December 9, 2012 at 7:20 pm #1400
Let the fun begin. I am for the free market and growing the middle class through jobs. Not regulation and taxing those who can really invest the money in potential new factories , businesses and new jobs. Where do you stand ? It is all about supply , demand and good old hard work.December 9, 2012 at 7:21 pm #6412
I know we all will have a very interesting time with this topic.December 9, 2012 at 9:06 pm #6413
We don’t have a Free Market Economy in the U.S., no one does. But, if we did, there would be no minimum wage, no laws regarding overtime, no laws regulating child labor, price controls, interest rate manipulation to control inflation, just to name a few. Is this the Free Market you’re advocating?
A Free Market assumes that the market will find equilibrium through supply and demand and equilibruim will be maintained through price adjustments. History (and economic cycles) have proven that this is not always the case. During Recessions, companies reduce production, with subsequent reductions in employment. As employees are layed off the recession can deepen. Without some form of fiscal intervention, a Recession can easily become a Depression.
Take a look at the Housing boom that fed the most recent Recession. Thanks to relaxed and abandoned regulations, the housing bubble rose out of control, with an inevitable collapse.December 9, 2012 at 11:27 pm #6414
I am looking at it from the investors side. An example. You come up with an idea , you decide it is a workable product or service. You write up a business plan and invest your money and begin a business by investing money in the infrastrucutre of whatever it is you decided to do. You market the product or service and hopefully the demand will be there for you to move forward with production or whatever service you have. There is nothing in anyone’s way at this point.That is free market Cohiba. People see the value of the product and the price , they determine if they want it. If they are positive on what you have orders are placed and the ball begins to roll. When the orders slow down you have to adjust your production or plan. When demand goes up you probably have to hire more people to ramp up your goods or service. You the collect the money from the customers , pay your suppliers and other bills and what is left you may call a profit. Interest rates generally have been changed when the demand of money goes up or down. Sometimes the fed plays with it to stimulate investment or to bring down inflation which has been fairly stable for a while.Over the years history has shown that some folks have been abused so therefore laws were created to help employees and protect them. Unions were created because a demand was there for better employee conditions. The business people then have to adjust what they do to increase profits because of what employees need. There will be ups and downs and things get adjusted accordingly.I think the people with mega money would call the first portion of my explanation about as free a market as you can get. Then adjustment in the market created a need to stop abuse. Most billionaires I have met are ok with that. What you describe is anarchism to the inth degree and it is an extreme view to take. What you described is how communism works.I think what I just explained works pretty well. I think attacking the rich , regulating insane regulations to save the racoon or three legged rat is what business people don’t care for. What I described with a little managing has worked pretty well. What we have now in Washington is people with no clue how to run a business and can only find ways to re-distrinute wealth and make any successful person feel guilty for what we have worked hard for.December 10, 2012 at 2:16 am #6415The AdvisorKeymaster
Not only isn’t this a free market, but American socialism is mostly designed to enrich the wealthy like you, and those you have been defending, and only partly to keep alive the folks on the wrong side of that calculus.
Reduced tax for investment income, bail outs for banks and investment houses, mineral and oil leases on public lands at stupid-cheap prices, farm price supports benefiting industrial farming, credit card bankruptcy laws, forclosure laws….blah blah blah. Have you seen any bankers on trial?
Each of these programs are designed with the 2% of American’s in mind…….you I imagine.
After 30 years of tax reductions and de-regulation……my imagination isn’t quite good enough to picture you as a victim.December 10, 2012 at 2:41 pm #6417
So for the sake of argument, let’s say I’m one of those investors you’re talking about. I come up with an an idea, decide it’s a workable product, write a business plan and market it.
Part of my business plan is to make sure the dealer’s who sell my product all agree to a fixed price, so I can protect my investment. In order to get their agreement, I agree to give dealers exclusive territories. But in order to become one of my dealers they also have to agree to purchase another one of my products that bombed with the consumer. Of course, some of my dealers do better than others so I give them better pricing.
And, of course, I need to control my costs so that I can protect my profits, so I won’t let the Union try to call for a vote in my factory and I know black people are kinda lazy, so I’ll tell my factory managers not to hire any of ’em (that goes for women too). And, I’m a Christian, so I won’t have any Jews on my management team.
Is this the kind of free market you want for your investors? You want to overturrn legislation that has made the market "less free"?December 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm #6418
I know of no executives at a high level that think like you say and give as an example.As for improving profits I can tell you from the hundreds to maybe the thousands of companies I know of profit improvement is high on the list but not at the sacrifice of discriminatory hirng , comments or their religious beliefs which are off limits to discuss.You are making it sound like white males practice what you are saying and I say from all of my experiences you are off base. In fact if anything the lower management folks are the ones that needed to be educated to hire and treat everyone and I mean everyone fairly. That is except for those who are not doing their jobs to company policies. Perhaps you have been away too long and have not spent much time with HR and the laws. Even though you are from California your comments are way off base.Laws to protect workers are good. That doesn’t make the market less free. You are taking things to the extreme.Your first 2 paragraphs are real accurate on product and profit protection. You have an issue with MSRP do you ? The one area I think is off base is your comment on product bombing. Usually a smart company will drop the losers.December 10, 2012 at 4:27 pm #6419
Good friend.There will always be in any society a small group of people making the investments to enrich themselves and to have the workers ( middle class) have a living wage. Like you I have seen a reduction in middle class standards and we need to see that change. We agree I suppose on that.Yes bankers should be on trial as should some on Wall Street , more than the one or two like Madoff. The other items you list have been good for this country which built up a good enough economy to support the world. Because of the few abusers do you throw the baby out with the bathwater ? I think not. As for me , you know my story. You know the one failure I had and I took responsibility for it and went back at it hard and you could say I earned back my self respect along the way. I didn’t blame partners or employees or customers. When I finally did take responsibility and became positive is when I was able to get things straight. No hand outs and life is what it is.I was a victim of my own doing and was lucky enough with hard work to change that. I did not expect anyone to give me anything and still don’t.I suspect our ideologies are somewhat different. Either way the system we have works and sometimes the hard times last a bit longer. Remember " tough times come and go ,tough people survive all of it ".December 10, 2012 at 5:53 pm #6420
I get the sense that you feel most business owners and executives are somewhat discriminatory , unethical and have their collective hands out. I think and perhaps know that that isn’t the case for a vast majority of the business people I know. That experience of mine is very broad if you consider the YPO groups , the supplier and customer base and just people I know. So you think the people in government are any better on a percentage basis and even understand business , especially some of those on the left that never had to meet a payroll ? The people with the money don’t even discuss most people that are hired and leave it to their executives to follow the laws we have. That is very clear.Are there some stragglers ? Probably. But in my first sentence above I would suspect their are more people in general that suffer from those three maladies than do business people in general. The free market we have works , as free as it is. People tend to get in the middle and want to fiddle with something they know little of. Blame social media for that.Blame do gooders for that that have a sense of what they think is fair and have little skill to propose tangible changes in a system that worked long before they were born and works well.Like I said , we must get used to the people with the money improving our way of life concerning economics. They are the ones who invest. We help make it work.I prefer this to a dictator or king.December 10, 2012 at 6:16 pm #6421DustyMember
I have sat back over the last couple of years and read alot of your posts. I think that you have the same mindset that I do. You are for fiscal responsibility, and are conservative in that aspect, but you still have heart and want to "help" others but not provide hand outs to those who take advantage of the system. In saying that you also seem to believe as I do, that some of those, like Bernie, need to be exposed and held responsible for their actions. I for one believe that we have politicians who have had their hands in that very same pot as Bernie and they should be held responsible too. We all know that will never happen though.
I am a firm believer in our free market system, and let me say that I am NOT wealthy or even well off. I am one who works hard for what I have and I am thankful for what I do have. I dont look to others who are better off than I am and envy them. I was raised that you work hard, be thankful for what you have, and some people make it big and some people just make it. Thats the way it works. I would not want to be like Greece, where they distibute the wealth and have a nanny state…..look how that has worked out for them. Look at China, they are booming…but at what cost? Their people better be in lock step with their "dictator" or else.December 10, 2012 at 6:39 pm #6422
Thanks. I came from an uneducated family who worked very hard. My mother was a cleaning lady in a hospital and also worked in a meat packing plant.She had to quit school in the fourth grade to find work during the depression. Same with all of my grandparents and my dad.They were very emphatic that I get an education and understand that no one will give you anything and that you have to work for what you get.When we have to lay people off it is painful and we try to keep everyone working even through slow times if we can. Understanding my first responsibility is to make a profit I try to hold firm for the people and treat them right.Overall I have been fortunate to find the right job here towards the end of my career and in the last five years and the next five I will earn more than I did the first 35 years combined. I am lucky. I really like to help others but they also at some point need to help themselves. As we know the world is not always fair and no one like Obama or anyone else will change that much. We need to strengthen the middle and working class giving our young folks some hope for the future. The world is tougher than it used to be for sure.I suspect we still have it better than most here. You are right ,try to complain in China even though the government there says they are protecting their people. All of that is nonsense.Yes , if we do not curb some spending and balance the budget we will be in trouble more so than now. Be well.December 10, 2012 at 7:27 pm #6423
C’mon, you’re smarter than that. You know I was using extreme examples to make a point. And, the point is that all of those abuses that I cited were occuring before laws were put in place to stop them. Like you, I believe most managers are honest, hard working folks who wouldn’t treat people unfairly. But, I also believe that laws and regulations must be put in place to make sure it doesn’t happen and punish offenders when it does. Do you really think we wouldn’t have unfair hiring practices if it wasn’t for the laws that prevent it (and the HR meetings that preach those laws ad nauseum?)
The point is that there are no countries that have a completely Free Market, just like there are no countries that have a completely Planned Market Economy; there are just degrees of each. You seem to want a "freer Market", which I presume means fewer government regulations. Fine, I agree, there are probably a few regulations (and maybe agencies) that I would agree are non-productive. How about naming a few.
As far as UMRP is concerned, I have nothing against it. I think it protects honest dealers from bottom feeders. However, I also know that there are no true "unilateral minimum prices" out there. Everytime a manufacturer’s salesperson "warns his dealer" about UMRP violations, there is an "agreement" made to fix price in violation of Sherman. (Do you think that doesn’t happen?) Do you think sales people don’t explain UMRP to their dealers, thereby setting up tacit agreement? I had the best Anti-Trust lawyers on the planet review UMRP, because I wanted to implement it. They pointed out the pitfalls. Granted, I’ve been away from the market for four years now, but I’m sure those pitfalls are still there.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against UMRP – I just don’t think it really exsists.December 10, 2012 at 11:05 pm #6425
I suspect you could handle the UMRP this way. " We are making a change in distributorship as we are moving in another direction " You never have to mention the pricing. As long as you don’t use that as the reason for termination you are ok. It’s in the presentation.. Yes , laws have to be implemented to protect people from abuse. We also say we are a free society and we probably have more laws than China.A totally free society would be anarchy. None of us want that. As for regulations yes. Some of the rules are insane , some of the employment laws have become insane. Such as retaliation. Think lawyers can’t make shit up out of that ? The problem with regulations is in the definition of what it means and you can spend tons of money fighting to win your case because of the broad brush of what " it " means. The duplications of federal laws in California on everything from workers comp to some safety issues to environmental issues makes it much more expensive to have jobs in California as they always have to one up the federal laws. We are about as free a market as we need to be if we fix some of the impractical things I just mentioned.I will be at a board meeting for the balance of the week. Speak to you next monday. Be well.You and the Advisor are good people , especially if we can convert you to the Republican party.December 11, 2012 at 2:09 am #6426SteadySellingParticipant
Speaking of unions, do you feel it was a good thing that Chrysler was forced to hire back employees that were caught drinking and smoking pot on the job?December 11, 2012 at 12:31 pm #6428The AdvisorKeymaster
"The other items you list have been good for this country which built up a good enough economy to support the world. Because of the few abusers do you throw the baby out with the bathwater ? I think not."
And with that…..I think I made my point. We do not live in a free market, and even the loudest purveyors of free market philosophy, really only want to protect their piece of government handouts, protection, and supports.
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