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Old 11-29-2019, 07:29 PM   #21
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Finally a post with a subject on which I have some knowledge. Antitrust laws are in place to protect competition, not competitors. Our country's corporate legal history is full of monopolists who did great things for the advancement of humans - Carnegie and US Steel, Rockereller and Standard Oil... Each of these folks did great things for all of us (museums, charities etc)....
AFTER the fact, they did these charitable things, not before. You gloss over some considerable ills if you want to paint the robber barons in a favorable light. As for modern charitable donations... hmmm... Sackler money for the arts has turned out to be quite a problem, eh?

As for Amazon, they're under-paying and over-working their employees. The "market" let's them do this.

That they're doing so in a manner that's "less worse" than others does not mean they're being anywhere near "better".
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Old 11-29-2019, 07:40 PM   #22
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I've never understood the debate around products priced higher in the US than in other countries. It is simply a function of what the different markets will bear - be that price elasticity given income levels, or % of GDP a country wants to spend on a product if a one-payer system.

If the US Consumer decides that they will no longer pay for the latest and greatest regardless of the benefits then prices will come down. However our market is one where our expectations is that we get the best regardless of price. Not so in many EU countries, India etc.

Frankly I don't believe drug prices in the US will shift one iota until there is a one-payer system as government purchasing right now is only a fraction of the market and that is all they can legally control.
What the market will bear really isn't a good way to look at drugs though. In the US, drug manufacturers are allowed to set their own prices which they are not elsewhere. Even in Canada prices are regulated. Even the law setting up Medicare drug coverage prohibits Medicare from negotiating rates.

Also, we grant extended monopolies by first having patents that run 20 years. Then they often run longer as the pharmaceuticals make a slight tweak in the non medication part of it. On top of that, we then have the "pay for delay" settlements they make with generic manufacturers followed by slow approval of generics and for limited generics for a period of time.

There is no free market on drugs. Well, not on legal drugs at least.
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Old 11-29-2019, 08:03 PM   #23
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IMO Amazon is for folks who are to busy to shop. I can generally find the same product for less money and better shipping charges, but I have to shop the net maybe 5 or 10 minutes. I probable order from Amazon maybe once or twice a year and use caution not to be tricked into the costly Prime yearly shipping fee.
I do notice drop shipments from Amazon at lower cost than Amazon charges, that really makes me wonder why folks don’t shop the best deal.
But being the son of a Mom who lived thru the great depression might be why I try to save money.
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Old 11-29-2019, 08:19 PM   #24
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What the market will bear really isn't a good way to look at drugs though. In the US, drug manufacturers are allowed to set their own prices which they are not elsewhere. Even in Canada prices are regulated. Even the law setting up Medicare drug coverage prohibits Medicare from negotiating rates.
That was my point about a one payer system. The payer has the monopoly on purchasing and can negotiate the lowest price. Which is the case in other countries.

In the US the government purchases are only a fraction of the market, the rest are in a free market.
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Old 11-29-2019, 08:24 PM   #25
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In the US the government purchases are only a fraction of the market, the rest are in a free market.
And have zero influence on the pricing.
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Old 11-29-2019, 08:26 PM   #26
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I live in Amazon land and know people who work there.

Most with marketable skills get compensated very, very well.

Their benefits are generous.

Unskilled, same as anywhere else

The majority of employees love working at Amazon.

There are also employees that don't like working there and bad mouth Amazon.

If you look at any company, there are always detractors. Look at Wal-Mart. There are reports of Wal-Mart employees praising the company and citing opportunities for advancement that they did not have at other firms. And there are others that complain about how badly they are treated and the low pay.

If an employee hates working at a company so much, why don't they seek other employment, especially in this low unemployment economy?

Could it be because their lack of skills or poor work habits are keeping these unhappy employees from seeking more desirable, higher paying jobs?
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Old 11-29-2019, 08:37 PM   #27
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IMO Amazon is for folks who are to busy to shop. I can generally find the same product for less money and better shipping charges, but I have to shop the net maybe 5 or 10 minutes. I probable order from Amazon maybe once or twice a year and use caution not to be tricked into the costly Prime yearly shipping fee.
I do notice drop shipments from Amazon at lower cost than Amazon charges, that really makes me wonder why folks donít shop the best deal.
But being the son of a Mom who lived thru the great depression might be why I try to save money.
If you're going to shop regularly at Amazon, you have little choice but to join Prime. They intentionally delay the shipping of items ordered on regular terms.

As to ordering from their drop shippers and third parties, you lose all the Amazon protection, returns policy and more and many of those vendors are real problems.

Also, they've tied Prime Now in, Prime Video and Whole Foods. The attempt is to immerse you in Amazon Prime.

Similar strategy to Costco and Sam's with their memberships.

Now, there are the new front ends. Honey, Wikibuy, Rakuten. Oh and let's not overlook that you can get an Amazon Credit Card for 5% off on Prime orders and now a Walmart card giving 5% back on Walmart.com, 2% in store. 2% deals with cards and merchants are normal, 5% a nice trick.

It's like shopping at Bed, Bath and Beyond, you can pay a fee to get 20% off all purchases or you can not pay and collect coupons and do the same. We do it. Yet, I feel so bad for those who don't know and go in and pay full price. I hate the system that different people are getting different prices. Just like airlines where there's a huge range of prices of the passengers on a single plane. Why are we left to our hunting skills to get the best price as opposed to every customer of a business getting the same price?
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Old 11-29-2019, 09:10 PM   #28
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....................

If you look at any company, there are always detractors. Look at Wal-Mart. There are reports of Wal-Mart employees praising the company and citing opportunities for advancement that they did not have at other firms. And there are others that complain about how badly they are treated and the low pay.

If an employee hates working at a company so much, why don't they seek other employment, especially in this low unemployment economy?

Could it be because their lack of skills or poor work habits are keeping these unhappy employees from seeking more desirable, higher paying jobs?

My thoughts exactly. This gimme society expects it to be handed to them, then complains when it does not. If you don't like $20 an hour pay, don't work there. But if you accept a job, do it to the best of your ability while you look for better.
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Old 11-29-2019, 09:32 PM   #29
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I just want to say, this has been a very intelligent, and civil, discussion of some very complex and often politically-charged issues.

If we on this forum can talk about the nuances of these topics without the polarization, misleading and over-simplifying that the partisan talking heads feed us, there may be hope for our society yet.
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Old 11-29-2019, 10:37 PM   #30
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I posted above that we are Prime members. We use it a lot for free shipping and probably recoup all or most of the membership costs by not having to pay for shipping.


But as Prime members we also get additional free channels on the TV, I can watch free movies on my kindle and there are probably a lot of other benefits that I'm not aware of. Even though I am a true cheapskate I see the value in being a Prime member.


The thing is, we all have the choice of voting with our wallets. If you don't want to be a Prime member, don't. If you don't like shopping on Amazon, don't. We all have choices to make and the choices we make can have a direct bearing on how we enjoy our lives.
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Old 11-29-2019, 10:46 PM   #31
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My thoughts exactly. This gimme society expects it to be handed to them, then complains when it does not. If you don't like $20 an hour pay, don't work there. But if you accept a job, do it to the best of your ability while you look for better.

I never complained about a job. If I did not like the job or company, I found other work.

I have had over 50 jobs and businesses. The longest continuous employment was 6 years and the shortest, one day.

I am fortunate that my wife was always employed and we did not have children.
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Old 11-30-2019, 12:36 AM   #32
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I never complained about a job. If I did not like the job or company, I found other work.

I have had over 50 jobs and businesses. The longest continuous employment was 6 years and the shortest, one day.

I am fortunate that my wife was always employed and we did not have children.
I never had but one post-graduation employer, although ownership changed but I led the sale effort so was good with that. My wife only had one post-graduation employer.

Summer jobs I made the most of one and I loved another. I think part of what worked for me was that both my parents owned businesses and I'd worked in my father's office starting with very menial work when I was 12.

I think those who have it toughest are those in their first job. They come in with unreasonable expectations and a distorted view of what things are like. This is especially true in professional roles. It's a place I think our high schools and our colleges do a poor job of preparing kids. They haven't even been taught what employers expect or require. For that reason, we spend a lot of time and money training all new employees, whether they've previously worked or not. We want our expectations to be clear. We also interview in detail and thoroughly with multiple interviewers for each candidate. We try to make sure we cover the pros and cons, places where we're less stringent than others, but places where our level of tolerance is far less than some.

As to complaining about the employer, today it's on social media. All our employees are told very clearly that if they complain or post disparagingly about their employer, their boss, or any other employees, that is cause for disciplinary action up to and including termination. We are not going to tolerate infighting and, if they're unhappy, then they should go elsewhere. Social media is the source of a tremendous amount of workplace issues.
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Old 11-30-2019, 06:46 AM   #33
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I've been thinking about the boat industry and market issues as I look at boats - it is interesting to see (as far I can tell) that there is no "Apple or Google" in the boat market - a maker of boats that controls the market like Apple. As of today, Apple has about 48% of the market for cell phones - that's pretty good share, and well deserved I might add. Once a company controls 60-70% of the market for a product, however, monopolistic tendencies or behaviors can some into play. I am not sure I know of a boat maker that controls anything close to 10% of the market for any class of boat including trawlers. Is there a trawler maker that has large market share??
Not in the trawler portion (but trawler mkt has to be a VERY small portion of the boat market) but in general I would think Brunswick comes closest.
Brunswick share with all the brands has to be significant but I haven't seen the data. It's certainly different than Apple / cell phones in that the various boat brands are different designs (100+? Brunswick, 1,000's of designs for boats in total?) and don't enjoy the same economies of scale.
The industry is also very different... cell phones maybe 6 key players - boats 100's? And you aren't limited to 2 boat "operating systems" with one open and the other closed / single supplier!
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Old 11-30-2019, 07:21 AM   #34
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"The problem with a democracy, is we get the government we deserve."

Some claim we have the best Gov. money can buy.

A monopoly I am glad to see slowly die is NASA .

Free enterprise is lowering launch costs , eventually by a factor of 100.
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Old 11-30-2019, 07:37 AM   #35
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"The problem with a democracy, is we get the government we deserve."

Some claim we have the best Gov. money can buy.

A monopoly I am glad to see slowly die is NASA .

Free enterprise is lowering launch costs , eventually by a factor of 100.
I thought the cost of launches was rocketing?
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Old 11-30-2019, 01:40 PM   #36
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"I thought the cost of launches was rocketing?"


In this case its finally rocketing DOWN.
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Old 11-30-2019, 02:45 PM   #37
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My thoughts exactly. This gimme society expects it to be handed to them, then complains when it does not. If you don't like $20 an hour pay, don't work there. But if you accept a job, do it to the best of your ability while you look for better.
Hence the last election results in the home city of Amazon.
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Old 12-01-2019, 11:25 PM   #38
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Its interesting that a company comes along and does something really well and makes a profit and then they become labeled "Evil" because of that success. Then they refine the company to cut costs and they suddenly become a " monopoly ". They provide decent working conditions and pay for unskilled laborers that may have no life skills to offer but they show up and put stuff in boxes. Should they make more than $ 20.00 for that?. Keep in mind that a lot of what Amazon does is provide a place where the consumer can find goods that a small business owner sells that Amazon may or may not store and take care of handling.. cutting storage/handling costs for the small business owner. Amazons latest foray into shipping through "local" small shipping company's appears to be a further refinement in cost effective shipping. It also takes a bite out of the big 3 shipping company's that no one here has mentioned so far.

The way some talk about Amazon you could almost imagine Bezos sitting in a evil villains lair.
I shop the evil empire when it makes sense .. but I also live out in the boondocks and have to drive to spend $ 50 for a frigging pair of Levis ( who ever it was that said they cost $30 bucks has not bought a pair in a while )
That being said I'm off to shop for cyber Monday deals!
HOLLYWOOD
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Old 12-02-2019, 06:35 AM   #39
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That being said I'm off to shop for cyber Monday deals!
HOLLYWOOD
Now there's a paradox!!
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:12 PM   #40
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Really!!

How about bringing all your political and social justice conversations to some other forum. There is enough of this stuff on fox and cnn..I come here for information and conversation on boats and how best to maintain them and use them.
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