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Thought Provoking Comments: Greece, the BBC, and Oligopoly

by on February 10, 2012

Comments are ignored. Some, though,  are more insightful than the blogs themselves. Here are 3 excellent comments that I have read this week.

1. Response to “Turn the BBC into a Cooperative” by Sara Scarlett

Lotus 51 has a great thought experiment on tv-license payer’s forced contributions to the BBCFebruary 7th, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Might I indulge in a little thought experiment.

Imagine a society in which it was illegal for you to purchase a newspaper, magazine or book without a newspaper/magazine/book licence. That it was illegal for you to visit the cinema without a cinema licence, attend a play without a theatre licence, buy music or attend concerts without a music licence. Imagine that all the revenues from these licences were used to fund state journalists, writers, performers, actors to satisfy the cultural needs of the population according to the tastes of a self-selected elite. That you were forced to pay for these events and publications even if you didn’t attend/buy the works of the state producer.

Could we call such a society, free and open?

2. Mark Pennington’s own comment on:  “‘The Left’ and Public Choice Theory” illustrates the confusion surrounding  “market failleur”. Something not being perfectly competative does not mean it is not subject to competition nor that it the government should interfere.

markpenningtonlondon on February 4, 2012 at 11:58 am |

Actually ‘oligopoly’ is compatible with competive markets – not ‘perfect competition’ but ‘real competition’ where firms try do outdo one another on price, quality, organisational form and other dimensions. That is precisely the point that underlies Schumpeter’s emphasis on ‘creative destruction’. Facebook has substantial ‘network’ effects – but it is still a competitive business. The key point here is how much competition there is in the market as compared to how much you would get if politicians/the state ran the relevant industries. Given that to my understanding there are/have been only two parties with any chance of winning elections in the US (similar in UK) you’d be hard pressed to show that ‘democracy’ is more competitive than most markets.

3.In the comments on “The Simple truths about Greece” by From Ricardo Hausmann

There seems to a belief that the Drachma is the solution, because it can be devalued. This comment by mofo illustrates why it is not the silverbullet and unfair to most Greeks.

February 9, 2012 at 3:47 pm

(introducting the Drachma and devaluing it) This seems to me to be a way to take money from everyone who uses the Drachma (by taking away its buying power) and giving it to certain export sectors (by increasing their attractiveness to foreigners due).  Why not just tax everyone and then hand the money to its export sectors?

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