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Re: History Timelines etc

In a message dated 97-07-17 11:58:57 EDT, you write:

 >I don't care if a private company wastes money (ande
 >lots of them do) because I don't have to help pay the bill.  (Unless I'm a
 Or a customer--or, for that matter, a customer of their competition.
 Although the stockholders sometimes pay, the customers usually do--through
 price increases. And when one supplier of a product raises _its_ prices, it
 often encourages competitors to do likewise. Sure, capitalism is the
 greatest economic system ever conceived, but it's NOT as benign as you would
 like to believe it is! >>

Your understanding of how prices are set in the marketplace does not fit
anything I learned in Economics 101 or have observed in the marketplace.
 Supply & demand ultimately sets prices, not what the owners want to charge.
 If a business wastes money and drives up their prices, a consumer can switch
to their competitor or substitute another good or service for their product.
 Prices can only rise if the demand for the good or service is greater than
the supply.  Only in the case of a monopoly (like the electric company) is
this not possible.

I never said capitalism is benign.  Totally unregulated capitalism will lead
to the classic "trusts" with only a few companies dominating any particular
market.  This would eliminate the supply & demand factors that set prices in
a market with competition.  Other than some necessary anti-trust laws, I
believe it has been proven that a capitalist economy, with a minimum of
regulation, will produce the highest standard of living for the most people.
 A good comparison is the USA economy today vs. most countries in Western
Europe.  All have basically capitalist systems, but the Eurpean countries
generally have higher rates of taxation and more regulation and as a result
they have lower rates of growth, higher unemployment and generally, lower
standards of living.

Capitalism is not benign. By it's very nature capitalism produces winners and
losers.  That's fine with me. I do not want to live in a benign, risk free

Dan Billings
Bowdoinham, Maine


End of boston-radio-interest-digest V1 #97