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Does Coke Compete for Producer's Dollar?

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Econ101

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SH is fond of bringing up the fact that market concentration is not new to industries in his argument of industry concentration. He often cites market concentration in the cola industry as an example. Market power and domination leads to less choice by consumers and more profits for corporations. The Wednesday, Jan. 11th 2006 fron page article on "U.S. Thirst for Mexican Cola Poses Sticky Problem for Coke" is a poignet example of this phenomena.

The article points out that Mexican Americans willingly spend more money on the version of coca cola that is "bootlegged" into this country by distributors in Mexico to as far away places as Atlanta Georgia and Chicago, Ill. The article states that the sales of higher priced "Mexican coke" far exceeds that of the American version of the product in some latin american stores even though the price is 25% higher. Retailers also use the product to lure customers in the store to help win over customer base to the store for the purchase of other products. Mexico has the highest per capita consumption of coke in the world. A graph on the front page clearly shows that demand for higher priced "Mexican" coke is on the increase and in 2004 is estimated at close to $100 million dollars per year. Sales of U.S. produced and sold coke is on the decline.

What has the response been from coke? "Coke is sending lawyers to harass people instead of catering to customer demand," said Danny Ginsburg, founder of Real Soda in Real Bottles, a Los Angeles company that sells hard-to-find drinks. Mr. Martin said the company doesn't consider its legal maneuevers to be harassment.

The reason Mexican bootleg higher costing coke has so much appeal to Mexican Americans is that it is still being made from cane sugar. The U.S. Coke companies have been using corn syrup as a sweetener since '80s to reduce the cost of the product. "New forumulas" of coke have been one of the kickers of profitabilty for Coke, but have obviously limited the choice of American consumers to below what Coke offers in Mexico. That strategy, by a market that is dominated by few players, is an example of how market concentration is allowed to squeeze profits at the expense of higher quality products that are demanded by consumers even if it is their own product.

Most of us can relate to the taste of an "old" coke. Today's coke "aint the same thing" and it "aint the real thing". The biggest problem is that Coke has the strangle hold on the market in the U.S. and will not allow the U.S. market access to this higher quality (because it has real sugar) drink. It has to be bootlegged into the U.S. and Coke lawyers have to harass the reactions of consumers for their own profitabilty.

Now you could claim that the price of sugar in an average coke in the U.S. is higher because of sugar price supports and that this is the reason Coke does not offer real sugar in the U.S. market any more. You would be correct in saying part of that statement, but in the next post I will show the difference in the cost of the sugar or sweetener ingredient in an average coke and the Mexican market. You be the judge.

The fact is that large and dominant industries use their power and might to increase their profitabilty at the expense of consumers. When these dominant industries have as much power as they do, consumers do not even get a choice, let alone "the right choice". SH's example of the cola market is a pertinent example.

Everyone should read the Wall Street Journal and do the thinking on their own. The WSJ has all credit for the quotes in this post from their story.
 
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Anonymous

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Conman: "The fact is that large and dominant industries use their power and might to increase their profitabilty at the expense of consumers. When these dominant industries have as much power as they do, consumers do not even get a choice, let alone "the right choice". SH's example of the cola market is a pertinent example."

Then perhaps you should start your own beverage company instead of your relentless anti corporate whining and thumbsucking.

POOR YOU!


~SH~
 
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Anonymous

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Last resort of what?

You anti corporate blamers will never change your minds about the free enterprise system. You want BIG BWADDA GOVAHMENT to step in and save you every time some corporation becomes too successful instead of realizing that if a dollar can be made, someone else can make it too.

Always crying in your beer.

Fact is, concentration is not unique to the packing industry. If you think it is you're living in a dream land.

Don't envy the successful packer, BE ONE! Quit your whining Randy!


~SH~
 

DiamondSCattleCo

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So SH, I'm a little confused. Are you saying its a good thing that concentration and market penetration has allowed a company to dictate terms to the consumer? And when faced with a little competition, its ok to resort to lawyers, versus actually trying to satisfy the needs of the consumer? That its ok that the consumer has to settle for second-best?

I thought you were in favor of competition, free markets and consumer driven demand, but that sounds a little anti-competitive and totalitarian to me, hence my confusion.

Rod
 

rkaiser

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Why bring up the crying in the beer thing SH. You know darn well that I am part of an intergrated market. Do you think you can bring on some new comers with your holier than now attitude.

Who says that myself and others want government to help us out any more than the leagues of lobbyists hired by Cargill and Tyson. Have you never heard them crying in their beer? Or do you cry in it for them?Or do you ignore facts like Cargill and Tyson cashining in on taxpayers money as a BSE bailout while the companyenjoyed the most profits in their Canadian history. (of course you ignore that, what am I saying.)

If you want to continue to live in the dreamworld where Global companies DO NOT use their power to manipulate markets, it's your choice. It's a dreamworld SH, and that dream world needs story tellers like yourself to convince others.

Call what I do whining and blaming all you like, it simply shows the only way that YOU know how to deal with life. Whine and complain and blame, if anyone speaks out against the obvious power moves in the corporate world.
 
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rkaiser said:
If you want to continue to live in the dreamworld where Global companies DO NOT use their power to manipulate markets, it's your choice. It's a dreamworld SH, and that dream world needs story tellers like yourself to convince others.

SH has just spent too much time in the dog towns talking to his prairie dogs and gophers- needs to see whats happening in the real towns...

I can just see those little gophers down there talking "Just because the voices talk only to him, doesn't mean he's superior"... :wink: :lol:
 

Jason

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You guys are so head up your butts.

Coke is getting a wake up call.

Coke in the Northern US is made from real sugar. In Canada as well.

Corn syrup is used in the Southern States. It does taste different.

The consumers are revolting, they are buying a bootlegged (illegal) product. Coke is using that avenue first. If it is the wrong way to deal with this, they will get their butts kicked by the consumer.

Eventually for Coke to retain their high market share they will have to respond to consumer demands. Use sugar instead of corn syrup.

How will the corn growers respond to that loss? Likely they will sue or cry or whatever. Who cares, unless you have a lucrative contract with Coke to sell corn syrup?

The market will sort it out. Coke cannot tell consumers what to drink. Consumers that know about a product they like better are willing to drink bootlegged product.
 
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Rod: "Are you saying its a good thing that concentration and market penetration has allowed a company to dictate terms to the consumer? And when faced with a little competition, its ok to resort to lawyers, versus actually trying to satisfy the needs of the consumer? That its ok that the consumer has to settle for second-best?"

Rod where did you get that from anything I said? My point is simple, concentration is not unique to the packing industry. Concentration abounds in virtually every industry that surrounds our lives. WHY? Because competition assures that only the most efficient companies will survive. K-Mart used to be the big dog on the block and all the chronic bitchers were saying that they had a monopoly. Well guess what? Along comes Walmart to do it better. The margins are thin in these companies. What they lost in price they made up for in volume. Who benefits from their added efficiencies? WE DO!

The reason there is fewer smaller packing plants around is because they could not compete with what the larger more efficient packing companies could pay for cattle and still compete. COMPETITION CREATES CONCENTRATION. CONCENTRATION IS NOT A RESULT OF A LACK OF COMPETITION IT'S A RESULT OF COMPETITION.

Who benefits? We do. We get more for our cattle from the packer that utilizes everything from the nose to the rectum and can still keep their doors open with a $10 per head profit margin. Smaller less efficient packers cannot compete with that.

It only takes two companies to have competition. We have 5 majors and many level two packers. If it was up to the blamers, we would have more less efficient packing companies that needed larger profit margins to stay afloat that would pay less for cattle. That's how ignorant these packer blamers are.


Randy (WAAAAAAAH) Kaiser: "Or do you ignore facts like Cargill and Tyson cashining in on taxpayers money as a BSE bailout while the companyenjoyed the most profits in their Canadian history. (of course you ignore that, what am I saying.)"

Wrong again!

Cargill and Tyson did not enjoy the most profits in their Canadian history, ONLY THEIR CANADIAN PLANTS DID but it never made up for the shortfalls in their U.S. plants and that's a damn fact. A fact that your packer brainwashed mind simply cannot accept because you want to play the victim. Poor Randy!


Who is forcing you to sell your cattle to Tyson Randy????

Any rancher can feed his own cattle, process his own cattle, and sell his own beef. Nobody's stopping you but your own victim mentality. If you think there is so much money to be made in processing cattle and selling beef. Knock yourself out. You'll get it figured out eventually.


~SH~
 

Econ101

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~SH~ said:
Rod: "Are you saying its a good thing that concentration and market penetration has allowed a company to dictate terms to the consumer? And when faced with a little competition, its ok to resort to lawyers, versus actually trying to satisfy the needs of the consumer? That its ok that the consumer has to settle for second-best?"

Rod where did you get that from anything I said? My point is simple, concentration is not unique to the packing industry. Concentration abounds in virtually every industry that surrounds our lives. WHY? Because competition assures that only the most efficient companies will survive. K-Mart used to be the big dog on the block and all the chronic bitchers were saying that they had a monopoly. Well guess what? Along comes Walmart to do it better. The margins are thin in these companies. What they lost in price they made up for in volume. Who benefits from their added efficiencies? WE DO!

The reason there is fewer smaller packing plants around is because they could not compete with what the larger more efficient packing companies could pay for cattle and still compete. COMPETITION CREATES CONCENTRATION. CONCENTRATION IS NOT A RESULT OF A LACK OF COMPETITION IT'S A RESULT OF COMPETITION.

Who benefits? We do. We get more for our cattle from the packer that utilizes everything from the nose to the rectum and can still keep their doors open with a $10 per head profit margin. Smaller less efficient packers cannot compete with that.

It only takes two companies to have competition. We have 5 majors and many level two packers. If it was up to the blamers, we would have more less efficient packing companies that needed larger profit margins to stay afloat that would pay less for cattle. That's how ignorant these packer blamers are.


Randy (WAAAAAAAH) Kaiser: "Or do you ignore facts like Cargill and Tyson cashining in on taxpayers money as a BSE bailout while the companyenjoyed the most profits in their Canadian history. (of course you ignore that, what am I saying.)"

Wrong again!

Cargill and Tyson did not enjoy the most profits in their Canadian history, ONLY THEIR CANADIAN PLANTS DID but it never made up for the shortfalls in their U.S. plants and that's a damn fact. A fact that your packer brainwashed mind simply cannot accept because you want to play the victim. Poor Randy!


Who is forcing you to sell your cattle to Tyson Randy????

Any rancher can feed his own cattle, process his own cattle, and sell his own beef. Nobody's stopping you but your own victim mentality. If you think there is so much money to be made in processing cattle and selling beef. Knock yourself out. You'll get it figured out eventually.


~SH~

SH"When the part of the reason they are winning is abuse of market power and regulatory agencies that are incompetent or corrupt, they have only a high "test score" in the market place because they cheated. To call someone else to cheat as they have or shut up is ridiculous."

Rod had it right on when he posted:
"PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 10:30 am Post subject:
So SH, I'm a little confused. Are you saying its a good thing that concentration and market penetration has allowed a company to dictate terms to the consumer? And when faced with a little competition, its ok to resort to lawyers, versus actually trying to satisfy the needs of the consumer? That its ok that the consumer has to settle for second-best?

I thought you were in favor of competition, free markets and consumer driven demand, but that sounds a little anti-competitive and totalitarian to me, hence my confusion.

Rod"


The problem with you, SH, is that you can not pull out the "truth" unless it suits your needs. This is your example and you burned yourself on it with real life, not the monkey junk fairland in your head.

Sh, everyone can see the fraud that you are. Jason, you have your head up your butt (or someone else's) and the next post is for you.
 
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Anonymous

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Conman, you have no proof of market manipulation and you have no proof of corruption in USDA or GIPSA leaving no doubt who the fraud is.

All you have is cheap talk unsupported by fact.

You are a complete phony. You only fool yourself Conman.


~SH~
 

DiamondSCattleCo

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Jason said:
1) The consumers are revolting, they are buying a bootlegged (illegal) product. Coke is using that avenue first. If it is the wrong way to deal with this, they will get their butts kicked by the consumer.
<snip>
Eventually for Coke to retain their high market share they will have to respond to consumer demands. Use sugar instead of corn syrup.
<snip>
The market will sort it out. Coke cannot tell consumers what to drink. Consumers that know about a product they like better are willing to drink bootlegged product.

1) So lets say that Coke wins with the law. Now the bootleg product is either a) impossible to get, or b) so expensive that its pretty much become an illegal luxury good. So Coke drinkers are forced back to 2nd best. Chances are, if you're a Coke drinker, thats likely still going to be Coke. Coke hasn't lost anything. They haven't had to switch sugars. The consumer is likely not going to switch to Pepsi or another competing product because 2nd best is still better than 3rd best. In other words, Coke's market penetration has allowed them to dictate terms to the consumer, and competition has suffered. The market hasn't been given a chance to sort it out, because the lawyers squelched the market before it had a genuine chance to respond.
 

DiamondSCattleCo

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~SH~ said:
Rod where did you get that from anything I said?

Econ posted a valid post about a corporation using market penetration and concentration to not respond to consumer demand. I guess you didn't actually refute the arguement, but rather jumped on him, but it still left me confused. It was a genuine example of how a huge corporation can indeed twist the market to their own needs.

~SH~ said:
My point is simple, concentration is not unique to the packing industry. Concentration abounds in virtually every industry that surrounds our lives. WHY? Because competition assures that only the most efficient companies will survive.

Pure competition assures that only the most efficient company survives. Or alternatively, assures that all companies will attempt to operate at the most efficient level. Efficiency and large company size do not always go hand in hand. Certainly, large companies are able to use economies of scale to do as you say: provide goods at the lowest possible cost. However they are also able to restrict competition and ignore consumer demand. How? Because we don't have pure competition anymore. Government policy and lawyers have ensured that the big dawgs remain the big dawgs, and thats it very difficult to get a start.

~SH~ said:
Who benefits from their added efficiencies? WE DO!

Not always. I can think of quite a few products with no equal that are no longer available because they couldn't sell to WallyWorld or KMart. I suspect you can too.

~SH~ said:
COMPETITION CREATES CONCENTRATION. CONCENTRATION IS NOT A RESULT OF A LACK OF COMPETITION IT'S A RESULT OF COMPETITION.

To a point. Until the concentration reaches too high a level, then it becomes anti-competitive by the very same economic forces that inspired it. Once the concentration becomes so high, and companies are able to use their profits from one market to buy their way into another market, then I think there is a problem.

~SH~ said:
It only takes two companies to have competition.

I disagree with this point. Two companies can easily watch one another in the marketplace and adjust their practices to ensure they don't step on one anothers toes. Companies will work to ensure maximum profit, and this usually means AVOIDING competition in any way they can.

Look at the oil and gas industry. There has never been any proof of price fixing or collusion there, but when 1 oil company raises prices 10 cents a gallon, they all do, secure in the knowledge that not one of them will upset the apple cart. True competition takes a varying number of competing companies depending on the size of the market.

~SH~ said:
We have 5 majors and many level two packers.

IMHO, Not even close to being enough to ensure pure competition given the huge size of the market.

Rod
 

rkaiser

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SH and his twisted pathetic mind wrote -
Quote:
Randy (WAAAAAAAH) Kaiser: "Or do you ignore facts like Cargill and Tyson cashining in on taxpayers money as a BSE bailout while the companyenjoyed the most profits in their Canadian history. (of course you ignore that, what am I saying.)"


Wrong again!

Cargill and Tyson did not enjoy the most profits in their Canadian history, ONLY THEIR CANADIAN PLANTS DID but it never made up for the shortfalls in their U.S. plants and that's a damn fact. A fact that your packer brainwashed mind simply cannot accept because you want to play the victim. Poor Randy!


Who is forcing you to sell your cattle to Tyson Randy????

Any rancher can feed his own cattle, process his own cattle, and sell his own beef. Nobody's stopping you but your own victim mentality. If you think there is so much money to be made in processing cattle and selling beef. Knock yourself out. You'll get it figured out eventually.


~SH~
I was talking about the Canadian side gopher man. You feel so sad about the fact that you cannot bring anything forward to prove that the border caused more losses in America than Canadian gains to Cargill and Tyson DUE TO THE CLOSED BORDER, that you can't get your head away from it. I'm sick of talking about that however. So let's move on shall we.

This poor Randy routine is pathetic SH. You still want to use it to boost your pathetic ego, go ahead. I am moving ahead gooher trapper. How about you. Trapping gophers and playing Packer Super Hero are not your real jobs are they?

Do you whine to the government for the packers as much as you whine for them here on ranchers. I swear that if a Cargill rep. read this site, he/she would even be embarassed by your childish support for issues too complex for you to discuss. Like I've said before SH, don't apply for a think tank job at Cargill, cheerleader Super Hero should be all you apply for. :lol:
 

Jason

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DiamondSCattleCo said:
Jason said:
1) The consumers are revolting, they are buying a bootlegged (illegal) product. Coke is using that avenue first. If it is the wrong way to deal with this, they will get their butts kicked by the consumer.
<snip>
Eventually for Coke to retain their high market share they will have to respond to consumer demands. Use sugar instead of corn syrup.
<snip>
The market will sort it out. Coke cannot tell consumers what to drink. Consumers that know about a product they like better are willing to drink bootlegged product.

1) So lets say that Coke wins with the law. Now the bootleg product is either a) impossible to get, or b) so expensive that its pretty much become an illegal luxury good. So Coke drinkers are forced back to 2nd best. Chances are, if you're a Coke drinker, thats likely still going to be Coke. Coke hasn't lost anything. They haven't had to switch sugars. The consumer is likely not going to switch to Pepsi or another competing product because 2nd best is still better than 3rd best. In other words, Coke's market penetration has allowed them to dictate terms to the consumer, and competition has suffered. The market hasn't been given a chance to sort it out, because the lawyers squelched the market before it had a genuine chance to respond.

Why wouldn't consumers switch to another brand of cola? If they still drink coke with corn syrup it is their choice.

Pepsi or a new brand could advertise cane sugar sweetened if it is really that big of deal. If it is a big deal they would get market share. If no one steps up, maybe the whole issue was blown out of proportion.
 

DiamondSCattleCo

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Jason said:
DiamondSCattleCo said:
Jason said:
1) The consumers are revolting, they are buying a bootlegged (illegal) product. Coke is using that avenue first. If it is the wrong way to deal with this, they will get their butts kicked by the consumer.
<snip>
Eventually for Coke to retain their high market share they will have to respond to consumer demands. Use sugar instead of corn syrup.
<snip>
The market will sort it out. Coke cannot tell consumers what to drink. Consumers that know about a product they like better are willing to drink bootlegged product.

1) So lets say that Coke wins with the law. Now the bootleg product is either a) impossible to get, or b) so expensive that its pretty much become an illegal luxury good. So Coke drinkers are forced back to 2nd best. Chances are, if you're a Coke drinker, thats likely still going to be Coke. Coke hasn't lost anything. They haven't had to switch sugars. The consumer is likely not going to switch to Pepsi or another competing product because 2nd best is still better than 3rd best. In other words, Coke's market penetration has allowed them to dictate terms to the consumer, and competition has suffered. The market hasn't been given a chance to sort it out, because the lawyers squelched the market before it had a genuine chance to respond.

Why wouldn't consumers switch to another brand of cola? If they still drink coke with corn syrup it is their choice.

Pepsi or a new brand could advertise cane sugar sweetened if it is really that big of deal. If it is a big deal they would get market share. If no one steps up, maybe the whole issue was blown out of proportion.

The issue here isn't really cane sweetened or corn sweetened, but rather what tastes better. Coke drinkers prefer the taste of the cane sweetened Coke over the taste of the corn sweetened. But they still prefer the taste of the corn sweetened Coke over whats in third place, whether it be cane or corn sweetened.

If you accept the above, and if the free market mechanism is allowed to work properly, one of several things should happen:

1) Coke caves to the wishes of the consumer, kills off their corn sweetened drink, and lets the consumer win.

2) Coke does a market analysis, decides to sell Corn Coke and Cane Coke. And they sell it everywhere there is a perceived demand.

3) Coke doesn't react and the bootleg Coke simply takes over the market area.

Edit: Forgot a 4) Coke fires up a massive ad campaign to try and convince Cane Coke drinkers that Corn Coke is actually better for you and/or tastes better.

And 5) Coke reduces its price (but not below cost, otherwise thats breaking the rules) and is hopefully able to convince Coke drinkers that drinking second best is worth the savings of 37 cents.

What is happening is anti-competitive. Coke doesn't even try to adjust, but rather sues the bootleggers out of existence, leaving consumers with no choice but to drink the second best cola. The only winner is now Coke and the consumers lose.

I know what you're going to say next: Nothing is stopping someone else from entering with a competing cola and trying to win the people's hearts and minds. Agreed. But it doesn't change the fact that the market mechanism was at least temporarily defeated by lawyers and a large corporation with a large amount of market penetration. Temporarily defeat the market mechanism enough times and your market mechanism is irreversably damaged.

Rod
 

Econ101

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Jason said:
DiamondSCattleCo said:
Jason said:
1) The consumers are revolting, they are buying a bootlegged (illegal) product. Coke is using that avenue first. If it is the wrong way to deal with this, they will get their butts kicked by the consumer.
<snip>
Eventually for Coke to retain their high market share they will have to respond to consumer demands. Use sugar instead of corn syrup.
<snip>
The market will sort it out. Coke cannot tell consumers what to drink. Consumers that know about a product they like better are willing to drink bootlegged product.

1) So lets say that Coke wins with the law. Now the bootleg product is either a) impossible to get, or b) so expensive that its pretty much become an illegal luxury good. So Coke drinkers are forced back to 2nd best. Chances are, if you're a Coke drinker, thats likely still going to be Coke. Coke hasn't lost anything. They haven't had to switch sugars. The consumer is likely not going to switch to Pepsi or another competing product because 2nd best is still better than 3rd best. In other words, Coke's market penetration has allowed them to dictate terms to the consumer, and competition has suffered. The market hasn't been given a chance to sort it out, because the lawyers squelched the market before it had a genuine chance to respond.

Why wouldn't consumers switch to another brand of cola? If they still drink coke with corn syrup it is their choice.

Pepsi or a new brand could advertise cane sugar sweetened if it is really that big of deal. If it is a big deal they would get market share. If no one steps up, maybe the whole issue was blown out of proportion.

Jason, you might fit in the same category as SH that rkaiser described above.

The point is that concentration in markets is not good for consumers. In the utility markets, where there is a natural tendency for concentration due to efficiencies of geography and scale, there are many rules that they have to follow. Most of them are heavily regulated on how price increases can happen and how they have to treat each customer. Most of the time the profit motive is taken out of the industry due to the overwhelming market power. It is the perfect example of how we have to have rules and regulations when market power is a tendency in an industry due to these factors. The cattle business is no different.

The thing I don't understand, Jason, is why you can not see this and you take the side of "free markets"(which don't exist in this instance). It may be excused by your ignorance of the situation, but you have had plenty of opportunities to change that.

I hope you get your operation reversed, but I know it is elective surgery.
 

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Diamond S
But it doesn't change the fact that market mechanism was at least temporarily defeated by lawyers and a large corporation with a large amount of market penetration. Temporarily defeat the market mechanism enough times and your market mechanism is irreversably damaged.

Thank you for that.

Have you been floating around ranchers.net long Diamond S? If not, you need to be prepared for the Super Hero. He'll be after you before long with statements like that.
 

Econ101

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rkaiser said:
Diamond S
But it doesn't change the fact that market mechanism was at least temporarily defeated by lawyers and a large corporation with a large amount of market penetration. Temporarily defeat the market mechanism enough times and your market mechanism is irreversably damaged.

Thank you for that.

Have you been floating around ranchers.net long Diamond S? If not, you need to be prepared for the Super Hero. He'll be after you before long with statements like that.

That diamond s is good. Why can't we have competent people like that in our regulatory agencies? I really missed SH while he was gone, but now I don't miss him at all.
 

DiamondSCattleCo

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:lol: Gee, maybe I should buy a bigger hat.

RKaiser, haven't been around here long, and promised myself that I wouldn't come anywhere near the Bull Session for fear of having an RCalfer send my blood pressure into the red zone. Oh well, Mexican blood pressure pills are cheap I hear.

Econ, as far as me being stuffed into an office, thanks but no thanks. I tried corporate life for a few years and grew weary of everyone laughing at my cowboy boots.

Heck, I even cleaned the manure off of 'em before going to work in the morning.

Rod
 

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