JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Ruled by Big Tech Predators — how did it come to this?

I knew they were bad, but this was blistering:

Big Tech’s Monopoly Creep

by Napolean Linarthatos, The AmericanConservative

… generations that come after us will have the opportunity to wonder how on earth we had been duped for so long and so pathetically by a few Big Tech monopolists, how it was possible to have such a grand accumulation of power and wealth preserved by a system so bluntly corrupt in its modus operandi.

In October 2020, the House Antitrust Subcommittee issued a damning report of steamrolling corruption.  It was so brazen, Amazon even sold counterfeit copies of products until the targets gave in — even big names, like Nike.  The supergiant went into business against smaller companies, dumping product on the market in impossibly good offers, until it beat them, and stole their customers, and then bought them anyway. (After that customers discovered the deals were not so sweet.) Employees of Amazon even admitted they used private customer data to find market opportunities for Amazon to exploit. The situation is so rapacious now that little companies are not even bought out anymore, they are just cloned and crushed.

And it’s not just Amazon. Smaller partners of Apple might find themselves suddenly competing with a new inhouse Apple product, only to also find that Apple updated the OS in ways that made the original product look faulty.

In the year 2017, Facebook and Google captured “an astounding 99% of revenue growth from digital advertising in the US.” Thus, though astonishing, it is no surprise that, “due to Google and Facebook’s dominance, ‘the average growth rate for every other company in the sector was close to 0’.”

It’s got to the point where startups against any flavour of the Big Tech oligarchs are so likely to fail that investors are balking, and this segment of the market is known as “the kill zone”, where few who enter survive.

Killing with Counterfeits (how is this not illegal?)

The Amazon abuse in question was about counterfeit PopSockets products sold on Amazon. The founder of PopSockets, David Barnett, “testified that ‘Amazon was aware that large quantities’ of counterfeit PopSockets products were selling on its platform, but that Amazon allowed the problem to continue until PopSockets agreed to spend nearly two million dollars on Amazon marketing services.” In a free market economy, Amazon would have readily apologized to PopSockets and got on with cracking down on the illegal products. But when 63 percent of the online searches for products start on Amazon, then PopSockets has to give in to what even Tony Soprano would call extortion. Basically, Bezos’s Amazon wanted a piece of the business if PopSockets wanted the problem to go away.

Would you like predatory-price-wars with that?

Lina Khan, recently appointed to the Federal Trade Commission, has documented the case of Quidsi, once “one of the world’s fastest growing e-commerce companies.” Quidsi was very successful selling many different products through its subsidiaries, like Diapers.com. Amazon wanted to buy Quidsi back in 2009 but the founders of the company declined. It was then that Amazon used its size, reach, and financial heft to start a price war against Quidsi.

Quidsi executives saw that Amazon’s pricing bots—software “that carefully monitors other companies’ prices and adjusts Amazon’s to match”—were tracking Diapers.com and would immediately slash Amazon’s prices in response to Quidsi’s changes. In September 2010, Amazon rolled out Amazon Mom, a new service that offered a year’s worth of free two-day Prime shipping (which usually cost $79 a year). Customers could also secure an additional 30% discount on diapers by signing up for monthly deliveries as part of a service known as “Subscribe and Save.”

It was not long before Quidsi was sold to Amazon for $545 million.

David Evans says: Obviously these are the companies we want in charge of public speech. They are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

Ponder the timing: The Predatory behaviour of the Big Tech menace was laid out a month before the US election last year but at the time, as scandalous as it was, few realized the triumph of the report would be neutralized weeks later, as the Big Tech played out its election gambit, thwarting the political oppononents that threatened to break the monopoly.

How prescient the headline here from October 2, 2020:

Alexis Keenan
Zephyr Teachout, associate professor of law at Fordham University School of Law, told the subcommittee on Thursday that Congress, not the Supreme Court, should regulate Big Tech. “It is quintessentially a congressional job to respond to this threat,” Teachout said, calling for “significant” new legislation.
Read it all: https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/big-techs-monopoly-creep/
9.8 out of 10 based on 101 ratings

148 comments to Ruled by Big Tech Predators — how did it come to this?

  • #
    GD

    Magnificent coverage, Jo. Thanks for bringing this to light.

    220

    • #
      OldOzzie

      Rubio: China Has ‘Deputized’ American Businesses to Push for China-Friendly Policies, Apple’s Cook Can’t Speak Freely about China

      On Friday’s “Hugh Hewitt Show,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said China has “deputized” major U.S. companies to push for policies that help China and stated that he doesn’t think Apple CEO Tim Cook can freely say what he thinks about China and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t want to get on China’s bad side.

      Rubio said China has “deputized major American corporations and their leaders to come to the United States and push for and pressure for policies that favor the Chinese position.”

      He added that companies want to be able to do business and produce products in China.

      Host Hugh Hewitt then asked, “Do you think CEO Tim Cook of Apple is able to speak his mind freely about China?”

      Rubio responded, “No. Absolutely not.”

      170

  • #
    Rob

    Surely Amazon shoud be broken up?

    300

    • #
      Analitik

      It should but Bezos has too many Democrats and RINOs in his pocket and bought the Washington Post to keep pressure on any independent thinkers

      280

    • #

      Microsoft should have been broken up, not least as a warning to its predatory followers like amazon, back in the late 1990s, when the government had the chance. A change in administration (and it doesn’t matter at all which way the change went, both Republicans and Democrats were incompetent and venal, i.e. criminal) stopped all talk of that greatly-to-be-desired breakup of the steamrolling creation of Bill Gates (the False God of all of today’s oligarchic businesses).

      It was just another step in the eloi-ization of the Buying Public, and the advancement of the Insane Left, that arose full-blown with Obama in 2008.

      And I hasten to add, STOP buying “subscriptions”. They are now a near-universal lice in a degenerate system (including society). Don’t buy anything you can’t buy once and for all (“One ping only”, as Sean Connery might say***).

      ***From “The Hunt For Red October”, 1990)

      160

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Agreed.

        Dont buy from any of the tech giants, and get your mates to do the same.

        Once the money dries up, they stop.

        Remove your social media accounts and ignore the MSM ( its all left wing dominated anyway ).

        Simples.

        80

      • #
        sophocles

        There is always Open Source Software if you don’t like Microsoft’s or Apple’s offerings. Microsoft knew the writing was on the wall some time ago. They saw they coukd not beat OSS, and have joined it. Not all their software is OSS but more and more of it is. They’ve managed to make and maintain some of their cash streams by hooking up PC manufacturers to their operating systems.

        That’s also a breakable chain: don’t buy computers — assemble your own from collections of parts and then install the OS Operating System software of your choice. It’s actually easy. The one blockage in that line is laptops but you can acquire laptops dedicated to OS Software if you look. Those are easy to change to the OS Operating System you like most.

        I build my own desktops, I use two OS operating systems: OpenBSD and Linux. I use Firefox, Waterfox, Vivaldi and Dissenter for web browsers. (Firefox had some reliability problems recently but I keep a copy to stay in touch with it. Both Operating Systems just run and run.

        Both are Unix derivatives which are much more secure than Windows, MS’s NT derivatives.
        Consider that Windows will run software from anywhere on your hard drive, especially if it’s in your Current Working Directory and the first two bytes in the file are MZ. No Unix permits that, So foreign software can’t just run. You, as the system operator, have to explicitly set eXecute permissions on the file. No file is saved to disc with the eXecute permissions set unless you modify the system to do that and you have to know how to do that — more fool you if you do! The file must be stored somewhere in the system’s path. Your CWD is kept out of your path. Those two details keep Unices very much more secure.

        20

  • #
    Ted O'Brien.

    I have been hoping that Trump will tackle them head on. Intuition tells me that it should be possible for him to do so. While only a lesser billionaire, he does have substantial resources and expertise, including a lot of people willing to support him.

    160

  • #
    Graham Richards

    Looks like “big tech” are also dealing in counterfeit politicians too!

    240

  • #
    William Capron

    Jo, you are like a lighthouse shining light onto the shoals of socialism and communism, and we see them clearly from America.

    460

  • #
    Broadie

    Candace Owens made the comment that there wasn’t a conspiracy against the American people it was simply a business plan to remove competitors and dominate the market. The Chinese Communist Party have used the same strategy, dump a cheaper product, then buy or absorb the competitors.

    I have just bought a Kawasaki engine made in the USA. Manufacture swapped there due to Trump’s tariff strategy. The Dealer said the previous power source for the machine, a Briggs and Stratton brand was in deep trouble after having allowed their manufacture to move to China and then be swamped by cheaper copies.

    240

    • #
      Custer Van Cleef

      Oh dear… I bought a lawn mower, not long ago, because it had a Briggs and Stratton engine.

      Yeah I expected some minor parts of the mower would be from you-know-where but regarding the essential part, I wanted to support US manufacturing…. oops.

      170

      • #
        Ronin

        Yep, all made in China, no mowers made in OZ any more, even Victa.

        100

      • #
        Deano

        My lawnmower is 26 years old and my rather large lawns are well kept. Its 4-stroke Briggs and Stratton engine was made in USA and starts first pull everytime. The power is still good. I change the oil every year and clean the air filter occasionally but I’ve heard the new ones wear out after a few years no matter how carefully you nurse them.

        100

        • #
          Ted O'Brien.

          Years ago we had a 3hp Hatz diesel on a well, running fairly long hours. German, cast iron, it gave many years of sterling service. When it eventually needed replacing new Hatz motors were very expensive and not the same models. So I bought a less expensive Yanmar, made in Japan, “alloy” construction, a beautiful little motor. But it lasted about half as long as the original Hatz. I replaced that with an apparently identical Yanmar, except this one was labelled “Made in Italy”. It died a violent death, blew up. The crankcase split completely in half.

          Times were tough. There was an ad in the paper for Diesel engines at a quarter of the price. So I tried one. it was an exact copy of the Yanmar, not as shiny, made in China. The parts were interchangeable. It was showing signs of reduced reliability when a flood washed it away.

          So I wondered if the one labeled made in Italy might have in fact been made in China.

          50

        • #
          sophocles

          The `new’ OHV B & S 4-stroke engines are nice. I like them.

          00

    • #

      Still have an old Victa mower with a Briggs and Stratton 2 stroke. Its 30 years old and running strong. Every few years I get a local guy to go over it (for $100) and occasionally I have had parts replaced. But the guy who fixes it says it still has plenty of life, and says the current mowers unless Husqvarna Honda or Stihl are complete rubbish, they only last a year or two then have to be replaced, and cannot be serviced. The high quality costs a lot more but lasts forever and can be serviced.

      Buying cheap rubbish may seem smart at the time but you pay through the nose long term…

      210

      • #
        Deano

        This might sound like I need to ‘get a life’ but, I have preserved all my old Aussie made tools (and some USA made ones too) I’ve had since I was an apprentice in the 70’s. They remind me of a better time. Some people keep old love letters or photos I believe.

        130

        • #
          OldOzzie

          SidChrome?

          10

          • #
            Deano

            Yes – a few individual Sidchrome ring/open end spanners, Pallcall clamps and a ‘hand vice’, a Dawn small vice and a GMF 6 inch bench grinder, Starrett 1 inch mike with the lovely friction thimble made in Scotland, plus various toolmakers clamps and a set of ‘BA’ taps and dies made by Patience and Nicholson (P&N, Aust.) which are probably banned now as the could be used to manufacture non metric items. Yes – I believe at one stage the gov were so frustrated by the public’s reluctance to accept the then new metric system, they banned the sale of non-metric manufacturing equipment!

            Dowidat adjustable spanners are also in my collection of ‘Too-precious-to-use’ old tools. They were a bit loose to be honest but I never saw one break. I only use them when a ‘proper’ spanner isn’t at hand (tend to round off the corners of nuts).

            10

            • #
              sophocles

              Dowidat = made in India. I purchased a bunch of ring spanners of that brand back in the 70’s and they still live! Very accurate and strong spanners. I haven’t split one yet and they’ve been `assisted’ with various heavy hammers from time to time. (Oops!)

              I hasten to add: `Only in emergencies!’

              10

  • #
    Penguinite

    Don’t think predatory pricing isn’t happening in Australia! I cite Bunnings and their “we’ll beat it by 10%” tag line. The requirement to obtain the discount is qualified by Bunnings with “for goods of exactly the same description”. Cleverly, NOT, they so tightly prescribe their purchasing arrangements to suppliers that it is impossible to compare even very similar products.

    200

    • #
      OldOzzie

      Yep re “we’ll beat by 10%”

      Was buying 15L Pool Chlorine Bummings Balgowlah $15.95 – found Pool Centre Brookvale selling at $11.95 always for 15 L Pool Chlorine & were cheaper on other pool supplies, so have shopped there since for Pool Suppies.

      Bunnings refused to match.

      As Bunnings only sells Cheap Chinese Crap anyway, they don’t stock Wattyl Paints, now shop Hradware & General Brookvale and Mitre 10.

      260

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        Well, my experience with Bunnings is that they matched and gave me the 10% reduction for the same product ($150 worth of retractable clothesline).

        You should have seen the face of the salesman when I pulled out my piece of paper with the cheaper price. Priceless.

        They don’t stock that brand anymore.

        100

    • #
      Hanrahan

      The nut grass herbicide Sempra™ is $50 for a tiny bottle. Bunnings sell it as Sedgehammer™ [nutgrass is called “nut sedge”. in the us] I said I could buy Sempra™ at the corner store for $40. Doesn’t count, exactly the same stuff but different distributor’s name on the packet.

      40

    • #

      I dislike Bunnings. Full of Chinese rubbish. Always go to an actual paint store for paint, the good advice is worth any extra price.

      When I lived in the US I always bought paint at Sherwin Williams. Better than any paint here and the ladies there were totally fantastic. Lowes and Home Depot were like Bunnings, good at selling it but useless technically.

      Bunnings were also mask nazis during covid – which won no brownie points at all from me.

      50

      • #
        Annie

        There’s an excellent paint store in Oakleigh (Melbourne) which is well patronised by professionals. Most of our paints and varnishes came from there.

        10

      • #
        Deano

        Having had some bad experiences with Dulux recently, I tried Haymes – an Australian family owned business and found their paint was much better, like Dulux USED to be about 30 years ago.

        50

    • #
      sophocles

      I don’t/won’t use Bunnings ever …

      00

  • #
    Don B

    High Tech supports the Democrats.
    Democrats control Washinton, DC.
    Why would Democrats want to break up High Tech?

    250

  • #
    David Maddison

    One market-based solution to the dangerous pro-Leftist political manipulation of the social(ist) media of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube/Google is for the US Government to remove the huge government subsidy and protection afforded by section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. It should be properly enforced as per its original intent.

    As you know this provides protection against liability or prosecution for Internet service providers for content which is carried on their platforms. This is fair, because just as a telephone company cannot be responsible for the content of telephone conversations, neither can an entity be responsible for the written and other material of the Internet.

    The problem is that, by the actions of Big Tech media, they have clearly demonstrated that they are publishers like a newspaper or TV channel, not a common carrier like a telephone service.

    If they were truly operating as a common carrier, they would not be allowed to give unequal and unfair treatment to people with political opinions not in accordance with the views of these companies. The banning of President Trump or any other person with lawful opinons (i.e. not advocating violence) would be illegal if they were actual carriers. It would only be legal if they were publishers but then they wouldn’t be protected by section 230.

    They claim the protection of a telephone service whilst being a publisher.

    President Trump wanted to do something about this but was stopped by traitors within his own administration.

    Of course, none of this is going to happen under the Harris Adminstration. Harris and Biden is the product you get with out-of-control social media who are falsely claiming protection against prosecution under section 230.

    421

    • #
      Lance

      Most people don’t realize that “they” ARE the Product. The cross platform cookies disclose to data mining AI bots every single web page you have viewed from any IP address you’ve ever used. Those AI bots even scan your email content and addressees on “free email” sites like Yahoo, Gmail, etc. That’s why it is free. You are giving them enormous amounts of personal data, every time you use their services or interact with them.

      The information gathered about “you” is used to send you offers of services, products, propaganda, etc. And that information is sold to other companies.

      I don’t have a fakebook or twatter account and refuse to ever have one.
      I’ll use Amazon to find a vendor of a product I like, then go directly to the vendor’s site and purchase from him/her. I try to buy local from the Mom & Pop stores because they offer after sale warranty and service.

      If people would simply stop using Fakebook, Twatter, and use search engines like SwissCows, Dogpile, DuckDuckGo, etc, they would find unfiltered, unadulterated, content that isn’t being propagandized. Starve the beast. Avoid their rankings and propaganda.

      Google, Facebook, and Amazon are very much at risk of being prosecuted for violating the Sherman Anti Trust Act. Perhaps not by the Biden* administration, but perhaps after the 2022 or 2024 elections. https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/sherman_antitrust_act

      We shall see…..

      320

      • #
        David Maddison

        The guy in this video has an excellent channel talking about phone privacy. Here is one of his videos about using a de-Googled phone.

        https://youtu.be/mqSCmT5S-2w

        Here is another excellent video about WiFi and privacy and related issues.

        https://youtu.be/KXEe2kqiYIM

        80

      • #
        Graham Richards

        “People don’t realise they are the product!”

        Perfect examples are the adverts for checking “ your credit score forever, for free”!!
        Do people realise that there is nothing for free, the advertiser cannot survive on free services.
        So where does their revenue come from? As sure as the sun sets in the west & rises in the east, they are not performing a service to feel good about helping out with your feeling comfortable when applying for a loan!!

        Maybe their “customers” are the actual product they’re selling! Maybe they’re selling your confidential information which you have willingly handed over to them so you can feel all warm & fuzzy when applying for credit. Bit of a bummer when your application is declined anyway!!

        80

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          And use a VPN to give yourself some privacy too….confuses some web sites no end…boo hoo….

          20

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          Am moving my phone to run Graphene OS hopefully soon….

          Gurgle will hit the bin and stay there…..

          30

      • #
        Sirob

        This whole system architecture is a boon to the oligarchs…

        The architecture needs to be scrapped for an open source system that has the status of a utility and the responsibilities of protecting people/users in much the same way that we expect free unimpeded movement in the physical world.

        The details of how exactly to do that while allowing useful productive enterprises that enhance society and generate ‘real’ wealth without being a ‘plantation’ type system that is tyrannical and favours oligarchs over everybody else needs to be worked out. I’m sure it can be done.

        But before that our constitutional rights need to be asserted on our politicians and this ‘party’ system because we have been betrayed by our so called political representatives.

        10

    • #
      Tilba Tilba

      One market-based solution to the dangerous pro-Leftist political manipulation of the social(ist) media of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube/Google is for the US Government to remove the huge government subsidy and protection afforded by section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. It should be properly enforced as per its original intent.

      I think you misunderstand how these big-tech outfits operate. They are not dangerous pro-Leftist (what a ludicrous proposition – they are enormous businesses), but nor are they totally pro-Capitalist either. You need to understand that these huge companies are not “political” – they are only pro-business. If they need to suck up to the vile government of China or Serbia or Botswana – they will. They are only concerned with having a pro-business environment to make more money. In the US as well.

      Section 230 is a contentious issue … is Facebook a publisher like a newspaper, or is it a common carrier like a telephone company? This issue has not been resolved one bit.

      319

      • #
        Disco Stu

        The telephone company does not ban users or restrict conversations. To act in this manner is become a publisher. If you have a say in the content, you have control.

        10

  • #
    OldOzzie

    Exclusive — Sen. Josh Hawley: Break Up Big Tech Monopolies to Protect Free Market

    Big Tech companies need to be broken up to end monopoly control and protect free markets, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), author of The Tyranny of Big Tech, said on Friday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow, author of Breaking the News: Exposing the Establishment Media’s Hidden Deals and Secret Corruption.

    Hawley declared, “We need to break these companies up. It’s actually pretty simple. These are monopoly companies that have monopoly power over speech, over news, over journalism, over information. Of course, we’re now too familiar with how they’re trying to project that power into our government and politics, and to try to control our country. We’ve got to break them up.”

    “We’ve got to change our laws,” he added. “In order to do that effectively, we need a new trust-busting agenda for the 21st century. It’s time for conservatives and populists to get out there and to say that nothing less than a break up will do.”

    The kicker in the above is the link for the book mentioned in Bold above, takes you to Amazon to purchase.

    131

    • #
      Tilba Tilba

      Hawley declared, “We need to break these companies up. It’s actually pretty simple. These are monopoly companies that have monopoly power over speech, over news, over journalism, over information. Of course, we’re now too familiar with how they’re trying to project that power into our government and politics, and to try to control our country. We’ve got to break them up.”

      Interesting … I don’t recall Josh Hawley complaining about the communicative effectiveness of Donald Trump for the five years from 2015.

      Incidentally, I don’t support the banning of Donald Trump, or a large Facebook group focused on Covid-19 vaccine war stories … I think the bar for banning should be really quite high (Holocaust deniers, White Supremacists, violence, terrorism, etc).

      But calling for anti-trust action because Trump was banned very late in the piece does reek of double-standards to me.

      115

      • #

        ” I don’t recall Josh Hawley complaining about the communicative effectiveness of Donald Trump for the five years from 2015.”

        Maybe that’s because DJT was elected President perhaps? And he didn’t have to silence anyone, or put them in jail to get there.

        Congressmen were calling for antitrust action before Trump was banned. How does the Tech Giants banning him make it less relevant? Or was that just a strawman…

        230

      • #
        truth

        TilbaTilba…

        Do you actually believe BigTech’s indulgence of Trump’s ‘communicative effectiveness’ without shutting him down from 2015….when they felt their own Left wing candidate Hillary Clinton was a shoe-in…and they thought he had no chance of winning….is an indication that they’re innocent of Hawley’s charge that during the election campaign and now ….when they know and the world knows he has a massive following….the Big Tech oligarchs have seized ‘monopoly power over freedom of speech’ to shut Trump down?

        And are you looking for some sort of medal for sanctimoniously proclaiming that you’re not supporting the banning of the POTUS who’s supported by 74 million Americans and who is still believed by many of us around the world… to have been the winner of the 2020 election?

        Your bar for banning would allow the banning of many of those 74 million Americans simply because they support Trump and believe the election was stolen from him…and even those political prisoners of the Biden regime…many of whom were invited into the Capitol and hurt no one …touched nothing.

        60

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        Reeks of something.

        20

  • #
    John R Smith

    We can’t be concerned about free markets and free speech when we have climate change and pandemics threatening us all.

    If they just switch out ‘climate change’ to ‘climate variant’, true Intersectionality can be achieved.

    90

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      An interesting example of how big tech can misguide us the presence online of those who appear to “know the truth” but are more than likely just poseurs looking for their moment of fame.

      For some time I had heard the name Willis Eschenbach and saw him engaging on Zoe’s blog recently.

      Yesterday I followed up a reference to him ;

      https://joannenova.com.au/2021/05/weekend-unthreaded-359/#comment-2426098

      And was concerned at the way he blocked out good advice. So, had to go looking, and sure enough he seems to lack relevant qualifications. Turns out he has a psychology degree.

      He leads people online but from a bigger perspective is just personally going around in circles.

      Big tech messing with us.

      51

  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    According to Economist Richard Wolff, this is a natural by product of capitalism where the system promotes monopolistic practices. Using the USA as an example, the government has to step in from time to time and break up monopolistic companies. In Australia, the problem tends to be oligopoly or cartel behaviour, noticeably in the banking, supermarket and fuel sectors.

    Basically you can maximise profits for shareholders by 1. Cutting costs, 2 removing competition, and 3 capturing legislatures

    Reaganomics Rules!

    122

    • #
      Richard Owen No.3

      Did you miss the references to Theodore Roosevelt “trust busting” in your research? HINT about the time Reagan was a baby.

      100

    • #
      David Maddison

      Peter did you read my post #9? These socialist media companies are benefiting from section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which is not being enforced and constitutes an unfair government protection against the spirit of a free market.

      150

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        love your water carrying.
        Can you explain why the stock market is booming, but that is not being reflected in wage rises

        Reaganomics Rule!

        020

        • #
          Custer Van Cleef

          The answer is money printing (known to followers of the Dismal Science as Quantitative Easing).

          The first spenders of the newly created money are the already-wealthy classes who can’t lose: as they invest in more property, stocks or shares, those asset values get pushed up.

          The poor old wage earner from Struggle Street, is left on the sideline, sucking his thumb.

          180

          • #
            RickWill

            The first spenders of the newly created money are the already-wealthy classes who can’t lose: as they invest in more property, stocks or shares, those asset values get pushed up.

            Most of the new money in Australia went directly or indirectly to individuals either as pension top ups or jobkeeper. So these people were the first spenders.

            The only obvious impact in Australia is inflation in property prices. There has been some suggestion that second-hand cars are more expensive but this may be a follow on from fewer first car sales as people reigned in expenses.

            A lot of the first spender’s money passed through Amazon and other on-line platforms making their owners much wealthier. Then there was the boom in streaming services and net meetings. Netflix doubled in value just last year and Zoom went up 9-fold from its pre-pandemic level to its peak last year.

            If the wokeful continue to set the agenda then we can expect to see the miners inherit the Earth. They are facing unprecedented boom as all the commodities needed to electrify the world undergo unprecedented growth. Everyone on the planet will be working on the fruitless task of extracting energy from low intensity sources.

            110

            • #
              Peter Fitzroy

              You are wrong if you think that Jobkeeper benefitted the workers

              “Advisory service Ownership Matters found that of the 66 ASX-listed JobKeeper recipients for the half-year ending 31 December 2020, 58 were profitable, while 34 reported an increase to their underlying earnings of as much as 20 per cent as a result of the stimulus payments.”

              Tell me how giving money to help a company make record profits is good for the worker.

              115

              • #
                RickWill

                Businesses are in business to make a profit for the owners. Their role is not to provide jobs. If there are no profitable businesses there would be no jobs- except in the public sector.

                My son is a partner in a small business and they enjoyed the benefit of jobkeeper. His business was down enough to qualify for the first Jobkeeper payment to September but quickly recovered. The benefit lasted a few months for them. They are currently heading for their best year on record. Jobkeeper was handy for about 2 months as it provided some certainty. One of his casual employees was surprised to see her income actually increase because all employees got the same amount out of JobKeeper payments. She thought the business administrator had made a mistake.

                It is all money going to individuals that increase their spending power. None of it has appeared to be driving inflation in Australia except in property prices. The rest of the world is still in a funk. That is suppressing fuel prices and demand for manufactured goods. On the other hand Australia’s major exports are doing well. Wine has been damaged by China’s ban but that makes for low prices in Australia.

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                el gordo

                Jobkeeper was designed to keep the economy going so that a V shaped recovery would come about. Its been a resounding success. There was a brief few months during the pandemic when poverty in Australia was completely eliminated.

                The companies which received monies and did well on the ASX are owned by Australian workers through superannuation, nothing to see here.

                04

            • #

              So solly (I’ve been watching old 1930s Charlie Chan movies the last few days), but I wish everyone (EVERYONE) on the internet would find out and follow the difference between “reigned” and “reined (in)”.

              …says the littlest kid, sitting on the sidelines, while all the bigger kids play their stupid ballgame (“social media”), oblivious to him/her.

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          • #
            Tilba Tilba

            The answer is money printing (known to followers of the Dismal Science as Quantitative Easing).

            Indeed – and huge buckets of money (at zero interest) has taken the Dow past 34,000 (in heavily devalued dollars of course, but still, it’s a huge number).

            The question is – how long can this game of chicken continue? Is there a limit, and is there a crash built into the future?

            If there is, some of the rich will get a haircut, but the really very rich will not, and they’ll come back in and buy depressed stocks for pennies on the dollar. Meanwhile millions of ordinary workers might find their retirement pensions go up in smoke.

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            • #
              RickWill

              There is no limit as long as the sovereign debt is in the States currency. For the USA it does not matter until other countries stop wanting USDs. The USA issues the world currency and other countries still need it for international trade.

              The risk is inflation. Only apparent in house prices in Australia. Has not flowed to energy, food or consumer goods.

              20

        • #
          Kevin kilty

          You seem not to recognize that the Federal government (US Federal Govt.) is dumping new money in the amount of 5% or more of GDP in each of these stimuli and that money largely heads to the stock market. Up goes the market. This has nothing at all to do with Reaganomics — it is the opposite of Reaganomics which had to do with stumulating production. And to the extent that most of the stumuli is shoring up union pensions, then it exactly is going into wage rises as there is no difference between wages and benefits — not for everyone of course but just for Democrat constituencies.

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          • #
            Peter Fitzroy

            Reganonmics
            1 Tax cuts for the rich
            2 Smaller less intrusive government
            3 reduce gov spending
            4 expand money supply – your first sentence

            please explain then how ‘stimulating production’ was not seen in wage growth.

            Reganomics rules!

            016

            • #
              Kevin kilty

              Let’s correct this view. This was Reaganomics..

              1) Constrain the money supply growth and let interest rates rise to where the market dictates in order to break inflationary expectations (ref. Paul Volker).
              2) Cut marginal taxes, which are not the same as taxes actually paid, to keep rising interest rates from crushing the economy.
              3) Reduce the growth rate of government, and reduce its burden where we can.
              4) Regarding increasing the money supply, see point number 1 above. Its growth rate was constrained by design.

              Inflation had to be brought under control in 1980. Your so-called “tax cuts for the rich” resulted in the rich paying a larger share of income taxes collected — you can reference the Treasury Department to see this is so. The money supply has to increase in a growing economy, but it has to be tempered when there are inflationary expectations to what products and services are actually available for purchase.

              You have a misleading view of what went on from 1980-1992. I actually lived it.

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              • #
                el gordo

                We need to come to grips with the fact that cryptocurrencies will dominate the new world order.

                04

              • #

                Kevin
                The Left screamed when Reagan cut capital gains tax in half. But the take from it actually INCREASED. The tax was inhibiting investment as people were fearful their gains would be taxed away. Reduce the impediment, and hey presto, more activity and more tax revenue…

                More taxes is nearly always a disaster.

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        • #
          el gordo

          ‘Can you explain why the stock market is booming, but that is not being reflected in wage rises?’

          In an Australian context, wages are expected to rise for the first time in a decade because immigration has been halted. The stock market is going gang busters because iron ore is dragging it up.

          03

          • #
            GlenM

            Well , we could make superannuation contributions optional – at least some people will see the effect on their wages. No

            20

            • #
              el gordo

              They won’t make Super optional, its forced saving. What we require is a ‘wages push’, which will help lift wages and interest rates.

              Over the coming few years, with immigration greatly restricted, Australia will boom. It took a pandemic to break the economic rationalists belief that increasing immigration is the only way forward.

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        • #
          Hanrahan

          Can you explain why the stock market is booming, but that is not being reflected in wage rises

          If you are referring to the US both the GOP and dems push open borders to keep wages down. Wage earners did better under trump than they would have under either party.

          If you refer to Australia, retail sector wages are lagging but miners are on the up again. 3% GDP will raise wages once labor Premiers stop playing ducks and drakes with small business.

          30

        • #
          Ted O'Brien.

          Inflation.

          10

        • #
          bobn

          The stock market doesnt reflect the health of the economy. At the moment Govts and central banks are debasing their currencies by rampant money printing and dropping interest rates to effectively zero. Hence if you want a return on your money, plus security, you are better off in Stocks than Bonds. Bonds, gilts etc are being bought by central banks while private investors and funds have rotated into Stocks.
          Apple is seen as more credit worthy and safer and more likely to grow and give capital growth than the US Govt and US treasury (ie. Bonds). So Govts are devaluing themselves and money flees from Bonds to Stocks. Then to add more fuel the central banks in several instances have bought Company Debt which leads to Stock price rises. (US Fed, Bank of Japan, Swiss NB, EU ECB, Norway state wealth fund etc etc are all now invested variously in stocks, funds and company debt).
          Its the biggest Ponzi in history but with Govts and their banks throwing money and policy at inflating the stockmarket its currently a one way bet (until the bust if you can time it!). And yes Ive made alot over the last year investing, by following the politics and ignoring the economics. We dont have capitalism we have global socialism (with plenty of mercantalism in the mix).
          Follow the politics and central bank lunacy and ride their Ponzi. If you dont your cash will be inflated and devalued away.

          20

        • #
          Leo Morgan

          Yes standard economics does explain the lack of connection between stock market prices and wages.
          The only way for someone who purports to be interested in these matters to not know that explanation is for them to stick their finger5s in their ears and go “La la la I can’t hear you” when they are told that explanation.
          If I repeat that explanation here, you’ll try and argue it.
          Look it up for yourself.

          00

    • #
      John R Smith

      “1. Cutting costs, 2 removing competition, and 3 capturing legislatures.”

      … or you could …

      1. Come up with a product or service people want.
      2. Produce that good or service efficiently so that you can sell it at a better price than your competitors.
      3. Support political leaders that share your values and aren’t Communists or weird Identitarians.

      Ronald Reagan was an actor and a politician.
      I never voted for him.
      Donald Trump ran a business and was gloriously impolitic.
      I voted for him twice.

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      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        Why only twice?

        In 2020 alone, many people in many states of the USA voted for His Excellency, The Honorable, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., half a dozen times before lunch and another half a dozen before pre-dinner drinks.

        You need to get a scoot on next time.

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        • #
          John R Smith

          Electoral College.
          I live in a Blue State.
          My Congressman didn’t even bother to campaign even though he faced the strongest challenger I’ve ever seen or can imagine.
          There is no point in voting here.
          It’s decided beforehand.
          Not kidding.
          Last time was the last time for me.
          The main downside is constant moralistic preaching from these corrupt people.

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      • #
        Hanrahan

        Reagan told great Russia jokes though. 😀

        40

    • #
      David Maddison

      Richard Wolff is a Marxist “economist”.

      40

    • #
      Tilba Tilba

      Basically you can maximise profits for shareholders by 1. Cutting costs, 2 removing competition, and 3 capturing legislatures

      That’s basically right, however there are practical limits, and the punters will get antsy if the gouging is too pronounced, and pressure mounts for government “to do something”.

      In the US however it requires Herculean effort to take on corporations. After all, they have bought the best government that money can buy!

      It seems to me there is more competition in the Oz banking sector now than when I was a kid, but supermarkets and fuel have certainly shrunk. And it all gets so normalised.

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      • #

        Which is the more efficient system — price gouging until protestors march in the street, congress is cajoled into action, then the government makes laws with loopholes which the profiteers abuse behind a veil of complexity….

        Or the competition launches a cheaper version and the public dumps the profiteers?

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        • #
          Peter Fitzroy

          “ Or the competition launches a cheaper version and the public dumps the profiteers?” Eg Amazon vs all Retail. Oh wait Amazon is now too big.

          Not counting china as they are not proper capitalists, and they used Walmart as their distributor in the USA

          As has been pointed out – the incentive in capitalism is to increase profits, if that means manufacture in china, using gig workers, cartel and monopolistic practices, subverting regulations that is acceptable to shareholders, just ask anyone with a stake in Amazon.

          Richard Wolf’s point remains – this is what capitalism produces, and it is because profit is the only metric.

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  • #
    Environment Skeptic

    It is really very straightforward and easy to see when the mind is trained.

    The financial sector (Banks etc) control everything via debt. In today’s modern world, even the biggest corporate giants are in debt, and lots of it, so much in fact that if they are not doing what they are told, the banks simply remove funding and they go under swiftly. It is very subtle.

    Banks control governments the same way.

    On the outside it looks as if a government or a corporation has done something of its own accord, however this is not the case and the financial puppet strings will slowly become visible..

    Try not to get involved in political thinking and so on. Thinking politically/corporately dulls the senses.

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    • #
      Tilba Tilba

      The financial sector (Banks etc) control everything via debt. In today’s modern world, even the biggest corporate giants are in debt, and lots of it

      The very biggest (Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc) have little or no debt, and sufficient cash / cashflow to not be beholden to bank finance.

      They aren’t socialist or capitalist – they are strictly amoral. All around the world they keep on the good side of governments in power – and in addition do not support parties or movements that could do their business any damage.

      Try not to get involved in political thinking and so on. Thinking politically/corporately dulls the senses.

      I think it’s the reverse of that – these corporations are very astute at partnering with governments and parties that are pro-business. And if they have to crush unions and do all sorts of unpleasant things to reduce costs, they do.

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      • #

        I think you miss the point. If you want to be free of the predator, you can’t think like the predator…that is called “the Stockholm Syndromw”.

        We are not HUNTING the predator, we are trying to get out of its clutches.

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        • #
          Tilba Tilba

          I think you miss the point.

          Well it is possible, but it’s extremely rare that I do. And if I have, you have not explained how or why I have.

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      • #
        Tel

        Amazon is carrying more than $30 billion of debt right now. Their margins are narrow, they are in a competitive sector and they are very sensitive to interest rates on that debt. Their debt-to-equity ratio is 30% which is not dangerously high by tech industry standards, but if you look at the chart below you will notice that total debt has been rising quite steeply in the last decade. Their P/E ratio is over 60 and they don’t pay dividends to shareholders, so their finances look more like a startup company expecting huge growth than a mature business.

        https://www.macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/AMZN/amazon/debt-equity-ratio

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        • #
          Tilba Tilba

          Their net debt is far less. This from Yahoo Finance:

          According to the Amazon.com’s most recent balance sheet as reported on October 30, 2020, total debt is at $33.08 billion, with $32.93 billion in long-term debt and $155.00 million in current debt. Adjusting for $29.93 billion in cash-equivalents, the company has a net debt of $3.15 billion.24 Dec 2020

          And they have narrow margins in a competitive industry? Isn’t this whole thread about their being a huge monopoly crushing competitors and making super-profits?

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          • #

            Would be interesting to know what “cash – equivalents” are in their case.

            40

          • #
            Tel

            Could you point out where in the article at the top of the page it mentions “super-profits” … seems that’s something you just came up with.

            No wait, I have heard that term “super-profits” before … comes from the Labor Party propaganda wing, back in the day when they were going to impose a super profits tax on the mining industry. Very odd the way you bring that up now when it has nothing whatsoever to do with the discussion at hand.

            Hey, you also measure nett debt, as a way to hide real debt … I’ve seen that trick before as well … also coming from the ALP. Golly, what are the chances? Tell me this, which one is used for interest calculation purposes: nett debt or real debt? Have a think about it. Discuss with your ALP buddies.

            30

            • #
              Kalm Keith

              Thanks Tel, you’ve done what I couldn’t be bothered doing; you actually read it.

              Interesting that you picked up the Laba influence, that makes him less of an individual activist and just a follower.

              20

          • #
            Hanrahan

            And they have narrow margins in a competitive industry? Isn’t this whole thread about their being a huge monopoly crushing competitors and making super-profits?

            A giant corporation which carried losses for years to eventually make a narrow margin [your words] by definition is crushing opposition.

            In a previous life when I traded shares Amazon was losing every time they sold a book.

            10

      • #
        Richard Ilfeld

        I think “partnering” is a bit strong….they seem to be traveling the same road as
        exploiters exploiting the same population; their relationship for the moment is symbiotic.
        But their interests, if from different routes to their ideologies, both include being the top dog
        so sooner or later they will be at each other’s throat. In the US, the US has had its trustbusting moments,
        from the railroad robber barons to Standard Oil to AT&T….I think these folks will be at each other’s throats soon enough.
        Not necessarily to the benefit of the public….if that happens it is likely to be an unintended consequence.

        10

    • #
      Hanrahan

      even the biggest corporate giants are in debt, and lots of it

      Of course. The execs borrow vast sums, use most of it and net cash flow to buy back stock. This pushes up the share price which keeps the shareholders happy but enriches the board members because they get massive bonuses based on share price.

      Boeing and GE are case studies on how well it works: Until it doesn’t.

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  • #
    Angus Black

    Nothings going to change while the Masters of the Universe collude to keep puppets in the seats of apparent power.

    And they’re going to change that game winning behaviour because…???

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  • #
    Old Goat

    The issue I see here is our dependence on electronic devices for our information and amusement . Just look around you – you see almost everyone with their attention buried in their phones (even when walking and sometimes when driving !). We use it for purchasing, dating, directions,reminders,”news” and a host of other “applications”. I can remember when it was only communications…
    This is why we have handed control to google,facebook,amazon and the worst.. “twitter”. Yes , I am aware that I am doing this on an electronic device.

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  • #
    Speedy

    And these extortionists will wear their socialist leanings on their sleeve. George Orwell was right – the pigs are looking just the same as the oppressive farmers they originally displaced.

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    • #
      Tilba Tilba

      And these extortionists will wear their socialist leanings on their sleeve.

      It could be noted that Donald Trump (both as candidate and president) was given free rein at Facebook and Twitter for years, and used them very effectively, allowing him to essentially bypass the mainstream media.

      He was only very belatedly curtailed as a result of the election fraud foment, and the 6 January storming of the US Capitol.

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      • #

        …says one of the Insane Left, happily broadcasting his insanity.

        “election fraud foment”? “6 January storming of the US Capitol”? “only very belatedly curtailed”?

        I suspect you have missed almost everything in the last 13 years, since the Insane Left came into power with Obama, the First Anti-American President.

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        • #
          Tilba Tilba

          …says one of the Insane Left, happily broadcasting his insanity.

          All ad homs are pretty easy … but you have not challenged my point that there was virtually no complaint from the Right while Trump was using Twitter | Facebook to great effect for all his five years in the spotlight.

          01

        • #
          el gordo

          ‘ … since the Insane Left came into power with Obama, the First Anti-American President’.

          Surely you mean centre left?

          11

  • #
    Ronin

    As if their ‘wuflu’ wasn’t bad enough, we are about to get a 21t used rocket booster to come knocking soon.

    40

    • #
      RickWill

      I think it is down 1300 AEST. If you are still with us then it missed you. It was predicted just west of Africa; maybe got to the Sahara.

      Earth is a big place. It was only tracking over about 50% of the earth. Water surface is twice as abundant as land surface.

      Would be very interesting if it hit New York. I wonder if US would retaliate by ensuring their next bit of space junk hit Beijing! If it made land, maybe Morocco. I don’t think they have a space program to retaliate with if it hit something there. Maybe sell the bits on Ebay for outrageous price; double Morocco’s export income for a few months.

      30

    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      This report said it’s down in the Indian Ocean, west of the Maldives.
      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-05-09/china-long-march-rocket-space-debris-crashes-north-of-maldives/100126702
      Cheers
      Dave B

      10

  • #
    Flok

    This is exploiting an opportunity by the tech relevant to created situational behaviour of people. People are kept too busy in lives and opt for more convenient click and order.

    Further more people are constantly being told that they are busy and that, this is a fast paced life. Subliminal programming which is a false assumption.

    It is part of a plan to conform to a business model.

    There is an aspect of this that we can all question. Are we really that busy?

    If nothing our lives are made much easier than say our parents and grandparents in the 50s, 60’s and 70’s. Everything now is done by an appliance, from cooking, washing and cleaning. The time in between is filled by gadgets that replace traditional values of family and friends. All this while houses are filled with clutter of onetime use items.

    It comes down to a choice (there is an app for that as well, to saves us time, apparently it is free).

    If we are to put a value to an hour of our time invested in all gadgets, we can than understand the value transferred to tech companies free of charge which is their profit.

    Site like this that Jo is running, I find grounding, because it questions the big issues of life. It also questions what are blown out of all proportions issues that are inconsequential to reality but are part of said reality. A true statement to an age old saying “question everything”. Thank you Jo !!

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    • #
      Tilba Tilba

      This is a perceptive post and I agree entirely.

      Marketing and advertising are all about convincing us that we lead “busy lives” – and the product being promoted will buy you time, convenience, and effectiveness.

      But most of our “busyness” is lifestyle choice, and essentially optional (although I concede that supporting kids through weekend sport can chew a lot of time). We are not as busy with the business of life in the way our parents and grandparents were.

      And the reality is, that people do place a high value on the purported cheapness and delivery-speed of Amazon, and of course the range of products it has. (I don’t use them at all, but have used eBay and Catch occasionally).

      The other side of this – and much of the thrust of the opening essay) is that US corporate law makes it ridiculously easy for very large monopolies to emerge – and it has been going on for a very long time (at least since Standard Oil, General Motors, and AT&T).

      The fervent dedication to deregulation and “free markets” in the US means that voracious behaviour to swallow and nullify competition is actually designed into the system. I suspect if the Democrats (or anyone else) tried to bring in tighter corporate law, there would be formidable forces against such a move.

      Facebook and Twitter have a different set of issues relating to another sacred cow – free speech – even though they are privately owned and its users are not subject to First Amendment protection laws – even though some believe they should be.

      But similar forces are in play as with Amazon, in terms of buying up or overwhelming competition, and also of course because they are hugely popular and they meet a demand that in effect can only be met if you’re gigantic.

      In essence their size and monopoly positions are a feature of American Capitalism, and not a bug. I don’t know what solutions might be required … being forced to break up through anti-trust laws is a blunt instrument can only achieve so much.

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      • #
        Frank from NoVA

        I enjoy this site, but there’s more bad economics in this post and your comment than one can shake a stick at, so I’ll be brief. Predatory pricing doesn’t work. The so-called Robber Barons learned this the hard way 100 years ago, because absent force, there’s no way to prevent competitors from re-entering the market when the aspiring monopolist tries to raise prices in order to recoup his losses from pricing his products below cost. What does work is partnering with government to restrict competition. In the US, this began in earnest during the so-called Progressive Era and was ramped up during the New Deal. Call it what you want – regulatory capture, corporatism, fascism, etc. – big business loves to be “regulated” because it raises the bar to new market entrants, and therefore increases profits. For the rest of us, this results in higher costs, less innovation, lower quality, etc. Getting back to the discussion on big tech and Hawley, the solution is not more regulation and/or anti-trust, but to take away their government provided shield (Sec 230) that privileges these de-facto publishers relative to others.

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        • #
          Tilba Tilba

          I won’t argue the toss over whether there are “bad economics” in either the post or my comment (I don’t believe so), and I certainly didn’t discuss predatory pricing. My overall comment was that the US economic system gives rise to huge corporations in just about every sector where huge size offers a great market advantage.

          In relation to free speech, censorship, and overt political interference, have those who clamour for the repeal of Section 230 thought through the consequences? If Facebook were suddenly liable (and suable) for all its third-party content in the way a newspaper is for its own content, then it would shrink enormously, and those wanting more “free speech” might suddenly have far less.

          And not just the tech giants … every blog and forum would need lawyers and teams of moderators. Every person (and there have been many) who has ever said that Dominion Voting Machines were rigged might find themselves (and the forum that published the content) standing in the dock for defamation.

          Anyway – I think the Section 230 debate is an aside. What people are really complaining about (and people from both sides, but primarily the Right these days) is editorial control by the platforms, where one’s point of view is censored, but a POV that opposes yours is not.

          These are complicated matters, and people disagree at really deep levels. But I think it’s clear that Facebook has no intention of doing anything that cuts into its bottom line.

          26

          • #
            Frank from NoVA

            I criticized your economics because of statements like this – “The fervent dedication to deregulation and “free markets” in the US means that voracious behaviour to swallow and nullify competition is actually designed into the system”. As I posted, government regulation is what allows “voracious behavior. As for the reforming sec 230 so as to ensure consistency in the treatment of publishers, that would only shrink Facebook and Twitter to the extent they are enabling the publication of libelous content.

            50

            • #
              Tilba Tilba

              As I posted, government regulation is what allows “voracious behavior.

              Well yes – but the regulation is in effect allowing unfettered voraciousness, so it’s reasonable to call that “deregulation”.

              As for the reforming sec 230 so as to ensure consistency in the treatment of publishers, that would only shrink Facebook and Twitter to the extent they are enabling the publication of libelous content.

              But to identify and prohibit “libellous” or otherwise objectionable content, the platforms would need armies of lawyers and moderators … it would be unsustainable in the current set-up, and I think everyone understands that.

              The current free-form of the Internet – and its enormous growth – has resulted from Sec 230 in many respects – for good or bad. If Jo were legally liable for everything ever posted on here, then there would be expensive lawyers and a lot of censorship overkill.

              10

      • #
        Richard Ilfeld

        But the blunt instrument did break up Standard Oil, and At&T….and showed forebearance to GM which died of natural causes.
        If there is something different this time, it is that the guardrails of a shared culture that allow us to oscillate between big dominant robber barons and big dominant blowhard politicians may have failed due to cultural destruction. The force that eventually ends abuses is the public sense “something’s not right”. When the culture fails you get states like the usual villains of history, and corrections in bloody wars, not legal and social arguments. –

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  • #

    A perfect example of corrupt big business has been apparent on the Watts Up With That web site today. It features Google ads top and bottom of the displayed page by Greenpeace claiming the AGL is Australia’s greatest polluter and asking viewers to complete a petition against the company’s operations.
    As a major supplier of power in Australia, AGL naturally emits a large amount of CO2 but we should know by now that this is not pollution.
    Clicking on the x for each advert only removes the ad for about a minute and then it reappears.
    Google and Greenpeace should be subject to condemnation for this criminal act and hopefully sued.

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  • #
    Deano

    Not sure where to post this but it seems kids aren’t as gullible as the media had hoped:

    https://www.watoday.com.au/environment/climate-change/the-media-uses-it-to-scare-people-survey-detects-climate-change-scepticism-in-young-people-20210427-p57msr.html

    “Bailey Linton-Simpkins, 16, a student at Epping Boys High School in Sydney”. Yes, he’s a believer of course.

    50

    • #
      el gordo

      Scepticism among the young, but four out of five are still brainwashed. Only global cooling will clams their souls of guilt.

      40

      • #
        GlenM

        Look at the comments in the link. Agnotology central.

        20

        • #
          el gordo

          Yep, there are a lot of brainwashed people out there. They won’t change their minds until we get a sharp global cooling signal.

          22

  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    HOW MARK ZUCKERBERG PUT JOE BIDEN IN THE WHITE HOUSE:

    Writing in The American Conservative, Capital Research Center’s Hayden Ludwig reports the results of his in-depth examination of the $400 million in activities of Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg’s Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL) during the 2020 presidential campaign and found a distinct pattern:

    “Our conclusion is that across the board, the CTCL’s grants favored the biggest, most vote-rich Democratic counties, which helped turn out the most left-leaning voters in U.S. history—and secure Joe Biden as the country’s 46th president. Far from ‘nonpartisan,’ CTCL’s oceans of money made it easier for fraudsters to cheat and the Democrats to win in 2020.”

    Ludwig may well be pointing to the most significant unwritten story of the 2020 election. And you can bet Zuckerberg will be looking for repeat performances in 2022 and 2024. After all, when your estimated net worth is $118 billion, $400 million every two years is barely pocket change.”

    via instapundit: https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/how-mark-zuckerberg-put-joe-biden-in-the-white-house-writing-in-the-american-conservative-capital/#respond

    How Mark Zuckerberg Almost Handed Texas To The Democrats
    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-mark-zuckerberg-almost-handed-texas-to-the-democrats/?blm_aid=73350

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  • #
    graham dunton

    The likes of the tech giants, are following a formula.

    Take the latest company now, threatening livelihoods, PayPal? They closed the Rebel news a/c with no justifiable cause.

    An exclusive from Rebel News

    https://www.rebelnews.com/exclusive_jailhouse_interview_with_pastor_artur_pawlowski?utm_campaign=el_jailhouseart_5_9_21&utm_medium=email&utm_source=therebel

    Demonstrating the same Gestapo tactics as used in Melbourne Au.

    the following Exclusive Jail house interview,is in Canada,the disgusting,history is easy to check; but like many restrictions they make no sense, allowing some venues to open, while others are closed. It is Political,there is no doubt about that, all part of the great global reset.

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    PeterS

    More and more people are waking up to the fact that big business in general as well as politicians on both sides are lecturing us that good is evil and evil is good. At some stage as the awareness spreads people will walk with their feet and stop supporting them. That’s assuming enough people wake up in time. Either way the real “fun” then starts. It won’t be pretty. People can only put with the BS for so long.

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    • #
      el gordo

      ‘At some stage as the awareness spreads people will walk with their feet and stop supporting them.’

      Its not that simple, our democracy would become a dog’s breakfast like Israel. Perhaps you prefer a dictatorship?

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      • #
        PeterS

        Yes a benevolent dictatorship will come but we’ll have to wait for Him to return. Until then the cycles so history keep repeating as empires rise then fall. In the meantime we all have a choice and the bad choices we make is not a result of our democracy but of our own choosing.

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          el gordo

          Premier Ji thinks of himself as a benevolent dictator, uplifting the masses of the world. We could become a Satrap, join the Belt and Road, and build nuclear power plants to satisfy the demand of the new immigrants.

          New technologies are changing everything, particularly in communications, the tech giants are not to blame for the mess they find themselves in.

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            OriginalSteve

            Pass.

            Live on our knees…..no thanks…..

            I looked up worldometer for India and Australia.

            Australia had a shameful 3% death rate ( yeah….you own it, Dan…) and India a 1% death rate.

            I suspect the real death rate is closer to 2%, but all in all Covid is a stage managed trojan horse for theft of our liberties.

            The globalists are just common theives……

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    Flok

    How did it come to this?
    Every time there was a new release of a gadget we rushed to buy it. Disposing of old to junk.

    We all enriched Microsoft and their software bugs by upgrading to new more expensive version. This also means we have created the antivirus software industry to protect our purchase and documents. Microsoft didn’t do that for us.

    We have paid the full development cost of the tech companies and all they fed us with the products that they knew in 12 months’ time will be outdated with new versions. We knew that too.

    We have paid the full development of IT industry networks till they reached a point of capacity good enough to launching platforms such as Facebook and alike. A free pass into the market.

    We have paid the entire network infrastructure of telecommunications which tech giants are now enjoying. IP telephony is here. Bring your own electricity.

    And still there are lines of people waiting for new releases of everything.

    Even our cars are high tech. Plug in a tablet and call it high tech. $3 sensors and $5 reverse camera.

    We have paid a high price for development of pixels (even the dead ones).

    We have paid a high development price for high definition everything.

    The same is happening with solar energy. New more efficient panels to push existing infrastructure to the tip. We have converted energy generation into the same business model of gadget consumerism.

    If only we only learned the meaning of patience before we made it all happen.

    The Old Russian proverb: “Sheep fear the wolf but the shepherd gets the feast”.

    Yes we made it all happen, but we did not ask for our privacy to be compromised and our freedom to be controlled. That is the evil construct of an opportunity to exploit good will of people that made this civilisation what it is today. That is, just like everything above still in our hands.

    Yes cancel, cancel, cancel.

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      Old Goat

      Flok – you hit on something very relevant . Everything is disposable. If you want to get something fixed , in a lot of cases it costs more than replacement. Nothing is made to last anymore and this forces us to keep replacing everything . Making something that lasts is bad for business as sales drop after market saturation occurs. Software upgrades usually don’t improve the software for the user but often benefit the vendor. We almost never see a piece of electronics that can be upgraded without replacement.Same with tools and appliances.

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      • #
        el gordo

        They call it planned obsolesce, it began with the light bulb.

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      • #
        Hanrahan

        Your assumption is blown out of the water by modern ICE cars. The average age of the American fleet has doubled, I forget the time axis. They are kept because they are better built and cheaper to run.

        I have a “low milage” Toyota which hasn’t cost a cent other than oil changes [far fewer] in 11 years. Looking at the ODO a Holden would definitely need a valve grind at that milage 50 years ago. But it would have been a rusted hulk years ago anyway. 🙂

        Don’t spit on what you have. If they don’t make things like they used to, that’s a good thing, with exceptions of course.

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      Ronin

      Watch the same thing happen with EVs, next model with have newer features, just like smart fones.

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      • #
        Hanrahan

        The only feature in EVs people really ask for is double the range. The next model will not deliver, nor the one after I’m afraid.

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    • #
      Hanrahan

      Imagine the uproar if one of the Trumps had links other than social page photos with Epstein?

      Epstein didn’t kill himself! There are now two Bills to add to the long list.

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    Ross

    The big techs definitely don’t like competition. Yesterday, I thought I would just check to see how PARLER are going. I notice its “gone” again. That is, there is no feed, Page 404 stuff. So obviously its been cancelled again by the tech giants , just as it was just recently. I think GAB is still going.

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    Richard Owen No.3

    Christine Holgate, the former CEO dumped from Aust Post has joined their strongest competitor Global Express – the parcel deliverer.
    Parcels are Aust Post’s most profitable sector.

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    Tarquin Wombat-Carruthers

    Currently I’m watching Andrew Bolt discuss the source of COVID19. I have a couple of questions:

    1. How many Wuhan-like research centres are there elsewhere in China?

    2. How many so-called “wet markets”, besides Wuhan’s, are there elsewhere in China?

    If there are more wet markets than Wuhan-like research centres, then, if COVID19 came from a wet market, why was Wuhan the first (and apparently only one) affected? Coincidence? Alternatively, if there is more than one Wuhan-like research centre in China, is Wuhan’s the only research OR wet market in all of China to have been so affected?

    Can someone enlighten me please?

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    Ronin

    I see the Petulant Poppet is on the greenlabor propaganda channel tonight, must remember not to watch.

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