Linked by Dmitrij D. Czarkoff on Fri 31st Aug 2007 08:54 UTC
Editorial This article is an answer to "Competition Is Not Good" by Kroc and reading it wouldn't be comfortable without switching to and from the original article. I wrote it just because I do strongly disagree with Kroc and I believe I can prove that he is not as close to truth as it may seem from the first glance.
Order by: Score:
RE
by Kroc on Fri 31st Aug 2007 09:14 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

You're competing with my article? ;)
Brilliant, I like it. Actually, I knew this was going to happen, and that's a good thing - because the article was there to promote discussion, and that's what's happening here, discussion; not competition.

Reply Score: 2

RE
by Spellcheck on Fri 31st Aug 2007 10:02 UTC in reply to "RE"
Spellcheck Member since:
2007-01-20

Your comment is delusion, not discussion.

Dmitrij's article exemplifies competition of ideas through discourse. May the best ideas win.

Reply Score: 4

RE
by Luminair on Fri 31st Aug 2007 10:33 UTC in reply to "RE"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

Delusional is the nice way to describe Kroc's article :O

Reply Score: 2

RE
by kaiwai on Fri 31st Aug 2007 10:12 UTC in reply to "RE"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

You're competing with my article? ;)
Brilliant, I like it. Actually, I knew this was going to happen, and that's a good thing - because the article was there to promote discussion, and that's what's happening here, discussion; not competition.


I think in alot of cases the only real way to motivate people is through competition. There are those who are motivated just through shear desire to move forward. Put me in that camp, at work, any desire to work is a direct result of wanting to push something forward because of the pride of wanting see something improve rather than anything to do with 'competiting' or 'beating' a rival.

Unfortunately for most people, unless there is something constantly jumping on their back in the form of economic realities - they simply become lazy - or as the old Polish saying goes regarding communism, "people pretended to work, and the state pretended to pay".

Humans over all are lazy creatures, do the bare minimum required - very few have a work ethic that would compell them to work a 70 hour week unless they're forced or financially rewarded as a result. Same goes for innovation, unless there is that reward there for someone to innovate, the compelling aspect to work the long hours and take the risk won't exist - and thus, things stagnate.

Reply Score: 3

RE
by SReilly on Fri 31st Aug 2007 10:51 UTC in reply to "RE"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Same goes for innovation, unless there is that reward there for someone to innovate, the compelling aspect to work the long hours and take the risk won't exist - and thus, things stagnate.

I was having a very similar conversation with the drummer in my band last night. He is currently studying mechanical engineering and as it's the summer holidays, he is working with a metallurgical engineering firm.

The firm he is working for has a world wide patent on a process for nitrogen treating alloys. The fact that the owner of the company invented this process gives him every right to patent it, thereby getting a substantial return on his efforts.

Sure, the process belongs to everyone, that's always going to be the case, but, armed with the patent, the company gets sole licensing rights for the next 50 years (or however long these things last).

If the patenting system did not exist, the inventor would have much less of a reason to develop this process in the first place as anybody could just appropriate his technological invention without paying him a penny.

Now, if we take the example of software patents, it's a completely different matter. Software, IMO, is basically a creative means of expressing mathematics. It's akin to a musician writing a song. I have never heard of a musician patenting his way of playing the guitar, keyboard of percussion, that would be absurd! Yet this is what software patenting is attempting to do.

Many of use have seen the darker side of what software patents do to stifle competition and creativity in the IT industry. If you develop a great new application that happens to do/display/output in some manner that has been patented by MS, Apple or HP, you would leave yourself wide open to litigation, at least in the US. The whole situation is akin to a protection racket as it seems that the only way to protect yourself from this daft patent system is to buy in to it and aquire your own patents.

In our current political and economic climate, the competition engendered by our patent system is, IMO, a darn good thing, yet we see it being abused in the form of software patent. Sure, competition is good but as quite a few other have put it, only on a level playing field.

Reply Score: 2

RE
by ddc_ on Fri 31st Aug 2007 11:41 UTC in reply to "RE"
ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

Patent rights are valid for 30 years. Still, that's much more then the idea's lifecycle in IT world.

I do really believe that all the ideas in IT (including the base ideas of innovative computer programs should be patented, but (1) the patent should be valid for, say, 1 - 3 years and (2) no copyright should be applied to software at all.

Reply Score: 2

RE
by TemporalBeing on Fri 31st Aug 2007 13:57 UTC in reply to "RE"
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

Patent rights are valid for 30 years. Still, that's much more then the idea's lifecycle in IT world.

30? last I knew for the U.S. it was 14, with option to renew once - a total of 28 years if renewed.

Don't know what the rest of the world is at though.

Reply Score: 1

RE
by ddc_ on Fri 31st Aug 2007 19:01 UTC in reply to "RE"
ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

Well, 30 years is term in Russia and most of EU too, AFAIK.

Reply Score: 1

RE
by hobgoblin on Sat 1st Sep 2007 05:29 UTC in reply to "RE"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

28, 30, its a two year difference.

still, given todays turnaround in some tech fields, thats just insane.

its even worse when you look at copyrights.

its a say that whenever the mouse is about to go public domain, disney corp lobbies for a extended copyright law.

maybe fine for the usual creative work (writers, painters and so on) but when it comes to software, we are looking at stuff thats under copyright protection 2-3 generations after it was taken out of circulation, or cant be used any longer as the hardware it used to run on is no longer made.

Reply Score: 2

RE
by kaiwai on Fri 31st Aug 2007 11:54 UTC in reply to "RE"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

In our current political and economic climate, the competition engendered by our patent system is, IMO, a darn good thing, yet we see it being abused in the form of software patent. Sure, competition is good but as quite a few other have put it, only on a level playing field.


The stupid part is the suing of opensource projects! I can understand the need to demand comercial companies selling/distributing patented technology as part of a larger package, say, WMA/WMV/ASF support as part of a Linux distribution, but where is the benefit in punishing those who might otherwise actually contribute in some way indirectly to the original patent holders profitability?

That is where the patent system is screwed up. Take mp3 encoding, what the hell does Faunhoffer benefit by screwing end users into the ground by demanding cash payment for binaries being distributed? Sure, if it is being used within a commercial product, I can understand, but a opensource project like Lame? please, its pathetic to see it in action.

Another problem is this, patent ever greening; this is a major issue within the phamacutical industry where dodgy patent applications are used to extend the life of an existing product to ensure that generic drugs don't come onto the market.

Reply Score: 2

RE
by butters on Fri 31st Aug 2007 19:04 UTC in reply to "RE"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

If the patenting system did not exist, the inventor would have much less of a reason to develop this process

This is where I start having problems with the patent system in its current form. The inventor didn't stay up nights honing his nitrogen-treating process because he figured that it would be a 30-year windwall for his company. He did it because he realized that nitrogen treating would make the alloy better (or whatever it does, not a metallurgist), and therefore more likely to succeed in the market.

I find it hard to believe that, in the absence of a patent system, the inventor would have thought briefly about nitrogen treatment before deciding it wasn't worth the effort. He probably would have been motivated to bring superior alloys to the market before his competitors discovered the new method.

In a competitive market, timing is everything. The value of a technology is much higher for the company that brings it to market first. There's brand association with the technology, and even in the absence of a patent system, it would take a significant period of time (years for non-trivial technologies) for competitors to bring it to market.

Meanwhile, back in patent land, the metallurgy firm has no motivation to refine its nitrogen process or invent new processes because they are already a generation ahead of the competition. The 30-year limited monopoly also implies a 30-year limited stagnancy. The patent holder will milk the patent for all it's worth while no one in the market is innovating in this technological space.

We live in a dog-eat-dog world of vicious competition and rapid innovation. You either innovate or get run over by your competition. Competitors should be driven to innovate out of necessity. The patent system in its current form only serves to slow down this process. It artificially inflates the value and lifetime of an innovation. It ignores the obvious reality that innovations build on one another.

I'm not in favor of eliminating the patent system. My primary recommendation for fixing it is to establish a new method for determining the duration of patent protection. Once a patent is granted, a panel of at least three examiners skilled in the field will each recommend a duration based on how long it would likely take for the invention to become an expected characteristic of competing products in the market. The average (possibly dropping the extremes) becomes the duration of the patent.

In the case of most software patents, the duration would fall in the 1-5 year range. For an industrial process, maybe 10-15 years. In today's competitive landscape, it is tough to imagine a patentable invention that is deserving of a monopoly in excess of 15 years. That's a long time to milk a single innovation.

No one would have had a problem with the one-click shopping patent if the patent office decided that customers would expect such a simple online shopping experience within two years. Sure, give Amazon a two-year head start for their effort. Maybe they can get a 5-year patent on the technology behind their distributed clustering storage system. Much more reasonable.

Reply Score: 3

RE
by SlackerJack on Fri 31st Aug 2007 10:19 UTC in reply to "RE"
SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

Competition is bad you say, it's a competing discussion in itself and if by your view it's bad then we wouldn't be having it.

Reply Score: 2

RE
by Angel on Fri 31st Aug 2007 14:04 UTC in reply to "RE"
Angel Member since:
2005-07-07

You're article was not even worthy of this counter article. People just had to read the comments on your article.

Reply Score: 0

:D
by shiny on Fri 31st Aug 2007 09:24 UTC
shiny
Member since:
2005-08-09

that's what's happening here, discussion; not competition.


Wanna bet? ;)

Reply Score: 7

Kroc, you wrote bullshit
by Ford Prefect on Fri 31st Aug 2007 09:24 UTC
Ford Prefect
Member since:
2006-01-16

Thanks Dmitrij for this nice rebuttal.

There are enough prominent examples in the IT industry showing why real competition is / would be needed.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Kroc, you wrote bullshit
by ddc_ on Fri 31st Aug 2007 11:27 UTC in reply to "Kroc, you wrote bullshit"
ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

Well, I believe Kroc didn't actually mean that competition is bad. He used deliberate overstatement to demonstrate the costs of competition for users and tehnology, and that is the way his article should be considered.
P.S.: I'm Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (the author).

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Kroc, you wrote bullshit
by operato on Fri 31st Aug 2007 13:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Kroc, you wrote bullshit"
operato Member since:
2006-12-05

I still say that his grief is with consumerism and "not" competition.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Kroc, you wrote bullshit
by ddc_ on Fri 31st Aug 2007 19:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Kroc, you wrote bullshit"
ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

That's not about consumerism, it's about the conflict of vendors' and consumers' interests.

Reply Score: 1

sssh
by superstoned on Fri 31st Aug 2007 09:44 UTC
superstoned
Member since:
2005-07-07

I think next time someone submits articles like these, they should consider having a look at some economy magazines (at least) or better, scientific research. common sense is nice and lovely and all, but there is a history of hundreds of years of research on this - it's pretty stupid to ignore all that. And you can argue all you want, history and science beg to differ.

BTW - of course I do agree more with the current article compared to the other one, as this one is much more in tune with science. But it's again based on some not-really-valid arguments, instead of just pointing to/quoting from quality literature (and even Wikipedia's economy articles would be useful for that). I love to discuss the new look of Mac OS X that way, but not economy, sorry. lovely for a blog, sure, but a news site shouldn't post stuff like this. It doesn't help anybody.

Reply Score: 12

RE: sssh
by korpenkraxar on Fri 31st Aug 2007 10:30 UTC in reply to "sssh"
korpenkraxar Member since:
2005-09-10

Agreed! It would be nice to have real scholar and journalist commenting these ideas and pointing to a variety of empirical cases. My guess is that the truth varies from case to case.

Speaking as yet an other amateur, my gut feeling is that competition may potentially be problematic when important infrastructure standards are to be implemented, as perhaps necessity is a more important driving factor. Being able to reach an agreement enables business and a playing ground for competition. Maybe looking into the history of important projects like NMT/GSM, TCP/IP, HTML and POSIX to name a few could provide some insight.

Finally, "successful" competition assumes that consumers are well educated and that sellers are able to compete by the actual merits of their products, which I think is very seldom the case. See for instance the recent OOXML SIS/ISO voting debacle in Sweden where Microsoft seems to have bought the preliminary outcome.

Reply Score: 2

RE: sssh
by ddc_ on Fri 31st Aug 2007 11:29 UTC in reply to "sssh"
ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

Could You please draw any examples? 'Cause I belive to be some way familiar with economics, and I believe my arguments to be valid.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: sssh
by superstoned on Fri 31st Aug 2007 12:43 UTC in reply to "RE: sssh"
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

Yes, your arguments are a lot better than those other ones, though I haven't looked at them in detail - sorry, but I don't really have time for that (I'm posting too much about KDE 4 ;-) )

My point is more that this isn't really the place for this, and secondly, I only would read it if it had a proper list of literature on bottom... EG I've studied Economy more or less as minor (doesn't work that way in the Netherlands but it's close) and I just prefer scientific literature.

And I don't even want to offend the both of you (no matter how funny that would be hehe) - it's more about the place and way, not the actual articles.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: sssh
by ddc_ on Fri 31st Aug 2007 19:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: sssh"
ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

OK, agreed.

Reply Score: 1

Very interesting points
by alexandru_lz on Fri 31st Aug 2007 09:45 UTC
alexandru_lz
Member since:
2007-02-11

Congratulations on a very interesting article. Somehow, I had grasped a few of these points, but only intuitively, not from an economic point of view.

In fact, I assume this is where many of our misconceptions regarding competition come from. When we grasp the concepts intuitively, without any analytical base, we do have the tendency to ignore those points which aren't obvious. In my case (also having lived in an ex-communist country -- not USSR, but about 400 km from it :-D), Kroc's points seemed out of this world. I've seen what the lack of competition can do to an economy, a society and several important industry fields, and I don't want to see it again.

Reply Score: 4

It's really simple, though...
by fryke on Fri 31st Aug 2007 09:46 UTC
fryke
Member since:
2005-07-06

You're both right and wrong. (Both are both right and wrong.) You just have different POVs. ;) There are cases where competition helps and cases where it obstructs progress. The main driver of the first article obviously was the HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray fiasko. And it _is_ chaos right now. The consumer _doesn't_ really have a choice here. As long as content providers are splitting up and favour one technology over the other, consumers who _want_ choice have no choice but to buy into _both_ technologies.
The worst thing: How should grandma know whether a "movie" she buys will actually play on her grandchild's equipment? (Assuming she didn't buy him/her that equipment...) She'd have to choose the DVD over any newer tech, because that's the standard that'll actually play on either. Progress?

Reply Score: 2

RE: It's really simple, though...
by ddc_ on Fri 31st Aug 2007 11:32 UTC in reply to "It's really simple, though..."
ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

It's not exactly that me and Kroc are both right and wrong. Kroc was wittingly exaggerating, and so was I. That's just the way to give raw black and white data to have reader get the full picture by analyzing it.

Reply Score: 1

I agree
by bralkein on Fri 31st Aug 2007 10:10 UTC
bralkein
Member since:
2006-12-20

I agree with this article. I thought Kroc's article was completely off the mark, (no offence man) but I did agree with some of the sentiment expressed therein. Things like proprietary "standards" designed for customer lock-in, DRM and monopolistic domination of markets are all bad things. However, the reason that they are bad is that they all prevent comptetition.

Kroc lamented the lack of open standards due to competitive corporations attempting to corner the market, but in fact open standards have no meaning outside of a comptetitive context, almost by definition. He cited the audio CD standard as being an example of the success that an open standard can be, but he failed to appreciate that competition within the industry guaranteed the value and ubiquity of the standard. Would you really be able to buy a couple of hundred CD-Rs for a fiver if there was no competition between the manufacturers?

Despite its title, Kroc's article seemed to imply that competition is in fact beneficial, but that greater control is necessary to avoid the problems that can arise. I think that we simply need to see more government intervention in these cases, similar to what we've seen recently with the European Comission vs. Microsoft.

Reply Score: 4

RE: I agree
by SReilly on Fri 31st Aug 2007 11:06 UTC in reply to "I agree"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Agreed. What you are saying is very much what I have been hearing from economists for years now. Government regulation of markets and businesses is a must for a healthy economy.

Often, I hear the free market and free market economics hailed as the bastion of freedom when, time and again, a truly free market has been proven to limit customer choice. One good example of this is that without intervention, we would have more monopolies.

In fact, the deregulation of markets has often proven to be detrimental to the market itself. Take WorldCom and Enron as two prominent examples. Also, most of the worst stock market hiccups and crashes have been the direct result of nonregulation/deregulation.

Competition is, IMO, healthy but true competition is only possible when all parties are made to play fair.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: I agree
by ddc_ on Fri 31st Aug 2007 11:47 UTC in reply to "RE: I agree"
ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

That's just one school of economics, while other exist. The monopoly is not as bad as it is considered untill there's some unbreakable way to force competitors to shut down. In software there is such a way: copyright. In hardware no such barrier exists, so monopoly is just no bad thing. See the PC processor market history for example.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: I agree
by SReilly on Fri 31st Aug 2007 14:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I agree"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

See the PC processor market history for example.


I'm afraid that the PC processor market is a prime example of what happens when there is competition involved. If it where not for AMD, Intel would have no reason to push they're x86 design forward.

Take the Itanic (Itanium) mess. It's a prime example of a company which thought that the world would follow it's lead no matter what it did. AMD brought out the x86-64bit extensions which proved so popular that Intel had to follow suit.

If Intel where the sold manufacturer of x86 processors, all 64 bit PCs today would be running Itanium.

There is no monopoly in the x86 processor market and there hasn't been in a while.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I agree
by sbergman27 on Fri 31st Aug 2007 14:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I agree"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Indeed. Chipzilla is big. But Mothra cleaned their clocks on the Itanic thing.

Sometimes... things work like they are supposed to. I attribute it to an accounting error in heaven or some such. :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: I agree
by ddc_ on Fri 31st Aug 2007 19:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I agree"
ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

I believe You're too much afraid to look a bit further into PC hardware history. The first PCs' processors were Intel's monopoly.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: I agree
by oelewapperke on Sat 1st Sep 2007 20:41 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: I agree"
oelewapperke Member since:
2006-10-16

Obviously someone is going to come in first. It's just a truth of the world. A law of God if you will. It's just logical.

If someone invents something really new, it's just gonna take a few years till everybody "gets" it (and realizes there's money in it, nobody, not even ibm, saw good money in computers ("I think there's a world market for maybe 5 computers" comment from IBM's CEO comes to mind), until several years after the intel chips hit the market.

And yes computers only became somewhat useful right after microsoft got involved. Whatever else microsoft is, they were at the birth of the personal computer, and they competed, and won, and got a lot out of it. They made all the innovations. MS-DOS : a simple version of unix to run on "normal" hardware. Visual basic : ever notice how just about all experiments in electronics STILL use either visual basic or matlab ? There must be some good in it (and yes, a lot of bad, but please let God strike down anyone trying to regulat programming languages). Graphical windows, working, with a useful application (word processor and DTP, which was a pain in the ass before windows came along, either expensive as hell, or scissors and paper, take your pick)).

They courted the small developer, as an innovative practice, and it worked (they created, or at least enabled shareware). It worked VERY well. Everybody's trying to repeat this brilliant tactic ever since.

I'm not saying they're perfect. They're not. At all. But they deserve some success for a few very good ideas.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I agree
by dylansmrjones on Fri 31st Aug 2007 12:05 UTC in reply to "RE: I agree"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Government regulation of markets and businesses is a must for a healthy economy.


Negative. That is definitely what the healthy economy does NOT need. Government regulation is the situation to day and we don't have healthy economies.

Healthy economy can only become reality through the absence of government regulation. Government regulation is the reason why software patents exist. Government regulation upsets the market and creates instability and stagnation, followed with regression and ever-increasing national debt and inflation. Politicians don't understand the market and therefore should not intervene. Intervention is bad.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: I agree
by SReilly on Fri 31st Aug 2007 13:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I agree"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

I'm afraid that, considering the fact that most world economies are capitalist, regulation is a must. You state that regulation creates instability but have not provided any proof to back up your statement. If fact, any economics will point out quite clearly that exactly the opposite of your statement is true.

Just look at the Wall Street crash of 1929. Because of unregulated trading, millions of people lost they're life saving not to mention that it worsened an already terrible situation, namely the Great Depression.

More recent examples are WorldCom and Enron. Both companies where working in recently deregulated industries and anybody can tell you what happened there in more detail than this post allows for.

The evidence to back up my claim is common knowledge. Just because you don't believe in regulation does not mean it's not vital in a capitalist society.

To think otherwise has proven to be extremely detrimental to economies the world over, not to mention stupid.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I agree
by alcibiades on Fri 31st Aug 2007 18:29 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I agree"
alcibiades Member since:
2005-10-12

We are getting a little off topic, but the crash of '29 was not caused by competition. It was caused by a previous government sponsored credit bubble starting in the early years of the century. If you want to understand it, research the effects of the founding of the Federal Reserve on bank reserve requirements and lending ability, in Murray Rothbard's book, available online. The depression which followed was also not caused by any lack of regulation. The standard account now is that it was largely caused by the actions the government took during the New Deal to decrease competition and keep prices up. The inevitable result was, output fell.

The US started to emerge from the depression with the arrival of the second phase of the New Deal in the late thirties - complete with trust-busting, enforcement of pro competition law, abolishing of price cartels and similar market rigging collusions. It was in fact competition which got the US out of it.

You mention Worldcom and Enron. You could also mention the subprime fiasco. This too, like the South Sea bubble in England, or the Mississippi Bubble in France, is the result of a government sponsored credit bubble. We seem to have them in the West roughly once ever 70-100 years. The reason they are so infrequent is they teach a lesson which stays in the memory for two generations at least.

The third generation, like those now blaming deregulation for Enron, has forgotten history, and so is condemned to repeat it. But not in exactly the same form. Derivatives replace Investment Trusts. Options replace bear and bull pools. Housing replaces stocks. The result is however very similar and equally dire.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: I agree
by chemical_scum on Sat 1st Sep 2007 02:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I agree"
chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

We are getting a little off topic, but the crash of '29 was not caused by competition. It was caused by a previous government sponsored credit bubble starting in the early years of the century. If you want to understand it, research the effects of the founding of the Federal Reserve on bank reserve requirements and lending ability, in Murray Rothbard's book, available online. The depression which followed was also not caused by any lack of regulation. The standard account now is that it was largely caused by the actions the government took during the New Deal to decrease competition and keep prices up. The inevitable result was, output fell.

You right wing US libertarian's are so funny or perhaps tragic. You just love to lie about history. The depression could not have been caused by the New Deal as it did not start until the depression was at is worst. The turn around in production occurred during the first New Deal and continued through the second New Deal. Industrial output had recovered by 1936. The mini-depression of 1937 was cured primarily by by increasing government expenditure though debt financing. There were only threats of ant-trust activity and little was actually done. However the increase in government expenditure then was small in comparison to that which occurred during WW11 which resulted in a massive increase in employment.

Personally I think the best solution is to eat the rich even though it might be not good for ones cholesterol levels.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: I agree
by sbergman27 on Sat 1st Sep 2007 06:56 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: I agree"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

""
Personally I think the best solution is to eat the rich even though it might be not good for ones cholesterol levels.
"""

Most blood cholesterol is produced by the liver. Consumed cholesterol does not actually have that much effect. So you can probably eat as many wealthy people as you want, to no ill effect.

Except for the calories, of course. ;-)

Edited 2007-09-01 06:57

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I agree
by n1xt3r on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 23:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I agree"
n1xt3r Member since:
2006-02-05

"More recent examples are WorldCom and Enron. Both companies where working in recently deregulated industries and anybody can tell you what happened there in more detail than this post allows for."

Interesting that you would choose to cite Enron as an example. One only needs to study a little of Enron's history to see how they completely gamed California's system of regulation. While remaining completely legal I might add.

The dark history of Enron is an argument *for* allowing the straight-forward approach of the market forces to decide who to punish and who to reward. In the case of California, it was the state's attempts to regulate energy prices that were an early enabler of Enron's behavior. Now, I'm not arguing against government regulation, but I am suggesting that there's a balance to strike between regulation and the market forces. Leaning toward the latter. I'm not an expert on the subject by any means. I'm simply pointing out that there's arguments for and against both.

Reply Score: 1

Economic theory
by pxa270 on Fri 31st Aug 2007 10:11 UTC
pxa270
Member since:
2006-01-08

The results of competition/cooperation is a very complex issue, with lots of research by economists (and few firm conclusions). For some theoretical background, start with the Wiki articles on Game theory and Cournot/Bertrand/Stackelberg competition, which are the most widely used economic models. Note that even though all these models make stacks of restrictive (and often unrealistic) assumptions, they still lead to a wild variety of outcomes.

Reply Score: 1

Very confused articles
by agrouf on Fri 31st Aug 2007 10:31 UTC
agrouf
Member since:
2006-11-17

Bad attempts at syllogism.
An example doesn't make a rule.

Reply Score: 1

I really don't see the point of all this
by flanque on Fri 31st Aug 2007 11:40 UTC
flanque
Member since:
2005-12-15

I really don't see the point of all this. Competition has been the driving force behind the economy, students in class rooms, scientists trying to find cures, vendors reducing prices and frankly seems to be present in almost all forms of our existence.

Bacteria and virii compete with our immune system, resulting in improved health.

Competition allows me to buy an 80GB hard disk for less than $50.

Competition is why medical technology, which saves our lives, is so advanced, and will continue to drive innovation.

Competition, the desire to be better than "the others", I believe is programmed into our and all forms of life's instincts. It's essential to go forward.

I would bet that any argument that it is bad can be countered with an at least equally strong point of view.

I'm surprise these came up as articles on this site. These are hardly solid articles and in my view are more suited to the comments section.

Reply Score: 3

ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

Just read some communist papers to get the opposite opinion. I share Your point of view on the impact of the competition, but still there are other mechanisms for driving progress, and some people consider them even more effective.

Reply Score: 2

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Just read some communist papers to get the opposite opinion.


I could do that, but they always put me in a bad mood...

Reply Score: 2

ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

They present a position, which could be considered as right, wrong or insane, but still believed to be right by many people.

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

I'm opting for the combination of wrong AND insane.
I can still remember when the Wall came crashing down and the feeling of ecstasy when the communist regimes fell one by one.

I know their position, and do study them on daily basis. But it still puts me in a bad mood.

Personally it's my opinion that a truly free market is the way to go. This means that there cannot be legal mechanisms to prevent competition (so, no protection of de facto monopolies, no patents for an instance) - only legal mechanism to prevent illegal use of force.

Regulating the forces of the market is equal to regulating the forces of nature. One is messing with powers greater than oneself and it is going to unsettle the balance and create havoc.

EDIT: I don't even think there should be anything like copyright - at most one can demand a proper attribution.

Edited 2007-08-31 12:38 UTC

Reply Score: 2

ValiSystem Member since:
2006-02-28

Well, to me you are as wrong and insane as communists.

And to me, driving people by pure ideas is not realistic. Ideas are necessary, but just to give small orientation to politics.

The more you make a government being strongly lead by an ideal, the more insane society you get.

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

The more you make a government being strongly lead by an ideal, the more insane society you get.


True, that's why we don't want a government ;)

Reply Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

IMO, it's naive to think that you can set up a system as simple as dylansmrjones suggests, without a referee, and have it work.

There are simply too many pathological conditions that the system can get into that require intervention to resolve in a reasonable amount of time. The simplest case being that of a monopoly. Completely free markets encourage that particular pathological condition. The motivations, and actions, of the monopolists *eventually* do bring them down. But do we really want the system to be in failure mode for the majority of the time?

We tried Laissez-faire here in the US. "We, the People" were rewarded with sweatshops, cheap child labor, and an ultra-rich super-class to read about in the newspapers.

Edited 2007-08-31 16:40

Reply Score: 2

ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

Hm... I believe You don't actually understand how much ideal interferes with each and every government. Just filter out the news about Belorussia's legislation and try to imagine Your country's government following it.

Reply Score: 1

redtux Member since:
2006-12-04

Dear Oh Dear

An uregulated economy is what we had in the UK in the 19th century, when the vast majority of the population had no rights, subsistence level living and low life expectancy.

That is why, after a lot of agitation, more and more regulation was brought in (no coincidence that this happened with the deepening of the franchise)

In the western world the closest to your ideal is the U, and that society I see as a nightmare. (gun-crime and healthcare anyone)

Reply Score: 1

talk about competition
by sc3252 on Fri 31st Aug 2007 12:51 UTC
sc3252
Member since:
2005-09-06

lol, yeah this is really interesting seeing this article up when I got up. I really didn't agree with kroc's article, but I saw where he was coming from.

From what it looks like you are coming from the more fragmentation there are the best. Like 100 different silver wear companies helps beat down prices, and gives consumers options, while you give the example if there are 2 to 3(still better then nothing) that its just an oligopoly. Which isnt really competition and does set up a sort of lack of it.

The only time I believe that competition is kinda bad, is when there are a million power companies out there, and a million water companies. That needs to be regulated more, and I mean government control, so people cant take advantage of the monopoly on the market.

Reply Score: 1

My Article
by sbergman27 on Fri 31st Aug 2007 14:08 UTC
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

Here goes. It's short and sweet:

Competition is a double-edged sword.

Choice is a double-edged sword.

Both can be really helpful and useful.

Try not to cut yourself.

Reply Score: 5

Like in games
by aldeck on Fri 31st Aug 2007 14:24 UTC
aldeck
Member since:
2006-12-07

Competition and/or cooperation etc... Good, bad.. depends on the rules, how they are applied, if they are the same for all etc.., great games plays with great rules. A rule can encourage newcomers, another one will generate frustration, a bad referee in soccer will generate violence (i believe computer game generate much less violence due to trusted impartial rules).

Sometimes you need open cooperation to be able to enjoy competition. Imagine a car race videogame, racing 1km ahead of the others is no fun for anybody, it becomes really enjoyable when there's somebody on your tail. So you have an interest in ensuring that the other players increase their strenght, train them, so that you can enjoy the next race and increase your skills again ;)

almost off topic :-)
two cents.

Reply Score: 1

Blu-Ray vs HD-DVD
by leppi on Fri 31st Aug 2007 14:48 UTC
leppi
Member since:
2007-08-31

I have a question that has confused me for a while. Why are people upset about Blu-Ray vs HD-DVD and not about the console market (PS3, Xbox 360, PS2, etc)? I'm asking this as an outsider, since I am still watching DVDs. I can understand the desire to have a player that will last a long time (no one wants DIVX), but shouldn't the same desire be there for a game system as well?

I guess I'm a bit confused.

Reply Score: 2

Competition is horrible...
by gdanko on Fri 31st Aug 2007 16:15 UTC
gdanko
Member since:
2005-07-15

..if you are Bill G. He cannot deal with competition, even with all the money he has. FUD is how he competes!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Competition is horrible...
by Bending Unit on Fri 31st Aug 2007 18:13 UTC in reply to "Competition is horrible..."
Bending Unit Member since:
2005-07-06

Go Linux zealots, go!

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Competition is horrible...
by sbergman27 on Fri 31st Aug 2007 18:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Competition is horrible..."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
Go Linux zealots, go!
"""

And your response is somehow superior?

Try to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.

Edited 2007-08-31 18:37

Reply Score: 2

The only way we know
by pfortuny on Fri 31st Aug 2007 19:25 UTC
pfortuny
Member since:
2006-02-05

To be at least certain that some of the food I eat **may** not be contaminated in case one brands does get. I am not claiming guarantees!

s/food/sofware/machine/...
s/contaminated/infested/broken/...

Just 2c

but I guess valuable.

Reply Score: 1

Galapagos, Australia, McDonaldization
by pg--az on Sat 1st Sep 2007 09:29 UTC
pg--az
Member since:
2006-03-15

In order for evolution to produce alternatives there needs to be an island-like environment for incubation. Every day you hear about big companies trying to deny wannabes such a sanctuary where they might find a niche. The idea that competition ought to spontaneously produce diversity is appealing but SO silly !?

Reply Score: 1

Beautiful DVD Editor
by barrett63 on Wed 5th Sep 2007 09:08 UTC
barrett63
Member since:
2007-09-05

Beautiful DVD Editor is a powerful and easy-to-use DVD tool, which provides advanced storyboard and timeline editing. Hundreds of effects, including video and text overlay, Helps you edit dvds very easy!

http://www.vista-download.net/audio-video/dvd-software/

Reply Score: 1