From: Mike Lorrey (email@example.com)
Date: Thu Feb 07 2002 - 10:10:40 MST
Brian D Williams wrote:
> >From: Mike Lorrey <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> >Yes, a mercantilist oligarchy is an apt description of a large
> >chunck of the national government and big business, while the
> >majority of business is still a free market (since most businesses
> >are and employees work for small businesses involved in
> >local/regional trade. Keep in mind that large scale labor brokers
> >(i.e. so-called labor unions) are also properly classified as
> >mercantilist oligarchs (since their members have little choice in
> >joining or not, and have no voice in how their membership dues are
> >spent on bribing politicians), while other special interests, the
> >so-called NGO's, purport to have their members interests in mind,
> >but are generally just for anything that for-profit businesses
> >are against, and vice versa, with a few exceptions, like the NRA,
> >the Red Cross, etc..
> A slight correction...
> Unions cannot spend member money directly on political causes.
> However unions due try to collect money ($3.00 a quarter) for the
> PAC, which is used for political purposes.
Yet the union claims to represent ALL of its members when lobbying, AND
I have first hand experience with how 'voluntary' the PAC donation is.
Many unions, like Laborers International, actively discourage members
having a party affiliation outside the DNC, especially for shop stewards
and local presidents.
> You can deduct the PAC from your dues and members like myself who
> do not blindly support a political party, do.
And how many members of the union are aware of this and take advantage
of it? And how many unions do, in fact make this voluntary? A few? Some?
Apparently not a lot, since the unions have successfully fought against
this being mandated in the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act.
> The book I mentioned awhile back "The Rule of Three" goes into why
> in a mature market there will be three main generalist competitors
> with niche players catering to speciality markets. An emergent
> behavior of markets.
> Effectively an oligarchy.
This is of course highly dependent upon what the cost of entry to the
market is as well as how advantageous economies of scale are in that
A market that requires huge amounts of capital every year to be invested
in manufacturing infrastructure to compete effectively in the mass
market, as well as in new model year product development would tend
toward oligopoly under standard industrial technologies due to this
large cost barrier to entry. This is not always the case, however.
For example, take the firearms industry. Few people will dispute that it
is a rather mature market: we are still using propellants and basic
architectures of firearms that have changed little in more than a
century, and many of the most popular models were designed, or are based
on designs dating back to the US Civil War. Yet despite this apparent
maturity, there are a dozen or more major firearms makers in the US
alone, and thousands of smaller outfits producing all manner of
Why is this? Ray Kurzweil can explain this best: because of
technological singularities. Industrial manufacturing technology has
become so mature, so commonplace, and so easy to use that the cost of
entry for a firearms maker is very small, and one can easily outsource
many manufacturing steps that a small maker cannot perform in house. A
good friend of mine is a firearms manufacturer who makes firearms in the
shop of his retail gun store and in his home workshop. Another group of
friends have a similar operation a few miles further down the road.
The only real restraint on their ability to do business is that of
governmental regulation, which restricts what kinds of arms they can
make and who they can sell them to.
Look also at the illicit drug industry. In the manufacture of marijuana,
cocaine, heroine, methamphetamines and many other illegal drugs, it can
be said that the market is highly mature. The market for designer drugs
is small relative to the market as a whole, and the technology of
manufacture is inexpensive and easy to use.
Furthermore, look at the software industry. There are far more than
three major software makers, and much, if not the majority, of software
comes from specialty programmers.
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