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Request - examples of giants the free market brought down

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Wheylous posted on Wed, Dec 5 2012 7:30 PM

I distinctly remember reading about some well-known large companies that the free market brought down by itself. However, I do not remember the names. I had a vague memory that it was Sears, but I can't find any references.

Help?

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Standard Oil lost significant proportions of the oil market before it was broken up by the government if that helps.

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
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I distinctly remember reading about some well-known large companies that the free market brought down by itself. However, I do not remember the names. I had a vague memory that it was Sears, but I can't find any references.

If you cannot remember parts of something how distinct is it?

I cannot even think of a scenario wherethere has ever existed this "free market."  Corporations used to be strictly regulated by states, then nation states, and now slowly they are building infrastructure for international organizations to govern them.  But, in the past many banks have been taken down by market forces.  For instance, Lehman Brothers.

 

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Kodak, due to the popularity of digital cameras. Ironically, digital photography was invented by Kodak to begin with.

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Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

Voluntaryism Forum

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Neodoxy - I had already thought of that, but I wanted something more obvious.

Aristophanes - true enough. Yet it appears that in some cases it might be impossible to identify a government cause for the downfall of a company. This doesn't mean that it doesn't exist, that is, but still. Do you think this is a worthless pursuit?

Autolykos - thanks.

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idol replied on Wed, Dec 5 2012 9:23 PM

Blockbuster and Myspace have lost significant market share due to competition. 

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No company names, but hopefully this is helpful

http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/CreativeDestruction.html

 


Table 1 Technological Unemployment
 

New Product Labor Needed Old Product Labor Released

Automobile Assemblers Horse/carriage Blacksmiths
  Designers Train Wainwrights
  Road builders Boat Drovers
  Petrochemists   Teamsters
  Mechanics   RR workers
  Truck drivers   Canalmen
Airplane Pilots Train RR workers
  Mechanics Ocean liner Sawyers
  Flight attendants   Mechanics
  Travel agents   Ship hands
      Boilermakers
Plastics Petrochemists Steel Miners
    Aluminum Founders
    Barrels/tubs Metalworkers
    Pottery/glass Coopers
      Potters
      Colliers
Computer Programmers Adding machine Assemblers
  Computer engineers Slide rule Millwrights
  Electrical engineers Filing cabinet Clerks
  Software designers Paper Tinsmiths
      Lumberjacks
Fax machine Programmers Express mail Mail sorters
Email Electricians Teletype Truck drivers
  Software designers   Typists
Telephone Electronic engineers Mail Postal workers
  Operators Telegraph Telegraph operators
  Optical engineers Overnight coach Coach drivers
  Cellular technicians    
Polio vaccine Chemists Iron lung Manufacturers
  Lab technicians   Attendants
  Pharmacists    
Internet Programmers Shopping malls Retail salespersons
  Network operators Libraries Librarians
  Optical goods workers Reference books Encyclopedia
  Webmasters   salespersons


Resources no longer needed to feed the nation have been freed to meet other consumer demands. Over the decades, workers no longer required in agriculture moved to the cities, where they became available to produce other goods and services. They started out in foundries, meatpacking plants, and loading docks in the early days of the Industrial Age. Their grandsons and granddaughters, living in an economy refashioned by creative destruction into the Information Age, are less likely to work in those jobs. They are making computers, movies, and financial decisions and providing a modern economy’s myriad other goods and services (Table 2).


Table 2 The Churn: Recycling America’s Labor
 
*. Fewer than 5,000.

Job Destruction Now (2002) Then Year

Railroad employees 111,000 2,076,000 1920
Carriage and harness makers * 109,000 1900
Telegraph operators * 75,000 1920
Boilermakers * 74,000 1920
Milliners * 100,000 1910
Cobblers * 102,000 1900
Blacksmiths * 238,000 1910
Watchmakers * 101,000 1920
Switchboard (telephone) operators 119,000 421,000 1970
Farm workers 716,000 11,533,000 1910
Secretaries 2,302,000 3,871,000 1980
Metal & plastic working machine operators 286,000 715,000 1980
Optometrists 33,000 43,000 1998
Job Creation Now (2002) Then Year
Airplane pilots and mechanics 255,000 0 1900
Auto mechanics 867,000 0 1900
Engineers 2,028,000 38,000 1900
Medical technicians 1,879,000 0 1910
Truck, bus, and taxi drivers 4,171,000 0 1900
Electricians 882,000 * 1900
Professional athletes 95,000 * 1920
Computer programmers/operators/scientists 2,648,000 160,613 1970
Actors and directors 155,000 34,643 1970
Editors and reporters 280,000 150,715 1970
Medical scientists 89,000 3,589 1970
Dietitians 74,000 42,349 1970
Special education teachers 374,000 1,563 1970
Physicians 825,000 295,803 1970
Pharmacists 231,000 114,590 1970
Authors 139,000 26,677 1970
TV, stereo, and appliance salespersons 309,000 111,842 1970
Webmasters 500,000 0 1990

 

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Prime replied on Wed, Dec 5 2012 10:40 PM

Best Buy is crumbling before our eyes. Circuit City already went down.

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Bogart replied on Wed, Dec 5 2012 10:40 PM

The first one that I thought of was Standard Oil, their 90% share had dwindled down to 60% and was dropping when broken up not by Anti-Trust saints but by the first Rosevelt Adminstration that was indebted to the enemy of the Rockefellers: The Rothchilds, but that is just a conspiracy theory.

Also add to the list: GM, Chrysler, Xerox, US Steel, etc.

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Ooh, Xerox and US Steel are big ones.

Anyone know something about Sears?

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Well, it appears that I was right about Sears:

http://www.csub.edu/kej/documents/economic_rsch/2012-03-19.pdf

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The whole British automotive industry. Among cars you have Austin, Morris, Triumph, MG, Talbot, Hillman, Rover and Wolseley. Among motorcycles you have Triumph (the present brand has no affilitiation, they just bought rights to the name), Norton, AJS, BSA, Velocette, Francis Barnett and Chater-Lea. Among engine and component manufacturers you have Pressed Steel (bodywork), J.A. Prestwick (four stroke engines), Rickman (suspensions), Villiers (at one time the largest two stroke engine manufacturer in the world), Lucas (electrics) and Smiths (instrumentations and other automotive components).

Other automotive brands which may be of interest to you are:

Tohatsu. Their motorcycle division couldn't keep up with offering from the Big Four and was shut down in the early '80s.

Bridgestone. They built some superb two stroke motorcycles in the '60s but operations became uneconomical and they shut the division down, concentrating on tyres and chemical products.

Marusho. They built a long line of excellent motorcycles (the Moto Guzzi V7 was almost a straight copy of the Lilac) but made a fatal mistake by trying to get into the scooter business as the market in Japan was in full decline, investing huge capitals. What was left of the company was bought by Honda, which also hired most of their engineers and designers.

 

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Thanks.

I think my list will be Sears, US Steel, Xerox, Eastman Kodak, and IBM. It's the most recognizable to US audiences.

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Pan Am, Hostess

EDIT: RIM/Blackberry, Sony, Nokia

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A brand US audiences may be familiar with is TWA.

They ignored the Asian market (big money lost), air cargo (bigger money lost) and deregulation on the domestic US market hit them hard as they had ignored that market which, after the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, had grown at an exponential pace.

Together we go unsung... together we go down with our people
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