Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 5th Sep 2011 22:26 UTC
Privacy, Security, Encryption So, people from within Iran have hacked the Dutch company DigiNotar, allowing them to issue fake certificates so they could listen in on Iranian dissidents and other organisation within Iran. This is a very simplified version of the story, since it's all quite complicated and I honestly don't even understand all of it. In any case, DigiNotar detected the intrusion July 19, but didn't really do anything with it until it all blew up in their face this past week. Now, the Dutch government has taken over operational management of DigiNotar... But as a Dutch citizen, that doesn't really fill me with confidence, because, well - whenever the Dutch government does anything even remotely related to IT technology, they mess it up. And mess it up bad.
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RE: Comment by Berend de Boer
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 6th Sep 2011 07:25 UTC in reply to "Comment by Berend de Boer"
Member since:

Unlike you, I don't perceive the world as black and white. I can understand that what works in some cases, does not work in others. Government intervention can be both good and bad. In the case of mobile phones, it worked out okay. In the case of anything related to implementing actual technology (as opposed to just regulating said technology), things generally go wrong.

In the end, you still haven't answered the question I posed you so many months ago: point me to a truly free market which works. Any luck with that yet?

Reply Parent Score: 1

Berend de Boer Member since:

Thom: point me to a truly free market which works.

Sorry, missed that. Your question is probably: point me to a free market that delivers me what I want.

But that's not what markets are. Markets are purely the free and non-coercive exchange of private citizens. They might not produce you an outcome you'd like (mobile phone calls for 1 cent per hour for example).

I would offer food markets as a market that is pretty unregulated. The outcome might be that we got too many obese poeple, but probably better than people starving.

If you had lived only 400 years ago, you would have been a peasant bound to the land. Market economies have improved lived drastically.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:

I would offer food markets as a market that is pretty unregulated. The outcome might be that we got too many obese poeple, but probably better than people starving.

This is what you come up with? The food market is probably one of the most strictly regulated markets in existence today! Everything from ingredients, to packaging, to information provided about the products, to the production process, to the kind of gloves and protective gear workers have to wear, and much, much more than that, is strictly regulated by the law. I don't think there is any industry that is more strictly governed by laws and regulations than the food industry.

More and more I'm getting the idea that you read some fancy theoretical book cited in Economics 101 at university about the ideals of the free market, without really understanding what it means. If you cite the food market as an example of an unregulated free market... Holy cow.

Edited 2011-09-06 09:43 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

mrstep Member since:

While $.01 calls might sound great, it's the lack of regulation that can lead to $5 per minute phone calls if monopolies / price fixing aren't controlled.

There's a lot that free markets are great for (let's produce X number of phones as dictated by a central planning committee isn't such a great plan), but certainly protecting people from environmental health issues, setting safety standards, or preventing price gouging by unscrupulous mega-corps aren't amongst those items.

For anyone who would say 'well, if Company X is charging too much, Company Y will show up and offer a better priced service", keep in mind that in a TRUE free economy, Company X may be large enough to implement unfair agreements with distribution / access channels, litigate, or buy out Company Y and never have to worry about competing on lower prices.

Reply Parent Score: 1

zima Member since:

Regulated market economies have improved lived[sic] drastically.

How easily you ignore many starving or malnourished (or with unsafe food and water) people around the world; mostly in places without functional administrations... It really doesn't put in you in a good light.

In some truly unregulated markets, there is a hunger epidemic right about now. People DIE. Warlords capture aid, it's more profitable for their free enterprises.

Glance at least once at a packaging of some of the gorged (to feed that obesity) food; contemplate how can you believe what they write about contents. And, somehow, we don't really die regularly from food poisoning or food-borne pathogens any more... why is that? If a dozen or so would die in each city every week, it would lead to better efficiencies! It would self-regulate, promote the best providers of the month!

Look how nicely unregulated capitalism works: efficient, profitable and rational to not bother about the lesser people around.

Oh, and our agriculture runs on fossil fuels ( ) ...we certainly want to regulate that crap.

Reply Parent Score: 2