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RE: [LandCafe] Re: Marx, Engel and Morris on George +Milton Keynes

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  • David Reed
    As the Norwegian end of the dialogue I was having over barriers to monopoly has kinda blown a fuse when confronted with evidence of Amazon s market dominance
    Message 1 of 87 , Dec 19, 2012
      As the Norwegian end of the dialogue I was having over barriers to monopoly has kinda blown a fuse when confronted with evidence of Amazon's market dominance on the level playing field of the Net,perhaps KL ,who is rarely so ad hominem ,can supply some ingenious market based solution. BTW I was referring to London Midland not just to confuse matters by bringing in a natural monopoly but to argue the relevant point that lowering barriers to entry in a market was not a sure way to destroy monopoly as the post Thatcherite Tories explicitly set out to do on straight doctrinaire grounds(British Rail being a previously nationalised service.) The barriers to entry in the now privatised UK railroad service are not " astronomically high" as you assert: you do not have to pay for the track up front and you lease the rolling-stock off a large company (though this has been accused of anti-competitive practices itself).You hire the staff let go by the previous operator preferably at lower rates (though some of them won't show out of self-respect).What the lack of a training programme at London Midland shows is the advantage of a  national scale of operations which can afford the economies of scale to provide new staff wherever they are needed throughout the country.
      (new para) I will not go on about the complex manifestations of monopoly (though Amazon seems to have achieved market dominance by the uncomplicated method of buying out its rival Book Depository ,which was originally, I believe, an offshoot of Amazon).
      (New para)British people prefer on the whole to pay for important services by taxation from a nationalised monopoly service such as the NHS (not so in the US) and  local schools (same in US) .The only major item of the household economy with little State presence is housing ,which is a surreal mess with previously state provided Council Housing now subject to uncontrolled  price inflation.British people buy these services off the State because the private sector alternatives are too expensive (even in the more prosperous US which is why so many people don't have health cover)
      (New para) So RL, if you are not content with George's Land Tax, what do you have to say about his solution of putting natural monoplies into public ownership? 

      To: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com
      From: roy_langston@...
      Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2012 19:14:17 +0000
      Subject: [LandCafe] Re: Marx, Engel and Morris on George +Milton Keynes

      --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, David Reed wrote:

      > It is hard to believe that" low barriers to entry" and the threat of competition will keep dominant, going on monopolist, actors in check.

      It's worked in many industries as long as government doesn't start subsidizing them.

      > When low barriers are set we get privatised franchise operators like London Midland trains which are always cancelling services because they are so under-capitalised that they can't afford to maintain proper staff training programmes and consequently never have enough drivers.(On Net via Google another ,ahem,"dominant actor" not paying corporation tax in the UK).

      The barriers to entry in railroad service are astronomically high. It is a natural monopoly.

      > Popular expert panel discussion progammes on UK television broadcast from rock-solid Tory commuter constituencies are transformed into baying mobs when the local trains are discussed and the token leftie on the panel is cheered to the echo for suggesting renationalisation.The latter remains the most popular option for British voters in opinion polls on the question of railways.Privatisation of the railways and the spurious element of competition (George was for public ownership of railways) have been a disaster for the natural monopoly of British railway services: a subsidy is paid by the gov to private operators which is bigger than what the nationalised system got; fares have gone through the roof. The old concept of natural monopolies which even old Tories like Henry George (joke!) and Winston Churchill understood seems to have slipped out of the political language to be replaced by primitive survival of the fittest rhetoric which has not kept up with evolutionary theory (that the dinosaurs were mass exterminated by the Chiczulub object from outer space not any inherent failure to adapt in a gradualist or uniformitarian time line).

      As above. Rail is a natural monopoly. Online book selling is not. IIRC there have also been other Thatcher privatizations of natural monopolies like local water supply that have confirmed the folly of ignoring the difference.

      -- Roy Langston

    • Harry Pollard
      It all depends on what you are writing and who will be the reader. Unfortunately, modern schooling isn t great at producing readers so material must be made
      Message 87 of 87 , Dec 30, 2012
        It all depends on what you are writing and who will be the reader.

        Unfortunately, modern schooling isn't great at producing readers so material must be made simple for them. Which point doesn't throw out other writing which may be more complicated as it conveys more subtle directions..


        The Alumni Group 
        The Henry George School
        of Los Angeles
        Tujunga   CA   90243
        (818) 352-4141

        On Sun, Dec 30, 2012 at 6:55 AM, John <burns-john@...> wrote:

        --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, Harry Pollard <harrypollard0@...> wrote:
        > However, I suppose the short sentence is now
        > the thing, which may or may not be an improvement.

        Harry, tabloid newspapers use short sentences. People are familiar with that. So, you have to write to what they can easily understand. If they have to do double-takes they lose interest. It is that simple. Churchill realised that a long time ago. His books on WW2 and super easy to understand. The proof readers would highlight parts of the book(s) and he would override them. In the end they thanked him for teaching them how to write simple English.

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