Countervailing Power
Posted: 29 August 2007 05:32 AM   [ Ignore ]
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’Countervailing Power’ is a prolixity attributable to the *late social economist John Kenneth Galbraith to describe an impetus for work. As power is the amount of energy necessary to apply force over time, countervailing power is perhaps better reduced to counterweight or countermeasure--which may in turn be better reduced to balance or offset.

Doesn’t he mean compensation?

*I describe him as late to excuse his absence; expect him to not respond.

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Posted: 29 August 2007 06:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It’s not clear what part of your post, if any, is a quote from Galbraith using the term in context. So it’s difficult to tell exactly how the term was used.

But countervailing can mean compensating, that’s one of the senses in the OED, but this is subtly different than the counterbalancing sense. Compensating has an implication of being after the fact, payment or force applied to correct an imbalance. Counterbalancing/counterweighting is a real-time operation that prevents the imbalance in the first place.

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Posted: 29 August 2007 06:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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’Countervailing Power’ is a prolixity attributable to the *late social economist John Kenneth Galbraith to describe an impetus for work....
Doesn’t he mean compensation?

I don’t know the source of your definition, but I suggest you find a better one.

Countervailing power was a term coined by Galbraith (1952) to describe the ability of large
buyers in concentrated downstream markets to extract price concessions from suppliers.

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~csnyder/countervail01.pdf

Countervailing power is the theory of political modification of markets, formulated by American economist JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH (1908- ).

In the classic liberal economy, goods and services are provided and prices set by free bargaining.

Modern economies give massive powers to large business corporations to bias this process, and there arise ‘countervailing’ powers in the form of trade unions, citizens’ organizations and so on, to offset business’s excessive advantage.

http://www.economyprofessor.com/economictheories/countervailing-power.php

In fact, new restraints on private power did appear to replace competition.  They were nurtured by the same process of concentration which impaired or destroyed competition.  But they appeared not on the same side of the market but on the opposite side, not with competitors but with customers or suppliers. It will be convenient to have a name for this counterpart of competition and I shall call it countervailing power.

John Kenneth Galbraith, American Capitalism: The Concept of Countervailing Power, available on Googlebooks.

“Impetus to work”???

As power is the amount of energy necessary to apply force over time, countervailing power is perhaps better reduced to counterweight or countermeasure

Your introduction of the physicist’s definition of power is, first, pointless, because the sense of “power” as used by Galbraith is clearly not that used in physics, and second, erroneous even from the physical standpoint, because it bungles the definition.  Energy is not necessary to apply force.  A book sitting on my desk is applying force to the desk but is not expending any energy in doing so.

[ Edited: 29 August 2007 07:32 AM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 29 August 2007 11:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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And the next time I set the bath for you I’ll make sure not to run so much hot water on the tap, Dr. Techie.

What I really meant to say in the short period I had available to post an entry on the Wordorigins website is that power is the amount of energy necessary to perform work over time, and f = ma.

Anything else?

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Posted: 29 August 2007 12:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Yeah, thanks for asking. Before assuming that a noted scholar has invented a pointlessly periphrastic term for an already existing concept, and posting questions based on that assumption here, please invest the trivial effort required to check your assumption.

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Posted: 30 August 2007 05:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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If the spirit is willing and the body wants to.

The reason I say this is because I have spoken personally with John Kenneth Galbraith, late in his life, and I asked him the very question I asked the forum.

Long story short, I convinced him he was in Heaven and had no need to compensate for anything. Presently thereafter, he spent time with his wife.

[ Edited: 30 August 2007 09:50 AM by Thews McHeftigan ]
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