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Old Jan 3, 2014, 03:22 PM   #126
Dmunjal
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Originally Posted by Eraserhead View Post
In a true free market AT&T wouldn't allow anyone to use their last mile infrastructure at all.
I don't know if AT&T would have gotten so large without government involvement in the first place. Like cable companies, they were given exclusive rights to own the last mile.
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Old Jan 3, 2014, 06:36 PM   #127
jnpy!$4g3cwk
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I don't know if AT&T would have gotten so large without government involvement in the first place. Like cable companies, they were given exclusive rights to own the last mile.
According to Milton Friedman, one of the Archangels of Libertarianism, there are three major sources of monopoly: "technical" considerations, direct and indirect governmental assistance, and private collusion. By "technical" considerations, he means natural monopolies. e.g. telephone system, water system.

I have noticed that you focus almost exclusively on "direct and indirect governmental assistance". However, in the case of cable TV companies (and telephone systems) "technical considerations" are actually paramount. The startup costs in a particular geographic area offer enormous economies for density. This is what others refer to as a "natural monopoly". Why do you assume that this is exclusively a governmental assistance issue?

Happily, the costs of cell infrastructure work quite differently from land lines, and this has allowed at least some level of competition in some places for cell service. (Although, you can see that the cell service providers hate real competition.)

I have always been alternately amused by, and annoyed by, capitalists who rage against government regulation, but, are constantly looking for ways to tilt the playing field to their own advantage, rather than playing fair and competing better on a level playing field.
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Old Jan 3, 2014, 06:42 PM   #128
Dmunjal
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Originally Posted by jnpy!$4g3cwk View Post
According to Milton Friedman, one of the Archangels of Libertarianism, there are three major sources of monopoly: "technical" considerations, direct and indirect governmental assistance, and private collusion. By "technical" considerations, he means natural monopolies. e.g. telephone system, water system.

I have noticed that you focus almost exclusively on "direct and indirect governmental assistance". However, in the case of cable TV companies (and telephone systems) "technical considerations" are actually paramount. The startup costs in a particular geographic area offer enormous economies for density. This is what others refer to as a "natural monopoly". Why do you assume that this is exclusively a governmental assistance issue?

Happily, the costs of cell infrastructure work quite differently from land lines, and this has allowed at least some level of competition in some places for cell service. (Although, you can see that the cell service providers hate real competition.)

I have always been alternately amused by, and annoyed by, capitalists who rage against government regulation, but, are constantly looking for ways to tilt the playing field to their own advantage, rather than playing fair and competing better on a level playing field.
You're very correct. I'm also amused/annoyed that most lawsuits brought against alleged monopolists are brought by competitors (or competitors urging government) not by the consumer.
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Old Jan 3, 2014, 10:09 PM   #129
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Not just defense. Entitlements and even other departments.

Liberals often talk about the tax policy of the 50s but forget how small the Federal Government was as well during that time.

Departments of Energy and Education didn't even exist until the 70s.
This is incorrect.

The Department of Energy was created in 1977, but was actually the combination of Federal Energy Association, the Federal Power Commission, and the Energy Research and Development Administration, along with the dissolved Atomic Energy Commission.

Effectively, the DoE combined the 1930-era Federal Power Commission and the post-WWII Atomic Energy Commission with two groups created in 1973-1974 to respond to the energy crisis.

So, the DoE wasn't created from whole cloth by the Carter administration, rather it existed as two separate, parallel federal agencies for decades.

And, the Department of Education was originally part of the Department of Health Education and Welfare, which was formed in 1953 and split away from Health and Human Services (and later the Social Security Administration) again by Carter.
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