Whatever happened to free market capitalism?

Author: Double_R ,

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  • Double_R
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    As if Mr. Potato Head and Dr. Seuss weren’t bad enough, yesterday Jim Jordan and Ken Buck sent a letter to Amazon demanding answers on why certain products were pulled off their website, claiming a pattern of anti conservative bias. Cancel culture has become a right wing obsession as of late, but it’s purely a product of the free market. Do conservatives still believe in it? If so, what exactly is supposed to be done about it and why do republican politicians seem to expect that you will vote for them over this?
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @Double_R
    Conservatives stopped believing in Capitalism when they got into the business of selling off regulations, exemptions, and subsidies to lobbies for power. Constitution was just too weak to stop it.

    Cancel culture has become a right wing obsession as of late, but it’s purely a product of the free market. 
    Absolute bullshit. Companies wouldn't be doing this if they didn't have the government protecting them from free competition.
  • Conway
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    --> @Double_R

    As if Mr. Potato Head and Dr. Seuss weren’t bad enough, yesterday Jim Jordan and Ken Buck sent a letter to Amazon demanding answers on why certain products were pulled off their website, claiming a pattern of anti conservative bias.
    It's not clear if you literally think Mr. Potato Head and Doctor Seuss are a bad thing.  Actually that's how the sentence structure reads, but I have a hard time believing people would take a trend like that seriously.  These are things that loving parents would trust with their own children.
    Cancel culture has become a right wing obsession as of late, but it’s purely a product of the free market. 
    Free market principle means that markets are essentially free of unfair economic privilege, monopolies, artificial scarcity or excess, that sort of thing.   I'd argue that consent being a vital principle in a free market, some form of quality education is another component to include within the concept.

    Do conservatives still believe in [free market principle]?  If so, what exactly is supposed to be done about [promoting free markets] and why do republican politicians seem to expect that you will vote for them over this?
    American conservatives likely still believe in free market principle for the most part.  Some Republicans probably expect people to vote for them over it because it differentiates them from other candidates who don't believe in promoting free markets, or don't explicitly differentiate themselves as public servants in the eyes of their constituents. 

    Anti-Trust laws are one basic idea of what is supposed to be done about it.
  • oromagi
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    --> @Double_R
    yesterday Jim Jordan and Ken Buck sent a letter to Amazon demanding answers
    Similar letters have been sent this past week to Twitter and Facebook.

    Do conservatives still believe in [free market] ?
    The free market is a core liberal ideal which is sometimes embraced by conservative politicians in liberal democracies. 

    Jim Jordan and Ken Buck are Republicans and Trumpists, which are radically different philosophies from the traditions we might call American Conservatism.  Free marketers want to limit govt. intervention in the economy so that winners and losers emerge relatively free of favoritism for the entrenched establishment.  Trumpists believe in govt. intervention to whatever extent necessary to ensure that Republicans are winners and Democrats are losers.  True conservatives blanch at  the corrupt interventions exchanged for preference and payouts by the previous administration- fossil fuels, farming, real estate, casinos, cruise lines, golf courses, etc.

    Officially, Republicans declined to hold themselves responsible to any specific beliefs or values when they neglected to publish a Republican Party Platform for the 2020 cycle.  Unofficially, the only plank that the present Republican party endorses is the re-election of Donald Trump and even free markets must bend to that compulsion.

    If so, what exactly is supposed to be done about it and why do republican politicians seem to expect that you will vote for them over this?
    Trump has reduced the Republican party to a single issue- the decline of the White Man. The only topic Trumpists are really looking to discuss is their feeling of loss as the rest of America  ends her traditional deference to white power.  Nobody really believes that Trump won the election in 2020 but pretending gives white men a venue for their grievances.  So it is with cancel culture.   Trumpists experience hasbro's mr potato head marketing choice as a loss of masculinity and demand government interference in that market.  Trumpists experience the estate of dr Seuss's marketing choice as loss of supremacy and demand govt interference in that market.

    Jordan and Buck's letters of grievances are a direct affront to free market principles but they are on brand with their likely voters in 2022 who just want to talk about how they feel that something is being taken from them.
  • Dr.Franklin
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    conservatives should fight for culture and not free market captilism
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @Dr.Franklin
    conservatives should fight for culture and not free market captilism
    They only fight for and care for one culture. DC culture.

  • zedvictor4
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    --> @Double_R
    What Amazon will and will not sell is up to Amazon...And as such is Free Market Capitalism.

    If one wishes to buy or sell "conservative" products, then one should go to an appropriate market place.

    But no doubt it will be cost rather than politics that determines most peoples choices.
  • zedvictor4
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    --> @Dr.Franklin
    Conservatives should fight for culture.

    What does that mean Doc?

    You should emigrate to Russia Doc.......You would love it there.
  • thett3
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    --> @Double_R
    Cancel culture has become a right wing obsession as of late, but it’s purely a product of the free market. Do conservatives still believe in it?
    No, and that they don't is a good thing. The flaw with the free market fundamentalism that was popular (although less popular than you are suggesting) in the 80s-2000s is that while the corporation as an entity only exists to seek profit, the people running it are real human beings and have motives beyond profit. Why would Amazon ban the sale of books opposing the progressive line on transgenderism when they stand to make a profit on them? Because Amazon is flush with cash, has a near monopoly on online shopping, and strangling political dissent is more important to those in charge than marginal profit.  

    I don't see why you, as a progressive (I assume) would have a problem with the GOP moving your direction on this. Surely conservatives abandoning their free market fundamentalism is only a good thing from a progressive perspective. Now you have Mitt Romney of all people sponsoring a bill that would grant cash subsidies to families with children every single month instead of trying to cut entitlements. I've seen some of your threads and you seem a bit obsessed with labeling your political opponents as hypocrites. Keep in mind that 1) yeah, most people, no matter what side they are on, don't think too deeply about politics and basically are hypocrites because this stuff is based on gut-level group identity and not coherent ideas  2) people can, and do, change "sides." Around an eighth of Trump's voters in 2016 voted for Obama in 2012 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obama%E2%80%93Trump_voters) and even though it wasn't discussed as much (since she lost) a ton of Romney voters switched to Clinton. Looking at the swing map, a lot of ancestral Republicans who held their nose for Trump in 2016 voted for Biden in 2020. A lot of the people talking about the free market in 2011 or whatever are on your side now.

    Do you, as a progressive, have a problem with corporations exerting very heavy political influence? Would you have had a problem with this in, say, 2009?
  • thett3
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    --> @oromagi
    Trump has reduced the Republican party to a single issue- the decline of the White Man. The only topic Trumpists are really looking to discuss is their feeling of loss as the rest of America  ends her traditional deference to white power.  Nobody really believes that Trump won the election in 2020 but pretending gives white men a venue for their grievances.  So it is with cancel culture.   Trumpists experience hasbro's mr potato head marketing choice as a loss of masculinity and demand government interference in that market.  Trumpists experience the estate of dr Seuss's marketing choice as loss of supremacy and demand govt interference in that market.

    Jordan and Buck's letters of grievances are a direct affront to free market principles but they are on brand with their likely voters in 2022 who just want to talk about how they feel that something is being taken from them.
    Lol if this is the case, he did a damn poor job of it considering that white men moved heavily against Trump in 2020 while minorities swung towards him: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/nov/14/joe-biden-trump-black-latino-republicans 

    We can quibble about the exact specifics of exit polls which are known to be flawed (for example I am deeply skeptical that women moved towards Trump, and the Hispanic shift towards Trump was very clearly more than 3 points.) but they do get the general trend correct. 

    What Trump represented most of all is the grievances of the downwardly mobile middle class. This group is majority white due to historical reasons but they were Trump's core supporters. The kind of people who could support their families dignified but not luxurious existence at a blue collar job, only to find out twenty five years down the road that none of these jobs remained for their children (or who lost their own jobs in 2008 and never really recovered.) This is why wealthy voters have been moving against the GOP and working class voters have been moving towards it....as Trump and his associates increasingly remake the Republican party it caters to its traditional interest group less. Like I told you in the other thread, affluent whites without college degrees were by far Trump's staunchest supporters and my theory is that this is because the kind of jobs they work have been disappearing as the American economy becomes less and less centered on manufacturing and resource extraction and more on finance and technology. They feel like their way of life is threatened because....it is!  
  • Conway
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    --> @zedvictor4
    If a few leaders within a company can and will wipe your access to half the market across the entire nation in some petty escapade, obviously one's promotion of that behavior is NOT a principle of free markets.

    Potato Head is a toy potato that you can put different eyes, hair, nose, mouth, ears, and feet on.  Dr. Seuss books are used by schools and families of all sorts across the United States as they're popular for children learning how to read.  

    I haven't seen any conservative products mentioned yet.
  • fauxlaw
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    Censorship is the fundamental of cancel culture. So, as an example, we cancel Disney's "Dumbo" for a crow named Jim, only, "Jim" as a name was replaced by "Dandy," and in the end, neither "Dandy" nor "Jim" are ever mentioned in the film. So, C.C. has censored "Dumbo" for a non-existent cause; someone's wish balloon. Does that mean C.C. is a black hole?

    Meantime, keep blowing; the balloon needs more hot air.
  • oromagi
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    --> @thett3
    if this is the case, [Trump] did a damn poor job of it
    agreed
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @thett3
    Why would Amazon ban the sale of books opposing the progressive line on transgenderism when they stand to make a profit on them? Because Amazon is flush with cash, has a near monopoly on online shopping, and strangling political dissent is more important to those in charge than marginal profit.  
    One of the things that Freidman once believed but isn't relevant in today's tech economy is that the cure to pervasive monopolies is free competition. In the tech world today, you have parallel monopolies supporting each other by collaborating to destroy competition. In the case of Amazon, it kickbacks a portion of the profits to Google to ensure their competition stays below on the search results.

    One student at a Q and A session gave a possible solution to this which was dismissed by Freidman at the time but probably makes more sense today. Impose increasing costs to companies that have increasing market shares on a sliding scale in order to provide an opportunity for competition. I know that the implementation of this might be wonky considering our lobby politics and that many politicians are also rewarded by monopolies through lobbies when the politicians write the exemptions and subsidies that destroy competition, but something has to be done. The fundamental reason being as Freidman said, without competition, the only person hurt is the consumer through lack of choices and opportunities.
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @ILikePie5
  • oromagi
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    --> @fauxlaw
    Censorship is the fundamental of cancel culture.
    Nope.  Ostracism is the fundamental of CANCEL CULTURE.  Gina Carano is one recent example of CANCEL CULTURE.  She was not renewed for another season of The Mandalorian because she likened the condition of Republicans to the plight of Jews in Nazi Germany.  Carano was not censored in any way but she was clearly cancelled in the CANCEL CULTURE sense so censorship is not fundamental.

    So, as an example, we cancel Disney's "Dumbo" for a crow named Jim,
    Dumbo is not cancelled.  Disney+ recently added "7 years old or older" account restriction on the movie Dumbo on Disney+.  Personally, I think every television show decision made by 6 years old and younger should be monitored by an adult anyway.  In my experience, you leave them alone for ten minutes and they go straight for Scarface.  Censorship is not CANCEL CULTURE.  Age restrictions are censorship but even most liberals support some age limitations on some content.

    NOTE: "We" didn't cancel Dumbo.  Bob Chapek, CEO of Disney restricted 6 and under from accessing Dumbo unsupervised.  We might note that Chapek is a Republican who made 3 contributions to Trump's personal PAC last, as well as 2 to the RNC and one to Devin Nunes.  Chapek made no contributions to Democratic candidates in 2020.

    only, "Jim" as a name was replaced by "Dandy,"
    That change was made by Walt Disney himself in the '50's

    and in the end, neither "Dandy" nor "Jim" are ever mentioned in the film. So, C.C. has censored "Dumbo" for a non-existent cause; someone's wish balloon.
    Disney expressed no concern about the name Jim Crow which was fixed 70 years ago.  Disney's stated reason for restricting access to 6 and under accounts was the anachronistic and stereotypical treatment of black characters and depictions of smoking.

    NOTE:  Cancel Culture did not censor Dumbo.  A Trumpist CEO did that.

    Does that mean C.C. is a black hole?
    If you keep expanding the meaning of CANCEL CULTURE to mean whatever phony grievance FOX was promoting as news last night, then yes because that bullshit will never cease.  Oh no, the Pentagon is cancelling Tucker Carlson!  Once the term is stripped of its meaning and employed generically in any negative context (as FOX already does with many terms like "liberal" or "socialist" or "feminist") than it becomes just another doubleplusungood in the right wing's coded lexicon.

  • fauxlaw
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    --> @oromagi
    I appear to have a wider definition of censorship that you do. I do not see a distinction between censorship and ostracism. Both end up with a cancellation of consideration.

    What content in Dumbo needs access restrictions but some idiot's view that something in it is not appropriate when nothing in it is inappropriate?

    The "stereotypical" treatment is perceived by a guilty conscience that 6 year-olds do not have. That's an adult guilt. After all, the crows, particularly JimDandy, becomes a friend to Dumbo. Is friendship to be age restricted?

    What Trump or Fox have to do with any of this is your insertion. Don't assume they are any measure of my attitude on this subject.  As it happens, Trump is no longer the President [therefore, relevance?], and Fox is not a preferred news outlet in my house.





  • zedvictor4
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    --> @Conway
    Is Amazon the only retail outlet in the US?

    I'm in the UK and never buy through Amazon.


    Nonetheless Amazon is able to make up it's own rules of competition, and suppliers are free to supply who the wish to supply....Ergo free market.

    And most folk will grab the best deal, irrespective of politics. 


    And other really good  reading books are available. 

    Suess is obviously bang on trend....That's the second Seuss quote I've responded to this morning.




  • Double_R
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    --> @thett3
    Do you, as a progressive, have a problem with corporations exerting very heavy political influence? Would you have had a problem with this in, say, 2009?
    I have a serious issue with corporations donating to political campaigns. Companies are owned by shareholders, and no CEO should get to decide what political campaign to spend someone else’s money on.

    That’s not remotely the same thing as Amazon deciding not to sell certain books, even if it is purely for the cynical reasons you claim. If people want that book it can be sold elsewhere and if no one else will sell it then that is the free market we used to hear so much about.

    Regarding hypocrisy, yes I take issue with it. When you’re a blatant hypocrite it means you really don’t care about any of the issues you espouse. It turns people off and leaves only the die hards engaged, which only snowballs from there. That’s how we got to this point where half the country is trying to move on from a pandemic while the other half is fighting against fake victimization over a few Twitter bans. This in my view, is worth pointing out.
  • Double_R
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    --> @Conway
    It's not clear if you literally think Mr. Potato Head and Doctor Seuss are a bad thing.  Actually that's how the sentence structure reads, but I have a hard time believing people would take a trend like that seriously.
    There’s context to this, but you can be forgiven if you haven’t been following right wing TV for the past few weeks.
  • Conway
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    --> @Double_R
    There’s context to this, but you can be forgiven if you haven’t been following right wing TV for the past few weeks.
    Forgiven for what exactly?  I get a lot of my news from local outlets and the onion when I relax in the morning, then when I have a little time to read I might learn about whatever I'm interested enough to look up. 

    Generally I have better things to do than to watch programming on television.  I just listen to the major stories they put over the radio for national broadcasting.
  • thett3
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    --> @Double_R
    I have a serious issue with corporations donating to political campaigns. Companies are owned by shareholders, and no CEO should get to decide what political campaign to spend someone else’s money on.
    If the corporation is owned by shareholders and it's immoral to make unwise monetary decisions with their property than why should a CEO get to decide not to sell a certain product even if it would be profitable? And what of the shareholders on the other side of the political divide?

    If Amazon had banned the sale of Obama merchandise in 2012 would you really have said "hmm well I suppose that's just the free market and people can get it elsewhere"

     If people want that book it can be sold elsewhere and if no one else will sell it then that is the free market we used to hear so much about.
    Hang on--what if the reason companies won't sell a certain book isn't because there isn't enough demand for it to be profitable, but because they fear pressure and intimidation from activists who want to keep people from reading these books? Is that really something you're willing to support? A hecklers veto over what I'm allowed to read?

    That’s how we got to this point where half the country is trying to move on from a pandemic while the other half is fighting against fake victimization over a few Twitter bans. This in my view, is worth pointing out.
    I encourage you to take a step back and re-assess things. We didn't interact much on DDO but I remember you being a really smart guy. It's totally fine to disagree with the right but you need to at least understand our positions. Also it seems that some conservative states such as Florida and Texas have already  moved on from the pandemic while  states like California and New York remain very locked down despite little evidence that these restrictions did much to help
  • thett3
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    --> @Greyparrot
    I also don’t think people in those times could’ve foreseen how strong the political polarization would get. The people running many of these companies actually ARE willing to give up some profit if it means hurting their political opponents 

  • SupaDudz
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    --> @thett3
    Florida and Texas have already  moved on from the pandemic while  states like California and New York remain very locked down despite little evidence that these restrictions did much to help
    Don't forget Illinois with the corrupt leader JB Pritzker, the man who leaves fast food places and lottery stores open because he has stock in it while refusing to allow children to play sports or support small businesses. JB is scum on earth and is a corrupt liar
  • SupaDudz
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    --> @thett3
    I'm sure YYW would agree with me on that statement as well at #24