[ExI] An old skeleton tumbles out of the list closet

Charlie Stross charlie.stross at gmail.com
Tue Nov 13 17:40:32 UTC 2012

On 13 Nov 2012, at 06:32, Giulio Prisco <giulio at gmail.com> wrote:

> Now, I am not sure I understand what you mean by "American unfettered
> capitalism," but I see modern capitalism (in the U.S. and elsewhere)
> as a hyper-corrupted collusion of Big Government and Big Capital that
> cooperate behind the scenes to keep all the power/money and screw the
> rest of the people.

+1 to this. "Regulatory capture" has run rampant, ever since the 1880s, if not earlier. And the trouble with corporatism -- which is what this is -- is that there are no costs to corporations for dumping externalities on the environment that, as individuals, we all (including their CEOs) have to live, eat, sleep, drink, and breathe in.

Not to mention the issue with rent-seeking. Which is why Big Pharma would far rather market a new anti-depressant (of questionable efficacy, in an already crowded market) than research new and essential antibiotics. And why Big Music want to milk back-lists rather than foster new talent. And why the construction and transport industries promote insane zoning laws, and why car dealers are suing Tesla Motors, and why the patent litigation sector was able to suck over $20Bn out of the electronics sector last year, and why undertaker associations are trying to ban non-undertakers from making and selling coffins, and and and ...

Capitalism-as-practiced-in-the-United-States is *BROKEN*. Very badly broken indeed. Some areas still reward hard work and entrepreneurship, but for the most part it's all about wealth acquisition and consolidation via rent seeking, not wealth *production*.

-- Charlie

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