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Monsanto

Sobriquet
Posts: 390
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7/13/2010 8:26:00 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Monopolies were made illegal some time ago (right?). Does Monsanto have a monopoly over the seed industry? I was forced to watch food inc in my advanced topics class a while back, and it was one of the few things that stuck out.

They sue farmers millions of dollars for violating their patent laws in the most ridiculous of ways. Using a seed cleaner on seeds that didn't belong to Monsanto led to one farmer being sued for more than he'll ever have. They also have a nice revolving door going where the higher ups join lobbyist efforts. Said lobbyists have been successful in keeping Monsanto powerful.I think their GMO makes up some 90% of the US seed.

What are your thoughts on modern day monopolies?
"Bullsh!t is unavoidable whenever circumstance require someone to talk without knowing what he is talking about."
— Harry G. Frankfurt
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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7/13/2010 8:44:08 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Patents protect property rights. That said, people should not be liable if someone's patented seeds natural fertilize theirs, anymore than you should be held liable for theft if I shove money in your pocket, and the courts need to be fixed if what I've heard about the Monsanto case is true.

And no, monopolies aren't illegal. Being good at what you do is. Monopolies are created by the government all the time (utilities, etc.) Heck, the government itself is a monopoly.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Sobriquet
Posts: 390
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7/13/2010 8:49:01 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I certainly agree with your first paragraph there. A lot of farmers ended up with the GMO's in their field, and they claimed to never have planted them in the first place. Despite the monopoly not being illegal, that revolving door is still causing some real issues.

Do you think any successful action will be taken against them? Considering how they have been growing, I don't think the trend will alter much.
"Bullsh!t is unavoidable whenever circumstance require someone to talk without knowing what he is talking about."
— Harry G. Frankfurt
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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7/13/2010 8:57:53 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
What need is there to take action against Monsanto? Just reverse the earlier decision so the farmers don't have to pay up. Unless that's what you mean by "successful action."

Heck if I know what will happen on appeal, wierd things have happened lately in the courts.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Rob1Billion
Posts: 1,338
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7/13/2010 9:06:12 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
And no, monopolies aren't illegal.

Privately they are, publicly they aren't. Monopolies are black holes where the laws of capitalism break down.

Being good at what you do is.

How is being good illegal? Because you can't collect enormous wealth from it?

Monopolies are created by the government all the time (utilities, etc.) Heck, the government itself is a monopoly.

A monopoly that is replenished by the private sector fundamentally; lobbyists from private firms lobby for power and natural monopolies must be turned into public organizations.
Master P is the end result of capitalism.
Sobriquet
Posts: 390
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7/13/2010 9:07:09 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Considering the wealth and number of lawyers owned by Monsanto, the court decisions may just keep going in their favor. The lobbying efforts are a nice touch as well.

Yeah, I suppose a reversal of the decision would be what I meant by "Successful action".
"Bullsh!t is unavoidable whenever circumstance require someone to talk without knowing what he is talking about."
— Harry G. Frankfurt
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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7/13/2010 9:21:02 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 9:06:12 PM, Rob1Billion wrote:
And no, monopolies aren't illegal.

Privately they are, publicly they aren't. Monopolies are black holes where the laws of capitalism break down.
Only one monopoly is possible in capitalism, ancaps would disagree with me on even that.


Being good at what you do is.

How is being good illegal?
see: US v Alcoa/

Monopolies are created by the government all the time (utilities, etc.) Heck, the government itself is a monopoly.

A monopoly that is replenished by the private sector fundamentally; lobbyists from private firms lobby for power and natural monopolies must be turned into public organizations.

The government steals its money. Politicians get lobbyist money separately, it doesn't go into "public coffers."

Nature doesn't make monopolies.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Sobriquet
Posts: 390
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7/13/2010 9:36:45 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 9:21:02 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 7/13/2010 9:06:12 PM, Rob1Billion wrote:

Being good at what you do is.

How is being good illegal?
see: US v Alcoa/

US vs. Alcoa is an odd court case. Obviously monopolies don't often arise from a company simply being good at what it does.

I'd say monopolies ought to be a problem only once they abuse their power. It would appear that Alcoa wasn't really guilty of that. Monsanto on the other hand...a bit more. I think the term for the anti-trust ones is "Coercive Monopoly".
"Bullsh!t is unavoidable whenever circumstance require someone to talk without knowing what he is talking about."
— Harry G. Frankfurt
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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7/13/2010 9:38:56 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 9:36:45 PM, Sobriquet wrote:
At 7/13/2010 9:21:02 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 7/13/2010 9:06:12 PM, Rob1Billion wrote:

Being good at what you do is.

How is being good illegal?
see: US v Alcoa/

US vs. Alcoa is an odd court case. Obviously monopolies don't often arise from a company simply being good at what it does.

It wasn't a monopoly, simply from that or anything else.

Monsanto on the other hand
I dont think it has a monopoly either. Other than on intentionally planting the variety of bean it created.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Sobriquet
Posts: 390
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7/13/2010 9:40:50 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I think the court ruled that Alcoa had a monopoly, but it wasn't coercive. I'm not entirely sure if Monsanto is considered to have a monopoly, but it would appear that way to me.
"Bullsh!t is unavoidable whenever circumstance require someone to talk without knowing what he is talking about."
— Harry G. Frankfurt
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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7/13/2010 9:51:18 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 9:40:50 PM, Sobriquet wrote:
I think the court ruled that Alcoa had a monopoly, but it wasn't coercive. I'm not entirely sure if Monsanto is considered to have a monopoly, but it would appear that way to me.

Monopolies, again, are things given by the state. Outcompeting everyone else isn't a monopoly, because people can compete anytime they please even if they choose not to now.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Sobriquet
Posts: 390
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7/13/2010 9:54:54 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Does it have to be state assigned? By definition a monopoly can just be significant control over a product (or industry etc etc)

Sorry if I'm missing something.
"Bullsh!t is unavoidable whenever circumstance require someone to talk without knowing what he is talking about."
— Harry G. Frankfurt
Sobriquet
Posts: 390
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7/13/2010 9:58:04 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 9:56:14 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 7/13/2010 9:54:54 PM, Sobriquet wrote:
Does it have to be state assigned? By definition a monopoly can just be significant control over a product (or industry etc etc)

Sorry if I'm missing something.

A monopoly isn't "significant control". Mono - one - unilateral control of the industry.

Hm, if thats the case then Monsanto is still reaching towards that level.
"Bullsh!t is unavoidable whenever circumstance require someone to talk without knowing what he is talking about."
— Harry G. Frankfurt
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,483
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7/13/2010 11:04:16 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 9:58:04 PM, Sobriquet wrote:
At 7/13/2010 9:56:14 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 7/13/2010 9:54:54 PM, Sobriquet wrote:
Does it have to be state assigned? By definition a monopoly can just be significant control over a product (or industry etc etc)

Sorry if I'm missing something.

A monopoly isn't "significant control". Mono - one - unilateral control of the industry.

Hm, if thats the case then Monsanto is still reaching towards that level.

That would only happen if it were state-sanctioned. In a free economy, there would never be a threat of monopoly. The principle of competition, coupled with economic facts, would essentially forbid it.
PoeJoe
Posts: 3,822
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7/13/2010 11:52:09 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 11:04:16 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 7/13/2010 9:58:04 PM, Sobriquet wrote:
At 7/13/2010 9:56:14 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 7/13/2010 9:54:54 PM, Sobriquet wrote:
Does it have to be state assigned? By definition a monopoly can just be significant control over a product (or industry etc etc)

Sorry if I'm missing something.

A monopoly isn't "significant control". Mono - one - unilateral control of the industry.

Hm, if thats the case then Monsanto is still reaching towards that level.

That would only happen if it were state-sanctioned. In a free economy, there would never be a threat of monopoly. The principle of competition, coupled with economic facts, would essentially forbid it.

Which economic facts would forbid monopolies?
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Sobriquet
Posts: 390
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7/14/2010 10:15:40 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
I did say they were reaching towards that level, not necessarily that they would achieve it. Monsanto does own 90+% of the U.S seed, and that number keeps on climbing due to various factors.

Though they may not have a monopoly in the true sense of the word, they practically own the entire seed industry in the United States. Their money/lawyers/revolving door/GMO slowly have helped them eliminate competition. Another part of defining a monopoly is the absence of competition. Though it will likely never eliminate all competition, it can certainly get close to the point where the government will recognize it as a monopoly(apparently they do not define monopoly as singular control).
"Bullsh!t is unavoidable whenever circumstance require someone to talk without knowing what he is talking about."
— Harry G. Frankfurt