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Re: (TV) Good or Bad? I dunno, yet

> --- "Mark G. Ryan" <mgryan@cruzio.com> wrote:
> > Expect to see more private companies controlling whole aspects of American 
> > life in the future: media, elections, schools, prisons, medicine, etc.
> > ClearChannel is just a harbinger of things to come.
> Wow, we are really getting OT here. But doesn't this stuff just run in a cycles
> anyhow? Don't forget the days of Standard Oil, or the "yellow press", etc.
> Gov't regulation of private industry swings like a pendulum. And even
> entrenched monopolies can be brought low: witness the last 30 years for the
> American car industry, previously an all-powerful triopoly.
> --Philip

Yeah, it's pretty OT, but it's hard to have anything to do with pop music
and not run into ClearChannel.

As to "cycles"--I suppose one could also say that European fascism was a 
"cycle"--but it took a world war and millions of deaths to break that one.
Just saying something is a cycle doesn't mean it ain't bad.

Standard Oil was an incredibly nasty monopoly, but the US happened to have
a "progressive" President at that time, one who believed in "trust busting"
--something that never happened before and will probably never happen again.

The Hearst "yellow press" did enormous damage to US foriegn relations, but
it was never broken up.  The Hearst Corporation still owns 12 newspapers,
15 US magazines and 18 UK magazines (with 107 international editions),
27 TV stations, cable networks and internet sites.  All the editors are
subject to approval by the Hearst board.  I'll let you be the judge whether
they all reflect the corporate bent.

The car industry is probably not a natural monopoly.  While the American 
car companies dominated the American market for a long time, they were at 
best an oligopoly (the "big three": GMC, Ford, and Chrysler). There was a 
fair amount of competition between the big three, especially at the 
retail level.  And there was a minimum of "dirty tricks" like price fixing,
predatory pricing, etc.

Stock prices are also a pendulum, but knowing that it will "eventually"
swing back is cold comfort ot the investor whose assets have been wiped 
out in 1929...or 2001.  Maybe baby needs shoes now, not in 10 years.

And the current trend of privatization has been going on at least since
the Regan administration, if not earlier.  It does do us folks much good
if it changes back in another 50 years.

Nope, I wouldn't count on the strong self-destructing in time to save the
weak.  It's a better bet that the rich will get richer and the poor will
have children.

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