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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.;Thus wrote Charles Dickens in his ?Tale of Two Cities.?;Of course, the good times referred to London while the bad times, to Paris where the French Revolution was in full swing (maybe chop would be a better word). The guillotine was working overtime to chop off the heads of the politically incorrect, many of which had been knitted into the roll call of victims as written by Madame La Farge.;For many friends and former students who made their livelihoods in the auto industry they remind me of their buy-outs and need to either relocate or retire prematurely ? for that industry it appears to be the worst of times.;Today, the best of all times could refer to the resources employed in the energy industry, suppliers of capital, labor and management. There are other beneficiaries of the oil industry?s largesse (of both the OPEC branch of the cartel, and since the 1990s, the U.S. branch of the oil cartel ? or OPIC, as I refer to it (Organization of Petroleum Importing Countries)). The beneficiaries include the politicians and ideologues of all spots and stripes ? from the far left to the far right, the environmental movement that is also receiving their full share of this largesse as well, since the energy industry funds them heavily. Also on the receiving end of the huge growth in oil revenues, which is mostly in profits, are terrorists. Their activities have never been better funded, so they can have their ?rockets red glare? that seem to be bursting everywhere, especially over Israel. There is plenty of money for suicide belts and roadside bombs to go around. By no means left out are the resurgent Taliban making sure, that Afghanistan does not stabilize and that the poppy fields keep blooming. Life is full of strange bedfellows, especially when funding is needed.;Today, the worst of all times again could refer to the UAW portion of the auto industry. Their ?glory of victory? has turned into an ?agony of defeat?. Motown is now Macon, Georgia, Nashville, Tennessee, or Georgetown, Kentucky. Move over Elvis and Dolly, you have to make room for those Yankee invaders.;Yet, in spite of these unequal times, both industries, energy and automotive, are typically described as being forms of free market capitalism.;How can this be?;Free market capitalism, a la the recartelized American oil industry, parlayed with OPEC, is actually a cartelistic form of free market capitalism. The now much restructured U.S. auto industry is rapidly becoming a very competitive form of free market capitalism, and in many ways is already there.;How different can they be? You ask.;Both industries are populated by private sector corporations, and are only tangentially regulated by government. The regulation is in the area of environmental legislation and not in restricting the exercise of monopoly power.;They differ like night and day when economic analysis is applied however. Both in micro and macroeconomic terms, they differ substantially in how they impact society.;The ?end game? or the ?limiting case? for competitive free market capitalism is vastly different from the end game or limiting case for cartelistic free market capitalism.;I was just wondering what you thoughts and/or recapping important points in the article??? I do understand this is a little more work than the normal questions i have been sending you... it's just the end of the semester and i'm finding myself having trouble with this article...;Thank you Andrea very much for your help this term although i will never have to take an Econ course again, it was extremely helpful working with you and i'm not sure what i would of done with out you!

 

Paper#25685 | Written in 18-Jul-2015

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