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To see our content at its best we recommend upgrading if you wish to continue using IE or using another browser such as Firefox, Safari or Google Chrome. This power yielded its first historic consequences when Keynes convinced Lloyd George, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, not to suspend the Bank Charter Act on the eve of Britain’s entry into the First World War.
IT IS an epic story of warring factions in a strange and changing landscape, a tale of incursions and sieges, of plots and betrayals, of battlefield brilliance and of cunning with coin. Nor has the industry ever seen such young and feisty firms—Apple, the oldest of the quartet, was founded in 1976—with so much financial firepower. As the web becomes something that lives through and on the phone, and software something handled in a cloud, the clear lines that once defined territories and strategies are blurring. A host of start-up lordlings—such as Twitter in microblogging, or Square in mobile payments—seeks to carve out fiefs of their own, either with an eye to being bought out by the big four or becoming powers in their own right. The battlefields on which the big four are fighting are, like most battlefields, messy and confusing. What Google portrayed as a smart way to keep options open looked to Apple like a declaration of war, one in which a furious Jobs said he intended to go “thermonuclear”. While Apple fights Google on one border, it fights Amazon on another, where the battle is to be the best provider of online content.
Facebook and Google have so far committed fewer assets to this campaign, though both are aware of its importance. Among the things Google added to Play were the mobile apps formerly housed in its Android market. Here there is a three-way fight between Apple, Amazon and Google, which have each developed rival combinations of mobile gadgets, operating systems and app stores. But Apple now finds itself competing with rivals that have radically different ways of making money.
Google is experimenting with a service that would let folk find goods online, order them and have them delivered within a day for a modest fee. Platforms are the weapons with which the warring factions seek to rule their own lands and conquer new ones.
With the battlefields seeming to multiply every quarter—mobile wallets, cloud computing and who knows what else—picking out the strategic shifts over the tactical setbacks is hard. Watchdogs in Europe and America have been looking into accusations that Apple has colluded with some publishers to break Amazon’s grip on e-books. Their lordships Page, Cook, Zuckerberg and Bezos thus need to map a course for their respective firms through dangerous legal and regulatory territory. A king who pulled all this off might claim the throne by right; but his chances of being more than first among equals, or of a lengthy reign, would be slim.
So, as in most worlds, maybe there is scope for a new, democratic, model after all, where consumers are actually free to choose how business models develop and are built, services are rendered and provided and how far they want to allow their providers to box them in. This assumes, of course, that one or more of them don't come a-cropper battling regulators (aka The Others) in the courts. On the other hand, I'm inclined to agree with some of the comments here that mentions the ultimate victor, if there will ever be one.
In his heyday Henry George was very popular, with his ideas inspiring passionate debate among young intellectuals.
George was right that other taxes may have stronger disincentives, but some economists now recognize that the single land tax is not innocent, either. Zachary Gochenour and Bryan Caplan have pointed out that while the surface value of land is more apparent, especially for farming purposes, many lands have hidden natural resources, such as gold, water, and oil.
Objections aside, Henry George may have been arguing for what is really the least offensive tax. To every trade there must be two parties who mutually desire to trade, and whose actions are reciprocal.
So in homage to this dubious event we thought a spoof Time magazine would best some up the attitude in the UK.
This of course is in reference to the 31st December 1965 Time front cover which declared “The Economy: We Are Keynesians now. A publication like the Wall Street Journal giving the Direct Sales Industry and Network Marketing such prime importance and time is not to be ignored!
Pilzer is a world-renowned economist, a multi-millionaire software entrepreneur, a part-time rabbi, a college professor and the author of nine best selling books.
He is very supportive of the MLM network marketing industry for all the reasons I have stated in other blogs.
Pilzer shows us how to think differently about our economic situation, particularly at the moment when the western world is facing many financial challenges. The real challenge is to replace lost jobs with new earning opportunities and provide much-needed training. Instead of focusing on new methods of training, our politicians and news media are looking at unemployment and the economic recovery as linked—and they are not because most of the unemployed people today are skills-deficient. Pilzer goes on to say that the biggest need in all parts of the economy is intellectual distribution. It allows people to venture out on their own, be successful rather than be consumed in fear with the shrinking job market. This entry was posted by Susan on July 9, 2011 at 3:57 pm, and is filed under Ground breaking news from my blog, MLM Companies, MLM Income. She is experienced in the world of Network Marketing and Online Marketing having learnt how to combine the two. Her many years in the industry, her many trainings, seminars and just her experience means that she can help you - to be an expert too. She can help you achieve your goals whatever they might be - more time freedom, paying the mortgage, the school and college fees, taking a vacation. Or your goal might be to have that super body you have always wanted, health and energy to do all the things your day demands or that you just desire.
If there is something out there in the market which will help you reach any of your goals, Susan will know about and tell you. She is in touch with the latest, the most successful marketers, scientists, Drs and researchers. If you want to make that extra monthly cash that will make all the difference to you life, of shift that stubborn weight, feed your children the best nutrition in the world - then sign up for the news letters. In doing so, he succeeded against the advice of the City and saved Britain from what could have proved a fatal financial crisis during the first few weeks of the war. Martin began with “A Game of Thrones”, and which HBO has now turned into a hit television show, provides the sort of immersive experience of an alien world that has always been popular among techies.


But the rivalries shaping the market today are even richer and more complicated, not least because they have a personal edge.
A mixture of threat and opportunity has the big four using their cash and acumen to strike out into other areas—sometimes into uninhabited lands, sometimes into places where some other firm is used to ruling the roost.
And there is an ancient empire to contend with, too: Microsoft, which recently launched its first tablet computer, is trying hard to get back into the game, having been profitably preoccupied with PC software. Google snapped up the firm that created Android in 2005 as a strategic hedge; it was worried that its search engine and other services might be excluded from mobile devices owned by potential rivals.
Apple’s Siri voice-activated personal assistant is part of the attack—a new sort of search engine that can serve up answers to people on the go. After it launched the iPod, Apple mounted an unexpected raid into the realm of content with its iTunes digital music store. Apple, which first woke up to the power of such platforms when it combined the iPod with iTunes, has the high ground. Amazon is flogging its Kindle e-readers and tablet computers, which use a modified version of Android, at pretty much what it costs to produce and sell them. To begin with it was happy for Android phones and tablets all to be made by others, but in 2011 it decided to splash out $12.5 billion on Motorola Mobility, a handset-maker among other things. Microsoft, which in America is now number two in search after Google, has a willing (and desperate) vassal in Nokia, a phonemaker, and a new mobile operating system.
But it is not a bystander in the competition to create the best possible digital shopping experience for consumers—another battle for which those platforms are being built. This seems similar to Amazon’s hugely successful “Prime” service, which costs $79 a year to join in America. At the same time they have to avoid being distracted from fighting their rivals; the mad emperors of Microsoft lost a lot of ground by taking on the inhuman might of the Department of Justice. In particular, we've seen the social networking arena repeatedly upended (hence The Lost City of MySpace on the map). The internet and everything associated with it changes so fast that perhaps when we come to consider these things in 10 years, a host of new houses will have risen, and perhaps taken over the old houses. The government should finance all of its projects, he argued, with proceeds from only one tax. After George published Progress and Poverty in 1879, a political movement grew in the United States around his work. A tax on income reduces people’s incentive to earn income, a tax on wheat would reduce wheat production, and so on. What if you buy a large expanse of land and raise the value of one portion of it by improving the surrounding land. As Milton Friedman said almost a century after George’s death: “In my opinion, the least bad tax is the property tax on the unimproved value of land, the Henry George argument of many, many years ago” (Mark Blaug.
He saw clearly that protectionism is a misleading term for barriers to trade and identified whom “protectionism” hurts. No one can buy unless he can find some one willing to sell; and no one can sell unless there is some other one willing to buy. Technology has replaced millions of workers and demanded new skills that too many older Americans just don’t have. The direct selling business model has always had a competitive advantage in the training that it offers, both in business and personal skills.
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She speaks from personal experience and results plus the experience and results of thousands of other happy people. But these days the escapism they offer may be tinged with an eldritch sense of recognition. Three of the big four are still run by men who made their billions as founder, or co-founder, of their empires—Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Google’s Larry Page and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.
All four grew up when computing was basically something done at a desk or on a laptop with the programs you had to hand.
But it is the battle between the big four that will have the greatest impact in future on the way people find information, consume content and purchase all kinds of stuff, and on who takes their money in return. Apple’s controversial decision earlier this year to take Google Maps out of iOS and replace it with the company’s own, flawed mapping product is another attempt to provide ways of finding things that are Google independent.
The content sold the hardware, and vice versa—a successful strategy that started a new rivalry with Amazon, which began as a bookstore in the mid-1990s but soon diversified, first into selling compact discs and DVDs, now into clothes, kitchenware and everything else.
Apple accounted for just 5%, but it has been trying to woo publishers away from Amazon with an aggressive strategy that gives them more freedom to determine e-book prices than under Amazon’s terms.
In some territories it has struck alliances with the likes of Netflix and Spotify, a music streaming company, so its users can share what they are listening to or watching on these services with their friends. This is crucial to the way they see their battles unfolding: as a fight between the various platforms with which they seek to provide the best mobile experience.
Its margins on iPhones are so good that Asymco, a market-research firm, reckons the company accounted for 60% of the total profits made by the mobile-phone industry in the third quarter of 2012, even though it accounted for just 16% of phone shipments during that period.
Where Apple used iTunes to sell iPods, Amazon uses its tablets to sell everything else in the world. Built into its recently launched Surface tablet, this gives it a shiny new platform of its own. Rather than try to replicate the e-commerce giant’s extensive network of warehouses, Google is looking for partnerships with shipping companies and retailers instead.
Although some lawsuits have been launched by “trolls” who accumulate patents without actually making stuff, a number have been launched by one giant, or a company acting as its catspaw, against one of the others. And that looks likely to be great news for consumers, who will be able to choose from an ever wider range of innovative and cheap (or free) technologies. Some companies, including ones with links to Microsoft, have accused the search firm of unfairly promoting its own services, such as Google+, in search results. And the shareholders, hungry for returns in a moribund global economy, need to be kept happy. Neither are the closed ecosystems the big players are building and this is becoming more and more annoying for avid users, where they increasingly feel 'lemming-ized' and boxed in. But it is really quite striking just how paranoid the existing Houses are about new threats to their heartlands and I don't think they'll be quite so easily dislodged as previous regimes. This single tax would be on the unimproved value of land—the value that the land would have if it were in its natural state with no buildings, no landscaping, and so on. If Americans did not want to buy foreign goods, foreign goods could not be sold here even if there were no tariff.


Silicon Valley offers few dragons or direwolves, but Mr Martin’s tales of a world that has lost its king echoes the reality of today’s technology industry, where the battle lines between the four large companies seen as dominating the consumer internet—Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon—are in furious flux. And although Jobs no longer rules Apple, he groomed Tim Cook, his successor as chief executive.
Facebook is in the process of doing something similar with the way people’s interests and relationships are revealed by their social networks. Now, as in Mr Martin’s realm of Westeros, where the reader is always being apocalyptically assured that “winter is coming”, their world is undergoing great change. The two firms used to enjoy one of the cosiest relationships in the tech industry—so cosy, in fact, that the search firm’s then chief executive, Eric Schmidt, sat on Apple’s board from 2006 to 2009.
According to IDC, a market researcher, Android was the system of choice for three-quarters of the 181m smartphones shipped in the third quarter of 2012.
But last year 37% of Amazon’s $48 billion revenue still came from media, both physical and digital. In digital music, the tables are reversed, with Amazon’s Cloud Player music service struggling to make a dent in iTunes’ huge market share. Google’s YouTube business dominates the world of user-generated video, but the company has struggled to develop a compelling alternative to both Amazon’s digital fare and iTunes.
And it has recently begun selling cheap notebooks using not Android but another of its operating systems, Chrome.
Like the Targaryen family, which used to rule Westeros and now plots in exile to regain the crown, the company is desperate to regain its former glory. Facebook Gifts is a new service in America which mines what the company knows about its users, their tastes and their friendships to encourage them to buy and send each other gifts at appropriate times, such as birthdays.
But if it is serious about taking on Amazon, it may ultimately have to buy a logistics firm. Apple has been lobbing lawsuits around in the smartphone arena as if armed with a trebuchet. Of course, as competition increases, firms might be tempted to lock down their heartlands more tightly—or to use foul means to attack those of others. They also claim that it uses content from competitors without permission, and that it has struck anti-competitive deals in search advertising. Look at Apple: iOS is starting to feel like a jail cell and there is -justified- fear that signing up for facebook means you're giving up most of your privacy.
George’s idea was not new; it was largely borrowed from David Ricardo, James Mill, and John Stuart Mill. The value of land comes from two components, its natural value and the value that is created by improving it (by building on it, for example). A tax on the value of a site is really a tax on productive potential, which is a result of improvements to land in the area.
The efficient cause of the trade which our tariff aims to prevent is the desire of Americans to buy foreign goods, not the desire of foreign producers to sell them.
The death last year of Steve Jobs, Apple’s monarch, robbed the technology world of the nearest thing that it had to royalty. It has reinforced its defences by annexing other services that help find things, for instance by buying ITA Software, a firm that provides flight data and other travel information.
Now they are locked in a conflict that is every bit as intense as one of Mr Martin’s, if slightly less well provided with incest, debauchery and parricide. In video both firms are trying to make headway against Netflix, which has been turning itself from a DVD renter to a video streamer. In March it finally brought together its disparate offerings in music, e-books and other areas as part of a new online store, dubbed Google Play, in an effort to concentrate its forces. Most analysts expect Google to churn out relatively cheap devices in the hope that buyers will use them to access its search and other services, thus seeing the ads on them. To get it off the ground Facebook bought a gift-giving outfit called Karma and forged partnerships with over 100 companies, including Starbucks and Lindt, a chocolatier. At $69 billion UPS has a market value less than a third of Google’s; it is valued at less than twice the search giant’s cash pile.
Google snapped up Motorola Mobility in large part to get its hands on the firm’s thousands of patents issued and pending, thus bulking up its own defences and accumulating ammunition to fling at the fortresses of the competition. But if Google wants to progress in the social arena, and Apple in location-based services, they have to make bold bets, and in both cases they have at least gained some sort of beachhead. Google positions its non-search business as open and transparent but that's not a credible thing considering how they're building the search part. The value of a vacant lot in its natural state comes not from any sacrifice or opportunity cost borne by the owners of the land, but rather from demand for a fixed amount of land. Henry George’s proposed tax on one piece of land is, in effect, based on the improvements made to the neighboring land. But even before Jobs’s passing, tension was growing between the great powers of the web generation as the onset of mobile computing upset the previous balance of power. But Google’s attempts to move into new territories are not always as successful as Android has been. The challenge the firms face is to move beyond the initial disappointment cannily enough to turn the openings into successes. Therefore, argued George, because the value of the unimproved land is unearned, neither the land’s value nor a tax on the land’s value can affect productive behavior.
Disney bought up large amounts of land around the area where it planned to build Disney World, and then made this surrounding land more valuable by building Disney World. If land were taxed more heavily, the quantity available would not decline, as with other goods; nor would demand decline because of land’s productive uses.
Had George’s single tax on land been in existence, Disney might never have made the investment. By taxing the whole of the value of unimproved land, the government would drive the price of land to zero.
There, members discussed philosophy and took it in turns to read papers from the hearth rug. The tangled and overlapping love lives of the Bloomsbury set is as confusing as it is salacious but if this section drags, this is only a small eddy in a book which otherwise flows freely.



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