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Author Topic: Poll: Govt regulation of the economy  (Read 1304 times)

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Offline SkynetTopic starter

Poll: Govt regulation of the economy
« on: November 10, 2012, 03:55:21 PM »
What do you think is the government's role in economic affairs?  Do you believe that government regulation inevitably leads to incompetence and stagnation, and that the free market can take care of itself?  Do you prefer a mixed market capitalist economy, where the government controls certain aspects of the economy?  Or do you think that all private enterprise should be nationalized and taken over by the government/the workers/etc?

I'm a US citizen, so I prefer capitalism.  I would not go as far as some laissez-faire Libertarians and Randian Objectivists, who want no regulation or taxes on business.  I believe that government policies, when applied competently, can help business thrive.  A good example is Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal policy: it helped lift the nation out of The Great Drepression.

What are your thoughts?

Offline Oniya

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Re: Poll: Govt regulation of the economy
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2012, 04:03:50 PM »
I went down the middle for this one.  I've seen how the banks got 'too big to fail', and then proceeded to do so anyways, and the health care thing has gotten to the point that the 'product delivered' (namely, health care) is being compromised by 'how much money can we squeeze out of this?'  I'm not sure that Obamacare is the answer, but it's a step, and I think it's more in the right direction than not.

Offline Lilias

Re: Poll: Govt regulation of the economy
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2012, 04:10:21 PM »
I've lived in two countries with nationalised healthcare (granted, one more successful than the other), and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Any government is under obligation to tend to the welfare of its citizens - they are the ones who make or break it, after all. A reasonable minimal level of livelihood, education and healthcare must be provided by the state; anyone who wants more is welcome to play the supply and demand game.

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Re: Poll: Govt regulation of the economy
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2012, 04:13:33 PM »
I'm between the second and third choice myself.  We need regulation and oversight but we also need to look at healthcare when the business of healing people (doctoring) and the business of making money off of healing people (hospitals owned by the healthcare insurance companies) starts to cost people more than they can afford.  Healthcare should not be a for astronomical profit enterprise.

Offline ExisD

Re: Poll: Govt regulation of the economy
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2012, 04:14:39 PM »
I've jumped all over the spectrum here over the course of my life, but I've settled on necessaries being government subsidized. Ideally basic education, healthcare, banking, and food(food stamps are an example) would be covered. I would also like public housing to be expanded significantly.

However, no more than the basic necessities should be provided and that's where I'm still thinking. I'm not sure where to call the line on heathcare.

Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: Poll: Govt regulation of the economy
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2012, 04:17:41 PM »
On second thought, I realize that the first option might be unnecessarily restrictive.  It implies that a lack of government regulation will lead to laissez faire capitalism.

Given that there are various ideologies which are both anti-State and anti-Capitalism (like Anarchism), I've edited the first option to simply read "none whatsoever."
« Last Edit: November 10, 2012, 04:18:57 PM by Skynet »

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Poll: Govt regulation of the economy
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2012, 05:44:28 PM »
I picked second down, I believe in old style "Wealth of Nations" capitalisim, which has been abandoned in favor of Lazie-fare Basicly I believe our current economy was driven by the ideas of Ann Ryand (political writer of Atlas Shrugged) and Gorden Geko (fictional character coined the term "Greed is Good"), but not Adam Smith (Economist, Author of Wealth of Nations)

He actually warned about some of this crap, though his example of a multinational-corp in his day was the East India Trading Company.people read the first view chapters about industrial drive, and competition, and forget about the second half about regulation, and moderation.

I don't believe in government run healthcare, I do however believe in government regulated healthcare, I say treat it like a utility same as electricity, sanatation, and water.

Also my favorite quote by Adam:
"The goal of the captialist should be to make the highest quality product, for the lowest price possable, while paying the highest wages possible" Adam Smith

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Poll: Govt regulation of the economy
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2012, 06:44:35 PM »
I'm thinking we got a good thing going in capitalism.. BUT I feel that the Government needs to take it's role as a regulator and arbitrator seriously. If we didn't have things like the FDA, OSHA and the Bank regulatory laws we'd be in even more trouble.

As it is, we need to reconsider the impact of derregulation has had on our safety and economy. Food regulation has slipped to the point where we have MASSIVE food safety issues from time to time. Anyone who has read The Jungle knows the hazards of letting the food industry 'self-regulate'.

And a LOT of the foolishness that has left people out of their homes and saving evaporating comes from the repeal of the Glass-Stegall act in '95 which let Commercial banks and Investment banks combine without a hell of a lot of safety valves in place. The net result? I think it's hard to find someone who hasn't got at least a 'friend of a friend' in the current economy who is struggling to cover their home, lost their retirement savings or lost one of both.

Government regulation is sneered at by a LOT of people as 'bad' and 'impededing' growth.. but without restraint the folks who run the bigger businesses can step on the 'little businesses' and/or cut corners in ways that puts the public at risk.

Look at some of the 'big companies' who get away with figurative and literal murder.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Poll: Govt regulation of the economy
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2012, 08:34:32 PM »
I went with "Vital and far-reaching enterprises, like banks and healthcare, should be nationalized."

Basicly I believe our current economy was driven by the ideas of Ann Ryand (political writer of Atlas Shrugged) and Gorden Geko (fictional character coined the term "Greed is Good"), but not Adam Smith (Economist, Author of Wealth of Nations)

It's spelled Ayn Rand. (Just to help if people want to google her)

And don't forget Milton Friedman. I think it would be hard to argue that he wasn't one of the great minds behind our current system (I actually disagree with the fellow's politics but I won't deny he's a genius).
« Last Edit: November 10, 2012, 08:37:34 PM by Caehlim »

Offline Lux12

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Re: Poll: Govt regulation of the economy
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2012, 09:05:40 PM »
He's right about the spelling, but yes I do agree.I think our economy has been driven by Randian philosophy which has driven our economy to the very brink of collapse.

Offline Stattick

Re: Poll: Govt regulation of the economy
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2012, 10:00:07 PM »
Yeah, I'm also between 2 and 3.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Poll: Govt regulation of the economy
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2012, 08:45:28 AM »
I could go with a nationalized (or at least better regulated) Healthcare system.. but I don't see nationalizing banks as a good idea.. better regulation.. yes, nationalizing.. no.

Offline Lux12

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Re: Poll: Govt regulation of the economy
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2012, 12:59:47 PM »
I dunno.I don't like the idea of the people handling my money doing with profit in mind.One of the worst mistakes people have made in an any given economic crisis is trust the banks to be fair and do their part.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Poll: Govt regulation of the economy
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2012, 03:05:53 PM »
I dunno.I don't like the idea of the people handling my money doing with profit in mind.One of the worst mistakes people have made in an any given economic crisis is trust the banks to be fair and do their part.

I'd trust the banks more than I would the government to manage my money. The banks at least benefit by taking good care of your money, because your profits make them profits. The government has no such motivation...if it's not tax revenue, they have no reason to protect it. And that's completely ignoring the eventual temptation to 'dip in' to said nationalized cash reserves to shore up some essential budget shortfall.

Offline vtboy

Re: Poll: Govt regulation of the economy
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2012, 04:59:33 PM »
Unfortunately, the effects of unregulated economic activity, especially in this age of huge, global conglomerations of economic power, are too far-reaching to allow serious consieration of permitting an unregulated market place. We need regulation, if for no other reason than to make sure the true costs of any economic activity are bourne by those who participate in it.

Take pollution, for example.  Left unregulated, manufacturers would have gone on blithely dumping toxic waste in rivers and landfills because it is far less expensive to do so than to dispose of the stuff in less perniciouis ways. The costs of unrestrained dumping to those neither selling nor purchasing the products whose manufacture produced the waste are what economists call "externalities." Since these costs are incurred by strangers to the economic activity (think of the homeowners in Love Canal), rather than those participating in it, both the sellers and the buyers benefit, as neither bears the true cost of production of the product in question. 

While other approaches to this problem have been suggested (e.g., a pollution tax), the externalities associated with polluting activites are often extermely difficult to quantify, as they are frequently manifest as cancers, respiratory illnesses, loss of fishing grounds, blighted landscapes, etc. Unless we are willing as a society to bear whatever harmful public consequences obtain from private activity (which I consider entirely unacceptable), the only viable alternative is regulation.

Pollution from manufacturing is, of course, only one example of injurious economic externalities. There are many others. 

 

Offline Mudchaser

Re: Poll: Govt regulation of the economy
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2012, 05:39:11 PM »
I got two words for you: Regulatory Capture.

I don't mind the concept of a government stepping in and trying to make sure businesses behave, because let's face it, they often don't.  Business is driven by competitive forces that can be as destructive as they are creative, and we want them to better our lives, not worsen them.  But even if we assume that the government is competent (it often isn't), those same competitive forces provide very strong incentives for powerful businesses to subvert the very forces that are meant to keep them under wraps.  So I'm often skeptical of proposed regulations on free enterprise, not (just) because I dislike the notion of the government unduly interfering with private affairs, but primarily because I'm skeptical that it'll do what its proponents say it will do.  Often it has quite some unintended consequences.

That said, I have seen it work.  I live in the Netherlands and they have things pretty well handled.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2012, 05:40:20 PM by Mudchaser »

Offline Lux12

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Re: Poll: Govt regulation of the economy
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2012, 05:44:13 PM »
Unfortunately, the effects of unregulated economic activity, especially in this age of huge, global conglomerations of economic power, are too far-reaching to allow serious consieration of permitting an unregulated market place. We need regulation, if for no other reason than to make sure the true costs of any economic activity are bourne by those who participate in it.

Take pollution, for example.  Left unregulated, manufacturers would have gone on blithely dumping toxic waste in rivers and landfills because it is far less expensive to do so than to dispose of the stuff in less perniciouis ways. The costs of unrestrained dumping to those neither selling nor purchasing the products whose manufacture produced the waste are what economists call "externalities." Since these costs are incurred by strangers to the economic activity (think of the homeowners in Love Canal), rather than those participating in it, both the sellers and the buyers benefit, as neither bears the true cost of production of the product in question. 

While other approaches to this problem have been suggested (e.g., a pollution tax), the externalities associated with polluting activites are often extermely difficult to quantify, as they are frequently manifest as cancers, respiratory illnesses, loss of fishing grounds, blighted landscapes, etc. Unless we are willing as a society to bear whatever harmful public consequences obtain from private activity (which I consider entirely unacceptable), the only viable alternative is regulation.

Pollution from manufacturing is, of course, only one example of injurious economic externalities. There are many others. 

 

This more than many other factors, is a primary reason I am a staunch supporter of regulation.Of course, I would prefer it if we reworked the economy altogether to make sure those who actually do meaningful work get their fair share and don't get trampled all over by a bunch of scheming C.E.Os . The simple fact is we can't trust for profit organizations to be ethical or deal squarely with others if they are not kept in check by some other organization, legislation, or popular power.

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Poll: Govt regulation of the economy
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2012, 09:29:10 PM »
This more than many other factors, is a primary reason I am a staunch supporter of regulation.Of course, I would prefer it if we reworked the economy altogether to make sure those who actually do meaningful work get their fair share and don't get trampled all over by a bunch of scheming C.E.Os . The simple fact is we can't trust for profit organizations to be ethical or deal squarely with others if they are not kept in check by some other organization, legislation, or popular power.

Another problem we face is that though much of the abuse from banks, and the food industry can be regulated, it is far harder to get the government to move on regulating investors. As private investment is one of the cornerstones for new companies both large and small, the proplem we've had is investment has become a major industry, and financial immorality has seeped in. The Power Barons of old, the founders of US steel, Standard Oil, and Bank of America would likely be appaled by the idea that dismantling a company should be more profitable for investors than building it up.
Those Monoplists were far from saints, and their mistreatment of workers was horriffic, but they created entire industries, and made more money in a day (after you do the value from then to now, a dollar being more) than entire companies do today. They also started from near nothing, and built their companies through skill, intelligence, inovation, and ruthlessness. Somthing that we admire, even if many people won't admit the last part.

We admire Henery T. Ford for a reason.

The Glass-Stegall Act should have simply been revised due to changing market conditions, not thrown out completely. Looking over it it seemed like a win win back then.
1995 Politics Simplified:
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Republicans: Fewer regulations for the private sector? Fuck Yeah!
Democrats: Provide homes for everyone? Fuck Yeah!
Bam... passed unanimiously.

The desire for gold has left a far higher bodycount than any Jihad or Crusade.

Okay getting down off my high horse.
It's clear that regulation is needed, the question we are now debating, is how much or how little....

Offline DTW

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Re: Poll: Govt regulation of the economy
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2012, 10:14:23 PM »
I really dislike the whole Communism/Socialism/Capitalism debate because they are all woefully outdated. All of them were invented before The Internet , MP3  Players , Television or even the Automobile.

I mean Marx died in 1883. That's before the first Airplane. and The first capitalist society started in the Middle  Bloody Ages.

We clearly need a modern form of Economics because of the way products and manufacturing has changed.

Ayn Rand never saw a cellphone , Stalin never texted anyone. They're all bad to me  because they are all clearly undeniably outdated and to an extant Obsolete.

Offline Elias

Re: Poll: Govt regulation of the economy
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2012, 10:40:23 PM »
What you need is an educated populace and no government in the economy at all. Private watchdog groups have already proven to be more effective then government agencies because their passion exists on a personal level the government agency are just bureaucrats, unreliable. We do not need unions anymore because their existence only mattered when the working populace couldn't read or write the population were made to be stupid.

We are in the age of social media, we do not need to rely on any of the major television networks which can be bought and sold, we do not need to rely on anyone because information is at our fingertips in seconds and if anyone is fooled its really their own fault because everything is there good and bad, and every level of belief system from Jihadist to Green party, Libertarian to communist.

The only necessary job of a federal government is Foreign policy (Trade, military matters, etc) and maintaining a national police force to handle cross state border issues.

All social issues should be left up to communities or state government, healthcare as well, I will concede that perhaps a federal umbrella could be provided for catastrophic care.

Business is not the enemy of the people they will do whatever it takes for the bottom line and while many see that as evil I see it as opposite, a poor America doesn't buy their products, a business that doesn't look after its workers will have their most talented taken away by another company or the average citizen will turn its back on them and they will go out of business. We don't need government regulation, we don't need government control. 


Offline Lux12

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Re: Poll: Govt regulation of the economy
« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2012, 10:55:42 PM »
I really dislike the whole Communism/Socialism/Capitalism debate because they are all woefully outdated. All of them were invented before The Internet , MP3  Players , Television or even the Automobile.

I mean Marx died in 1883. That's before the first Airplane. and The first capitalist society started in the Middle  Bloody Ages.

We clearly need a modern form of Economics because of the way products and manufacturing has changed.

Ayn Rand never saw a cellphone , Stalin never texted anyone. They're all bad to me  because they are all clearly undeniably outdated and to an extant Obsolete.

I'm not certain I agree with that. You're going to have to explain a little more than that for us to understand precisely what you mean.

Offline Stattick

Re: Poll: Govt regulation of the economy
« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2012, 11:37:26 PM »
I'm torn on how much government control should be exercised over banking. Bad banking and lack of regulation is what brought us the economic crisis we're presently in. In this country, the banks were bailed out because they were "too big to fail". It reminds me of public utilities, or a county hospital that takes care of 80% of the hospital needs for the county. In either case they'd be too big and too important to fail. To me, it seems like roads or parcel delivery. These are all things that could be done by a private, for profit company, but the public is best served by having them be government owned and run. If your electric company was privately owned, and there were no competetors in your area, there would be nothing to prevent them from using unfair business practices, including price gouging, to maximize their profits, even if that's detrimental to society, or even detrimental to the company in the long run.

I don't know that it's the same with banks, but when we have to bail them out for over half a trillion dollars (that's half a billion, billion to you Brits), and we're told that they're too big to fail, that really makes me think that the government should be taking a really long hard look at just buying them out and turning them into departments of the government. Maybe that would be horrifically bad for reasons that I can't see (because I'm not an economist). I'm not saying that it should be done, but makes me wonder if it would be a better method than what we have going today.

At the very least, I don't think that anyone has a rational argument for returning to the wild, deregulated days of the Bush Jr years that resulted in a crash that almost destroyed the entire world economy. If you look at what happened, you'll see that the only depression we've had that was worse was the Great Depression. The only downturn of the economy that was due to a lack of regulation was the Great Depression. I don't think that's a coincidence. We HAVE to have regulation of the banking industry to keep this sort of thing from happening again. Returning to the deregulation of Bush Jr's years would be insanity, and thinking that it would do anything other than bring about another economic meltdown would be just as insane.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Poll: Govt regulation of the economy
« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2012, 11:47:40 PM »
I'm torn on how much government control should be exercised over banking. Bad banking and lack of regulation is what brought us the economic crisis we're presently in. In this country, the banks were bailed out because they were "too big to fail". It reminds me of public utilities, or a county hospital that takes care of 80% of the hospital needs for the county. In either case they'd be too big and too important to fail. To me, it seems like roads or parcel delivery. These are all things that could be done by a private, for profit company, but the public is best served by having them be government owned and run. If your electric company was privately owned, and there were no competetors in your area, there would be nothing to prevent them from using unfair business practices, including price gouging, to maximize their profits, even if that's detrimental to society, or even detrimental to the company in the long run.

I don't know that it's the same with banks, but when we have to bail them out for over half a trillion dollars (that's half a billion, billion to you Brits), and we're told that they're too big to fail, that really makes me think that the government should be taking a really long hard look at just buying them out and turning them into departments of the government. Maybe that would be horrifically bad for reasons that I can't see (because I'm not an economist). I'm not saying that it should be done, but makes me wonder if it would be a better method than what we have going today.

At the very least, I don't think that anyone has a rational argument for returning to the wild, deregulated days of the Bush Jr years that resulted in a crash that almost destroyed the entire world economy. If you look at what happened, you'll see that the only depression we've had that was worse was the Great Depression. The only downturn of the economy that was due to a lack of regulation was the Great Depression. I don't think that's a coincidence. We HAVE to have regulation of the banking industry to keep this sort of thing from happening again. Returning to the deregulation of Bush Jr's years would be insanity, and thinking that it would do anything other than bring about another economic meltdown would be just as insane.

I don't think they should be nationalized.. I think they should be BROKEN up. AT&T was 'too big' once... and they got busted up into dozens of 'Baby Bells'. Opened up a LOT of innovations in the process. Used to be. .you didn't OWN your house phone.. you LEASED it from Bell Telephone.. now you can buy them. Used to be they came in like four flavors for most folks.. 2 table, 2 wall mounted.. rotary or push button..

Break them up. Reinstate Glass-Stegall (or something like it) put a firewall between Investment banks and commercial banks.

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Re: Poll: Govt regulation of the economy
« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2012, 12:02:25 AM »
What you need is an educated populace and no government in the economy at all. Private watchdog groups have already proven to be more effective then government agencies because their passion exists on a personal level the government agency are just bureaucrats, unreliable. We do not need unions anymore because their existence only mattered when the working populace couldn't read or write the population were made to be stupid.

We are in the age of social media, we do not need to rely on any of the major television networks which can be bought and sold, we do not need to rely on anyone because information is at our fingertips in seconds and if anyone is fooled its really their own fault because everything is there good and bad, and every level of belief system from Jihadist to Green party, Libertarian to communist.

The only necessary job of a federal government is Foreign policy (Trade, military matters, etc) and maintaining a national police force to handle cross state border issues.

All social issues should be left up to communities or state government, healthcare as well, I will concede that perhaps a federal umbrella could be provided for catastrophic care.

Business is not the enemy of the people they will do whatever it takes for the bottom line and while many see that as evil I see it as opposite, a poor America doesn't buy their products, a business that doesn't look after its workers will have their most talented taken away by another company or the average citizen will turn its back on them and they will go out of business. We don't need government regulation, we don't need government control.

Actually, I'd argue that we do, because the government isn't "golly gee, them guys in washington is government" government, in the United states at least, is backed by the populace. We can't sit around making laws, and debating all day. Hence why we choose elected officals, we also demand they provide us with services, such as water, power, emergency services, paved roads. that is why we pay taxes. Like anyone else, elected officals can be bastards, and thus we can get rid of them by voting them out.

Ultimately the power rests not with the politican, but the voter.

The private sector, in New England at least, has a shitty record of providing basic services and goods, especally to rural areas, impovishing them instead of enriching them in the long run.
If not for government control over the allowed monoplies of water & power companies, which creates a flat rate, thus encouraging such busnesses to expand their holdings to gain customers instead of forsaking the poor. I would not have power, as my town is "not profitable" because it numbers less than 2000 adults, Most of whom are middle and lower class, without power, many would also not have water, as most water in this town comes from a well system.

I mentioned US steel, and Standard Oil, and should add General Electric to that list, they did accomplish amazing things, but they had to be broken up and their industries regulated. They were not above cutting off entire sections of a state to raise prices,  shutting down entire industries because a small busness refused to sell, or let me bring up the Baldwin Felts Detectives whom they hired to fire on labor rallies.

I imagine you've also never heard of the Battle of Blair Mountian in Virginia? where union miners rallied from all around the US when Standard Coal's hired thugs killed the local sherrif (in the back, unarmed, leaving the courthouse) for preventing them from killing a local family who supported unionization. The company dropped bombs from bi-planes on the marching miners, then at Blair Mountian fired at them with machine gun to keep them from crossing the county boarder. "The Great Redneck Army" as it was called, fought back with shotguns and hunting rifiles.
The US military had to be called in to prevent things from esclating. The company tried to paint the miners as "Communist subversives" and almost succeded due to anti-communist parinoia. However the court changed tune when evidence of the company's brutality was brought in, a 50lb bomb dropped along the route that had failed to explode, and boxes of spent shells fired by the company's machine gun nest. you can still walk through the area and pick up spent ammo.

Take a look at Enron, which bought up a good deal of california's de-regulated power grid. they let the lines burn during the wildfires to increase demand, never replaced them, and sold power elsewhere (such as Vegas) where the profit margen was higher, causing brownouts and blackouts across the entire state. They also robbed thousands of people blind by lying to investors.

you see there is a problem with your theory, customer, and company are accounted for, but where does that leave the man making the product? Basicly a production sector like china's with impovished labor is more cost effective, while selling it to wealthy peoples elsewhere makes the profit. (this is part of the reason so many jobs were outsourced to china. over there Life is literally Cheap.)

I'm all for industry and innovation.
I just believe no company is entitled to 300% profit while paying enormious money to upper management, next to nothing to everyone else, skimping on the safety regs to save money, and butchering small busnesses that move into their market to maintain their share, and keep things stagnant.

I don't think they should be nationalized.. I think they should be BROKEN up. AT&T was 'too big' once... and they got busted up into dozens of 'Baby Bells'. Opened up a LOT of innovations in the process. Used to be. .you didn't OWN your house phone.. you LEASED it from Bell Telephone.. now you can buy them. Used to be they came in like four flavors for most folks.. 2 table, 2 wall mounted.. rotary or push button..

Break them up. Reinstate Glass-Stegall (or something like it) put a firewall between Investment banks and commercial banks.
^
this

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Re: Poll: Govt regulation of the economy
« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2012, 10:23:13 AM »
One to chew on, since China is becoming the new "world factory house":

1949: Only Communism could save China
1979: Only Capitalism could save China
1989: Only China could save Communism
2009: Only China could save Capitalism


(no idea who constructed that one, and no copyright)