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Old 11-21-2010, 07:25 PM
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zambizzi zambizzi is offline
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Default Re: A funny state of the economy

Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
Vince, how so you see anarchy and chaos as not synonymous ... especially in a world with 6 billion+ people? I can't see it ... it sounds theoretical to me.
It seems as if you're buying into the overpopulation myth? For some perspective, you could take every living human being on the planet, today, give them all a house and the average American suburban-sized yard, and they would all fit inside the state of Texas.

I see it as backwards, to assume that a larger population requires more centralized oversight and control. This is the antithesis of the empirical evidence we have for human action - how humans behave in markets. Scarcity is best addressed by localized organization and spontaneous order. As the US has grown in size, the central state has grown less and less efficient (and concerned) with addressing the needs of its citizens. The 545 folks in Washington DC are finding it impossible to represent 308 million individual citizens and solve any real problems, as an example. They are destroying the economy, in an attempt to do so. Meeting the needs of consumers means gathering information on the ground and responding to it...not while reading faulty, aggregated data and making blanket rules for all, thousands of miles away.

Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
I don't know about you but life in Sydney is not violent, at least not in my circles. The state (in western countries) is less violent than any in history. They certainly could be more sensible, agreed. The war on drugs and incursions into people's private lives generally are counter-productive and unethical, but I think if we chip away at these issues (and the bloody Tea Party doesn't get in) perhaps we can achieve sane policy ... (that applies to the Tea Party's OS equivalents too). Guess you're talking revolution and I'm talking evolution.
The US is vast and diverse. In states and cities where government has interevened the greatest in markets and engaged in heavy social engineering, violence, unemployment, and decay are glaringly obvious. In places like Idaho, where I live, where the state is relatively small and less influential, it is more peaceful and prosperous. I grew up in W. NY state, an area which has crumbled and collapsed due to the weight of the state. The state itself is insolvent, it's only a matter of time before it's publicly admitted. The War On Drugs is a great example of the law of unintended consequences. The opposite of the intended was (predictably) achieved. You believe that the state creates order when in fact, it empowers and enriches criminals via public policy. Your example only strengthens my arguments. The Tea Party is a faction of neo-conservative fascists and will only make matters worse. The other half of the political duopoly, differs only in rhetoric. Both are only concerned with retaining and building power and wealth for themselves, not helping "the people."

Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
Thing is about multinationals, do you think that without state support they would fold? I don't. I suggest that they have the power to be more resilient without state support than smaller, less powerful organisations. The ethics and rules of the free market are no different to any other area of life - might is right.

The less the state is involved as a regulator, the bigger the advantage of economies of scale in the market. You would have a rash of monopolies and cartels. Unchecked, the market will have a constant cycle of bubbles and crashes. Unchecked, the strong in the market would annihilate the smaller players (more so than they are doing now with weak regulation) ... in the same way as the physically strong will prey on the weak without laws to temper people's behaviour.
They would shrink and adapt to the peaceful demand of the market (people), or they would fail, as any smaller competitor would be forced to do, today. Corporations are the commercial wing of the political establishment, as previously detailed. Large corporations are the biggest benefactors to regulations which is why they are first to line up to support them, when they are proposed. They are able to afford or even avoid most of the new laws and their smaller competitors, who may very well be more innovative, efficient, and better meet the needs of consumers...cannot. Through regulations, tax breaks, relief of responsibility for their risks and actions (limited liability), and subsidies (using law to skew consumer dollars in their direction, artificially and by force), large corps are absolutely empowered by the state. None of this is possible in a free market economy. They would be forced to meet the needs and wants of consumers or fail. I invite you to illustrate how *any* entrepreneur can *take* from a customer without first satisfying that customer's needs (mutually beneficial) - outside of state-power. You might say something like trickery, "false advertising", to which I would answer; this is a losing strategy. Since all companies must rely on reputation and repeat business.

A monopoly would very likely not exist in a free market. This is virtually guaranteed by competitive pressure. Currenly, the only way a monopoly can exist is in the context of aggression. Competition simply cannot be eliminated without force, since new entrepreneurs will see the profit incentive to out-compete the older, less consumer-responsive company.

Theoretically a monopoly *could* occur in a free market economy, but only by continuing to please consumers with a superior, less expensive good or service. The reward for pleasing the greatest number of consumers is becoming the top-dog in your industry.

Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
I feel like you are speculating as to what would have happened if we'd had free market instead of capitalism - and the world didn't have a history of monarchies, dictatorships and feudal societies. Thing is, look at where we are now and imagine what would happen if you stripped the safeguards away. I think the biggest problem is what's always been the problem - the powerful exploit the less powerful. This happens in any system, but states are supposed to temper this tendency to make for more stable society.
Free markets are everywhere. Have you ever sold something to another person, privately? Ever been to a yard sale? A flea market? Ever bought and/or sold something on the internet? In the USSR, the black market saved the lives of millions by supplying goods and services to people where the state had destroyed their ability to do it in the open. Again, the powerful already exploit the the less powerful...with the threat of death. This seems as barbaric, anti-social, and un-safe as could be imagined, since they use a monopoly on legal power to justify it and are accountable to no one. This is a subversion of the safeguards and accountability inhertent in voluntary, free market relationships (as illustrated.)

Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
One thing that peeves me is everyone seems to be up in arms now that Obama is in. Where were they when Bush was growing the public service at record levels and bankrupting the country with bad policy and military adventurism? It seems that the current US govt is copping a lot of blame for the previous administration's mistakes and in failing to solve wicked problems (which of course, have no painless solution).
Peas in a pod. The rhetoric changes but the outcome is always the same...chaos, disorder, disunity, a steady reduction of liberty and opportunity for everyone.
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