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Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
28,066
8,894
136
Remember that antitrust laws are no longer enforced in any meaningful way in the US..... the actual number of "decision-making corporate entities" is FAR smaller then the total number of corporations.

Undercover price-fixing and collusion are rampant and nearly every major American company is in on it. (just like oil and pharma except THEY make it glaringly obvious unlike less prominent industry)

Competition only works when companies actually COMPETE. :confused_old:
 
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fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
78,569
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Remember that antitrust laws are no longer enforced in any meaningful way in the US..... the actual number of "decision-making corporate entities" is FAR smaller then the total number of corporations.

Undercover price-fixing and collusion are rampant and nearly every major American company is in on it. (just like oil and pharma except THEY make it glaringly obvious unlike less prominent industry)
But remember, not just every company in America but every company in Europe (which has far harsher antitrust laws). Every company in Asia, Australia, South America, etc. And sure, the same companies serve multiple markets but plenty don't and this is a global phenomenon.
 

dank69

Lifer
Oct 6, 2009
33,317
24,007
136
Yes, I think she's wrong. This is most likely an artifact of the specific time period chosen.

I'm open to being proven wrong but it would take a lot more than a whiteboard from a politician at a hearing. I am inherently skeptical about the idea that corporations worldwide all figured out at the same time they were allowed to be greedy. Inherently unlikely.
Then how do you explain increased corporate profits?
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
78,569
37,547
136
Then how do you explain increased corporate profits?
Is your interpretation that corporate profits only increase due to the corporation deciding to get greedier or something?

My view is that lots of things affect corporate profits and that corporations globally colluding to increase profits simultaneously without any smoking guns or whatever is very unlikely.
 

Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
28,066
8,894
136
But remember, not just every company in America but every company in Europe (which has far harsher antitrust laws). Every company in Asia, Australia, South America, etc. And sure, the same companies serve multiple markets but plenty don't and this is a global phenomenon.
I'm only speaking about US corporations but you are of course correct.

Problem is that many corporations based in the US in particular don't give two craps about following the rules or about me and you, only about what they can get away with without dinging the almighty profit-margin.
 

dank69

Lifer
Oct 6, 2009
33,317
24,007
136
Is your interpretation that corporate profits only increase due to the corporation deciding to get greedier or something?

My view is that lots of things affect corporate profits and that corporations globally colluding to increase profits simultaneously without any smoking guns or whatever is very unlikely.
Why does it have to be collusion? Why can't it be that existing inflation is the perfect cover and everyone is taking advantage?

Anyway, I suppose increased demand could drive corporate profits now that I think about it...
 

hal2kilo

Lifer
Feb 24, 2009
21,101
8,036
136
Yeah, but police departments can push budgets higher by sowing fear.
Those guys were always hanging out by the athletic field at schools. At least according to the idiots they used to have come around and give us a talk about drugs at school. Oh the memories, "it's OK to drop a dime on your friend.".
 

Dave_5k

Golden Member
May 23, 2017
1,118
2,200
136
There was a graphic floating around about oil company profits skyrocketing the last 2 years ...
Well, yes, they went from sharply negative to strongly positive, so that would be an infinite % improvement ~ can go right off the chart if you choose % increase for the right comparison period. The Russian invasion of Ukraine, combined with global economic rebound from epidemic, was good for increasing oil prices & associated company profits, with exception of those that had significant Russian holdings & ended up writing them off entirely.
 

Pens1566

Diamond Member
Oct 11, 2005
9,601
4,376
136
Well, yes, they went from sharply negative to strongly positive, so that would be an infinite % improvement ~ can go right off the chart if you choose % increase for the right comparison period. The Russian invasion of Ukraine, combined with global economic rebound from epidemic, was good for increasing oil prices & associated company profits, with exception of those that had significant Russian holdings & ended up writing them off entirely.
That wasn't it. And it was for profits from like '19 through now.
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
30,380
909
126
Idk..... I see more homeless people than ever before, every food-bank is doing more business than ever AND everything FEELS literally twice as expensive as it was this time last year.

If I could have my life from mid-2019 back I'd take it so fast it would make your head spin and I know for a fact that I'm far from alone.

:(
I had an interesting talk with a homeless guy a few years ago that made me realize what huge barriers they face. The guy was pretty adamant about wanting to get a job, and he was at Target getting a prepaid card so he could receive calls from potential employers. Although, he mentioned that it was hard to actually have someone pay attention to you because you don't have an actual home address.

Essentially, I don't see homelessness going anywhere until we can get the abled folks (i.e., those that aren't suffering from any drug or mental issues) a stable location that they can call "home" (even if it's a shared facility) and all the various amenities required for work. Heck, even getting to work is a huge problem given how car-dependent the United States is.

I know - saw a video a likely Pittsburgh voter who was like, "Republicans are too extreme on social issues, but Dr. Oz seems more moderate, and I think what we have now is not working, so we should shake things up" (ie, give House/Senate to Republicans). Lots of people are just buffoons.
"Shake things up"... isn't that what they tried back in 2016 with Trump? 🙃
 
Dec 10, 2005
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Essentially, I don't see homelessness going anywhere until we can get the abled folks (i.e., those that aren't suffering from any drug or mental issues) a stable location that they can call "home" (even if it's a shared facility) and all the various amenities required for work. Heck, even getting to work is a huge problem given how car-dependent the United States is.
Contrary to popular belief, the major driver of homelessness is housing prices (both for ownership and renting), and not "mental illness" or "drug use". We need to stick it to the incumbent land owners and build more and denser housing, so that more people can live near economic opportunity and so that everyone has a chance at having some basic level of shelter.
 

dlerious

Golden Member
Mar 4, 2004
1,472
545
136
Basically I've learned that people think anything that negatively affects them at all, even if overall the are net better, means the "economy sucks." I really want to know the last time people actually thought the economy was good, 1999? I've been hearing the "economy sucks" every election since 2000 and I was too young to remember it from before then.
I wasn't around then, but I'd say the Roaring 20's was probably the last time people thought the economy was good.
 
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Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
30,380
909
126
Contrary to popular belief, the major driver of homelessness is housing prices (both for ownership and renting), and not "mental illness" or "drug use". We need to stick it to the incumbent land owners and build more and denser housing, so that more people can live near economic opportunity and so that everyone has a chance at having some basic level of shelter.
Oh, don't get me wrong... I brought those factors up because anyone suffering from those problems will need additional help for those prior to going through anything else to help them get back on their feet. What I'm really trying to suggest is that homelessness is a really hard thing to claw your way back from... unless you have outside help. If someone is fortunate, a family member or friend can help you out, but if you don't have that? You're kind of screwed.
 
Dec 10, 2005
22,360
4,670
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Oh, don't get me wrong... I brought those factors up because anyone suffering from those problems will need additional help for those prior to going through anything else to help them get back on their feet. What I'm really trying to suggest is that homelessness is a really hard thing to claw your way back from... unless you have outside help. If someone is fortunate, a family member or friend can help you out, but if you don't have that? You're kind of screwed.
Yes, of course.

But that's also why the greatest assistance we can give is to create stable housing for people. It's easier to get back on your feet and think straight when you have a constant roof over your head.
 

Zorba

Lifer
Oct 22, 1999
12,738
7,872
136
I think the larger issue is that the mainstream media is by its nature contrarian. Nobody wins awards with news stories about how everything is great, and the mainstream media usually has an adversarial stance with the government. The problem is that we also have a second media ecosystem dedicated solely to advancing Republican Party electoral interests.

So when a Republican is president you get one adversarial media ecosystem and one supportive ecosystem. When you have a democratic president you get one adversarial and one foaming, rabid hatred ecosystem.
I completely agree.
 
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Zorba

Lifer
Oct 22, 1999
12,738
7,872
136
Yes, I think she's wrong. This is most likely an artifact of the specific time period chosen.

I'm open to being proven wrong but it would take a lot more than a whiteboard from a politician at a hearing. I am inherently skeptical about the idea that corporations worldwide all figured out at the same time they were allowed to be greedy. Inherently unlikely.
Isn't that always part of the inflationary cycle, though? Consumers start to expect higher prices, so they will pay higher prices when presented with them, and therefore companies raise prices more than needed? Same reason gas prices raise rapidly with oil and drop very slowly and with a much greater spread.

It's an finding an opertunity issue, not a finding greed issue.
 

Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
28,066
8,894
136
Contrary to popular belief, the major driver of homelessness is housing prices (both for ownership and renting), and not "mental illness" or "drug use". We need to stick it to the incumbent land owners and build more and denser housing, so that more people can live near economic opportunity and so that everyone has a chance at having some basic level of shelter.
One would think the bolded would be obvious. :(
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
78,569
37,547
136
Isn't that always part of the inflationary cycle, though? Consumers start to expect higher prices, so they will pay higher prices when presented with them, and therefore companies raise prices more than needed? Same reason gas prices raise rapidly with oil and drop very slowly and with a much greater spread.

It's an finding an opertunity issue, not a finding greed issue.
I don't think so, no. This would essentially mean ALL global businesses are engaging as a cartel and deliberately not revenue/profit maximizing so that their industry as a whole can increase profits. I doubt this.
 

dank69

Lifer
Oct 6, 2009
33,317
24,007
136
I don't think so, no. This would essentially mean ALL global businesses are engaging as a cartel and deliberately not revenue/profit maximizing so that their industry as a whole can increase profits. I doubt this.
Don't like 2 companies own most of the major food brands or something like that?
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
78,569
37,547
136
Don't like 2 companies own most of the major food brands or something like that?
I don’t know the exact numbers but sure, mega corporations have led to remarkable consolidation. That would be an argument for high prices at all times though. I don’t buy the idea that because the news talked about inflation that suddenly these corporations spring into action to raise prices.

Isn’t the far more likely answer that war and pestilence have screwed the world economy up and shortages drive inflation while we adjust?
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
78,569
37,547
136
You would think that, but I think the popular narrative is to play that up instead of property owners having to face up to their own role in skyrocketing housing prices.
It is frankly amazing how many excuses people can come up with for high housing prices and homelessness that are anything other than insufficient housing.

I think my favorite one in NYC is that if we build condo towers rich people from overseas will buy them all up and then not live in them. This is almost certainly untrue but if it WERE true would be awesome. We could just build a zillion condo towers and let all the Saudis buy them up and then pay us taxes to not live in them. Honestly if that were the case all American cities should build shitloads of empty condos because then we would get tons of free tax money and would not have to provide services to anyone.
 
Dec 10, 2005
22,360
4,670
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It is frankly amazing how many excuses people can come up with for high housing prices and homelessness that are anything other than insufficient housing.

I think my favorite one in NYC is that if we build condo towers rich people from overseas will buy them all up and then not live in them. This is almost certainly untrue but if it WERE true would be awesome. We could just build a zillion condo towers and let all the Saudis buy them up and then pay us taxes to not live in them. Honestly if that were the case all American cities should build shitloads of empty condos because then we would get tons of free tax money and would not have to provide services to anyone.
My favorite is the idiots in SoHo fighting tall buildings because of gentrification or the idiots in the seaport fighting the skyscraper that will be built in a parking lot.
 

kage69

Lifer
Jul 17, 2003
23,583
25,289
136
There was a time when Wall Street and business tycoons were so patriotic and invested in the success of America they shouldered tax rates unheard of today. Went as high as 90% didn't it?

Less than a third of that these days makes your typical corporate suit act like Uncle Sam has his nuts in a vise.

I think we should probably acknowledge that business owners of today are much different and far more given to extreme politics. Carnegie, Rockefeller, I can name quite a few great things those guys did, even if they were rutheless business magnates. What did Martin Shkreli ever build? What good has Heather Bresch done for her people by making Epipens 400% more expensive? Gave customers the bird, then left the company with a $37million exit package. Entrepreneurial incentive and the desire to become wealthy are constants, but things changed once Trump showed the money first crowd a sense of shame was entirely optional, just like tradition.


Is the absolute sole cause of inflation corporate greed? No. But let's not kid ourselves and leave the highest corporate profits in 50 out of the discussion either. I find Katie Porter's number believable, but would like to see more.
 
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