Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

A Quote From George Carlin On "The Invisible Hand"

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
 
Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:37 AM
Original message
A Quote From George Carlin On "The Invisible Hand"
"The invisible hand of Adam Smith seems to offer an extended middle finger to an awful lot of people"---George Carlin

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Louisiana1976 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
1. K&R
:kick:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
unblock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 10:21 AM
Response to Original message
2. adam smith wouldn't recognize today's system as capitalism.
adam smith believed in meaningful competition as the source of pretty much all of the good that comes from capitalism.

today, power relationships dominate fair decision-making processes.

microsoft has too much control over software (monopoly -- consumers have little choice)
wal-mart has too much control over retailing (monopsony -- suppliers have little choice)
the vast majority of industries are dominated by half a dozen or fewer choices that generally differ from each other only at the margins, meaning the real choice is even less.

adam smith would say that the excess profits such companies enjoy would lead the invisible hand to introduce more competition, as entrepreneurs try to break in and cash in on that gold mine. but there are too many barriers to entry. how can anyone possibly compete with behemoths like wal-mart these days? any supplier will be at a huge disadvantage if they can't get it on wal-mart's shelves and their competition can.

even banking is really hard to break into. once upon a time, all you needed was enough money from investors, to serve the local community. now you need a huge network of atms or you or your customers will have to pay ridiculous fees for the use of other banks' atms. meaning a local bank starts off rather far behind the behemoths.


with big barriers to entry, incumbent vendors are free to do things that adam smith would say should earn them unfair excess profits short term but eventually go away or put them out of business long term. as long as they can maintain their behemoth status and maintain the barriers to entry, they can continue to earn excess profits for a very long time.

and, of course, the behemoths can get favorable legislation and loopholes through congress, put pressure on regulators, or settle their way out of illegal or unfair practices -- among them, unfairly putting competition out of business.


this is not adam smith's world, and i don't care to call it capitalism.
"economic feudalism" would be closer to the truth.




Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
hvn_nbr_2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Exactly.
People who glorify Smith's invisible hand assume that gigantic multinational corporations are subject to the same natural restraints as medieval village shoemakers were. It's complete bullshit to conclude anything whatsoever about how an economy based on giant corporations works by comparing it to village shoemakers three centuries ago.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
barbiegeek Donating Member (844 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. That is the Best explanation ever!!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Bravo.
Precisely and excellently stated. :thumbsup:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Mon Oct 20th 2014, 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC