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  1. #101  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    The CEOs are not in government.
    Maybe not CEOs of multinationals (with the exception of former Sen Frist), but this is far from a truthful statement.

    They do not coerce.
    Wordsmithing. Would you prefer "leveraged agreement" or quid pro quo?

    Indeed, they behave the way the system coerces them to behave, however otherwise irrational that behaviour may be.
    What uninvited, external "system" is that?

    (To the extent that they lobby the politicians and bureaucrats that write and admiinister the code, they mostly lobby for the status quo. They generally prefer the code they know, and to which they have adapted, to any alternative.)
    Are you simply being pragmatic in your outlook of current affairs or have you resolved yourself that the status quo scenario you just explained is insurmountable and contains all the potential for progressive advancement we can achieve?
  2. #102  
    Quote Originally Posted by lifes2short View Post
    Quote:
    They do not coerce.

    Wordsmithing. Would you prefer "leveraged agreement" or quid pro quo?
    You are correct. I was using "coerce" as a term of art. Coerce is what government does. It is the use of the threat of force. Government is the only institution in society that is permitted to use force and threat legitimately. Under our Constitution, the quid pro quo is that it must do so only under the rule of law and it must resist the use of force by any others.

    There is a huge gap between what "CEOs" do to work their will and what government does. They may exercise more influence over government policy than you or I, but still less than one might think, but they do not "coerce."

    Even within their own organizations, CEOs do not exercise absolute authority. They are accountable to the tax collector, the investor/owner, customers, employees, and even vendors. Even over employees their authority is more limited than one might think. To appreciate the limits, read Dilbert.
    Last edited by whmurray; 11/10/2007 at 08:50 AM.
    Up the next election, my citizens; always the next election.
  3. #103  
    Quote Originally Posted by lifes2short View Post
    ..........Are you simply being pragmatic in your outlook of current affairs or have you resolved yourself that the status quo scenario you just explained is insurmountable and contains all the potential for progressive advancement we can achieve?
    I like to think that I am being pragmatic. I believe that both our economic and political systems are sufficiently flexible to provide far greater potential for "progressive advancement" than we are using. I think what holds us back is ignorance of how the two systems work, attitudes about what advancement is desirable, and a failure of leadership.

    Just for example, I think that free trade, including labor, enriches us. I think that that is the consensus among both trained economists, from Adam Smith to Milton Friedman, and knowledgeable amateurs. I do not think that the political majority appreciates that and that the prevailing attitude is that, even if it would do so, it is simply too disruptive. (One should not ignore the fact that the attitude is based in part on one's short term benefit before the long term common good.) Most candidates for high office would rather pander to the ignorance and attitude than lead a change in them.

    We still progress and advance because economic pressures eventually overcome political resistance but it is much slower and painful than it need be.
    Up the next election, my citizens; always the next election.
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