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"free market" | 397 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
If Life is a "Constatutional Right" then everyone gets free food and water!
Authored by: PJ on Sunday, November 18 2012 @ 01:12 PM EST
Not too hard to see what you've been reading.

But you know the US has tried little or no
regulation. You know what happens? Things like
robber barons and companies in W. Va. killing
people trying to unionize and products that
either kill people or make them very sick and
economic collapse because no one was looking
out for anybody but themself.

The current economic crisis was precisely because
folks like Greenspan believed so much in the
so-called free market, they assumed the banks
wouldn't be so stupid as to destroy the world's money system.

But they did, and us little people had to
bail them out. Ditto the Depression.
What happened to the free market
when the banks wanted our tax money, by the way?
It all proved to me that Ayn Rand was an idiot,
an ideologue who knew nothing about real life
and what really motivates people and how
undiluted self interest ends up invariably
hurting others, sometimes killing other people
for no reason except that it was cost-effective.
Why do you think toxic dumps happen? Because
companies are selfish and don't care if people
die, that's why. Why do they sell cigarettes
in ads tailored to children?

You know what they do in China to sell people
granite? They paint it to make it look dark,
and then when you install it and wash it, the
paint bleeds out. Why? Because there are no
regulations and people are selfish sometimes.
Regulations are to deal with selfish people
who don't care if somebody else dies as long
as they make money.

So, while you have a point that government can
become oppressive, hence the checks and balances
that mostly are ignored currently, there is
clearly some role for government. And pretending
that human greed isn't a factor, or that with
populations like the US's no regulation will be
fine (think stop signs), or that companies will
do what is beneficial for the country in a world
where the biggest companies are international
in scope and couldn't care less
about Americans (cf. outsourcing), when we've
seen the truth play out is to live in dream land.

Companies get so into money, they will actually
harm people that they view as "a problem." I've
lived that with the SCO folk, backed by
Microsoft money, so don't bother
telling me that doesn't happen.





[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

"free market"
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 18 2012 @ 01:48 PM EST
There is NO SUCH THING as a "free market" and there will never be so
long as humans are involved. The concept is similar to communism. It sounds
really good, but the flaw is that it requires ALL participants to adhere to the
philosophy for it to actually work. Guess what? It just ain't gonna happen.

Companies don't want free markets. They want markets that they control or are at
least skewed in their favor. They will take whatever actions they can to make it
so. They call it "competing".

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

If Life is a "Constatutional Right" then everyone gets free food and water!
Authored by: skyisland on Sunday, November 18 2012 @ 06:10 PM EST
You would think, on the average, the government might have a goal to see that
everyone has sufficient food and water every day. If the government is
deficient in that standard, there will be suffering, and there will be
desperation which may, in turn, spawn violence and further suffering. What does
the "free market" say to this? Oh, something like: Risk is good.
Winning and losing is what it's all about.

It is sad that some sincere and thoughtful people believe it would be best for
society to just let the "losers" lose. We really are all connected,
don't you know? Don't you feel it?

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

If Life is a "Constatutional Right" then everyone gets free food and water!
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 19 2012 @ 04:31 AM EST
Let me remind you that some of those power companies that had the lights out for so many days are government run monopolies.

I think that the important word in that sentance is not 'government', as you seem to be implying, but rather 'monopolies'.

Monopolies are bad news; they have no real impetus to improve, as long as they can keep competitors down (and it's often easier for a monopoly to keep competitors down, instead of improving). See, for example, Microsoft (now a collapsing monopoly, but I refer to their history).

However, unregulated competition also leads to trouble - it leads to companies ignoring basic safety in exchange for a little bit of extra profit. This is what appears to have happened with the cellphone case under discussion.

In a case like that, regulation is important; not to prevent competition, but rather to ensure that competitive profits don't steamroll other important things (like basic safety in a disaster situation).

As far as food and water goes; there are parts of the world where everyone does get a (small) monthly allowance of free water (this is then subsidised by various methods, such as charging increasing amounts as water usage goes up)

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

If Life is a "Constatutional Right" then everyone gets free food and water!
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 19 2012 @ 07:13 AM EST
"The government may have started the internet"

Actually, it was a bunch of universities that started the internet, with a
little help from some military contractors.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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