Need example of how the 'free market' has failed.

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Kylesa, May 28, 2010.

  1. I'm doing a feature thread in the very near future, and it's going to address the specious claim that the 'free market' has failed.

    So I'm looking for any and all arguments (Doesn't matter what perspective, it could be philosophical, normative, economic, etc.) that state the free market has supposedly 'failed'.

    Some recent examples that people use to claim the 'free market' has failed, are BP, our healthcare system, etc. Yea, we need more of those. Ambiguous 'examples' such as 'the whole system fails' will rightfully be ignored.

    My goal here is to educate. I think the free market gets a really bad rap. This is due to incorrect and spurious reasoning from the left, and then the right claiming they're free market (when they're not).
  2. I think that the free market would work if it was free, I'm all for laissez faire, and not regulating, but at the same time, I do feel the govt need to run kind of in the shadows of the market keeping a level playing field so to speak so that we dont get massive monopolies over entire industries. I was not in favor of the bailouts and was put off by it. If the company fails, let it happen. I think it sent the wrong message to Americans of what the obama regime stood for in its backing of big business. I think they're argument for doing so was somewhere along the lines of "Well these company are to big to let fail, and if they fail the whole thing might come down." Honestly I dont know the answer as to what wouldve happened either way. it just looked bad on them to see that happen, when all of the mom and in my are go out of business.

    it really is a shame.
  3. Hard to fail when it never existed.
  4. That doesn't stop people from still thinking it ;)
  5. The notion of a free market, as in totally free is an abstraction and as such, in principle can never be fully tested, and therefore the above poster has a point. (that guy ^)

    To answer your question however, one might say that as markets become "more free", the likelihood that consolidations of wealth resulting in economic disparity for average citizens becomes greater.

    When "industry is thriving", that usually means that alot of slaves are necessary, (minimum wage workers, actual slaves back in the day, chinese sweatshop labor or whatever).

    Money represents value in the world of goods and services.

    There are only so much goods and so many services.

    When the money gets piled up in one place because of unregulated "freedom" for one sector of industry, others are effectively impoverished.

    The End.
  6. My contribution: The "robber barons". (that should be easy ;) )

    Here's several myths, that minimum wage is cruel, that cheap labor is indicative of
    slavery, and that the income disparity is a symptom of capitalism. What institution best preserves the wealth of the elite?
  7. #7 AHuman, May 28, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2010

    . There's no garuntee that a service will be provided by the free market. The free market says people will fill the gaps in the profit margin - who garuntees this though? Who says? The rules? In reality, there's a multitude of reasons why the profit margin for any particular business won't be met. One is obvious difficulty of going up against the established competition, who will likely be selling their products cheaper and in far greater supply than the businessmen-to-be. Another is sheer laziness, or more to the point lack of expertise. You might have a town of magnificent architects, philosophers, lawyers and doctors... but which one of them is going to go "You know, I'm going to start something totally unusual and construct a pet shop, because there's a gap in the profit margin and I could make a more efficient one!" The answer is none of them, because they don't know how to, can't be stuffed going through all the effort learning and have enough money to not be fucked filling the profit margin for peanuts compared to their lawyers dollars. More importantly, there's no garuntee that education or private hospitals will arise to suit your financial capabilities, in your area. Where does this leave you? Having to get a loan to get your kid through school? Not in a stable enough situation to do so... well, let the kid stay at home, right? What if you're sick, with no family anywhere near and no money? Charities will help? Who says? There's no garuntees in the free market.

    Following on from this is the next point

    . The essentials are owned and controlled by private entities. You have private individuals with private agendas and motivations controlling the water you drink, the food you eat, the house you live in, the power you use and such. This is worsened by competition, which makes the consumer a statistic that capitalists try to manipulate to help themselves. Competitions means that scams can arise (detrimental when we're talking about things that we all would DIE without), greedily rushed 'innovation' can be lethal on a grand, unregulated scale, companies can fold from the competition and leave a mass of consumers with no essentials (in a small town, this can be utterly crippling as the competition cannot handle the heightened demand and people go without), and there's the ethical disgust one feels at the notion that people are 'competing' over the food, water, shelter and such of other people. The entire thing is unethical, such things should not be owned by anyone but the people who need these things, AKA everyone.

    On top of this is the obvious underlying concern - private individuals OWN all the water, all the food, the houses, the power stations and whatnot. This means they can do what they please with it, it's private property. If they wanted to, they could set it all ablaze and starve everyone - it's theirs to use it as they please. If this seems far out, consider what went down in the Great Depression.

    This illustrates that if it's going to make capitalists money by NOT distributing their food, water and whatnot, then they won't even give it away if they want to get rid of it - the poor can be fucked, because if they fed them then they wouldn't be consuming and making the capitalists their MONEY.

    On a related tangent, this means that the companies could just as easily shut off their food production. The market would be flooded by consumers without food, and the existing competition has to deal with them. A deal is struck, a second major producer stops selling food. The market is positively saturated with consumers. The food producers can't handle it. Another deal is struck, a third large company stops selling their produce. The food market collapses. The three food barons buy out the horribly indebted small guys and open afresh, tyrants of the food racket. :eek:

    Moving on...

    . The free market is geared up to serve the rich establishment. Who inherits the business of the dead media company man? The rich family. The rich kids go to a huge private school, and get garunteed jobs as doctors, lawyers and judges with the big, rich private companies. How do you think this effects who buys the businesses? I think it's obvious, the rich investors can easily afford to dabble, buy businesses and extend their empire. The poor aspiring businessman has to go up against competition who have huge amounts of money behind them. The poor man makes a risky business move, and if it fails he goes out of business - the rich man makes the same move, but if it fails he laughs and tries again. Who's more inclined to make the risky moves?

    In this manner, the free market keeps the poor man down. The rich establishment have the opportunities he doesn't, they have an enormous business stability that he doesn't enjoy. The playing field is heavily skewed against him, so why bother?

    . The free market is unsustainable. Growth can't continue indefinately, something has to give. And the higher the growth, the higher it is to fall to the ground when something happens. What is this 'something'? Economically, this could be something such as an oversatured market, where consumers are consuming new products faster than new products can be concieved, tested, manufactured and created. The result is that the producers are not making any money because everyone's already bought their products. They can't afford to create new ones because there's no more money coming in to innovate with. Many businesses fold (because many businesses or 'brands' sell the same product as eachother), unemployment results etc. That was more or less the cause of the Great Depression, from what I remember of high school...

    . Tragedy of the Commons. There are finite resources, and infinite demand. Finite resources are consumed and consumed until there are no more of them. The demand is still present, and the resources are gone. Innovation will occur and people will begin using a different variety of finite resources, until they're gone too. But that's not the point. The point is that there is NOTHING to stop deforestation occuring through the free market - it would surge upwards as loggers are freed of regulations and government imposed environmentalism. Oil is a very nice example of the Tragedy of the Commons going down under a relatively free market. It's all going to be gone one day. There are many estimates, but it's ridiculous to deny that we can keep drilling and drilling as oil consumption grows and grows, and yet there's going to be enough oil to sustain this growth. Most people agree that by the end of the century, with current rates of oil consumption, it will all indeed be gone. What does that leave us with? A polluted atmosphere, a heap of derelict oil refineries/drilling platforms, and a couple of smug rich cunts laughing about what a good run they had. Without regulation and planning, such things are basically inevitable under the free market.

    . An unregulated, free market would cause an enormous decline in culture. Think about it. How many shitty, manipulative consumerist advertisements do we have everywhere right now? FAR too many, they're everywhere! I think we can all agree that the advertising of today is an absolutely disgraceful slump in human culture, a materialistic hedonistic pretentious shallow and endless wasteland of wolves trying to profit from YOU. And what do you think will happen as far as advertising goes when all the regulations are removed and businesses are told to have a field day in trying to outcompete their competition. I think we could expect nothing short of an invasion, literally.

    This is, of course, brushing over the most important and sickening point - the manipulative nature of modern advertising, and the obvious fact that in a market free of regulation this manipulation of consumers minds would worsen and become far more sinister as the minds and opinions of consumers are toyed with in a game of 'competition' between businesses. And who's to say these businesses don't have political connections, with political agendas? I'll come to this point in the next paragraph, but first, a bit more to illustrate how disgusting and perverted our advertising is. You know why cartoons are all 3D now? Because pyschologists hired by businesses making such things found that childrens brains found that rounded, 'blobby' shapes grab childrens eyes better than anything else. They are drawn to 'blobby' shapes. They're also drawn to bright colours and sparse dialogue, preferably emotive sounds rather than words. Consequently, we have a show on here (I forget the name) that is basically half an hour of big blobby shapes in bright colours with some dickhead babbling about 'the Noonoo!" and ethereal reverb ladden bird tweeting. It's mindless stimulation, and kids WATCH it. I've seen my cousins son literally glued to this nonsensical pile of mindless shit and loving it. He's about 6, it's absolutely ridiculous.

    This isn't the end of it, not by a long shot. These ads manipulate children to consume, consume, consume with meticulously plotted research and sinister intentions of profiting from the hapless little bastards. I've seen a fantastic documentary on this that covers the full extent of the essential consumerist brainwashing of children through manipulative advertising, if anyone actually reads this and wants to watch it PM me. Also, adults are just as easily manipulated by advertisements PREYING upon their fears, insecurities, egos and base pyschcological processes. Point here is, the spectacle of modern advertising is evil, is a product of a relatively free market and would sure as fuck grow much worse without regulation of any kind.

    . On to the politicians point - politicians are usually connected to businesses and the market. Why? Politicians often are rich, and have business connections - they themselves usually own businesses. They fraternise with other rich people, they have rich buddies. But over and above everything, basically EVERY big politician has shares invested in various businesses. Now, politicians want to protect their big business buddies who they own shares in, or even have family/friends involved in. Who's interests are the politicians thus going to protect, who do the politicians REPRESENT? Business! Rich pigs! Say hello to the creeping predator of corporatism :wave:

    Beyond this, I made an important point before when I said that rich people fraternise with other rich people. The judge rubs shoulders with the doctor, the lawyer, the businessman. Businessman goes to court, accused of fraud as he stole the concept of a poor businessmans invention. Businessman and judge are good buddies, they know eachother through their richboy golf association and pleasant cruise on the river with the Chamber of Commerce. The businessman gives the judge a little sum to help the businessman out a little. Judge considers a loophole pointed out by the businessmans buddy, the richboy lawyer, to be sufficient grounds to declare him in the clear - meanwhile, the poor businessmans shitty, second rate poor lawyer is left crushed by the overwhelming muscle against him.

    . Scams and other methods of burning consumers. Without regulation, what makes anyone think that they're going to get any less vicious or frequently threatening to the average person?

    . The corruption of science. Scientists are used as tools for profit, rather than for what is neccesarily important. Without government funding, how can scientists study things for the sake of experiment, for science?

    . An unregulated free market led to the rise of the current, corporatist system we currently are caught up in. It's more profitful, after all, to have a federal system of monopolies upheld by the state, more profitful for the businessman AND the politician. It was bound to happen, and is bound to happen under a free market system where such things are regulated... by whom, though? The government? Look at what's happened to our governments. Clearly not. Who then? Who keeps the free market free of government influence? The government can't be trusted, the businessmen WANT the government to form a fucking state with them, who the hell is left to regulate the 'free' market?

    I had a really good final point to make, but I've actually forgotten it.
  8. I think the real question is, "How do we keep the free market out of the government?" Maybe we can't, but we can limit the powers of the government.

    Happens to me all the time man. :smoking: Awesome contribution though.
  9. Tulipomania?

    The housing boom?
  10. The government createdthe housing bubble, in large part with the Community Reinvestment Act (which forced banks to make bad loans or be called RACIST!!!!!) and with Fannie and Freddie.

    As for Tulipmania, I fail to see how that is a free market failure. Unlike homes (which people in general need), people do not need tulips. The whole idea of risk is that sometimes it doesn't pay off. And for some people it didn't pay off with the Tulips. Why is that a bad thing?
  11. High-fructose corn syrup.

    A bunch of corporate farms putting out smaller farms, creating a one-crop America as other crops are abondoned since everyone wants corn and ruining communities in rural area all for producing an unhealthy diet.

  12. I'd consider a speculative bubble free of external influences to be a market failure. The tulipmania wasn't all supply and demand because you had a common tulip raising 20 something times it's original price.

    Kylesa should have a fun time explaining the Bank of Amsterdam's policy of free coinage in a world busy debasing their own. :D
  13. Too easy.

  14. Ugh, good chart. Painful, but good. I can't decide what I hate more, individual welfare or corporate welfare.

    I think corporate welfare, because while individual welfare only hurts the individuals and those around them, corporate welfare has the ability to damage all of a society at once.

  15. Wow. I cant believe I just read that whole thing. :)

    Good post man... I agree 100%

  16. Aside from stating that they are myths, could you possibly elaborate a bit so I can see your line of reasoning?

    I think that the real differences between capitalism, socialism or what have you are for the most part, in practic, (rather than theory) esoteric.

    I think it's a lack of proper regulation that leads to unacceptable disparities in the economic world. I don't agree that people who work harder should get the same as people who don't, but when unregulated freedom of some allows a situation to arise where others are living below a base-line of well being that everyone should be able to meet, something needs to be tweaked.

    I don't care who's lazy and who works the hardest when it comes down to the fact that some people have half million dollar cars while others eat from trash cans.

    There is no humanitarian argument that will counter this in my opinion.
  17. I think you guys should just wait for my thread :p

    I'll probably pound it out tomorrow afternoon.
  18. To my knowledge it's never existed.

    But if I were going to point anything out I'd mention that China's state controlled economy recovered much quicker than our own during this last down turn.
  19. Their planned economy is arguably more capitalist, or "freer", than our planned economy.

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