Wednesday, February 03, 2016

FLASH! The 'free market' is dead!

'Long live the free market!'

In case no one has noticed it, the so-called "free market" has died.

Yes, I know it's a blow to all you Adam Smith, Ludwig von Mises and Milton Friedman fans, but heck, someone's got to tell you the truth.

Go ahead. Give me an example of a free market. I double-dog dare ya. I have one maybe: my local farmer's market. And maybe some swap meets. But other examples in the U.S.? Can't think of any.

Yeah, there are lots of examples in so-called less developed countries, where there are public markets with many sellers and buyers, as opposed to the U.S. where there are fewer sellers and more buyers.

But all large markets in modern, industrialized countries are sanctioned, molded and manipulated by government action, including international trade.

This is the truth, folks: The so-called free market is like the Wizard of Oz. It's just a false image manipulated by a little man behind a curtain.

Yet here is a big difference between Professor Marvel and today's market manipulators. Professor Marvel admits his ruse and apologizes. Many of today's market manipulators actually believe the myth even as they twist it to their needs. Admission of guilt and apology are the last thing on their minds.

So go ahead and believe in the "free market" if you must. I can give you several other things you can believe in: Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Loch Ness monster; the moon landing was faked, man-made climate change is not occurring, the earth is 6,000 years old, the moon is made of green cheese; Darwin was wrong, Freud was right, Clapton is God — although the last is probably truer than all the others combined.

The free market is dead. Long live the free market!

— LP

3 Comments:

Anonymous Nick King said...

I get the truth of what you are saying, but wonder what precipitated your need to post this today.

11:59 PM  
Blogger Leigh Pomeroy said...

Reading Robert Reich's latest book, "Saving Capitalism". Reich's ideas are certainly not new to me nor to many others, but they certainly bear repeating since the message has certainly not gotten thru. And from discussing these concepts with a friend who DOES believe in the myth of the free market.

12:18 AM  
Blogger Tom Koch said...

Inquiring minds want to know - when was the free market ever alive? It seems to me that it would be more productive to discuss if a free market should exist and if yes, how to reach it instead of hypothetically comparing the free market to market manipulators. Sadly, we do not have enough examples of the free market in action and, that doesn’t mean we should stop striving towards a market system that will produce the best outcome, on balance, for society.
Yes, everyone in Cuba gets free health ‘care’ and Maria Chavez lives pretty well but those are discussions for another day. Economies are a continuum with free markets on one end and central command and control on the other. I do not believe anarchy or a free market with no rules and, know that the alternative has not always turned out so well. Wouldn’t you rather have the economy of the US, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong or Singapore or, would you rather wait in line for toilet paper in Venezuela? Perhaps you think that Greece can save itself by adding more people riding in the wagon instead of pulling it? Many look at the problems with our current US system and assume that the free market will not work when, as Leigh points out, we are not truly free. Crony capitalism, regulations, a thicket of laws, restrictive trade agreements, erosion of private property rights, and subsidies all crowd out the free in the free market.
Command and control isn’t serving us so well, for example… How is Dodd-Frank helpful to our small community owned banks? How have the decades of the cozy DEM/Socialist (hard to tell a difference these days) and union ‘cartel’ worked out for the people of Detroit and Flint? Leftists believe gun control is the answer, how is that working out for the people of Chicago? Surely we can agree that we owe our veterans better than VA waiting lines. Central command and control? No thanks, I’ll advocate for individual freedom and voluntary exchanges any day of the week and trust my fellow citizens to make better decisions for themselves than an elected or unelected bureaucrat.
VV typically advocates for government based solutions. More power in the hands of vote seeking politicians will only lead us to an increase in crony capitalism and further away from a free market.
You left out Bastiat in your diatribe against free market intellectuals and I suspect he would be offended. I’m curious, which central command and control philosopher do you agree with the most? Marx – the guy born into a wealthy family, who never performed physical labor yet knew everything about the worker or Lenin, the fellow whose ideas necessitated the deaths of a few million of his fellow countrymen in order to be ‘successful’?
Lastly, I must ask why the notion of a free market causes you to feel such agitation. Realizing that most leftists’ ideas require some sort of force, shouldn’t we work towards a more peaceful, live and let live society?
Clapton isn’t God but he could well be an angel.

6:03 PM  

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