs, DVDs, 10-32 screws, gallons of gas, barrels of oil...do you think government agencies mandated those things for thousands of businesses to comply with?

While business seek every advantage against competitors, they often agree on things that are beneficial for all.

What do you suppose prompted the formation of the SAE?

How about the RIAA, MPEG, ANSI...the list goes on.

A standards organization exists for any standard you can imagine, with no government required.

The fact that government took control of broadcast frequency allocation doesn't mean it was required.

You really ought to think about things longer before you press "Publish Your Comment".

 
At 5/02/2012 4:53 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

Industry has set standards but the govt has also had to also.

The wireless spectrum is a govt standard and recent events proved that a company would have used cellular spectrum for GPS if not for the govt.

the industry would not, on it's own disclose nutrition info much less contaminants in food.

the industry did not establish standardized medical codes.

you ought to "think" yourself fella... before you "publish".

I point out that the govt HAS established standards and you say essentially that the govt did not have to,

I point out to you the reality.

you talk about your ideology.

 
At 5/02/2012 1:53 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"The wireless spectrum is a govt standard and recent events proved that a company would have used cellular spectrum for GPS if not for the govt."

Please reread what you have written carefully, while thinking about your intended meaning, and decide if that's really what you meant to say.

"the industry would not, on it's own disclose nutrition info much less contaminants in food."

The industry will disclose what customers make known they want disclosed, based on their dollar votes.

 
At 5/02/2012 1:58 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"the industry did not establish standardized medical codes."

From your favorite reference, we have this: on the history of medical codes.

A few key points:

- "In 1893, a French physician, Jacques Bertillon, introduced the Bertillon Classification of Causes of Death at a congress of the International Statistical Institute in Chicago" *note 1

- "A number of countries and cities adopted Dr. Bertillon’s system."

- In 1898, the American Public Health Association (APHA) recommended that the registrars of Canada, Mexico, and the United States also adopt it. *note 2

- "In 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) assumed responsibility for preparing and publishing the revisions to the ICD every ten-years."

- "In addition, some countries—including Australia, Canada and the United States—have developed their own adaptations of ICD, with more procedure codes for classification of operative or diagnostic procedures."

In fact in the US, so many codes have been added, that there are 10 possible ways to describe injury from an alligator bite.

- "In 2009, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that it would begin using ICD-10 on April 1, 2010, with full compliance by all involved parties by 2013."

In other words, US standard medical codes comply with an international standard developed by non government professional organizations.

Again, you could benefit from thinking more before you hit the key.


*note 1. The ISI is a non government professional organization in case it wasn't clear.

*note 2. The APHA is another professional, not government organization.

 
At 5/02/2012 2:02 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I point out that the govt HAS established standards and you say essentially that the govt did not have to,

I point out to you the reality.

you talk about your ideology.
"

Whose reality is that, Larry?

It's not clear that you would recognize reality if it bit you on the ass, like the recent newsflash that government didn't develop medical codes.

 
At 5/02/2012 3:23 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" History of WHO

When diplomats met to form the United Nations in 1945, one of the things they discussed was setting up a global health organization.

WHO’s Constitution came into force on 7 April 1948 – a date we now celebrate every year as World Health Day

 
At 5/02/2012 3:24 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectrum_management#U.S._regulatory_agencies

 
At 5/02/2012 3:25 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

standardized nutrition information is far superior to individual companies disclosures.

 
At 5/03/2012 1:46 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"History of WHO"

Whoooo R U? who-who, who-who...

Yes, Larry, that's very good. as I pointed out to you, the WHO assumed responsibility for preparing and publishing the revisions to the ICD in 1948.

Your claim that: ""the industry did not establish standardized medical codes."

- is just flat out wrong.

"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectrum_management#U.S._regulatory_agencies"

Yes, thanks, Larry, but I was already aware that the FCC managed RF spectrum in the US.

Your argument wasn't that government controls airwaves and allocation of same, we accept that as a fact. The question was whether it was necessary. Just because something happened, doesn't mean it was necessary.

It may seem obvious to you, that only big brother can prevent chaos through unregulated entrepreneurship, but as I pointed out, industry standards develop spontaneously as needed, without any government involvement at all. Where there is conflict, the market picks a winner. Think VHS vs Betamax.

You might want to familiarize yourself with the concept of spontaneous order. Self regulation develops without central planning, when there's an obvious benefit to all involved. Imagine that! How is it possible?

Consider radio stations in the early days before federal regulation. If stations broadcast on any frequency they pleased, all interfering with each other, no meaningful broadcasting would ever have developed. Radio would still be a novel toy as it was in the beginning.

To be useful, and it was apparent early on to advertisers that radio could be VERY useful in promoting their products, A standard for allocating spectrum was necessary, and would have been developed by the industry if it had been allowed to do so.

Do you think advertising money would flow to a medium that produces only irritating cacophony and noise?

What was NOT necessary, was that central planning assume that responsibility.

"standardized nutrition information is far superior to individual companies disclosures."

Now there's a bold statement!

Do you have any support for that, preferably links to actual relevant information, or is your personal opinion all you've got?

 
At 5/03/2012 5:04 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

there is a difference between an industry standard and industry standard(S).

there were many 'standardized" codes... WHO consisted of diplomats from countries, not industries no?

wireless spectrum - we just had a case where a company wanted to use GPS spectrum for cellular satellite.

nutrition info - again...standardized labeling as opposed to individual companies voluntary disclosure of some but not all ingredients or wrong labelling or misleading labeling... there is no contest as to what people want.

we have a long history of adulterated food and drugs before the govt dictated standards.

you're basically advocating 3rd world standards..here..on the unproven premise that it would be "better" but there are no real world anologs for what you advocate.

 
At 5/03/2012 5:40 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"there is a difference between an industry standard and industry standard(S)"

Yes! One is singular, and one - may be - plural. Nice work, Larry. You continue to astound.

 
At 5/03/2012 5:47 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"we have a long history of adulterated food and drugs before the govt dictated standards."

Nonsense.

"the industry did not establish
standardized medical codes.
"

You need to admit that statement is wrong.

 
At 5/03/2012 5:50 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

multiple industry standards are not the same as ONE govt standard.

the DOT standard for tires that you mentioned.

before the DOT standard was imposed, there were multiple different industry standards.and manufacturers were free to adopt them or not.

Now they must adopt them - and you are a beneficiary as you admit.

 
At 5/03/2012 6:02 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

BEFORE the govt designated ONE standard, there were multiple different "standards".

the government designated ONE.

there is an ample history of how and why the Food and Drug Administration came about.

there's a difference between industry standards that can be adopted or not or in part and one the govt establishes that is not voluntary.

you said yourself you used that standard to help you decide what to buy.

The vast majority of people AGREE with you.

 
At 5/05/2012 1:09 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"BEFORE the govt designated ONE standard, there were multiple different "standards".

the government designated ONE.
"

You haven't acknowledged that your statement is wrong.

""the industry did not establish standardized medical codes."

There is no possible discussion with someone who continually tries to change the subject.

 

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