Dems 2019: Dem Hard With A Vengeance


#1766

So, I work for a small business. We leverage technology and infrastructure from both Google and Amazon, which allows us to do things that we couldn’t otherwise do on our own. That’s an example.

Yes, historically, benefit to the consume does in fact matter when considering this kind of thing.
Microsoft’s anti-competitive practices weren’t beneficial to consumers. They actually worked to prevent effective competition.

Google’s 90% share of search doesn’t prevent you from accessing someone else’s search engine… the problem is that no one else has actually MADE a search engine that’s better than Google. If someone else was actually able to do search better, and somehow Google crushed them, then I’d be more worried, but I don’t think that’s been the case thus far.

Likewise, Amazon has totally transformed the retail market, but they’re still only a small portion of retail. Of course, they’re growing much more than any other retailer, but how much of this is simply due to old school retailers failing to adapt to the new market? Should I be forced to go to the mall to buy electronics, just to prop up some failing brick and mortar retailer? What exactly is the value in that old retail model?

I did (although in fairness, I had it going in the background while doing other work). It’s actually not a bad piece at all, although I don’t necessarily agree with his conclusions.

I think that it’s absolutely worth applying scrutiny to the tech giants. I’m just not sold on the idea that we should be breaking them up. They aren’t monopolies in any real sense of the word. Hell, in many cases, they are directly competing with each other. But we’re seeing a major technological shift in our economy, and that’s causing major disruptions. But these companies are providing major value to consumers… a lot of that disruption is simply things getting better.


#1767

Please explain how the anti-trust lawsuit about i.e. being preinstalled on Microsoft Windows computers was hurting customers? Did Microsoft block me from installing firefox or chrome?


#1768

Why are you discussing monopolies when you just demonstrated you don’t actually know what a monopoly is?

Google, for example, has search & advertisement monopolies. Whether those monopolies warrant anti-trust action is separate from the fact that they are monopolies.

Whether a monopoly is, in the short term, beneficial or harmful to consumers is not an integral part of deciding whether they are monopolies or not.


#1769

This might be better served moving to a thread all its own.


#1770

This is the biggest problem with Amazon’s business tactics. They are willing to sell products at a loss to gain a bigger market share, because they can afford to. Which makes it pretty hard for anyone to fairly compete.


#1771

That’s why I said “value” and not “price”. I think looking at the revenues of these companies vastly understates the value. Between them, Apple and Google have played a big part in making sure you can have an unlimited use, high performance, mobile internet and multimedia terminal in your pocket for a month for less than you spend on coffee in the same month. There are plenty of other examples of how “big tech” has delivered tremendous value at very low prices.

Because google the ad company is how the vast resources invested in google the search company are realizing a profit.

Because how else do you fund it? Symbian can tell you that writing phone/tablet OSes is not a high-return endeavour. And they could never have gotten access to the calibre of the development talent google can throw at the task.

Because initially most of the core of AWS came from the systems used by Amazon the stuff-seller. The core IP - the minimum lovable product - the initial proof of concept all came out of that tech. And the financial risk of the experiment was all borne by Amazon the stuff seller. It’s not like there’s a lack of competition in this space anyway - Azure and GCP might not have parity with AWS, but they are close enough and profitable enough that AWS can’t coast.

This is really my point - discourage this kind of vertical and horizontal expansion and you discourage the very process that has yielded many of the most useful advances from “big tech”.

The EU seems more interested in keeping this threat in its back pocket while trying to modify google’s behaviour than actually carrying it out though. And I’ve made it very clear I fully support a pretty significant level of government intervention in big tech’s behaviour.

Yes, this is exactly the kind of behaviour by EU I was lauding in my post.


#1772

Yet more truisms - “It could only work the way it does now!”

You do understand that if Alphabet was broken up, google ads would pay google search the market price for data & placement? That’s how a competitve open market works. The implicit argument that google search is subisidised is far from the truth - it’s more likely that google search subsidises other google divisions by not charging them market prices for services provided.

Because how else do you fund it? Symbian can tell you that writing phone/tablet OSes is not a high-return endeavour. And they could never have gotten access to the calibre of the development talent google can throw at the task.

How else do you fund it? By charging more to app developers. Charging more to hardware companies. Charging Google search (or a competitor) for installing core google apps by default. By charging other companies for the data harvested from Android OS and sold on to them. By developing your own phone and not licensing your software outside it.

Are you that ignorant about how businesses actually work? Using your arguments, every single service/product should end up in a natural monopoly because HOW ELSE COULD IT WORK?!?!

Also, you could be less disingenuous and admit you were wrong about the EU’s approach to the likes of Google.

although of course the EU isn’t in a position to act more directly against US tech companies, otherwise we might well be hearing the same kind of “break them up” rhetoric.

That was comprehensively wrong.


#1773

Haha! Look at all the Dems in disarray right here!


#1774

THE DISARRAY IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE FORUM!!!


#1775

Oh please. It being mentioned does not make it a major part of the discussion. In your link Vestager isn’t actually advocating it in the way Warren is. My belief is that trying to break up Alphabet from the EU would be a legal and diplomatic minefield, and the EU prefers to use other means to modify Alphabet’s behaviour. Now, if you were to say the EU isn’t going to give in, and will resort to this kind of extreme measure if it can’t get its way otherwise, then I’d agree with you. And I think that’s the correct policy. I don’t think we can let these monopolies run amok. But as long as they are valuable to us I don’t want to destroy that value

I’m not saying it could only work the way it does now - indeed I don’t think we really know how it does work. Which is why I’m so against doing something that seems likely to endanger the value being created as long as government can achieve its legitimate regulatory goals in other ways.

The US government hasn’t even tried, and yet Warren/Sanders are going straight to “break it up”.


#1776

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#1777

Can we talk about how the entire Illhan Omar debacle is coming up as more of a wash for the democrats? They over-reacted to the criticism of Omar’s comments, which were not anti-semetic, but anti-israel, and then fixed that with a resolution to codemn anti-semtism, and somewhat saved face by making it a resolution to oppose all bigotry, and just vote to get it over with.

And the GOP was like, no way, we gotta make a big deal about this, and make a stand, and vote against this because the libs weren’t sufficiently owned.

On face, I agree with these people, the resolution was a clunky end to a bad PR situation by the Dems, and it doesn’t mean anything. One of those useless resolutions only used for political play. A statement basically saying, let’s do what the constitution says!

And yet, the optics of voting against a resolution against hatred is SO bad. You can explain away your no vote now, but Steve freaking King didn’t even vote no, because he knows his seat is much more of a toss up than before.

I don’t think that the seats will be lost, but this just moves the talking points away from the Democrats and Israel, back on to the GOP. What a misplay.


#1778

I’m waiting for the House vote on a condemnation of all the hate speech that the President has used.


#1779

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/03/08/this-is-sham-why-did-republicans-vote-against-condemning-hatred-bigotry/?utm_term=.907929d29d28


#1780

Favorite twitter comment of the entire Republican House vote debacle yesterday was when it was noted that Steve King voted “Present”.

“Well, when there’s discussion of anti-semitism in the House, Steve King is usually present.”


#1781

Dems in … array.


#1782

Full text?


#1783

House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy of California said the legislation would undermine the integrity of elections by allowing convicted felons to vote

There was a point where I thought it was bad to allow such things, but after further reflection, i can’t explain why.

If you served your time, you should be able to participate in society again. Otherwise, what ever let criminals out of prison? Why not make every crime a capital offense?

I can’t really think of any legitimate reason to permanently deny voting rights to a felon.


#1784

You forgot Wells. It’s a corrupt as hell bank, and is huge.


#1785

Uh oh, somebody get Fox News on the phone.