By Conor Sen – Silicon Valley has a perception problem. Steve Jobs once said, speaking about the irreverent culture he helped create, that “it’s better to be a pirate than join the navy.” This ethos served the community well when its firms existed at “pirate scale.”
But now Silicon Valley’s most successful companies have become some of the largest in the world.
It’s time to drop the pretense that Silicon Valley deserves special treatment.
Facebook and Google are content and advertising companies, digital evolutions of print and television companies that came before them.
Amazon’s core e-commerce business is just a digital Wal-Mart.
Apple’s iPhone product cycle, with its annual incremental improvements, has parallels to the personal computer industry in the 1990s or even the Detroit “Big Three” automakers in the 1960s.
They deserve the same scrutiny from regulatory and labor watchdogs that their old-economy peers get. more> https://goo.gl/yNbK7c
Posted in Broadband, Business, Economic development, Economy, History, Regulations, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Government, Internet, Regulations, Technology
A growing chorus of experts argue that they’re strangling the economy—and must be stopped.
By Frank Partnoy – Index funds have grown exponentially since John Bogle founded Vanguard in the mid-1970s.
The top three families of index funds each manage trillions of dollars, collectively holding 15 to 20 percent of all the stock of major U.S. corporations. Best of all for their investors, index funds have consistently beaten the performance of stock-pickers and actively managed funds, whose higher fees may support the Manhattan lifestyle of many bankers, but turn out not to deliver much to customers.
Concerns about the potential dangers of shareholder diversification first surfaced back in 1984, not long after index funds themselves did. Julio Rotemberg, then a newly minted economist from Princeton, posited that “firms, acting in the interest of their shareholders,” might “tend to act collusively when their shareholders have diversified portfolios.” The idea, which Rotemberg explored in a working paper, was that if investors own a slice of every firm, they will make more money if firms compete less and collectively raise prices, at the expense of consumers. Knowing this, the firms’ managers will de-emphasize competition and behave more cooperatively with one another. more> https://goo.gl/AWXivG
Posted in Banking, CONGRESS WATCH, Economy, Education, History, Media, Net
Tagged Capital, Financial crisis, Government, index funds, Industrial economy, Regulations, United States
By Matthew Spalding – Today, the primary function of government is to regulate.
When Congress writes legislation, it uses very broad language that turns extensive power over to agencies, which are also given the authority of executing and often adjudicating violations of their regulations in particular cases. The result is that most of the actual decisions of lawmaking and public policy – decisions previously the constitutional responsibility of elected legislators – are delegated to bureaucrats whose “rules” have the full force and effect of laws passed by Congress.
The modern Congress is almost exclusively a supervisory body exercising limited oversight over administrative lawmakers.
If the development of the rule of law and constitutional government is the most significant accomplishment of the long history of human liberty, the greatest political revolution in the United States since the establishment of the Constitution has been the shift of power away from the lawmaking institutions of republican government to an oligarchy of experts who rule by regulation over virtually every aspect of our lives.
The result is an increasingly unbalanced structural relationship between what amounts to an executive–bureaucratic branch that can act with or without Congress to pursue common goals, and an ever-weakening legislative branch unable or unwilling to exercise its powers to check the executive or rein in a metastasizing bureaucracy. more> https://goo.gl/Jp3xRz
Posted in CONGRESS WATCH, Economic development, Economy, Education, History, Leadership, Media, Net
Tagged Big government, Bureaucracy, Congress Watch, Constitution, Regulations, Rule of law