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Elizabeth Warren: Break up Big Tech

Discussion in 'Asset Protection/Taxes/Legal' started by MJ DeMarco, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. MJ DeMarco
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    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Presidential Candidate Elizabeth Warren (Pocahontas if you're a fan of Trump) wants to break up big tech.

    I don't like this politician much less her political orientation (she's a typical "pay your fair share nutjob") but I have to say, I like the idea.

    Elizabeth Warren Imagines Big Tech After the Breakup

    Incidentally, she posted an ad on Facebook advocating the breakup of Facebook and Facebook promptly removed (censored) the ad, hence, proving her point. FB only later put it back. Did I say recently how much I hate Facebook?

    What are your thoughts to the break up idea?

    (Please try and keep politics out of it.)
     
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  2. G-Man
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    She's pre-texting.

    The way legislation starts out, or how it's stated that it will be implemented is almost never what the final version looks like. My gut feeling is that this is pre-text to regulate speech on social media or in marketplaces. In Elizabeth Warren's world, calling someone a "pay your fair share nutjob" is probably hate speech. If you put that in a book, she'd probably have it yanked from the marketplace she considers a utility. The internet will become public school.

    I agree that big tech is a threat to democracy, but ending the threat to democracy isn't the real goal to someone like Warren. Controlling democracy under the guise of protecting it is probably what's really going on.

    I could be wrong. Just my gut feeling.
     
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    It's about time.
    [​IMG]

    Its time we break up everything, we have market failure and these large companies cannot be trusted, especially with all of the fake news and the agenda they are pushing.

    Twitter, Google, and Facebook should be on the chopping block and heavily regulated. These 3 companies can literally brainwash the masses and control society.
     
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  4. MJ DeMarco
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    Very true. Kinda like the "affordable care act" which turned my health insurance payment into a mortgage payment for a $900,000 house I didn't own.
     
  5. 404profound
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    404profound Gold Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    I think it's a good move, mostly. I saw a report a little while ago that Facebook mods were auditing users' messages and poking fun at people who were talking to friends about being suicidal. There is no accountability, Facebook is large enough to string around Capital Hill like a puppeteer.

    Not to mention the privacy issues and censorship issues (i.e., them censoring Warren's ad), monopolistic tech is so embedded that it controls entire cultures. In India the word "internet" is the same as the word "Facebook". An entire generation suckles on social media's teet like a young calf on it's Mom's udder.

    What the breakup would look like in practice is beyond me and my four years of consulting experience. That is an industry-riveting move. It changes advertising strategy for most businesses. It creates new opportunities for smaller players with new angles on an old theme. I think in the case of social media it would cause masses to become disinterested, since there would be no single social unifier. The downside is if breaking up successful companies becomes a habit of the government it wouldnt be hard for them to start suppressing the success of emerging companies also. Give them an inch and they will take 10 miles and turn private enterprise into a socialist shitstorm. It's unlikely the government would publish a "You're too big if..." rubric, since they need to leave a backdoor open for companies who play ball. So I could see it creating insane rifts in the consistent implementation of the rule.

    I could see Zuckerfuck going to Warren and saying "Hey old bat, I'll give you a few million to cool your shit.", and I have little doubt she'd accept the offer.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
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  6. MTEE1985
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    I personally view it as a populist opinion for her to try and steal votes from anti-corporation grandfather Bernie.

    Her basic view is that these companies need to be broken up because they are “too big”. Which should not be a form of punishment. Just like the Amazon monopoly thread we had going here...I just don’t see this happening as they don’t fit the definition of monopolies.

    She says her “administration would make big, structural changes to the tech sector” too much government involvement for my taste.
     
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  7. 404profound
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  8. MTEE1985
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    Maybe we only break up .098% (1/1024) of these companies.
     
  9. wordwarrior
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    Lots to unpack in this.

    They broke up AT&T in the '80s. It seemed to be the right decision at the time, but the old AT&T has mostly reconstructed itself.

    They were going to break up Microsoft in the late 90's. At the time it seemed like a good idea, but the marketplace has changed (Apple's resurgence, Linux dominating the server market, and the rise of smartphones) nullified Microsoft's previous dominance.

    On the other hand, Google, Amazon and Facebook wield enormous power and are in many ways vertically integrated. Amazon has a dominant position in distribution, and leverages that power, and the data it gathers, to favour its own products. It also dominates self-publishers but forcing them into a narrow price band, otherwise they lose 70% of their royalties. Google and Facebook similarly leverage their dominant positions to favour other products non-core to their business against disadvantaged competitors.

    BTW, she recently added Apple to her list based on the App Store: Apple joins list of Elizabeth Warren's tech breakup targets

    It's hard to predict the future. Based on the future, she's either right or wrong:

    a) There will be some new internet tech paradigm shift, such as blockchain or the obliteration of the internet advertising business model, that renders those companies' dominance irrelevant, making any breakups unecessary.
    b) There is no paradigm shift in the foreseeable future, and these companies continue to dominate, stifling opportunities for internet entrepreneurs.

    So I really hope that a) comes to pass.
     
  10. rogue synthetic
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    I agree with the idea. We don't need to rehearse all the reasons why having these gigantic platforms controlling and filtering social reality is a net long-term Bad Thing.

    I don't agree with letting axe-grinding politicians bring in the bloated bureaucratic beast of Federal Government™ to make it happen.

    That's running for the 55-gallon drum of nitroglycerine when you see your house is on fire. They'll find a way to make all the problems worse while completely failing to address the root cause.
     
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    I do think that there are pretty good arguments for treating some internet services as utilities, but this is 100% about headlines and 0% about passing legislation. It has as much useful intent behind it as the Green Leap Forward. Aside from that, it's not exactly clear to me how splitting up the tech giants is going to benefit society, but there are a bunch of pretty clear ways that it will hurt. I'm not big fan of any of them, and I do by best not to rely on any of them, but there's something to be said for having a common platform and shared standards. It's terrible that any one of them can deplatform you or your business, but it's also pretty terrible to think about having to build businesses on 50 different platforms to reach the same audience (or from the consumer perspective, to go to 50 different sites to buy what you're currently buying from Amazon, or your music, or videos, or books, etc.). It's nice having things bundled up for consumption, but there's a price to be paid either way.

    I'm not sure what we gained from the breakup of AT&T. Maybe someone else could enlighten us, if there were benefits? Although, breaking up a company that's based on physical infrastructure sounds far more plausible than trying to break up something like Facebook or Google. Trying to do that in a way that results in 50 financially sound and competitive companies sounds like a complete farce.
     
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  12. ExaltedLife
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    The thread is about politics.

    What gives her the right?
     
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    Way way way too much government for me. Left alone, our issues with all of these companies will work themselves out. Unless our problem is not enough government.

    This sounds a like some "greater good" nonsense from Atlas Shrugged. If I owned one of these giants I would blow it to bits, burn every building and fire every employee before I let the government take it.
     
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    What's wrong with them doing that?

    The thing people forget about 'facebook censoring' is that Facebook owns the platform you post your ideas on. It isn't 'censorship' to refuse to publish the opinions of those who wish to advocate for your destruction. Censorship is when Big Gov outlaws your newspaper, not when your newspaper refuses to publish the article you wrote on how vaccines cause Alzheimers.
     
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  15. ExaltedLife
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    Exactly what I was thinking.

    This is the same nonsense they did to Rockefeller with the "Anti-Trust" act, which was the beginning of the end for capitalism as we know it.

    Here's a reference for those ignorant of the issue:

    Antitrust Laws —Ayn Rand Lexicon
     
  16. Davesells
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    I think it is a great idea but the truth is the Government has a way of turning a good idea into a costly ineffective bureaucratic nightmare.

    The reason why I think it is a good idea because these powerful companies have powerful platforms that have the power to influence elections and public opinion (Just to name a few things they influence). Their platforms have given them a monopoly with competitors falling way behind. Their competitors are basically not existent.
    Having that power but not being an elected officially undermines what this country is supposed to be about.
    The power they currently have is by then being the ultimate decision maker or moderating the content that comes off their platforms. Although they have the ultimate decision on the content that comes off their platforms they are immune to any repercussions they may result from the content. Which does not seem fair in my opinion.

    It is a good idea but the Government has a hard time doing anything right. What comes to mind is when the Government tried to break up Standard Oil because of the monopoly they had over the oil industry. On paper, Standard Oil was broken up into 34 companies but, The Rockefeller family who owned Standard Oil still owed the majority of the stock throughout the entire history of the companies. When the Government sued Standard Oil under federal anti-trust laws that just doubled the wealth of the Rockefeller family. This also pushed the company to establish a bigger international presence.
    John Rockefeller just appointed close families that he trusted to take over the 34 companies which were referred to as "Baby Standards"
    So basically John D Rockefeller still had control over the companies but on paper, it had looked like 34 companies.

    So, in essence, the Government just made The Rockefeller family more rich and powerful. The company still acted as a monopoly after the breakup.
     
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  17. 404profound
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    As someone who lives in DC and has consulted the gov I can attest that there should be zero faith for the gov to execute - anything - effectively. Our country would disintegrate without contractors holding up the cubicle zombies.
     
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    I'm pretty sure Amazon and Google have what's called a monopoly and last I checked those were illegal
     
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    A monopoly on what, and how?

    Also, why is it illegal, and...should it be?
     
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    Well there is Yahoo, MSN, etc...

    Not to mention the thousands of other ecommerce stores out there...
     
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    I've noticed that the government generally messes up everything that they try to put their hands on. Maybe they should just get out of the damn way and let ingenuity thrive.

    If they didn't make it so damn difficult to start anything of substance, maybe there would be more innovation and competition out there.

    I am not sure what makes "the government" so fantastic that they become an automatic business partner that you have no choice but to fork a massive portion your time and productivity over to.
     
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    How much does Amazon account for in the retail space? A 5 second internet search tells me that in 2017 they accounted for a whopping 4% of retail in USA. 4% does not sound like a monopoly to me.

    How much of the video rental space did Blockbuster count for in 1995? I think looking back the government should have broken them up for their monopoly.
     
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    One thing I don't think anyone has considered... These companies all operate all over the world. Not just in the USA. Each of them literally balance trade in our favor.

    So "Murica" gets to decide what is best for the entire world? (Yeah, I guess Murica does that all the time, maybe we should stop.)

    Google literally provide so unbelievably much value to our lives in exchange for so little money. They are amazing to me and get high praise in my book. Should they be punished for excellence?

    Amazon... I have been very critical of the terms some are willing to accept, but every single transaction has been and continues to be voluntary. I don't see the problem here either.

    Facebook? I don't like it and because of that I chose not to have one. I don't want to hand it over to Pocahontas either.

    As @ExaltedLife said so fittingly... What gives her the right?
     
  24. 404profound
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    According to this reference, Amazon only accounted for 44% of e-commerce retail last year. That's a lot less than I would have guessed.
     
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    As of June 2018: 49% of ecommerce and only 5% of all retail.
    Amazon’s share of the US e-commerce market is now 49%, or 5% of all retail spend
    Again, as you said @GPM , not much in the grand scheme AND to address below

    Monopoly is when you’re literally the only game in town. It is not a monopoly to have a majority of market share. The Antitrust folks in our government (if doing their job correctly) are looking out for who is using a lack of competitors to take advantage of consumers via high prices and poor service. Think a telecom company that is literally the only option in a rural town so treats people like garbage and charges an arm and a leg, now that shit is annoying.

    These major players all do the opposite. Amazon is big because of the lowest prices and being the most convenient. Facebook is free until you choose to make it not free by utilizing their services to try and benefit yourself. Same with Google.
     
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