Saturday, November 17, 2007

Connecting the dots from A to B.


First, Blogging Tory "Backseat Blogger" wrote this:

It is ridiculous bordering on insane that the car manufacturers are preventing Canadians from buy (Canadian made no less) vehicles in the US.

If I were in the market to buy a car right now and was being prevented from savings thousands upon thousands of dollars, I’d be beyond livid. I’d be looking at filing a class action suit. Surely there’d be some lawyer out there willing to take the case on.

For which I ribbed him gently here:

Apparently, one of those pro-capitalism, less government regulation, unfettered free market conservatives is not so happy with how some corporations choose to do business, and is rather keen on (gasp! horrors!) someone stepping in and doing a little consumer protection on his behalf.

At which point BB wants everyone to know how thoroughly out-to-lunch I am:

As usual CC has got it wrong. He seems to think I’m meaning the government should somehow enter the fray. What I mean is that consumers should launch a class action suit against the car manufacturers. :) Capitalism at its finest in this decadent age! What other way could I get possibly make a shit load of $$$ without doing anything? :) The government doesn’t enter into this at all.

Um ... of course. BB wants the legal system to take care of it, so that the government doesn't need to get involved.

No, there's no punchline. That was the punchline.

20 comments:

Paladiea said...

Bwahahahahaha!

Poor BB, doesn't know what a free market actually means.

Ti-Guy said...

As a raging Communist, I support Backseat whole-heartedly. I think it's a grand idea to engage a civil suit to force companies to lower their prices.

Notice how none of the BT luminaries have challenged his little laissez-faire heresy...

The Seer said...

Let me see if I understand this: He wants TRIAL LAWYERS and ACTIVIST JUDGES to interfere with the free market?

Do we not have a duty to report such notions to the BT Board of Directors?

Scotian said...

Ah, so the legal system is in no way a part of our government according to this person if I understand this correctly, in which case CC you are correct, it is a wonderfully ironic punch line from that blogger. Amazing how often that comes from the political right side of our blogosphere with such frequency and consistency isn’t it?

kerry said...

While "BB"'s remark about courts versus government is humourous, his point is not off the mark. It is not a free market in action here: by refusing to allow dealers to sell to Canadians, who cross the border with a dollar now strong enough to overcome even the penalties attached to importing a vehicle, corporations are engaging in price fixing. And, as I'm sure you well know, that is illegal and exactly the sort of thing the courts are meant for.

Of course, it does spoil the chuckles, doesn't it?

Phyl said...

Because the courts forcing a corporation to make one decision instead of freely making another decision...that's pure free market.

kerry said...

Actually, phyl, courts forcing a corporation to abide by the law is pure free market, not to mention a proper use of the justice system.

Ti-guy is incorrect: the point is not to force the companies to lower their prices, it is to stop manufacturers from forbidding their American dealers to sell to Canadians because the current situation is not in their favour north of the border. Prices in Canada would drop through market forces alone if enough vehicles were purchased by border-crossing Canadians with unusually good purchasing power. Subverting the market by attempting to restrict such trade is illegal.

M@ said...

Subverting the market by attempting to restrict such trade is illegal.

And we're just waiting with bated breath for the relevant authorities to jump on that one, aren't we? Because the fellows who get all the pie -- that's a euphemism for the car companies, Kerry -- don't ever pressure the government for handouts or welfare, and they don't lobby anybody, ever. Right?

kerry said...

What's your point, m@? How is corporate lobbying relevant?

CC mocks BB for supposedly abandoning his conservative free-market principles when it suits him; I am saying that BB's not actually doing that because he's talking about a proper use of the courts, in this case. There is no free market if we cannot be certain that all parties involved follow the rules.

Mattt Enss said...

kerry: Follow what rules? If you're referring to rules set by the government (i.e., laws) then it's still ultimately government intervention, whether or not the courts enforce it. In fact, I'm having trouble thinking of any sort of government restrictions on how car companies sell cars that wouldn't be enforced via the courts. You don't call the police when a company breaks an antitrust law, instead you go to the courts.

CC said...

kerry's obvious misunderstanding is that he seems to think that there are some rules or laws governing the way the market works that are so inherent or so fundamental that they can just be taken for granted that they should exist.

As you can read above, kerry clearly believes that "price fixing" should be illegal, and that this is such an obvious thing that it shouldn't require any government intervention for the courts to step in and put a stop to it.

I believe the cluelessness of such a position pretty much speaks for itself.

kerry said...

"Free market" does not imply that there are no rules. And the rules are imposed and overseen by governments. I have not said otherwise. What I have said is that operating outside those rules is "price fixing", which is illegal (that means against the rules, for the thicker ones in the crowd like CC) and that recourse to the courts is the proper response to such rule breaking and is not against "free market" principles.

"Cluelessness"? That's a pretty big word for a guy with poor reading coomprehension skills (that means that you don't...oh, fuck it). Did you get a big person to help you?

CC said...

kerry finally becomes so confused that he admits the very point i've been trying to make:

""Free market" does not imply that there are no rules. And the rules are imposed and overseen by governments."

Why, yes, kerry ... they're overseen by governments. Which is exactly the point I've been making all this time.

You really don't have a clue as to what we're talking about here, do you? And if I were you, I'd be really careful with that sarcasm. It doesn't become anyone that stupid.

Mattt Enss said...

kerry: Free market does not imply that there are no rules? I think that would have been news to Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman. Just what is a "free market" free from if not rules?

From Wikipedia's definition of Free Market: "A free market is a market where prices of goods and services are arranged completely by the mutual non-coerced consent of sellers and buyers, determined generally by the supply and demand law with no government interference in the regulation of costs, supply and demand."

Adam C said...

(I'm piling on)

"Free market" does not imply that there are no rules.

Yes, it does imply exactly that, Kerry, regardless of whether you personally have made that claim. The prevention of tactics like "price fixing" is supposed to be corrected by the "invisible hand", i.e. competition causing loss of profit.

What I have said is that operating outside those rules is "price fixing", which is illegal

This is quite true - and proper, IMHO. Of course, I'm not a free market ideologue - and evidently, neither are you, Kerry. There's no shame in that. Unfettered free markets don't work very well in the real world.

Ti-Guy said...

it is to stop manufacturers from forbidding their American dealers to sell to Canadians because the current situation is not in their favour north of the border.

Was that the argument BB was making? To tell you the truth, I didn't really pay attention because BB is generally an incredibly stupid person...I think he's kind of neurotic, to tell you the truth.

But, in any case, isn't it part of the laissez faire bible to be able to refuse to sell to anyone you choose for whatever reasons you want?

The incoherence you've entered into is that pure laissez faire supports the idea that the law should enforce contracts...there is no contract between a seller and a potential buyer.

kerry said...

I use the term "free market" in the normal everyday sense that I think everyone does: a market where prices are set by supply and demand, not by government decree; where the role of the government is limited to providing a central bank, a money supply, and a stable justice system. It is neither a communist-style command economy nor is it an anarcho-capitalist system like that favoured by some libertartians.

I think that such a definition would be given by most conservatives.

The purpose of CC's little blog here is to poke shit at conservatives for either, or both, of two reasons: their lack of intelligence, as he sees it, on any topic he chooses, or hypocrisy, if he decides they've not lived up to standards he claims them to have set for others. Hilarity is supposed to ensue (I will admit that it often does).

This post, however, doesn't live up to the bill because CC makes a laughable assumption in order to make his point: he must portray a run-of-the-mill conservative as a believer in anarcho-capitalist.

"Apparently, one of those pro-capitalism, less government regulation, unfettered free market conservatives is not so happy with how some corporations choose to do business, and is rather keen on (gasp! horrors!) someone stepping in and doing a little consumer protection on his behalf."

For this to have weight, the conservative in question must be of an anarchistic bent. When he disabuses CC of that notion, exposing CC's hyperbole for what it is, a falsehood, CC resorts to his lame crap about this conservative not understanding that courts and governments are not related. The irony is that CC is the truly stupid one here because his entire schtick in this episode rests on the premise that conservatives preach anarcho-capitalism and he continues to flog that beast despite evidence that they do not.

That's why there is no punchline: CC fucked up the joke when he was telling it.

CC said...

No, kerry, the joke was when you wrote that you wanted the legal system to handle it so that the government didn't have to get involved.

And the hilarity just snowballed from there.

kerry said...

Uh, that wasn't me. But feel free to believe whatever you wish despite the written record above.

No worries though, CC, you can always just fall back on deleting my comments when they cut too close to home.

CC said...

On, no, kerry!! In the heat of rhetoric, I confused you with the original blogger, therefore, everything I've ever written and everything I ever write from now until the twilight of history has lost every shred of its credibility, and I will now make amends and go throw myself on my corkscrew in atonement.

Jesus, dude ... drama queen much or what?