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#702 Nov 29 2011 at 5:45 PM Rating: Default
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lolgaxe wrote:
gbaji wrote:
So we had no corruption between businesses and government until after 1981?
Is this another example of the liberal tendency to define everything in all-or-nothing terms?


/whoosh!

If you're saying that Reaganomics (alone presumably) lead up to the current idiocy (presumably you're speaking of the public/private corruption problem), then *you* were the one to make that sort of all-or-nothing equivalence.

Are you arguing that had we not implemented Reaganomics or something like it, that we would not today have the same/similar problems with that sort of corruption? If not, then why post what you posted?
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#703 Nov 29 2011 at 5:56 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
If you're saying that Reaganomics (alone presumably) lead up to the current idiocy (presumably you're speaking of the public/private corruption problem), then *you* were the one to make that sort of all-or-nothing equivalence.
You know, instead of presuming if you used actual facts and data checking and intelligent inquiries you could have easily found out what I was talking about. I guess your way works, too. You know; Being aggressively wrong. Reality: No, not alone and no the idiocy I was talking about wasn't about the public/private corruption problem but about the OWS.
gbaji wrote:
Are you arguing that had we not implemented Reaganomics or something like it, that we would not today have the same/similar problems with that sort of corruption?
Not at all. But since you jumped head first instead of a little research, congratulations on looking idiotic!
gbaji wrote:
If not, then why post what you posted?
Because I know that whenever you so much as think negative thoughts of the Almighty Reagan, Not Real Scotsman Conservatives will get into a tizzy going out of their ways to attack the opposition.

And that simple puppetry, my friend, is HILARIOUS.

Edited, Nov 29th 2011 6:57pm by lolgaxe
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#704 Nov 29 2011 at 5:58 PM Rating: Excellent
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It says a lot that Microsoft was the first name that popped into my head as well.
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#705 Nov 29 2011 at 6:12 PM Rating: Default
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lolgaxe wrote:
gbaji wrote:
If you're saying that Reaganomics (alone presumably) lead up to the current idiocy (presumably you're speaking of the public/private corruption problem), then *you* were the one to make that sort of all-or-nothing equivalence.
You know, instead of presuming if you used actual facts and data checking and intelligent inquiries you could have easily found out what I was talking about.


You posted immediately after my post, which was entirely about public/private corruption and how too much government regulation makes the problem worse, not better. Go figure that I assumed that "the idiocy" you were referring to had something to do with that. WTF?

Quote:
I guess your way works, too.


With normal rational people, it does. Because normal rational people follow a conversation and actually respond to what is currently being talked about. Do you do this in normal conversation as well? Do people give you strange looks when you insist that they're somehow wrong or stupid because they couldn't figure out that you were really talking about something someone said 5 minutes ago? Must be fun at parties!

Quote:
No, not alone and no the idiocy I was talking about wasn't about the public/private corruption problem but about the OWS.


So the thing no one had mentioned for like 6+ posts prior to yours? Smiley: oyvey


How on earth could I have missed it! Smiley: lol


Quote:
gbaji wrote:
Are you arguing that had we not implemented Reaganomics or something like it, that we would not today have the same/similar problems with that sort of corruption?
Not at all. But since you jumped head first instead of a little research, congratulations on looking idiotic!


Dude. I should not have to do "research" to figure out what your one sentence post was referring to. If I do, then perhaps the problem is with you? No. Check that. It's definitely with you.


But just for fun. WTF does OWS have to do with Reaganomics? Are you saying that if it hadn't existed, that no one would have decided to do the OWS protests? That seems just as stupidly far fetched.
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#706 Nov 29 2011 at 6:21 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
lolgaxe wrote:
gbaji wrote:
If you're saying that Reaganomics (alone presumably) lead up to the current idiocy (presumably you're speaking of the public/private corruption problem), then *you* were the one to make that sort of all-or-nothing equivalence.
You know, instead of presuming if you used actual facts and data checking and intelligent inquiries you could have easily found out what I was talking about.
You posted immediately after my post, which was entirely about public/private corruption and how too much government regulation makes the problem worse, not better.
Under the presumption that (A) your post was there when I started to post and (B) your post was the one I was replying to. Keep digging, eventually you'll get out of that hole.
gbaji wrote:
With normal rational people, it does. Because normal rational people follow a conversation and actually respond to what is currently being talked about. Do you do this in normal conversation as well?
Again, your need to be the center of attention is making you assume you were the one being talked to in the first place. Do you go to McDonalds and just ***** at everyone for their conversations not answering your questions?
gbaji wrote:
How on earth could I have missed it!
Well, you're intelligent but really really stupid.
gbaji wrote:
I should not have to do "research" to figure out what your one sentence post was referring to
That's your problem. Your not understanding something but still plowing headlong is entirely your problem. A smart person would do a little bit of research before just assuming what a conversation they weren't even a part of was about. Smiley: smile
gbaji wrote:
Are you saying that if it hadn't existed, that no one would have decided to do the OWS protests?
More all or nothing to defend his holiness, huh? Just to see how far you'll dig yourself before you realize what is going on even though I spelled it out for you quite recently, "No, that wasn't what I said at all."

Edited, Nov 29th 2011 7:24pm by lolgaxe
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#707 Nov 29 2011 at 6:27 PM Rating: Decent
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catwho wrote:
It says a lot that Microsoft was the first name that popped into my head as well.


It's very interesting that you (both of you) bring up this example. Do you know when Microsoft first started lobbying? After it began to get sued by everyone and their brother under laws passed by competitors and it realized that it had to play in the same "control the regulators" game to survive. Do you know when it really started manipulating the market in unfair ways? After that happened. While some of its business practices beforehand (bundling stuff with their OS for example) was a but pushy, they could be worked around (and quite often were).

When things got nasty was after they started lobbying the government and getting them to pass regulations which were designed to benefit their OS and software. How many of you are aware of the security requirements in SOX? Do you know that it's basically tailor written to the security model Windows Servers use? So... In order to meet the security requirement, which has very real SEC implications (and thus bottom line implications for any business in the country), you basically have to use Windows Servers to handle your email/messaging systems. This is why even though nearly every engineer at the company I work for works on unix systems, they *all* have a windows desktop or laptop machine as well.

Because of government regulation, Microsoft gets to sell OS licenses for pretty much every employee at every publicly traded corporation in the US. Guaranteed income (and massive leverage into other parts of the market). That happened because of government regulation, not because MS used their own market power to bundle "free" utilities into their OS package.


So MS is actually a great example of exactly what I'm talking about. Take away the government regulations on computer security standards and they'd have a lot less power in the market than they do.

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#708 Nov 29 2011 at 6:33 PM Rating: Excellent
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Technogeek wrote:
That's it? "Stop regulating businesses and they'll stop bribing politicians!"?

HAhahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

No, I thought it was supposed to be "Stop regulating businesses and they'll stop ******** over the working class".

And resume the laughter.
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#709 Nov 29 2011 at 6:36 PM Rating: Decent
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lolgaxe wrote:
gbaji wrote:
lolgaxe wrote:
gbaji wrote:
If you're saying that Reaganomics (alone presumably) lead up to the current idiocy (presumably you're speaking of the public/private corruption problem), then *you* were the one to make that sort of all-or-nothing equivalence.
You know, instead of presuming if you used actual facts and data checking and intelligent inquiries you could have easily found out what I was talking about.
You posted immediately after my post, which was entirely about public/private corruption and how too much government regulation makes the problem worse, not better.
Under the presumption that (A) your post was there when I started to post and (B) your post was the one I was replying to. Keep digging, eventually you'll get out of that hole.


Or you can just admit that you made a mistake? It wasn't just my post. You have to go 6 posts back (and about an hour and 15 minutes in the past) to find a post that even mentions OWS.

And if that had been the case, why not say "I wasn't talking about that" when responding to my response? Sounds like this is another case of you deliberately wording things vaguely so you can back out of a stupid position later. You get that I see this every time you do it, right? Why do you think I parenthetically stated my assumption about your meaning? If that wasn't your actual meaning, why'd it take you three posts to get around to saying it?


Quote:
Just to see how far you'll dig yourself before you realize what is going on even though I spelled it out for you quite recently, "No, that wasn't what I said at all."


You haven't "spelled out" anything. Perhaps if you stopped being so annoying vague? Just a suggestion. I mean, I get that you think this is a funny bit of trolling or something, but it's really kinda stupid when you do this. You really aren't fooling anyone.
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#710 Nov 29 2011 at 6:36 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
It's very interesting that you (both of you) bring up this example. Do you know when Microsoft first started lobbying? After it began to get sued by everyone and their brother under laws passed by competitors and it realized that it had to play in the same "control the regulators" game to survive.

Cite?

And you're moving the goalposts. Your assertion was that companies didn't become monopolies unless governments helped them. Microsoft was, by your admission, being sued for unfair monopolistic practices prior to (according to you) their lobbying, etc. While I suppose it helps your crumbling case to insist that none of those lawsuits count and that they weren't really manipulating the market until after those lawsuits, you're obviously struggling here.

If you need a few seconds to frantically search the Heritage Foundation for excuses, I understand. Take your time.

Also, the antitrust lawsuit filed against them was in regards to the Internet Explorer browser but good job babbling on about other aspects.

Edited, Nov 29th 2011 6:39pm by Jophiel
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#711 Nov 29 2011 at 6:44 PM Rating: Good
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Edit: nevermind.... I need sleep.


Edited, Nov 30th 2011 1:45am by Aethien
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#712 Nov 29 2011 at 6:45 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Elinda wrote:
Power should lay with the government, not the corporations. We don't elect corporate CEO's.

And yes, money and power go hand and hand. That's kind of the problem that needs to be addressed.

How do we keep the powers of governance from being completely bought out by the corporations?


Can we agree..?
Are you serious?

How about if we lengthened the terms for our top law-makers. The biggest money grab for the politicians, and corresponding power grab by the privateers, is during elections.

Six years for president. Three for reps. Senators can stay at six - i don't care.









Edited, Nov 30th 2011 1:46am by Elinda
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#713 Nov 29 2011 at 6:52 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
Cite?


Um... ok. Just the first thing I found. It's not like I haven't heard this around the water cooler for years now. I do work in the **** industry you know.

Quote:
And you're moving the goalposts.


Am I? What defines a monopoly?

Quote:
Your assertion was that companies didn't become monopolies unless governments helped them.


No. I said that it's rare for the free market to generate monopolies, but that in that rare case, we absolutely can and should have just enough government regulation to prevent them from using an unfair market advantage to further extend control/power. The problem is that currently it seems like the government acts most to institutionalize monopolistic behavior and not the other way around.

Quote:
Microsoft was, by your admission, being sued for unfair monopolistic practices prior to (according to you) their lobbying, etc.


Yup. Nothing wrong with that. The problem is that instead of teaching Microsoft the lesson that they should not bundle software in their OS in order to leverage that power into market share into the applications market, Microsoft learned the lesson that "thou shalt not be a large corporation without buying political cover". Microsoft is more of a monopoly today than it was in the mid 90s, yet it suffers no lawsuits, and gets no negative press.

Do you think that government intervention helped or hurt?

Quote:
While I suppose it helps your crumbling case to insist that none of those lawsuits count and that they weren't really manipulating the market until after those lawsuits, you're obviously struggling here.


Nope. I think you're missing my point entirely. If government intervention were limited solely to the use of courts to address issues (like monopolistic behavior) there wouldn't be a problem (or much less of one). But because the government is massively more involved in business than that, it's created a condition in which in order to be successful in business you must lobby the government. Failure to do so will come with reprisals.


So... The government has inserted itself into the private market, forcing it to lobby in order to succeed. The politicians do this because they can squeeze those companies for campaign support. The corporations do it because its a cost of doing business. The idea that we should blame companies for getting into a cycle of effectively paying protection money to the political system is somewhat absurd, isn't it?

Quote:
Also, the antitrust lawsuit filed against them was in regards to the Internet Explorer browser but good job babbling on about other aspects.


Huh? That's exactly what I was talking about. They bundled a web browser into their OS, which gave them a competitive advantage against competing web browser products. You get that they also did this with their office suit, and several other applications as well, right?
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#714 Nov 29 2011 at 6:53 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Or you can just admit that you made a mistake?
I did mistake that you'd understand what a non sequitur was. Your continued reaction, though, is quite priceless.
gbaji wrote:
Sounds like this is another case of you deliberately wording things vaguely so you can back out of a stupid position later. You get that I see this every time you do it, right?
You're right in my deliberateness, though the reasoning behind it is wrong. Also, you probably do see something (like I said, you're intelligent), maybe even every time, but if you saw what you should be seeing, then this conversation wouldn't be happening at all (like I said, you're really stupid).
gbaji wrote:
If that wasn't your actual meaning, why'd it take you three posts to get around to saying it?
With a custom title like "+1" I can't imagine why I'd make you twist in the wind like this.
gbaji wrote:
You haven't "spelled out" anything. Perhaps if you stopped being so annoyingly vague?
Stop being so literal.
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#715 Nov 29 2011 at 7:03 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
Cite?
Um... ok. Just the first thing I found. It's not like I haven't heard this around the water cooler for years now. I do work in the **** industry you know.

You should listen more when you're sipping your water. That article doesn't say Microsoft started lobbying up after some initial lawsuits and then got into the wild world of wonderful regulation and lobbying which led to the antitrust suit. It says, at best, that Microsoft started after the US antitrust lawsuit under Clinton. Which undermines the entire rest of your argument.

Quote:
My first day of work at Microsoft, 15 years ago, I wore a DOJ baseball cap that a friend had given me when she heard I was going to work in Redmond. DOJ stood for Department of Justice, which is where my friend worked. I wore the cap into the office on my first day, intending this to be a little joke. The Clinton Justice Department had recently filed an antitrust suit against Microsoft, threatening huge fines and even a breakup of the company. But I learned a lesson: Nobody thought the hat was very funny.

Outside of Washington, they take politics and their consequences seriously, more seriously than in the nation's capital, where it's all "just business," as they say in "The Godfather." My new colleagues were appalled and hurt by the lawsuit. They felt that they were helping their country (as well as themselves) by developing great software. They didn't think their company was the monster being portrayed by Justice Department lawyers.

When George W. Bush became president, the suit was settled on terms generally considered favorable to Microsoft. But the suit and the settlement did the company significant damage, distracting it for several crucial years and forcing it to learn and practice caution, while rivals could continue to behave in the headlong tradition of this new industry.

For many years before the lawsuit, Microsoft had virtually no Washington "presence." It had a large office in the suburbs, mainly concerned with selling software to the government. Bill Gates resisted the notion that a software company needed to hire a lot of lobbyists and lawyers. He didn't want anything special from the government, except the freedom to build and sell software. If the government would leave him alone, he would leave the government alone.


Nice try?

Edited, Nov 29th 2011 7:06pm by Jophiel
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#716 Nov 29 2011 at 7:28 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
Cite?
Um... ok. Just the first thing I found. It's not like I haven't heard this around the water cooler for years now. I do work in the **** industry you know.

You should listen more when you're sipping your water. That article doesn't say Microsoft started lobbying up after some initial lawsuits and then got into the wild world of wonderful regulation and lobbying which led to the antitrust suit.


I didn't say that. I said that they didn't start lobbying until *after* the lawsuits (specifically in the late 90s). I fully agree that the anti-trust lawsuit in 1998 was prior to them lobbying. I suspect you're not getting what I'm trying to say though. My point is that the anti-trust lawsuit had less to do with Microsoft being a monopoly and a lot more to do with the fact that Microsoft was a large company that didn't protect itself from anti-trust lawsuits by lobbying the government.

Here's another op-ed that explains it in more detail

Quote:
Sadly, Microsoft has also learned political lessons. Microsoft used to be a company which was proud to stay out of politics. Even after an FTC investigation in the early 1990s (over Microsoft’s agreement with IBM to work together on the development of the next iteration of Windows and on OS/2), after a Department of Justice investigation culminating in a 1995 consent decree, and after a 1997-98 lawsuit over the consent decree (in which Microsoft’s interpretation was vindicated), Microsoft’s financial and lobbying involvement in Washington was puny. In 1995, Bill Gates was naïve enough to declare that political issues are not "on our radar screen." As of 1994, the company had one lobbyist in Washington. Even in late 1997, Microsoft "had zero presence on the Hill," according to Republican Rep. David McIntosh.

Incredibly, Microsoft’s political non-involvement was dubbed "arrogant" by the Washington, D.C., establishment – as if the D.C. political class were an organized crime syndicate to which every large company should be expected to pay protection.

The May 1998 antitrust lawsuit served as a Pearl Harbor for the company, which finally began to spend as much money on lobbying and campaign contributions as do similarly-sized companies which are under heavy political attack. In 1995, the Microsoft PAC spent only $16,000 in 1995 (on copyright and encryption issues), but now Microsoft is one of the largest corporate political donors in the U.S. Microsoft has bought itself a major lobbying presence in Washington, and begun throwing soft money at the two major parties, and hard money at various candidates.


I asked you what defines a monopoly earlier. That's kinda important. While I'm the first to say that MS used aggressive business tactics, the problem is that they are only unique in that they were successful at using them. Everyone else in the industry was using the same tactics as well. The issue is further muddled because there were some legitimate monopoly-like aspects to MS within their specific area of the industry (they held a much larger total share of home computers than any single company held in the server space). But most of the actual anti-trust lawsuit brought against them was pure window dressing and dog-and-pony show.

And everyone in the industry knew it.

Quote:
It says, at best, that Microsoft started after the US antitrust lawsuit under Clinton. Which undermines the entire rest of your argument.


No. It doesn't. I never said that monopolistic behavior *never* exists in the free market, nor did I say that government should not step in when those monopolies occur and use their power in ways which harm consumers (raising prices on goods when you're the only provider for instance). What I said is that government intervention creates monopolies more often than the free market (it does) *and* that government regulation/intervention allows for monopolies to continue to exist and quite often strengthens them rather than stopping them.

I'm attacking the idea that government regulation will help prevent unfair/monopolistic business practices. The MS case clearly shows us that the opposite is true. I'll ask you what I already stated: Do you think that MS is less a monopoly today than it was in the mid 90s?


Did government action help or hurt the situation? IMO, it clearly hurt things. What it did most was ensure that MS would spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year lobbying in DC. That's where the "corruption" part of this argument comes from. The government acts like the mob and demands protection money from any company large enough to come to its attention. That's not the fault of the companies. It's the fault of a system which allows this to happen in the first place. A system which was supposed to protect us from unfair business practices more often simply institutionalizes them.


That's why we say that government is the problem and not the solution.

Edited, Nov 29th 2011 5:30pm by gbaji
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#717 Nov 29 2011 at 7:34 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
I didn't say that.
You just wrote:
Do you know when Microsoft first started lobbying? After it began to get sued by everyone and their brother under laws passed by competitors and it realized that it had to play in the same "control the regulators" game to survive. Do you know when it really started manipulating the market in unfair ways? After that happened. While some of its business practices beforehand (bundling stuff with their OS for example) was a but pushy, they could be worked around (and quite often were).

When things got nasty was after they started lobbying the government and getting them to pass regulations which were designed to benefit their OS and software. How many of you are aware of the security requirements in SOX? Do you know that it's basically tailor written to the security model Windows Servers use?

Lie a little less maybe? So your argument is that they didn't start lobbying until AFTER the lawsuit that was supposedly the result of them lobbying for regulations that would let them build the monopoly they were sued for? This is ignoring the fact that neither of those articles addresses your supposed connection between this and regulations and the lawsuit itself.

Do you even listen to yourself sometimes? On the plus side, it took you exactly one failed attempt at a cite to start throwing out stuff from the "Independence Institute" from Heartland. It ain't Heritage Foundation yet but it'll do for a laugh.



Edited, Nov 29th 2011 7:37pm by Jophiel
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#718 Nov 29 2011 at 7:39 PM Rating: Excellent
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As a business owner, can I just take the time to point out that without regulations, I could write a number of posts, equal to my current post count at an average length of a gbaji post each, about the number of ways that I could completely and utterly exploit everyone.
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#719 Nov 29 2011 at 8:36 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
I didn't say that.
You just wrote:
Do you know when Microsoft first started lobbying? After it began to get sued by everyone and their brother under laws passed by competitors and it realized that it had to play in the same "control the regulators" game to survive. Do you know when it really started manipulating the market in unfair ways? After that happened. While some of its business practices beforehand (bundling stuff with their OS for example) was a but pushy, they could be worked around (and quite often were).

When things got nasty was after they started lobbying the government and getting them to pass regulations which were designed to benefit their OS and software. How many of you are aware of the security requirements in SOX? Do you know that it's basically tailor written to the security model Windows Servers use?

Lie a little less maybe?


I'm confused then. Where on earth in that post you just quoted did I say that they started lobbying before they were sued? I specifically said they began lobbying *after* they were sued. It's right there in the **** quote Joph.

You're losing sight of my original point here. Remember, we were talking about the contradictory approaches to public/private corruption. One says that we need more regulation to prevent it, the other says we need less. Clearly, in the case of MS "more regulation" (intervention really in this case) didn't help matters. MS is more of a monopoly than it was before the government got involved. Since the government began suing them for anti-trust issues, MS began lobbying heavily. Because MS began lobbying heavily, it positioned itself to inject beneficial language into Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) in 2002. This allowed them to effectively leverage themselves in ways which hurt consumers unlike previous actions which merely hurt competitors. I know first hand how many times we've received directives which required us to implement MS solutions justified because of the need to meet SOX requirements. It's more than a handful, and I'd estimate we purchase about 4-5 times more Windows licenses as a direct consequence.


Government being *more* involved in business makes the public/private corruption worse. Absent that initial involvement (which was spurred on not by consumer complaints but by lobbying from competitors), MS would never have lobbied politicians (which was the direct assumption I was countering if you recall), and its corrupt influence on SOX regulations would not have occurred. So I find it strange when someone laughs at the idea that if government didn't regulate business, business wouldn't bribe politicians. Of course they wouldn't. They'd have no reason to.


Quote:
So your argument is that they didn't start lobbying until AFTER the lawsuit that was supposedly the result of them lobbying for regulations that would let them build the monopoly they were sued for?


Sigh. No. They began lobbying after the initial round of lawsuits (specifically the browser issue). This led to them lobbying as part of their defense, which in turn positioned them to lobby for beneficial legislation which they might not ever have done if not for the initial need to lobby in the first place. That later lobbying led to far more monopolistic acts than anything they'd done before.

Quote:
This is ignoring the fact that neither of those articles addresses your supposed connection between this and regulations and the lawsuit itself.


Because you keep looking at it backwards even though I've explained this clearly several times now. The lawsuit *caused* them to start lobbying. Which in turn *caused* them to use that influence for corrupt actions. While we can say that MS engaged in questionable business practices before 1998, they were not engaged in public/private corrupt activities prior to that point. Keep your eye on the ball here Joph. We're talking about that public/private corruption. That's the thing that the OWS folks are supposedly ****** off about, remember?

I said that if the government didn't involve itself so directly in regulating and legislating business (and enforcing those things), business would have no reason to lobby and we would not have so much corruption. That suggestion was laughed at, but the best case you guys could come up with (Microsoft) for private market abuse clearly shows the exact same pattern I'm talking about. No matter what you thought of MS's practices prior to 1998, it's clear that their ability to influence legislation to benefit them (and hurt consumers and competitors alike) grew dramatically *after* they began lobbying. Had the government left them alone back then, we'd likely be better off.


Hence, government being the problem. If we're asking the question as to whether we should have less government in business or more within the context of public/private corruption, the MS example should clearly show us that less is better.

Quote:
Do you even listen to yourself sometimes? On the plus side, it took you exactly one failed attempt at a cite to start throwing out stuff from the "Independence Institute" from Heartland. It ain't Heritage Foundation yet but it'll do for a laugh.


Ah. Another case of you insisting on a cite and then dismissing any cite I provide because it's not liberal enough for you. Forgive me if I still don't put much weight on that Joph.

Let's not forget that you requested a citation of the fact that MS did not begin lobbying heavily until *after* it was embroiled in lawsuits from the government. Is that fact still in doubt? Can you find any source stating that MS was involved in heavy lobbying prior to the 1998 time frame? So what the **** difference does your opinion of my sources make? Facts are facts.

Edited, Nov 29th 2011 6:43pm by gbaji
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#720 Nov 29 2011 at 8:39 PM Rating: Good
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
As a business owner, can I just take the time to point out that without regulations, I could write a number of posts, equal to my current post count at an average length of a gbaji post each, about the number of ways that I could completely and utterly exploit everyone.


Only if you weren't beaten down by other institutions first.
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
As a business owner, can I just take the time to point out that without regulations, I could write a number of posts, equal to my current post count at an average length of a gbaji post each, about the number of ways that I could completely and utterly exploit everyone.


Depends on the regulations. Can we agree that there's a difference between regulations saying "Companies can't dump more than x volume of y pollutants into the local river" and regulations saying "in order to qualify for high grades on your SEC evaluation, you must buy X amount of equipment/software/whatever, which must meet a set of requirements which just happens to only be met by one company, which just happened to hand the most money to the guys who wrote this regulation". One of those is an example of public/private corruption. Can you guess which one?
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#722 Nov 29 2011 at 8:44 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Depends on the regulations. Can we agree that there's a difference between regulations saying "Companies can't dump more than x volume of y pollutants into the local river" and regulations saying "in order to qualify for high grades on your SEC evaluation, you must buy X amount of equipment/software/whatever, which must meet a set of requirements which just happens to only be met by one company, which just happened to hand the most money to the guys who wrote this regulation".
Sure we can. But you were proposing no regulation at all, not only certain types.
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#723 Nov 29 2011 at 8:46 PM Rating: Decent
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Depends on the regulations. Can we agree that there's a difference between regulations saying "Companies can't dump more than x volume of y pollutants into the local river" and regulations saying "in order to qualify for high grades on your SEC evaluation, you must buy X amount of equipment/software/whatever, which must meet a set of requirements which just happens to only be met by one company, which just happened to hand the most money to the guys who wrote this regulation".
Sure we can. But you were proposing no regulation at all, not only certain types.


I never said that. In fact, I clearly stated that we needed a minimum amount of regulation (and enforcement) to prevent just those cases where government is the only entity which can prevent abuse. I've now said this three times in fact (since Joph made the same claim earlier).

I said we should "lean towards" less regulation and not more. It's not about absolutes.
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#724 Nov 29 2011 at 8:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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Yes, certain regulations are necessary, such as ones that protect the environment, the workers and the consumers.
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#725 Nov 29 2011 at 8:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Can we agree that the problem is that you have a government with power, but no inherent profit motive, and private business with profit motive, but no power, but when the two interact the business world will attempt to sway government to rig the rules to make them more money, and the power motive of those in government will take that money if it helps them gain/keep power. Assuming that's more or less the problem, then there's basically two approaches to this:

1. Get the government out of managing the private businesses (ie: free market). If government isn't in a position to regulate in ways which benefits the bottom lines of businesses, then businesses have no profit motive to involve themselves in government.

2. Get the private businesses out of private business (ie: socialism). Take the profit motive out of industry via heavy regulation (or outright direct control). Have government set salaries, cap CEO pay, and otherwise control business to the point where those in the decision making positions no longer have a profit motive to operate on.


Both in theory can eliminate the sort of private/public corruption we're all so aware of. But honestly, I think I'd rather lean towards the first option rather than the second. For a whole slew of reasons.


Isn't this really what this is all about?

Where in there, do you state that we need a minimum amount of regulation?
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#726 Nov 29 2011 at 9:30 PM Rating: Decent
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
Where in there, do you state that we need a minimum amount of regulation?


It was (admittedly) implied in the phrase "in ways which benefits the bottom line of businesses". Also, I said "leaning toward", not "apply in an absolute manner". I then clarified this when Joph asked the exact same question you did:

Quote:
Leaning towards. Obviously, neither can (should) be taken absolutely. However, I would hope we can agree that this is a pretty clear demarcation in terms of approach to public/private corruption. A liberal will say that the solution is more government regulation. A conservative will say that we need less. Frankly, while I'll freely admit I'm biased here, I just think that it makes a **** of a lot more sense to work to minimize the degree to which government regulates business and thus the degree to which business can profit by lobbying the government than the other way around. It just seems to me that you will only make the problem of businesses using government as a profit methodology worse as you increase government regulation until/unless you push that regulation to a point beyond where I believe most people are comfortable.



I'll admit that I didn't clearly state this the first time around. But it's not like this is the first time I've made the "minimal government regulation needed to prevent negative effects" argument. It's effectively the exact same argument I make with regards to personal liberties when that topic comes up. It's the same principle, in fact. Limited government means just that government "necessary". Obviously, what is necessary is always subject to argument and interpretation, but I think that it's usually not too hard to at least see when something heads in the direction (or "towards") more regulation or less regulation.


I'll also point out that the broad concept of government acting to prevent negatives rather than to create positives is a good guideline to use (and also follows the same sort of "negative versus positive" rights argument). It should allow us to distinguish between passing regulation because "doing X is hurting people, so lets penalize companies that do X", versus "doing Y would help people, so lets reward companies that do Y".
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#727 Nov 29 2011 at 9:31 PM Rating: Decent
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Debalic wrote:
Yes, certain regulations are necessary, such as ones that protect the environment, the workers and the consumers.


What about competitors?
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#728 Nov 29 2011 at 9:54 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Debalic wrote:
Yes, certain regulations are necessary, such as ones that protect the environment, the workers and the consumers.


What about competitors?

That's where the vaunted "free market" comes to play, isn't it?
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#729 Nov 29 2011 at 9:58 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Ah. Another case of you insisting on a cite and then dismissing any cite I provide because it's not liberal enough for you. Forgive me if I still don't put much weight on that Joph.

Oh, hi excluded middle! I didn't see you there in between "scary liberal media sources!" and right-wing think tank op-eds. Well, I saw you but Gbaji didn't. You should go introduce yourself.

Quote:
Can you find any source stating that MS was involved in heavy lobbying prior to the 1998 time frame? So what the **** difference does your opinion of my sources make?

Because you're trying (and failing) to make an argument about monopolies. You asked for an example and one was given. Then you made some claims about it that you haven't been able to back up. Which is fine, but you probably shouldn't start getting all huffy about it.

Incidentally, the irony wasn't lost on me that you'd get all indignant that people don't take you at your word because "I work in the industry".

Wouldn't this just make you an... "expert"? Smiley: laugh

Edited, Nov 29th 2011 10:00pm by Jophiel
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#730 Nov 29 2011 at 10:03 PM Rating: Decent
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Debalic wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Debalic wrote:
Yes, certain regulations are necessary, such as ones that protect the environment, the workers and the consumers.


What about competitors?

That's where the vaunted "free market" comes to play, isn't it?


Absolutely. But it's where government should stay the **** out of the way. The problem is that government increasingly regulates not to protect the environment, the workers, or the consumers, but to protect those businesses who lobby the government (ie: the competition). As a result, part of competition involves lobbying the government. In some cases, lobbying the government can be more profitable than actually making a better product at a lower price, and the resulting regulation is actually working to hurt the consumers (at least). Add in a bit more corruption, and environment and workers may be left behind in pursuit of the power/money trade that goes on.


Again, isn't this what the whole issue is really about? The idea that government increasingly acts not to protect us from the actions of businesses, but to protect the businesses (from an assortment of things). The question which I keep putting out there (I've already answered it) is: Do we address that sort of corruption with more government regulation or with less?
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#731 Nov 29 2011 at 10:12 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Absolutely. But it's where government should stay the **** out of the way. The problem is that government increasingly regulates not to protect the environment, the workers, or the consumers, but to protect those businesses who lobby the government (ie: the competition). As a result, part of competition involves lobbying the government. In some cases, lobbying the government can be more profitable than actually making a better product at a lower price, and the resulting regulation is actually working to hurt the consumers (at least). Add in a bit more corruption, and environment and workers may be left behind in pursuit of the power/money trade that goes on.


Again, isn't this what the whole issue is really about?

I'm not sure, really. I don't even know which thread this is. Though I'm all for eliminating government lobbying.
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#732 Nov 29 2011 at 10:18 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
In some cases, lobbying the government can be more profitable than actually making a better product at a lower price, and the resulting regulation is actually working to hurt the consumers (at least). Add in a bit more corruption, and environment and workers may be left behind in pursuit of the power/money trade that goes on.

Again, look at the US throughout the Gilded Age. The very model of incorruptible stewardship of both the working class and the environment.
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#733 Nov 29 2011 at 10:24 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Ah. Another case of you insisting on a cite and then dismissing any cite I provide because it's not liberal enough for you. Forgive me if I still don't put much weight on that Joph.

Oh, hi excluded middle! I didn't see you there in between "scary liberal media sources!" and right-wing think tank op-eds.


Uh huh. And the LA times is a right-wing think tank? I didn't exclude the middle Joph. You did.

Quote:
Quote:
Can you find any source stating that MS was involved in heavy lobbying prior to the 1998 time frame? So what the **** difference does your opinion of my sources make?

Because you're trying (and failing) to make an argument about monopolies.


And what does that have to do with your opinion of my sources? Eyes on the ball Joph. Sheesh. You've got the attention span of a tween at a twilight convention.

Quote:
You asked for an example and one was given.


I asked for an example of a monopoly which came to exist without any government intervention. You gave an answer of Microsoft, which while it was monopolistic, didn't become fully so until after it was sued for anti-trust and then began lobbying to defend itself. MS is a perfect example of the government practically forcing a large corporation into entering into the public/private corruption as a means of protecting and strengthening its monopolistic status.


The point I was trying to get you to grasp is that government rarely actually acts to prevent monopolies from forming. It acts rather to control and use them for political ends. The government acted not to stop Microsoft from becoming a monopoly but to force Microsoft into paying the government the equivalent of protection money in return for letting it keep (and expand) its monopoly. You're missing the forest for the trees here.

Quote:
Then you made some claims about it that you haven't been able to back up. Which is fine, but you probably shouldn't start getting all huffy about it.


I made claims that MS is more of a monopoly today *after* government intervention than it was before. A claim I have supported with two separate sources (and frankly is this actually in doubt?), but which you keep dancing around but have not actually refuted. So it's kinda funny for you to insist that I haven't backed up my claim. Really? Just saying that over and over doesn't make it true, and it certainly doesn't invalidate what I'm saying.

Microsoft is more monopolistic and more powerful now than it was prior to the anti-trust lawsuit in 1998. Massively more so. And that is exactly because of the sort of public/private corruption that I've been talking about (and which is the core of the OWS complaint). Thus, MS supports my original argument that we should lean towards less government regulation and intervention rather than more.


What part of that is so hard for you to follow?

Quote:
Incidentally, the irony wasn't lost on me that you'd get all indignant that people don't take you at your word because "I work in the industry".


It's not indignation Joph, although I love when you try to make this about me, while refusing to admit that I'm right. It's a pretty clear cause and effect process Joph. MS doesn't spend money lobbying. DoJ launches lawsuit against it. MS loses in court the first couple rounds. Then MS starts spending money lobbying. Few years pass and they get a cushy settlement agreement. Meanwhile, their lobbying gives them huge advantages in the business and engineering industries due to SOX regulations passed in 2002.


And let's not kid ourselves, MS is the best argument you can make for a fully private company becoming a semi-monopoly. Along side are dozens of utility and communication companies operating even more closely under government regulation. But even as an exception the MS story shows that government will force compliance to the system.
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#734 Nov 29 2011 at 10:28 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
In some cases, lobbying the government can be more profitable than actually making a better product at a lower price, and the resulting regulation is actually working to hurt the consumers (at least). Add in a bit more corruption, and environment and workers may be left behind in pursuit of the power/money trade that goes on.

Again, look at the US throughout the Gilded Age. The very model of incorruptible stewardship of both the working class and the environment.


You do realize that during that time period most corporations were not fully private, but were operated under licenses granted by state governments, rights? Or did you not bother to learn anything about the example you keep tossing around? Robber barons were robber barons because they paid off politicians to ensure that they got the licenses and/or land rights to control certain industries in an area. That was hardly a free market Joph, and it's bizarre that you'd even make that claim.

You don't remember the argument we had about "corporate personhood" and me arguing that the courts granting that status to corporations, rather than making them more powerful (as the OWS folks claim ironically) made them subject to the same rules and responsibilities that every other person is held to. It also meant that state governments could not give preferential treatment to one business over another, which was a common practice in the 19th century and which created the very problems we all know so well from that time period.

Edited, Nov 29th 2011 8:31pm by gbaji
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#735 Nov 29 2011 at 11:04 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Uh huh. And the LA times is a right-wing think tank?

Nope. Nor did it say what you claimed it said which is why you went to Source #2 which was indeed from a right-wing think tank.

Quote:
And what does that have to do with your opinion of my sources?

Erm... what does my opinion of your sources have to do with you using them to convince me of a point?

I'm just going to let that one go Smiley: laugh

Quote:
The point I was trying to get you to grasp...

Yeah. You're doing a really shitty job off making it, by the way. Posting links to things that fail to even touch upon the notion that government regulation was responsible for Microsoft becoming the monopoly that it was sued for in the 1990s doesn't really count as making the grade. Insisting that it does also doesn't really count. You linked to an op-ed that actually went against your initial claims and another one that was not only some think tank garbage but still failed to make the connection. Great job.

Quote:
It's not indignation Joph, although I love when you try to make this about me, while refusing to admit that I'm right.

The irony in that statement is just beautiful. Almost as good as you pouting that people don't take your "expert" opinion.
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#736 Nov 29 2011 at 11:10 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
You do realize...

That was all you really had to say to admit you were wrong.

You DO realize that regulation during that era was a mere shadow of regulation today and that the rampant corruption and abuses that you just swear wouldn't happen if only businesses had less regulation were, in fact, the very catalyst of the regulatory systems and laws placed in the early 20th century... right?

Oh, I suppose it just wasn't free enough and that we needed even less regulation then! THAT would have benefited the workers and environment! Of course! Smiley: rolleyes
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#738 Nov 30 2011 at 4:57 AM Rating: Excellent
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Reason for celebration.
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#739 Nov 30 2011 at 6:57 AM Rating: Good
Uglysasquatch wrote:
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#740 Nov 30 2011 at 10:06 AM Rating: Excellent
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Let me just toss into this conversation that due to Microsoft's practices, the specter of IE6 still haunts us to this day.
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#741 Nov 30 2011 at 10:08 AM Rating: Excellent
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#742 Nov 30 2011 at 11:33 AM Rating: Good
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Has "gbaji, op-ed articles don't count as evidence" been used enough to be a meme yet?
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#743 Nov 30 2011 at 11:42 AM Rating: Excellent
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Gbaji looks at the data, not people's opinions when forming his own!

Maybe opinions are data. Just like anecdotes.
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Has "gbaji, op-ed articles don't count as evidence" been used enough to be a meme yet?


He asked for a cite. What do you expect me to do, find online tax statements from Microsoft and link them for you? How many different sources do I need to link, all stating that MS did not begin heavy lobbying until *after* they were sued before you'll accept that this is true? Is anyone actually arguing that this is not true? It's just strange that you guys are basically attacking me for everything except the factual parts I was asked to support with a cite.


I think that "arguing everything except the relevant facts" is common enough to be a meme.
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#745 Nov 30 2011 at 4:32 PM Rating: Good
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No, I expect you to offer a resource that we'd have any reason to trust. An opinion piece or op-ed article do not provide this.

We want a rigorous report or study. If what you are saying has any basis in fact, that shouldn't be difficult to find.
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#746 Nov 30 2011 at 5:09 PM Rating: Excellent
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At this point Gbaji waves around the LA Times op-ed that didn't actually say what Gbaji claimed it said.
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#747 Nov 30 2011 at 5:19 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
At this point Gbaji waves around the LA Times op-ed that didn't actually say what Gbaji claimed it said.


You have the most selective reading disability ever Joph:

Quote:
For many years before the lawsuit, Microsoft had virtually no Washington "presence." It had a large office in the suburbs, mainly concerned with selling software to the government. Bill Gates resisted the notion that a software company needed to hire a lot of lobbyists and lawyers. He didn't want anything special from the government, except the freedom to build and sell software. If the government would leave him alone, he would leave the government alone.

At first this was regarded (at least in Washington) as naive. Grown-up companies hire lobbyists. What's this guy's problem? Then it was regarded as foolish. This was not a game. There were big issues at stake. Next it came to be seen as arrogant: Who the **** does Microsoft think it is? Does it think it's too good to do what every other company of its size in the world is doing?

Ultimately, there even was a feeling that, in refusing to play the Washington game, Microsoft was being downright unpatriotic. Look, buddy, there is an American way of doing things, and that American way includes hiring lobbyists, paying lawyers vast sums by the hour, throwing lavish parties for politicians, aides, journalists, and so on. So get with the program.

So that's what Microsoft did. It moved its government affairs office out of distant Chevy Chase, Md., and into the downtown K Street corridor. It bulked up on lawyers and hired the best-connected lobbyists. Soon Microsoft was coming under criticism for being heavy-handed in its attempts to buy influence. But the sad thing is that it seems to have worked. Microsoft is no longer Public Enemy No. 1. No one blamed it for the recent Japanese tsunami, for example, or demanded hearings on its role in the housing industry collapse.



Do I actually have to move your eyes for you so you can read this? It clearly states that before the lawsuit (referring to the big browser suit in 1998), MS had little or no lobbying presence in Washington. Then after they were hit with said lawsuit, they began lobbying heavily.

WTF?
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#748 Nov 30 2011 at 5:22 PM Rating: Good
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At this point Gbaji waves around the LA Times op-ed that didn't actually say what Gbaji claimed it said.


LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL
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#749 Nov 30 2011 at 5:33 PM Rating: Excellent
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So, once again, you claim that Microsoft started lobbying up in response to previous suits and used that lobbying influence to develop a situation via government regulation where they could establish the monopoly that would eventually lead the 1998 antitrust suit. And, as evidence of this, you point to an article saying that Microsoft started lobbying as a response to that 1998 suit.
Quote:
WTF?

lulz

Edited, Nov 30th 2011 5:33pm by Jophiel
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#750 Nov 30 2011 at 5:39 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
So, once again, you claim that Microsoft started lobbying up in response to previous suits and used that lobbying influence to develop a situation via government regulation where they could establish the monopoly that would eventually lead the 1998 antitrust suit. And, as evidence of this, you point to an article saying that Microsoft started lobbying as a response to that 1998 suit.


Yes. "once again". Because this was the original statement to which you requested a cite:

Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
It's very interesting that you (both of you) bring up this example. Do you know when Microsoft first started lobbying? After it began to get sued by everyone and their brother under laws passed by competitors and it realized that it had to play in the same "control the regulators" game to survive.

Cite?


I was referring to the 1998 lawsuit Joph. That's when they started lobbying. And every citation I've provided confirms exactly what I said.


Seriously, you can't be this stupid. I'm not sure why you keep insisting that I said that MS started lobbying *before* the 1998 lawsuit. I not only didn't say that, I said the exact opposite of that.

Edited, Nov 30th 2011 3:40pm by gbaji
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#751 Nov 30 2011 at 5:56 PM Rating: Excellent
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You previously wrote:
When things got nasty was after they started lobbying the government and getting them to pass regulations which were designed to benefit their OS and software. How many of you are aware of the security requirements in SOX? Do you know that it's basically tailor written to the security model Windows Servers use? So... In order to meet the security requirement, which has very real SEC implications (and thus bottom line implications for any business in the country), you basically have to use Windows Servers to handle your email/messaging systems. This is why even though nearly every engineer at the company I work for works on unix systems, they *all* have a windows desktop or laptop machine as well.

Because of government regulation, Microsoft gets to sell OS licenses for pretty much every employee at every publicly traded corporation in the US. Guaranteed income (and massive leverage into other parts of the market). That happened because of government regulation, not because MS used their own market power to bundle "free" utilities into their OS package.

So, yet AGAIN, because of the 1998 antitrust suit, Microsoft started lobbying which allowed them to dominate the market via government regulation which led to the widespread domination of IE which... led to the 1998 antitrust suit which led to Microsoft lobbying...

Smiley: laugh

Ah, you. It's cute because you try just ever so hard.

Edit: It seems that what you really want to do here is demand that no one say Microsoft was acting monopolistic (specifically in regards to internet browsers) prior to 1998. Which I don't think anyone is going to go along with but I suppose a No True Scotsman fallacy is all you have left at this point. Your initial question was to name a business where the government acted to end or prevent a monopoly. Can we safely say that Microsoft does not have a monopoly on internet browsers today? I'm not claiming the suit was the sole reason for this but the government did, in fact, act to prevent a monopoly on Microsoft's part in the browser market?

Edited, Nov 30th 2011 6:13pm by Jophiel
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