Archive for the Monopoly Category

Are “Prices” A Language? Are Antitrust Laws Grounded In The First Amendment? How Do We Forestall The “Frightful Five” And Other Monopolies? Oh, And Happy Halloween! (October 30, 2017)

Posted in Amazon, Apple, Constitution, Economics, Facebook, First Amendment, Google, Internet, Language, Microsoft, Monopoly, Price, Radio, Technology on October 30, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Prices for goods and services are a language spoken with numbers (7) not letters (L).”

J          “I love language.  French is the language of love and the language of diplomacy.  Accounting is the language of business.  So Prices are the language of a free market economy?”

K          “Yes.  Russian is one of the languages of literature.”

J          “So is French.”

K          “And English.”

. . .

K          “Monopolies distort Prices which distorts speech.  By distorting Prices, the public is making inaccurate and incomplete decisions and paying more for goods and services while the corporations are not internalizing externalities.”

J          “Price may just be the real Esperanto.”

. . .   

J          “The current monopolies are in part the consequence of acts of commission and even more often acts of omission by the government.”

K          “The problem with my analysis is that the First Amendment is a restriction on government activity not a requirement for government action.”

J          “So the Constitution is unavailing.  We are stuck with Congress, the executive agencies and the courts to protect us.”

K          “They do not speak our language.”

. . .

[See the interview by Terry Gross with the tech columnist Farhad Manjoo with “The New York Times” who cautions that the “Frightful Five” (Amazon, Google/Alphabet, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook) are more powerful than the governments on the “Fresh Air” radio program titled “How 5 Tech Giants Have Become More Like Governments Than Companies” on October 26, 2017.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Spanish is the language a man uses to talk to his God;

French is the language a man uses to talk to his wife;

Italian is the language a man uses to talk to his mistress;

German is the language a man uses to talk to his mule.

And English is the language a man uses to fly a plane or to surf the web or to engage in international discourse.  You create it, you talk it.

And Price is the language a man and a woman use to value and exchange resources.

Restraining Google/Alphabet And Damming Amazon (July 17, 2017)

Posted in Amazon, Antitrust, Google, Monopoly, Technology on July 17, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Google/Alphabet is restraining trade and needs to be restrained.  Google is the behemoth gatekeeper restricting, controlling and directing entry to the Market.”

J          “Hard to dispute the observation that there has never been a time in American history when as many industries are dominated by one company in the industry.  In most industries, the player is the industry.”

K          “The NASDAQ is a menagerie of monopolies.”

. . .

K          “Google is buying professors.  Medical professors are subject to ethical constraints.  Law professors, like the students they teach and the law they profess, are amoral and available to the highest bidder.  Google is the highest bidder.  Amazon cannot be far behind.”

J          “So there may be some competition to buy law professors.  They also buy legislators and legislatures and may get a volume discount.”

. . .

K          “The compelling need to regulate Google/Alphabet is as simple as A, B, C.”

J          “As simple as it is impossible.  The regulatory agencies are as captive as the law professors and propagandists.”

K          “America will not respond or regulate.  America is the current failing Empire of the century on the planet.  The former European Empires need to step up and do it.”

J          “The Kleptocracy in America will not stand for it.”

K          “I may need to revise the ‘Manual For A Constitutional And Sustainable Post-Empire America’ in the next few weeks.”

J          “The former Republic could use a self-help book.”

. . .

J          “Rumors suggest that Amazon may consume Whole Foods.”

. . .

K          “When only Google and Amazon are left, which one will kill and devour the other?”

J          “God-zilla will ravage and ingest King Kong.”

K          “And which one is God-zilla again?”

. . .

[See “Google Fined Record $2.7 Billion in E.U. Antitrust Ruling” in “The New York Times” by Mark Scott dated June 27, 2017 and “Is It Time to Break Up Google?” in “The New York Times” by Jonathan Taplin dated April 22, 2017.]

[The Campaign for Accountability released a report on July 11, 2017 titled Google Academics Inc. detailing Google’s extensive acquisition and appropriation of law professors and policy propagandists in America and abroad.]

[See the e-commentary at “Less Government Regulation Series:  Google (November 30, 2009)”, “The Great Google Wall (June 27, 2016)” and the e-commentary under the Category “Google” and “Amazon.”]

Bumper sticker of the week:

Do The Right Thing:  Break Up Google And Amazon

The Court Of Truth And Justice (CTJ) (August 29, 2016)

Posted in Courts, Judges, Judicial Arrogance, Judiciary, Justice, Monopoly, Rackets, Rule of Law on August 29, 2016 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Courts have failed.  Courts exist to make life easy and lucrative for judges and to make money for obliging and cooperative lawyers.”

J          “Just another racket.”

K          “The lawyer’s unwitting role is to lead the public to believe that we live under a system of laws with neutral judges who listen to all arguments and discern the law and facts objectively.”

J          “A lawyer goes on the bench so that he or she can go home early with full and guaranteed pay.”

. . .

K          “We need to create courts that find some truth and do some justice.  Hundreds of years ago in England, the courts of ‘law’ dispensed very little truth or justice and applied a ruthless version of the law.  The market responded and a new court system and court house was established across the street – the court of ‘equity’.  If you fell behind on your house payment, the ‘law’ court would toss you out in the street.  However, go across the street and the ‘equity’ court would give you credit for what you invested in the house and even prevent the law court from tossing you out in the street.”

J          “Isn’t that why they call what you invest in the home – dollars and sweat – the ‘equity’ in your house.  The thing called ‘equity’ in your home was created to address that personal investment in and commitment to the home.”

K          “Exactly.  There are still equitable causes of action and equitable remedies.  Dozens of years ago, all the big legal players decided to merge the ‘law’ court and the ‘equity’ court into one court.  That created a monopoly.  And the courts quickly began to act like monopolists.  They could and do whatever they want to do which is typically to dismiss a case and go home.”

J          “With full and guaranteed pay.  Sounds like the merger of the National Football League and the American Football League into the National Football League in 1970.  Monopoly is bad.”

K          “Monopoly is very bad.  We need to return to our roots and create a new court of ‘equity’ that could be called . . . the ‘Court of Truth and Justice’ to address the genuine legal needs of the populace.”

J          “What you are talking about is what I call restoring the rule of law in America.”

. . .

K          “We need a test case.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “Assigning Blame: The Lawyers: 50 Percent; The Non-Lawyer Public: 50 Percent; The Judges: 100 Percent (December 3, 2012).”]

Bumper sticker of the week:

Why not try the rule of law for a week or two?

The Great Google Wall (June 27, 2016)

Posted in Courts, Google, Internet, Monopoly, Privacy on June 27, 2016 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “I am found on Google, therefore I am; I am not found on Google, therefore I am not.”

J          “If you are not making money for Google, you are not found on Google; if you are not found on Google, you do not exist.  You are not.”

. . .

K          “If Google does not deliver the site ‘above the fold,’ the site will ultimately fold.  If Google consigns a site to the second page – the obituary page in digital media – the site is dead.”

. . .

K          “You could play one of those Will Shortz puzzler games.  ‘Drop the word “ogle” which means “to look at amorously, flirtatiously, or impertinently” and add a “d” and what do you get?  . . .  God.’”

J          “Google is the gateway to reality and the wall to existence.”

. . .

K          “Google has emerged as a natural monopoly in this the ‘Age of Monopoly.’  By definition, the free market cannot regulate a natural monopoly.  A natural monopoly should be broken up or regulated.”

J          “Google is our contemporary ‘Pa Bell’ much like ‘Ma Bell’ that dominated the telephone industry forty years ago.  Google is a national public utility.” 

K          “And the United States Court of Appeals for The District of Columbia Circuit agrees.”

. . .

[See “United States Telecom Ass’n v. Federal Communications Comm., No. 15-1063 (June 14, 2016).” and “Court Backs Rules Treating Internet as Utility, Not Luxury” by Cecilia King, June 14, 2016.]

[See the e-commentary at “Less Government Regulation Series:  Google (November 30, 2009).”]

Bumper sticker of the week:

Google is God; net neutrality is good.

One Book Wonders: Scan Another Book (September 29, 2014)

Posted in Awards / Incentives, Banks and Banking System, Bernanke, Book Reference, Economics, Economics Nobel, Education, Greenspan, Minimum Wage, Monopoly on September 29, 2014 by e-commentary.org

. . .

1          “Two books do offer more insight.  But that is just me.”

2          “Three if you have a spare three-day weekend.”

. . .

1          “Former Chief Justice William Rehnquist often said that his world view was strongly influenced by a book he read as a young man, The Road to Serfdom, by Friedrich von Hayek.  The best-seller was published in 1944 during the last days of World War II.”

2          “I can see why Fred’s missive captivated the young private from Milwaukee.  He was conscripted by Big Government to fight other privates conscripted by other Big Governments.  Fred warned of the dangers of what he called collectivism and big government and predicted that the path to socialism, the ‘road to serfdom’ of his title, would eventually collapse.  The world sure looked like it was collapsing.”

1          “My original edition notes that the printing has been redesigned by the publisher to conform to the government’s request to conserve paper during that War.  Government making reasonable requests?”

2          “The government was right, we tattoo far too many fallen trees.  My copy warns the reader right on the cover that Fred may not have any idea what he is talking about.  The publisher warns the prospective purchaser that Hayek got the Nobel Prize in E-con-omics.”

1         “What if Rehnquist had stumbled on a book that warned of the dangers of raw selfishness and big corporations and predicted that the path to corporatism and kleptocracy, the ‘road to serfdom’ of the new publication, would eventually collapse.”

2          “Fred lived during a period of time when the governments of many world powers, at the direction of their military and financial elites, marketed much evil and inflicted great pain, grief, and violence on the world.  His distrust is not unfounded but myopic.”

1          “He intuits that big is often bad, but he only got half the story right.  We do not have a market economy.  Today, Big Government is Big Business; Big Business is Big Government.  Sit down and analyze the major industries in America.  Each one of them is monopolized.  The business is the industry; the industry is the business.  In this Internet era, when someone concocts a new application or gizmo, that person has a monopoly on the application or gizmo.”

2          “We are racing down the road to serfdom.  Yet the guvmit, not the private sector, has always enforced speed limits.”

1          “The government is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the monopoly corporations.  There are now no limits and no governors.”

. . .

1          “Let’s say that someone is deeply and genuinely concerned about the road to serfdom.  Would the concerned citizen support a higher minimum wage or not?  The folks who have minimum wage jobs today are serfs.  They are at the end of the road to serfdom in a hopeless cul-de-sac.  If the rate is raised, some folks will lose some of their serf status and yet a few may lose their job.”

2          “What I have noticed is that the opponents of a minimum wage increase do not give a hoot about the workers and only seek to do everything to cut the costs for the Owners.”

1          “Now that you mention it, Fred surely would support an increase in the minimum wage to avoid the nefarious road to serfdom.”

2          “What happened to Bill along his journey?”

. . .

1          “In The Age of Turbulence, Alan ‘Easy Al’ Greenspan describes the influence that Ayn Rand had on his intellectual development.  So many young men are distracted by shiny objects.”

2          “So many things in life just are not a surprise.”

1          “Raw self-interest is not genius, but it sure does appeal to our baser instincts.”

2          “And it advanced her and his financial interests.”

1          “But not ours.  I do not hold her exclusively responsible for the economic violence that he unleashed on the world, yet she is at the top of the list.”

. . .

1          “Think about the folks who look to the Good Book and only the Good Book for insight and inspiration.  At one time, a person could only carry one gun, one knife, one bed roll and one book.  That book was dubbed the Good Book.  The struggle to exist limited one’s time to contemplate one’s existence.  Space only allowed for one book and time only allowed for reading one book that had to provide all the answers.”

. . .

1          “Those who have access to more resources need to get a life.  And scan a second book.”

2          “Asking someone to read two books is a lot to ask.  Life is short.”

. . .

1           “When the smarter gender takes over, Nancy Drew will reign supreme.”

. . .

[Banned Book Week – September 21 – 27]

[Search the name “Carmen Segarra” on the Internet.  She should receive the Profile in Courage Award for 2014, but it will likely go to someone like Greenspan or Bernanke.  See the previous e-ssay at Profile In Cowardice Award (May 12, 2014).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Scan a book, don’t ban books.

Read a second book; get a second opinion.

What we really need is a moment of science in the public schools.

(M)End The Fed (July 11, 2011)

Posted in Antitrust, Banks and Banking System, Bernanke, Crime/Punishment, Federal Reserve, Language, Law, Monopoly, O'Bama, Politics on July 11, 2011 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “The vocal critics of the Fed are missing the point.  Stated simply, every nation needs a central bank, but the Big Banks own and operate the Federal Reserve.  Stated another way, the country tolerates a misunderstood institution – the Federal Reserve – that is an unrestrained cancer and at the same time lacks an institution it desperately needs – a central bank independent of excessive political and any private interference.”

L          “A transparent central bank?”

K          “Call it whatever you want.”

L          “A responsive central bank?”

K          “Responsive to something other than Big Banks.  Bernanke* should have the intellect to understand the problem and the integrity to compel change, yet even he may take his marching orders from others.”

L          “He, Geithner and the others either assisted in creating the problem or allowed it to fester and permutate.  Now O’Bama is serving the interests of the financial industry at a time when his Department of Justice should be serving members of the financial industry with sub poenas and criminal indictments.  What incentive it there for him to reform the financial industry or the Fed.  Simply look at who he is soliciting for campaign contributions.”

K          “He was caught.  He simply could not get elected and cannot get reelected without the money.  No one is able to identify one industry in America that is not completely monopolized today.  Banks are among the biggest offenders.  Without a market, there is not a market and are not market forces.  Change likely will not come until there is a complete economic collapse.  That situation may generate enough sustained interest and desperation among those who can change affairs to reform the system.”

L          “Or the catastrophe may not leave any choice.” 

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Antitrust Chief Flees; Monopolies Reign Freely

Because you don’t have to do the time, do the crime

Big sticker; small font sans serifs; big bumper:

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

BEFORE THE

BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM

WASHINGTON, D.C.

___________________________________

Written Agreement by and between

BIG BANK,

New York, New York

And

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF NEW YORK,

New York, New York

___________________________________

.          WHEREAS, in recognition of their common goal to maintain the financial soundness of Big Bank (the “Big Bank”), a nationally chartered bank that is a member of the Federal Reserve System, the Big Bank and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (the “Reserve Bank”) have mutually agreed to enter into this Written Agreement (the “Agreement”).

.          NOW, THEREFORE, the Bank and the Reserve Bank agree as follows:

  1. Within ninety (90) days of this Agreement, the board of directors of the Big Bank shall submit to the Reserve Bank a written plan to divest itself of any and all deposits and assets in excess of one hundred billion dollars ($100,000,000,000.00) . . . .

Walmart’s Classy Action (April 11, 2011)

Posted in Courts, Economics, Monopoly, Supreme Court on April 11, 2011 by e-commentary.org

. . .

E          “It keeps getting more surreal.  Walmart whined all the way to the Supreme Court recently that the proposed class of individuals joined in the discrimination law against it is too big.”

F          “So Walmart promotes judicial activism?”

E          “Or is it an admission by Walmart that Walmart is too big?  Walmart could divest itself of a few of its divisions.  Or enter into a ‘consent decree’ with the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice and down size.”

F          “Is a ‘consent decree’ one of those legal things that allows an entity to maintain that it did not do anything wrong in the past and it agrees not to do it ever again in the future.”

E          “That’s the animal.  A female spokeswoman with Walmart stated that she never experienced any discrimination while working her way through the Walmart hierarchy.”

F          “But she is not a proposed member of the class?”

E          “Nope.”

F          “What’s the problem?  Seems fair that she is not part of the class.  Large companies with large numbers of employees may have large classes.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Large is good?

Radiation is democratic and dismayingly indifferent