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No...of course not...you don't have to be crazy to believe that in an open society, with due dillegence and oversight, baord goverenance and audits, that an arms length corporation would be secretly manipulated during a downturn in the commodities market after a prolonged buying spree.....not crazy....there are other mundane explanations....

I see, so what you're saying is the government is compeletly trustworthy?

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On December 28th, Topaz officially came out in favour of Fascism...
Topaz generally starts threads or drops a random comment in a thread without any subsequent comment. (IMHO, Topaz is the new name for MapleLeaf.)

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IMV, there are two points here: natural monopolies and government bureaucrats.

First, some industries, such as networks, tend to be monopolies since the larger the network, the lower the average cost to each user. What do we do with such industries? It would be crazy to install several water pipe systems in a city. Instead, we have one system of water pipes and accept that we have a natural monopoly.

Second, government bureaucrats can't pick winners. Engineers may love the idea of a single system or standard but engineers forget how any system is devised. The post office and the Soviet Union are examples of what happens when engineers decide solely how to organize a system.

Edited by August1991
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Second, government bureaucrats can't pick winners. Engineers may love the idea of a single system or standard but engineers forget how any system is devised. The post office and the Soviet Union are examples of what happens when engineers decide solely how to organize a system.

The Soviet Union was not designed by "engineers" in any meaningful sense of the word. I do not consider "social engineers" to be engineers. Show me their engineering degrees.

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Quite frankly, I don't care about the article. The government should sell Crown Corporations that compete with private business because they are taking away money from business.

What an absurd comment. Then logically "the government" should sell itself off because it is competing with private business and taking away money from business. Like practically all services including policing, television and radio, insurance services, scientific research, etc. Why stop with Crown Corporations if that is what you are advocating for? Once the Crown Corporations and all those other competing businesses are sold off, because of the various free trade pacts, we can have some other multinational come in a buy them up. The Canadian dollar, brought to you by WalMart; or the mail delivery by Saudi Mail Services Inc., or Employment Insurance by All-State.

Maybe you should "care about the article" since it frames 'value' beyond the value of a dollar. Or is that too complex a concept for you?

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You'er arguing from a theoretical extreme. We generally don't believe that the government should provide services where the private sector also provides a service. We accept that the government should protect us, we accept that the government should take over where there is a monopoly (sometimes), but otherwise, we really don't. CBC TV is the one thing, based on this, that absolutely should go. CBC radio should be changed and should stop competing with private radio. The Mint could be contracted out. VIA rail competes with airlines and bus lines. Why does Cape Breton have 3 Crown Corporations dedicated to the place? I'm not advocating for the wholesale sell off of assets, just get out of a few areas.

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You'er arguing from a theoretical extreme. We generally don't believe that the government should provide services where the private sector also provides a service. We accept that the government should protect us, we accept that the government should take over where there is a monopoly (sometimes), but otherwise, we really don't. CBC TV is the one thing, based on this, that absolutely should go. CBC radio should be changed and should stop competing with private radio. The Mint could be contracted out. VIA rail competes with airlines and bus lines. Why does Cape Breton have 3 Crown Corporations dedicated to the place? I'm not advocating for the wholesale sell off of assets, just get out of a few areas.

Who is this "we" you are talking about?

No, I'm not "arguing from a theoretical extreme" I am equally applying an absurd notion that government shouldn't compete with business - which is your notion. Then you contradict yourself, by saying that only some of the Crown Corporations should be privatized, while others - that also compete against private business - should be somehow spared based on some wishy-washy metric. In fact, you would privatize Crown Corporations that actually generate revenues and use the money from those sales to increase funding to "major projects" that already exist and that are continually getting criticized for spending too much in the first place.

Not to mention that you have completely ignored the possibility - the real, proven possibility - that these corporations could be bought out by foreign interests and that sometimes money isn't the final determinant of 'value.' If you were paying attention to the article about the CBC, that might clue you into why there Crown Corporations that focus on Cape Breton.

Seriously, do you live in downtown Toronto or something?

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I have to disagree on privatizing Canada Post, because the one reason for privatization is to allow a private corporation to make a profit, that's the name of the game, and there is no way that regular service to rural and remote areas will continue on a daily basis. In fact it wouldn't be very long before the contractor would be demanding additional compensation in order to just maintain existing services, as well as postal rates going through the roof. When businesses are required to pay higher postal rates, guess who will be paying the biil, the consumers as usual. I say that because CN once owned Marine Atlantic which serviced NS to NL, and NB to NS, and NS and Bar Harbour, ME. I have lost count of how many times they have threatened to pull service from a vital transportation links between Saint John, NB and Digby, NS, unless the provincial and federal governments gave them money. They wanted the job, but they only want it on their terms. If they aren't happy they use blackmail to get additional taxpayer dollars. I can foresee any corporate entity that takes over Canada Post doing the exact same thing to protect their profits.

That aside, I have a problem with a private, for-profit corporation handling sensitive personal mail, and wanting to do it, "on the cheap," to increase profits. Don't tell me that we won't end up with minimum wage employees with sometimes questionable backgrounds, including criminal records, because we will.

Edited by Wayne McQ.
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I have to disagree on privatizing Canada Post, because the one reason for privatization is to allow a private corporation to make a profit, that's the name of the game, and there is no way that regular service to rural and remote areas will continue on a daily basis.

Canada Post makes a profit now...and Air Canada is operated under similar rules that service to certain areas must continue.

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Sounds more like an argument for improving CBC-TV than for privatizing it. (And no, I don't think the latter would lead to the former.)

I just don't see a need for it. It takes advertising dollars away from private companies....and I don't see why we need it to.

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Development and dissemination of Canadian-made programming; news/information programming that is less driven by commercial pressures. You've watched CTV and Global, right?

Yes, I have watched CTV and Global. I never watch CBC anymore. The only Canadian TV show that I watch is on CTV.

What's so bad about commercial pressure?

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Smallc: I'm just not that trustful that the marketplace will always provide coverage of the issues that is a) unbiased by the interests of the media's owners and advertisers and/or B) substantial and comprehensive when it may be more profitable to oversimplify and make things entertaining. Herman's and Chomsky's 'propaganda model' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda_model) may be overstated but I don't think it's useless.

(A questionable, if not clear-cut, case can be seen in the Fox/Monsanto case: http://www.proliberty.com/observer/20001204.htm

http://www.sptimes.com/News/081900/TampaBay/Reporter_wins_suit_ov.shtml)

On the whole, I do generally think that public broadcasters such as BBC and CBC are a little better, and at the least provide a valuable counterbalance, here. I thought we agreed about this before? Maybe I'm thinking of someone else.

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(A questionable, if not clear-cut, case can be seen in the Fox/Monsanto case: http://www.proliberty.com/observer/20001204.htm

http://www.sptimes.com/News/081900/TampaBay/Reporter_wins_suit_ov.shtml)

The important part of that story is....

And the jury did not believe the couple's claim that the station bowed to pressure from Monsanto to alter the news report.
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when it may be more profitable to oversimplify and make things entertaining

Certainly Fox comes to mind here, where an executive directed reporters to keep climate controversy alive, facts be damned.

Media Matters' disclosed this week a staff e-mail from Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon that questioned the "veracity of climate change data" and ordered the network's journalists to "refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question."

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Reporting the cold, hard and often boring facts just doesn't sell. We should start exploring direct sources of data, such as CIHI (in Canada) for healthcare data.

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More examples here: http://www.chomsky.info/onchomsky/2002----.htm

A letter sent to the editorial offices of a hundred magazines by a major car producer stated: 'In an effort to avoid potential conflicts, it is required that Chrysler corporation be alerted in advance of any and all editorial content that encompasses sexual, political, social issues or any editorial content that could be construed as provocative or offensive.' In 1999, British Telecom threatened to withdraw advertising from The Daily Telegraph following a number of critical articles. The journalist responsible was suspended.

A 1992 US study of 150 news editors found that 90 per cent said that advertisers tried to interfere with newspaper content, and 70 per cent tried to stop news stories altogether. 40 per cent admitted that advertisers had in fact influenced a story.

The 1992 study is Soley/Craig, I believe, and is cited elsewhere: http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-165431169/advertiser-pressure-daily-newspapers.html.

We have a citation for the Chrysler quote on p 125 here: http://books.google.ca/books?id=7oQms9_6ZtQC&pg=PA125&lpg=PA125&dq=chrysler+letter+magazines+%27In+an+effort+to+avoid+potential+conflicts,

According to this book, the New Yorker has a policy of alerting about 50 companies about articles that might offend them.

We also have sources on the next page of Digital Capitalism on e.g. the influence of the tobacco industry on health reporting in even relatively recent media history.

There is more on pp58-61 here (Soley/Craig are cited again):

www.javnost-thepublic.org/article/pdf/2004/2/4/

Hundreds of examples of advertisers pressuring media to change copy have been reported. For example, golf ball manufacturers withdrew $1 million in adver- tising contracts when Sports Illustrated ran a story on lesbian golf fans at the Dinah Shore tournament in Palm Springs. Ford withdrew six months of advertising for its Lincoln and Mercury brands when a story quoting sexually explicit rock lyrics ran next to a Mercury advertisement in the New Yorker (Knecht 1997).

However the most disconcerting reports are of media compromising their edito- rial integrity. When Esquire killed a short story about a gay man writing papers for college students for sex, the Wall Street Journal discovered that some large corpora- tions, like Proctor and Gamble, had standing orders for magazines to provide prior warnings about offensive content so the company could withdraw its advertise- ments (Knecht 1997). For publications not to provide these warnings meant risk- ing the loss of large advertising accounts. Esquire killed the short story for this rea- son. A Fortune magazine exposé of Steve Forbes during his bid for the presidency revealed that the Forbes’ publisher routinely re-wrote stories to avoid alienating advertisers (Diamond 1996). Ms. magazine stopped accepting all advertisements to free itself from business pressures through advertising practices (Steinem 1990).

The most egregious tale of the erosion of a newspaper’s reputation occurred at the Los Angeles Times. In 1995, Mark Willes was hired as CEO by Times-Mirror, which owns the L.A. Times. With a Ph.D. in economics and experience teaching at the Wharton School of Business, Willes had served as president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, but he had never worked at a newspaper. Despite resigna- tions from experienced newsmen, such as publisher Richard Scholsberg and edi- tor Shelby Coffey, Willes moved ahead with a corporatist plan to bring news edi- tors together with members from advertising sales, marketing, and circulation. The move broke down any pretence of a wall between editorial and advertising de- partments. Three years later it led to one of the biggest gaffes in American newspa- per history (Auletta 1997), when the L.A. Times split the profits of a 16-page special section about the new Staples Center sports arena with the Center itself. Reports on the profit-sharing plan, which put the paper in bed with a newsmaker, reveal that it had been approved by the publisher and editor but kept from journalists (Risser 2000).

Edited by Evening Star
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2xpost

Fair point, M. Dancer. But what do you think of the firing in the first place?

I think management overstepped its authority and had no right to try and stiffle the reporters desires to go to the regulating body.

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It takes advertising dollars away from private companies....

Btw, like Shwa, I also don't agree that the government should be unable to compete with private businesses. And I thought it was free-marketeers who always argue that economics is not a zero-sum game anyway?

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businesses. And I thought it was free-marketeers who always argue that economics is not a zero-sum game anyway?

Economics isn't....but if you double the media, it does not follow that ad dollars will double as well. McDonalds will not immediate say, "hey, there are twice as many outlets, lets double our spending to reash the same amount of people"

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Btw, like Shwa, I also don't agree that the government should be unable to compete with private businesses.

That would be okay if private businesses received the same subsidies that crowns get to compete...

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Well, tbf, I'd probably prefer it if CBC-TV carried as little advertising as CBC Radio does. I'm not sure how fiscally realistic that is though. (How does BBC manage it? Through the fees you mentioned earlier, Dancer? I'd be willing to move towards that.) Still, CBC is or should be doing something different from what private broadcasters are doing and is not oriented around profit so I don't see why all broadcasters should be subsidized (or not) at an equal level.

That said, I'll admit that I'm not feeling that much sympathy for the corporate execs who are threatened by competition from Crown corporations.

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