Inflation and home repair

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On Jun 7, 6:33pm, "Stormin Mormon"

It was Reagan who implemented mandatory price controls; talk about over regulation. Myopia anyone?
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wrote:

Certainly not!

Education, anyone?
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wrote:

It's easier to get Nixon and Obama mixed up.
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snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

Huh? They don't even LOOK alike!
They both DO have dogs, but I don't think Michelle even HAS a cloth coat.
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Right. Nixon had normal ears.

Both have/had primo enemies lists and use(d) government to enforce them.
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I don't disagree that a lot of what you say above is happening. But I disagree that it's all because of free trade and that govt has let corporations run amock. In some cases, it's govt that has forced companies to look overseas. Look for example at what the current administration is doing to Boeing with it's plant in SC. Boeing is trying to build in America and the Labor Dept is suing them, telling them they can't open the plant that will employ 2,000 because it's retaliation for a strike years ago in WA. And in this case it's not just a plant that the govt is screwing with. That plant makes parts for the 787 which involves jobs all across the USA and world. But even in a poor economy, the administration would rather defend an extremely poor to non-existent claim by the union. That's a classic example of where govt regulation gets you. Here you have a great American company, one of our largest exporters and the govt is screwing around with them.
For the most part, those US companies are doing what any business does. They are responding to market demand. Put a pack of fittings on the shelf that are higher quality and they don't sell as well as the cheap ones. The builder is too cheap to pay for them, many of the plumbers will use the cheapest components, as will homeowners. Companies focus where they can make the most money, just like you. The net result is that many products are now made based more on price than performance. The problem begins with us. And I don't see how any more govt regulation is going to fix it.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Yep. There is a conceptual "thing" out there called the "general marketplace." The general marketplace is the instantaneous sum total of all exchanges of goods and services.
Since time immemorial, governments have tried to control, or at least interfere, with the general marketplace. They do this through embargoes, taxes, tariffs, prohibitions, and other, more clever, ideas. Virtually all these methods are detrimental to the public at large.
The good news is, however, that the general marketplace always wins. When governments erect a barrier, the general marketplace finds a way to flow around it.
Consider Prohibition; the circumventions were smuggling and bootlegging.
In sum, virtually any restriction on trade has a short-term effect of hurting consumers and a longer-term effect of hurting those it was designed to help.
Here's the classic example from Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations." France made excellent wine and mediocre cheese. Italy, conversely, made superb cheese by indifferent wines. To protect the few hundred people in making French cheese, the French government put an impossible tariff on the importation of Italian cheese. Likewise, to protect the few hundred people involved in producing wine, the Italian government imposed a similar outlandish tax on French wines.
The result: Millions in France were destined to eat crappy cheese and millions in Italy were doomed to consume crummy wine.
But a few French, those who made wine, and a few Italians, those who made cheese, made out like bandits.
As of today, the U.S. government is considering a significant tariff on Chinese solar panels. Oh, such a tariff will help the few hundred or thousand Americans employed in the solar panel industry, but thousands (millions?) of American consumers will pay more.
Bottom line: In spite of over 200 years of examples to the contrary since Adam Smith first observed the deleterious effects of protectionism, governments are STILL employing the technique.
And we know why, don't we?
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