60 thoughts on “Tucker interviews Tony Bobulinski”

  1. Mate De:
    It isn’t capitalism that is the cause of freedom. It is merely an economic system. What creates freedom is a moral order. Without moral constraints, capitalism can morph into what we have now which is an oligarchy.

    Sure it is. It’s an economic system that cannot succeed unless customers get what they want, when they want. It also creates a moral order because you can’t do well in business long term if you don’t follow certain codes of behavior. Ivan Boesky and Michael Milliken learned that the hard way.

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  2. EThompson:

    Mate De:
    It isn’t capitalism that is the cause of freedom. It is merely an economic system. What creates freedom is a moral order. Without moral constraints, capitalism can morph into what we have now which is an oligarchy.

    Sure it is. It’s an economic system that cannot succeed unless customers get what they want, when they want. It also creates a moral order because you can’t do well in business long term if you don’t follow certain codes of behavior. Ivan Boesky and Michael Milliken learned that the hard way.

    How does capitalism create a moral order? What constrains monopolies from exploitation?

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  3. Mate De:

    EThompson:

    Mate De:
    It isn’t capitalism that is the cause of freedom. It is merely an economic system. What creates freedom is a moral order. Without moral constraints, capitalism can morph into what we have now which is an oligarchy.

    Sure it is. It’s an economic system that cannot succeed unless customers get what they want, when they want. It also creates a moral order because you can’t do well in business long term if you don’t follow certain codes of behavior. Ivan Boesky and Michael Milliken learned that the hard way.

    How does capitalism create a moral order? What constrains monopolies from exploitation?

    Why are we talking about monopolies now? There are very stringent laws against this and I was referring to capitalism. One hardly necessitates the other.

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  4. EThompson:

    Mate De:

    EThompson:

    Mate De:
    It isn’t capitalism that is the cause of freedom. It is merely an economic system. What creates freedom is a moral order. Without moral constraints, capitalism can morph into what we have now which is an oligarchy.

    Sure it is. It’s an economic system that cannot succeed unless customers get what they want, when they want. It also creates a moral order because you can’t do well in business long term if you don’t follow certain codes of behavior. Ivan Boesky and Michael Milliken learned that the hard way.

    How does capitalism create a moral order? What constrains monopolies from exploitation?

    Why are we talking about monopolies now? There are very stringent laws against this and I was referring to capitalism. One hardly necessitates the other.

    Laws are a constraint. Laws come from moral order.

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  5. Capitalism is a means to an end, not an end in itself. If it does not deliver the desired ends, it is no better than anything else. The ChiComs have found a way to implement capitalism to serve their ends. It has been spectacularly successful in accomplishing that objective.

    If you aspire to live in a police state with some of the wealthiest individuals in the world, the ChiCom model is perfect for you. Thomas Friedman was certainly enamored of it. For my part, I prefer liberty, the rule of law, and a peaceful society. Not one of those three values is currently realized in the US or most Western nations. The only thing capitalism is delivering at the moment is low-quality goods from China while exporting our jobs and intellectual property. Well, that and a hefty dose of political interference and oppression.

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  6. Gavin Longmuir:
    Now we are talking!  What is capitalism?

    The word “capitalism” emerged only in the 1850s in the work of Louis Blanc and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon who defined it, in 1861, as an “[E]conomic and social regime in which capital, the source of income, does not generally belong to those who make it work through their labor”.  Thus, from the start, it had the pejorative connotation of a system in which those who possess capital (“capitalists”, which emerged as a word in the mid-1600s) belonging to a different class than those who “work” and, by implication, create capital (“surplus value”) for the idle capitalists.

    The system which created most of the wealth in the world is better termed “free exchange” or the “free market” or, if you like, just “freedom”—the ability of any person to freely create or provide goods and services to any other via voluntary exchange between the parties.  Any form of coercion, whether it be by a village chief taking his cut, slavery, mandatory tithing or taxation, licensing of businesses or professions, trade barriers, legal tender laws and funny money, regulations, or restraint of trade by powerful and predatory players in the market, is a distortion of the free market and destroys wealth (although it may enrich some portion of the players in the economy [who thus promote these things] at the expense of others).

    When an actor, whether nominally “private” or not, achieves a position in which they can control the flow of information and dissemination of speech among billions of people and, at their discretion, put a finger on the scale of political choices to a demonstrated extent (see the experimental work of Tim Groseclose), they are the antithesis of free market behaviour.

    They are “capitalists” and what they’re doing may be called “capitalism”, but they are the enemies of liberty and ultimately destructive of the wealth generating innovation of a free and open market.  Watching the Cheech, Apu, and Data show yesterday before the Senate Commerce Committee made me shudder: if these are the folks controlling the world’s discourse and flow of information, and that’s seemingly all right with lots of people, we’re in deep trouble and it doesn’t matter whether you call it “capitalism” or “totalitarian tyranny”, the outcome is the same.

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  7. John Walker:
    When an actor, whether nominally “private” or not, achieves a position in which they can control the flow of information and dissemination of speech among billions of people and, at their discretion, put a finger on the scale of political choices to a demonstrated extent (see the experimental work of Tim Groseclose), they are the antithesis of free market behaviour.

    The book referenced in the link was preceded by an article in QJE from 2005 that is free to read.

    This is the way the system currently operates (via Twitter):

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  8. drlorentz:
    The ChiComs have found a way to implement capitalism to serve their ends.

    Say what!!?? All those “privately “owned companies with which you are enamored, are state-controlled, meaning the CCP determines who gets to develop which businesses and who doesn’t. The CCP “allows” people to make and keep profits but they also implement price controls and to a certain extent, the nature of the goods produced. Because no citizen is granted legal property rights, nobody owns anything except on the whim of the government. One can make a politically displeasing remark and have it taken away as quickly as one gets it.

    Not my definition of capitalism.

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  9. EThompson:

    drlorentz:
    The ChiComs have found a way to implement capitalism to serve their ends.

    Say what!!?? All those “privately “owned companies with which you are enamored, are state-controlled, meaning the CCP determines who gets to develop which businesses and who doesn’t. The CCP “allows” people to make and keep profits but they also implement price controls and to a certain extent, the nature of the goods produced. Because no citizen is granteded legal property rights, nobody owns anything except on the whim of the government. One can make a politically displeasing remark and have it taken away as quickly as one gets it.

    Not my definition of capitalism.

    Don’t fool yourself, the same circumstance exists here. It’s called licensing and many of those licenses are only attainable if the government allows it.

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  10. Robert A. McReynolds:

    EThompson:

    drlorentz:
    The ChiComs have found a way to implement capitalism to serve their ends.

    Say what!!?? All those “privately “owned companies with which you are enamored, are state-controlled, meaning the CCP determines who gets to develop which businesses and who doesn’t. The CCP “allows” people to make and keep profits but they also implement price controls and to a certain extent, the nature of the goods produced. Because no citizen is guaranteed legal property rights, nobody owns anything except on the whim of the government. One can make a politically displeasing remark and have it taken away as quickly as one gets it.

    Not my definition of capitalism.

    Don’t fool yourself, the same circumstance exists here. It’s called licensing and many of those licenses are only attainable if the government allows it.

    Hey, let’s focus upon some irrelevant minutiae here and ignore the big picture!

    I must say, you and your pal make a concerted effort to do so, but save it for another reader. I know better because I’ve run businesses for 30 years in the states of CA/NY and have seen all the tricks, shady machinations and strangling regulations the U.S. govt can impose.

    This is why I live in FL.

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  11. Let’s not ignore the Big Picture.  An interesting snippet from Zerohedge which incidentally mentions ET’s favorite tulip bulb:

    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/exxon-firing-15-its-workers-keep-dividend

    … the market cap of Exxon has tumbled to just $136BN, below that of Zoom. Yes, we have gotten to the point in the bubble where a video chat with no barriers to entry, zero infrastructure and barely any profit is more valuable than a company that has invested tens of billions of dollars in creating the world’s biggest oil exploration and production infrastructure.

    What we are living in is not capitalism, it is stupidity.  Arguably, the difference between the Dutch tulip mania and today is that, in the 1600s the insanity was driven by Dutch citizens risking their own money in open markets, whereas today the insanity is driven by Political Class interventions creating distorted markets.

    Ah well!  As has often been noted — what the politician gives, the politician can also take away.

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  12. Gavin Longmuir:
    (quoting ZeroHedge): “the market cap of Exxon has tumbled to just $136BN”

    Here is a snapshot of the madness.  Assorted companies in descending order of market capitalisation (as of market close on 2020-10-29), all figures in US$ billions.

    • Tesla 389.426
    • Toyota 186.195
    • Boeing 83.712
    • General Electric 64.512
    • Autodesk 53.25
    • General Motors 49.931
    • Ford 31.429

    That’s right, I founded a company in 1982 that today has a market cap greater than General Motors or Ford.

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  13. Gavin Longmuir:
    Let’s not ignore the Big Picture.  An interesting snippet from Zerohedge which incidentally mentions ET’s favorite tulip bulb:

    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/exxon-firing-15-its-workers-keep-dividend

    … the market cap of Exxon has tumbled to just $136BN, below that of Zoom. Yes, we have gotten to the point in the bubble where a video chat with no barriers to entry, zero infrastructure and barely any profit is more valuable than a company that has invested tens of billions of dollars in creating the world’s biggest oil exploration and production infrastructure.

    What we are living in is not capitalism, it is stupidity.  Arguably, the difference between the Dutch tulip mania and today is that, in the 1600s the insanity was driven by Dutch citizens risking their own money in open markets, whereas today the insanity is driven by Political Class interventions creating distorted markets.

    Ah well!  As has often been noted — what the politician gives, the politician can also take away.

    Liz’s favorite tulip bulb was bought in the low 100s just as Covid broke out. Had a bad day trading; it dropped to low 400s this morning when it was easily headed to 600 but I day trade this stock and all the profits I’ve made are out of the NYSE accts by 4:00 p.m.

    I have no complaints. I don’t care what Zoom’s politics may be and know that it has provided me income to put right back into the American economy. I ain’t hiding my profits under my mattress!

    And that is precisely what keeps this country strong, powerful and safe. The companies I invest in allow me to support other businesses; in essence, the infamous ‘trickle down’ effect celebrated by RWR.

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  14. EThompson:
    I don’t care what Zoom’s politics may be and know that it has provided me income to put right back into the American economy.

    And that is precisely what keeps this country strong, powerful and safe.

    I enjoy the juxtaposition of these two thoughts: pirate globalists working for our enemies while creating an asset bubble keeps this country strong, powerful, and safe.

    The remarkable thing about NormieCons is not that they are still living in the 1980s; it’s that they’ll be the first ones up against the wall when the revolution comes but don’t know it.

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  15. drlorentz:
    pirate globalists working for our enemies…

    You and your compadre consider all capitalists and big business to be evil yet you often use “Commies” as an insult.

    Frankly, you sound like one.

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  16. drlorentz:

    EThompson:
    I don’t care what Zoom’s politics may be and know that it has provided me income to put right back into the American economy.

    And that is precisely what keeps this country strong, powerful and safe.

    I enjoy the juxtaposition of these two thoughts: pirate globalists working for our enemies while creating an asset bubble keeps this country strong, powerful, and safe.

    The remarkable thing about NormieCons is not that they are still living in the 1980s; it’s that they’ll be the first ones up against the wall when the revolution comes but don’t know it.

    Never mind the fact that many big Wall Street sweet heart companies have benefited greatly from access to a 4.25 trillion dollar line of credit due tot the Covid relief passed in March. The market that she is crowing about is not real growth but artificial growth spurred on by complicit politicians and the bankers who control the FED.

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  17. EThompson:

    drlorentz:
    pirate globalists working for our enemies…

    Not a family friendly remark but: Bullshit.

    For someone who loves stroking her own ego over investing prowess you sure don’t know much about in what you are investing. Here is a piece about Zoom rethinking its relationship with the Chi-Coms.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/kateoflahertyuk/2020/08/03/zoom-just-made-a-major-china-move-amid-tiktok-ban-fears/?sh=6485cea94176

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  18. EThompson:

    drlorentz:
    pirate globalists working for our enemies…

    Not a family friendly remark but: Bullshit. You and your compadre consider all capitalists and big business to be evil yet you often use “Commies” as an insult.

    Frankly, you sound like one.

    No I don’t mind capitalists, but unfortunately we aren’t talking about capitalists. We are talking about government entrepreneurs. They either get government funds to start their enterprise or to prop up their enterprise as a means to survive. Either way they are ever bit the leech on society as your average welfare queen.

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  19. Robert A. McReynolds:

    drlorentz:

    EThompson:
    I don’t care what Zoom’s politics may be and know that it has provided me income to put right back into the American economy.

    And that is precisely what keeps this country strong, powerful and safe.

    I enjoy the juxtaposition of these two thoughts: pirate globalists working for our enemies while creating an asset bubble keeps this country strong, powerful, and safe.

    The remarkable thing about NormieCons is not that they are still living in the 1980s; it’s that they’ll be the first ones up against the wall when the revolution comes but don’t know it.

    Never mind the fact that many big Wall Street sweet heart companies have benefited greatly from access to a 4.25 trillion dollar line of credit due tot the Covid relief passed in March. The market that she is crowing about is not real growth but artificial growth spurred on by complicit politicians and the bankers who control the FED.

    I have zero problems with lines of credit and you are obviously not a businessman. LOCs help develop real growth particularly with my pet Zoom that provides critical products in time of need.

    Just curious: Do you dislike all success? Is there any profitable company that merits your approval? Or is it that you simply resent those who change the world?

    I’m afraid to ask what you think about Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Mellon or Steve Jobs. (I’d mention Mark Z and Bill Gates but you’ve made your thoughts clear on those two “robber barons.”)

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  20. Our Host:  “That’s right, I founded a company in 1982 that today has a market cap greater than General Motors or Ford.

    Congratulations!  I hope you held on to one or two shares.  🙂

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  21. Robert A. McReynolds:

    EThompson:

    drlorentz:
    pirate globalists working for our enemies…

    Not a family friendly remark but: Bullshit.

    For someone who loves stroking her own ego over investing prowess you sure don’t know much about in what you are investing. Here is a piece about Zoom rethinking its relationship with the Chi-Coms.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/kateoflahertyuk/2020/08/03/zoom-just-made-a-major-china-move-amid-tiktok-ban-fears/?sh=6485cea94176

    Never patronize me again with that ignorant first sentence. I could run circles around you in the business world. You sit at your computer and observe; I am right in the middle of the action and take the slings and arrows like a warrior. I’m too busy doing to spend a lot of time criticizing that which I don’t have the guts to engage in.

    Here are the facts:

    A Chinese-American who master-minded this company and owns 22% of the company  wisely chose to distance himself from the Mother country. End of story.

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  22. EThompson:

    Robert A. McReynolds:

    EThompson:

    drlorentz:
    pirate globalists working for our enemies…

    Not a family friendly remark but: Bullshit.

    For someone who loves stroking her own ego over investing prowess you sure don’t know much about in what you are investing. Here is a piece about Zoom rethinking its relationship with the Chi-Coms.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/kateoflahertyuk/2020/08/03/zoom-just-made-a-major-china-move-amid-tiktok-ban-fears/?sh=6485cea94176

    Never patronize me again with that ignorant first sentence. I could run circles around you in the business world. You sit at your computer and observe; I am right in the middle of the action and take the slings and arrows like a warrior. I’m too busy doing to spend a lot of time criticizing that which I don’t have the guts to engage in.

    Here are the facts:

    A Chinese-American who master-minded this company and owns 22% of the company  wisely chose to distance himself from the Mother country. End of story.

    You’re an idiot who makes money off of nothing. Finance capitalists are as beneficial to society as the bubonic plague, especially those who think that the US treasury and the FED are lines of credit. In the business world I doubt you would last five seconds without Uncle Sugar there to bail you out or prop up the particular market you find yourself in. Tell me, what was it your company produced? Were they tangible goods or was it paper? Direct me to an actual good that I can purchase that YOU created that isn’t a fund, a security, or a note.

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