Monday, April 06, 2009

Collusion or Partnership

A friend was telling me recently about an article that he read about the failure of the free market. To bolster his case perhaps, he noted that Henry Ford was once working with legislators to undermine the efforts to build railroads. If true, Ford was not engaging in free market activity. Rather he was colluding with government to protect his industry from competition. Or, to use more modern lingo, Ford and government officials were forming a public-private partnership.

11 comments:

colt said...

Very good.

Anonymous said...

Just a darn minute! There is nothing that cannot be accomplished with an unlimited budget and some Yokit!

trainhead said...

Ford was just one in a long line of businessmen who talked free markets and capitalism but did everything in their power (which was considerable) to undermine these ideas in practice. Among government rewards to the auto industry: our interstate highway system and other public highways, cheap (and polluting) fuel, high rate of injuries per mile traveled. If the railroads or airlines had the same injury or pollution rates, they would be shut down in a heartbeat.

A good definition of a capitalist might be someone who makes a profit because he avoids having to pay the full cost of his product. Roads for automobiles, pollution costs, liar-loans and derivatives sold by bankers... the list is endless. It is not really much to celebrate - one person getting wealthy at the expense of others.

Rich said...

"Henry Ford was once working with legislators to undermine the efforts to build railroads."

Would you please be so kind as to pass on a link that supports your premise?

After three google searches, I've come up empty. Operator error to be sure.

smallgovsam said...

Very intresting premise, trainhead. Capitalists exploit the workers or proletariat to achieve profits, or the surplus value of labor.

I have a question for you. The computer you are reading right now - did you exploit it from Best Buy? Or did Best Buy exploit you for it? Who is the "loser" of the exchange and who is the "winner?"

Best Buy wanted to you buy the computer and you wanted to buy it. You both won. There are no losers in trade. Its what game theorists call a positive sum game. Like a game of little league, everyone is a winner.

In a capitalist society (purely theoritical) decisions pertaining to production are determined not by government edict but rather by idividual actions (like buying a computer). In a socialist society all decisions pertaining to production are determined by the state under the threat of force.

Which society would you rather live in, trainhead?

Denis Navratil said...

Rich, no premise and no link to pass on here. I was simply reacting to what a friend had said. That is why I wrote such things as "if true" in my thread.

And Sam, great points! I wish I had thought of them myself.

Rich said...

DN, w/o a supported premise, it's difficult for me to believe/digest the rest of the post.

As I've said on other blogs, supported stances are much more palatable.

But that's just me. I'm just kinda weird that way.

Rich said...

I remember when I was about 5 or 6 my teacher asked the class what we would do if we were President to stop rising prices. I proudly answered that I'd make a law to keep prices the same and police, catch, and hold accountable all that violated the law. (I had no clue. I was 5.)

But the teacher blew me off (bad choice of words) and said, "The President can't do that." I quickly asked Why not?

She never answered me. To this day I remember being ignored lik that. And it felt like she didn't even know how to explain it!

Hey lady, it's called the Constitution! That's all you had to say. I would have bought that. Even at 5, I would have bought that.

Rich said...

opps...that was meant to go over at natural born tyrants :P

colt said...

Racine is a good example of how ban these partnerships work out.
RCEDC clams to have done so much for Racine.
Rely what? Can we get a list?
Same for The DRC other then be a toy for the Johnson Family can we get a list? BTW they can not claim party on the Pavement since two downtown business started POP not DRC I believe

Anonymous said...

Famous Quotes re Banking and the Fed.

from: http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2009/04/sharing_the_blame_for_the_econ.html

"I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is now controlled by its system of credit. We are no longer a government by free opinion and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men."
-President W. Wilson, 1919

"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks, and the corporations which will rise up around them, will deprive the people of all their property, until their children wake up homeless..."
--President Thomas Jefferson

"Give me control of a nation's money supply, and I care not who makes its laws."
--Mayer Rothschild, private banker.

"The bold efforts the present bank has made to control the government...are but premonitions of the fate that awaits the American people should they be deluded into a perpetuation of this institution, or the establishment of another like it."
--President Andrew Jackson

"It is well enough that people of this nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorow morning."
--Henry Ford

"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and its issuance."
--President James Madison

"The bankers own the Earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money, and with the flick of a pen, they will create enough money to buy it back again.
However, take away from them the power to create money, and all the great fortunes like mine will disappear, and they ought to disappear, for this would be a happier and better world to live in.
But, if you wish to remain the slaves of bankers, and pay the cost of your own slavery, then let them continue to create money."
--Sir Josiah Stamp, Former Director of The Bank of England.

"The government should create, issue, and circulate all the currency.Creating and issuing money is the supreme prerogative of government, and its greatest creative opportunity.
Adopting these principles will save the taxpayers immense sums of interest, and money will cease to be the master and become the servant of humanity."
--President Abraham Lincoln.