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Most liked posts in thread: Elizabeth Warren: Break up Big Tech

  1. Kak
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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?
     
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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.
     
  3. Kak
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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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  4. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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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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  5. Kak
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    So government control of our perceptions is the rational alternative? They already have schools, healthcare, and the media. Look how well that has worked out.

    "Introducing search.gov! From the same people who brought you healthcare.gov. We get the propaganda right so you dont have to read alternative viewpoints assembled by an evil business. Remember, we know what's best for you."

    I'll take Google for my search needs please and thank you. I know the motivation of private industry. The motivation of power hungry politicians? That is an ever changing question mark.

    Realistically... These companies should just move HQs to a more politically reasonable country and call it a day. There are countries that would and should feel privileged to have them and welcome them with open arms.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
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  6. 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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    Admin Post
    Well in a thread that is mostly political, I'm pleasantly surprised at how it has evolved.

    A variety of divergent opinions and not a lot of mud being thrown.

    Thanks everyone for being civil.

    Carry on...
     
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  7. Bekit
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    Bekit Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    My personal opinion:

    Google IS a government.

    Facebook IS a government. Zuck is a king over a country. And the population is a lot larger than the population of the US.

    A lot of us hold dual citizenship in a lot of these "countries."

    And we're operating under the illusion that these are just "companies."

    No they're not. Look at how YouTube has completely nullified copyright law. The rules that apply are YouTube's rules, not the laws of the land. Who calls the shots? YouTube.

    • So when you're on Facebook, you're subject to Facebook's laws.
    • When you're on Google, you're subject to Google's laws.
    • When you're on Twitter, you're subject to Twitter's laws. "There's a dramatic difference between what Twitter thinks is OK and what the US Government thinks is OK." —Tim Pool

    It's my personal opinion that if the US Government were to try to intervene, Google and/or Facebook would just put their hands on their hips and say, "Make me."

    Think about who has leverage over who.

    Does the US Government have leverage over Google? Or would Google just establish their headquarters in a different country and continue to operate exactly as they please?

    Would the US Government risk making any decision that would provoke Google to yank their services from Americans? Think about what that would do to our economy. Life as we know it would be gone.

    But what's the alternative? Let's say Elizabeth Warren's plan actually gets carried out. Say Google and facebook get broken up into a bunch of little pieces where they're too weak to recover.

    Baidu and Yandex are going to zoom into that void, and all the power of controlling that enormous volume of user data is going to shift to non-American versions of those same services.

    I don't really see any upside in any of these scenarios.

    1) We are subject to the judgment calls of the handful of executives at Google and Facebook etc. They now rule our lives instead of elected officials.
    2) We hand the control over to the notoriously inept US Government.
    3) We hand the control over to a foreign government.

    Right now, we're in a sort of truce. No one has revealed their cards. Google and Facebook haven't overtly rebelled against the government. But already, I think they're at a point where they could.

    And no one wants to tip their hand just yet.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
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  8. MTEE1985
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    MTEE1985 The world belongs to the risk takers Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Maybe we only break up .098% (1/1024) of these companies.
     
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  9. MTEE1985
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    MTEE1985 The world belongs to the risk takers Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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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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  10. MTEE1985
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    MTEE1985 The world belongs to the risk takers Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Another dumb question. Her stance for this break up is that she wants to encourage competition. If that’s the case why does she take the exact opposite stance for healthcare and advocate for single payer which is literally the definition of a monopoly?

    Anybody seeing the hypocrisy here?

    Government monopoly = good and just.
    Corporate (not actually) monopoly = oh the horror!
     
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  11. Roli
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    Roli Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    If someone posted an ad on here for their business forum you too might take it down, and nobody would blame you. I'm surprised Facebook put it back up, I wouldn't have.

    Same.

    This is nothing new, I was born in the 70s so remember when the only place you could get news from were newspapers and TV companies all owned by about six people. If that isn't an example of political influence and corrupting power, I don't know what is.

    Nope, a monopoly is a situation whereby nobody is allowed a piece of the pie, nothing is stopping anyone creating their own Amazon or Google.

    Agreed, punishing success seems anti-American (this coming from a Brit).

    Lol! Only!

    Not so, you pay with your time and metrics, you are their product, that isn't free.

    -

    For me the whole debacle is strange, it's like the death of the American dream, come here make it big from nothing, but not too big mind or we'll demonise you and steal your profits.

    Amazon started from a garage and had people openly mocking it for years, Google started in similar circumstances. Bezos and Page weren't given help from government schills, they simply had great ideas and executed them and in the case of Bezos, simply refused to give up.

    I say leave them alone.
     
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  12. G-Man
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    G-Man Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    I think I've related this story on the forum before, but this thread seems like a good place to re-iterate. It is the story of one of the first stark moments that made me realize that I didn't belong in the non-profit world anymore.

    I was in a meeting where they were talking about "social justice" as it pertains to ethnic minorities. Forget that social justice is tautological. All justice is social. If the world consisted of 1 guy alone on a desert island, there would be no concept of justice, but I digress.

    Me the lonely guy in a room of PhD's, and the subject got onto how capitalism doesn't work, and cannot solve complex problems. So, here we are, people from at least 7 different countries, meeting in a single location. We took commercial jets manufactured in the USA, flown with fuel drilled in the middle east, met in a room in a country none of us lived in, in a pre-set office rented from an owner in Europe. We're sitting there typing on devices designed in California, manufactured in China, and sold by distributors in Europe. The room is kept cool by a device called an air conditioner that none of us knows how to make, and installed by a person that none of us can even communicate with because we don't speak the language. One of our colleagues couldn't make it. He's joining us via teleconference from a signal that literally travels to space and then back to earth.

    All of this, and these PhDs are sitting around talking about how capitalism can't solve complex problems. I don't know why, but in that one serendipitous moment, the absurdity all somehow hit me at the same time.

    I had one foot out the door after that.
     
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  13. MTEE1985
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    MTEE1985 The world belongs to the risk takers Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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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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  14. GPM
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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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  15. MJ DeMarco
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  16. Maxboost
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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.
     
  17. wordwarrior
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    wordwarrior Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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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.
     
  18. 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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  19. GPM
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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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  20. SamRussell
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    I think any move against Facebook (or any other "big tech") would be very dangerous.

    The reason given for breaking up the big tech companies is that they are "too big".

    What Warren really means, is that they are too successfull.

    These companies have provided value, they have grown. They provided more value, and continued to grow.

    Their only crime is being really good at what they do.

    At what point should the government move in on what you do, and break apart your business, because you became too good...?

    Should we break up Bon Jovi because they're songs are too popular...?

    These arguments make no sense in any other field...

    There are two arguments in this thread trying to justify the breakup:
    1. Facebook has a monopoly
    2. Facebook has the ability to control peoples perception of reality, which is dangerous, therefore should be broken up

    Facebook has a Monopoly
    I assume this argument comes from a point of "monopolies are bad and detrimental to competition". I'd argue that in a free market, monopolies are not a problem. The only time a monopoly is detrimental, is when artificial barriers to market come into play. For example... lets say the government broke up a "monopoly", then issued legislation and created licences to "protect" the public from this happening again.

    What has happened? The government now directly controls anyone's ability to compete.

    Let's say Facebook was abusing the market. Maybe they have pumped prices because they can? When you price gouge, you create an incentive for competition. Facebook was started in someones basement. If they price gouged.. the incentive to create an alternative, with lower prices... and still make a killing, becomes huge.

    The only way a monopoly can exist in a free market, is by either offering more value or lower prices, than anyone else can. And what's the problem with that?

    The only way an abusive monopoly can exist, is with the help of the government protecting their market share.


    Facebook can control peoples perception of reality
    Sure... they can control what sort of posts you see in your news feed... what sort of adverts you see...

    You can also choose not to use Facebook, or not to take news from it...

    Facebook cannot censor anything, censoring is an act only possible by the government. When Facebook exercises their right to decide who sees what... it is using Freedom of speech.

    You can say what you want. Why shouldn't Facebook have the same option?

    Facebook can influence a lot of people, sure. But so what? So can newspapers. News networks. So can you.

    People can also leave Facebook.


    What to do?

    I think advocating the government break them up, is to strike another blow against freedom, and I think what little freedom we can enjoy would only disappear faster were the government to act on this.

    Personally I think Facebook is biassed, and is pushing an agenda... and I don't like it.
     
  21. lowtek
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    lowtek Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Those of you calling for breaking up big tech need to ask yourselves a few fundamental questions:

    1) How did these firms become so large and dominant in the first place? Was it through a superior product, or was it through regulatory capture?

    2) Are the mechanisms that enabled these large firms to dominate the market going to go away when we split them up?

    3) Are the "smaller" firms not going to attempt to do the same thing as the parent firm did, only this time from multiple angles and increased velocity due to reduced bureaucratic overhead?

    The answers to these questions are obvious, to me. These firms exist at this scale due to big daddy government creating moats around them. They will exploit the very same mechanisms that gave rise to their dominant position as smaller firms, and they will do so with much more disastrous consequences.

    If you don't believe me, spend a little bit educating yourselves on how the break up of the telecoms in the 20th century went. Spoiler alert, it ended up with the States having one of the worst internet infrastructures in the developed world, coupled with an oligopoly of abusive telecom firms.
     
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  22. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    So what you want is all about what will benefit you. LOL
     
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  23. DragoonDB
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    DragoonDB Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    This entire thread makes me think of Milton Friedman's "Free to Choose" book and TV series. As an aside, I think the 10-part TV series touches on a number of topics being discussed here.

    The discussion leads to two, and only two, camps from my perspective - laissez faire and government involvement. There cannot be an in between, as government involvement in one area cedes government involvement in all areas. In for a penny, in for a pound - and you take all the associated good and bad.

    If you allow the gun of the government to be pointed in any direction (regardless of it being an area you agree/disagree), you have to presume it will be pointed at you inevitably. On something that hits many of us frequently - do you endorse the amount you pay in taxes, where those dollars are going and the causes being championed?

    When is too big too big? When are revenues too much? When are employees too many? Who determines when you fall into the cross hairs?

    I reject the notion that a person or central group can better decide my best interests than me. I would go further and safely guess that's how all of us feel; if you discard the ability of others to make their own choices, know there are people looking at you the same way.

    I know this post may sound idealistic, but I cannot see the existence of any middle ground. And if you call in the government to champion your cause, you had best be prepared to have it called in against you.
     
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  24. Kak
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    Kak Capitalist Swine Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    I flat out said you can't have no regulation. Contract law, for example is very important!

    Racist Joe was an example of people being dissatisfied with a company and ending their business relationship with him because of it. It had nothing to do with you, but good job taking it personally. You're name isn't Joe is it? Because I can understand how that might have confused someone like yourself.

    You still claim market failure even though you probably go home to voluntarily use Amazon and Google.

    I never said OPEC broke up standard oil.

    Where are you getting this shit? You're not even debatable.

    Sucky companies exist... That doesnt mean we vote for their demise. Just stop giving them your business. Using the government as a weapon to rob someone doesnt make robbery ok.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
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  25. scottmsul
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    Except there's one big difference between corporations and the government. You don't have to interact with a corporation. All transactions are voluntary. That goes out the window once government is involved.

    Don't like how Facebook controls your news feed? Stop using Facebook.

    Don't like how Youtube removes or demonetizes certain videos? Stop using Youtube.

    Don't like social security? Too bad! You're paying into it, whether you want to or not.
     
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