Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 20th Mar 2011 20:20 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless A major deal just went down in the United States, which seriously shakes up the mobile industry on the other side of the pond: AT&T has announced it plans to buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom.
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RE[2]: Invisible hand
by Neolander on Mon 21st Mar 2011 12:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Invisible hand"
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

Then we may agree ;) What I'm against is total deregulation of the market, claiming that the invisible hand will magically solve all problems by itself. I've nothing against more hybrid government+companies schemes, as long as they guarantee a good minimal level of service/customer care.

As an example, except in highly exceptional events (wars, big sismic activity), telecom networks should not be down for more than a week, water distribution should not be stopped for more than 2 days, postal services should guarantee that letters and packages will be delivered within some country-dependent delay on the whole territory (not only big cities), nuclear power plants shouldn't leak dangerous crap in the environment and we should aim at using cleaner energy in the future, etc...

Afaik, this way of having the government put constraints on companies but trusting them even for basic services is how it works in some countries of northern Europe. Will check when I go to Sweden this summer.

EDIT : Oh, and also, there are some areas which are intrinsically not profitable in the short term (like fundamental research), and for that I don't think that companies should be trusted.

Edited 2011-03-21 13:06 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Invisible hand
by ricegf on Mon 21st Mar 2011 18:14 in reply to "RE[2]: Invisible hand"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

Yes, we're pretty close, I think.

I definitely support non-exclusive government funding for fundamental research (e.g., NASA), and making the results available to business on a non-discriminatory basis. Natural monopolies (e.g., power grid) must be regulated, of course, as must anything with public health implications such as nuclear power plants (which I strongly support, btw). I *love* farm subsidies, as they produce "too much" food (and that's such a great feature of America et. al. :-). I'm rather fond of cap and trade, because it makes environmentally friendly products more profitable relative to the alternative, which I much prefer to government edicts like the stupid light bulb ban.

Elsewhere, I prefer to let competition bring about the survival of the best products, with minimal interference from government. I used to be even more laissez-fare, but corporations like AT&T have convinced me otherwise. :-)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Invisible hand
by Neolander on Mon 21st Mar 2011 20:33 in reply to "RE[3]: Invisible hand"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Cap and trade ? Sorry, I don't know of this english expression, can you explain how it works ? Is it when governments reimburse part of the cost of some products depending on their priorities ?

Didn't know that this crazy light bulb ban was also applied outside of my country ;) In my family, we gently "fight" it by buying halogens, which are still allowed to be sold : they last longer than classical incandescent bulbs, eat about half less power, and contrary to fluocompact bulbs they actually work properly and don't have some suspicious background around them.

About nuclear power plants... As a citizen of France and a physicist, I have a love-hate relationship with them. I think that until renewable, clean, and preferably decentralized sources of energy like wind power, hydropower, and photovoltaic panels are ready, it's technically the best option for massive production of electricity. But in many ways, the market and politics around nuclear power stink, and I'd prefer them gone...

Reply Parent Score: 1