Sophie Peterson

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Free Market?

Do you think the government should operate off of the free market or should it be sate controlled?
Also, if we let the market run it's course, wouldn't it start to become a government like place?

Free Market- The market prices are only determined on the supply and demand.

  • May 28 2014: What? Huh?
    How can "the government operate off of the free market"?
    That makes no sense at all. If the government is involved, to that extent, a market is not free. A purely free market is a bad idea--it's anarchy. There ought to always be some level of "government control", even if it's on the order of "robbery is illegal", "fraud is illegal", "slavery is illegal", etc. All of those "regulations" also alter prices. For example, if slavery is illegal, then the price of labor changes, and the price of everything else changes in result of that. In a free market, slavery would be legal and unrestricted by government. Civilized countries accept that some limits must be imposed on a market, such as "slavery is illegal". The quibbling is NOT between free market vs. state control. The argument is over HOW MUCH state control is ideal.
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      May 28 2014: I 100% agree with you. How much do you think the state should control the market?
      I hear so many people saying take the government out of the market. But I just really don't understand how that would work at all.
      • May 28 2014: Government should influence the markets as little as possible but as much as necessary. Central planning is an exercise in futile arrogance and institutionalized failure. Central planning does not abolish poverty. Central planning does not prevent or even diminish inequality of wealth--it merely changes which specific elite benefits most from the inequality. Central planning drains resources put to no good use--they merely support the central planning and enforcement of central planning. It is nothing better than a feel-good measure. The government needs to act as an "honest agent" guaranteeing contracts and act as an "honest agent" enforcing law evenly. The problem is that government has never acted as an "honest agent". I did not write "government in the USA" or "government in the West". I wrote "government". There has never been a government that has acted as an honest agent when it comes to the markets. I do not believe it is possible.

        This means that we are left with harm reduction. Even though we cannot ever trust government to be good, we can try to limit its innate evil. Thus, we must reduce its activity to as little as possible--but at the same time the forces that drive government to evil work in commerce. So, we are required to permit government to act to reduce those issues.

        Thus, government needs to act as little as possible but as much as is necessary.

        Political dogmatists, since they are quite stupid, cannot entertain more than one idea at a time. So they insist upon only half of that rule. The "right" demands that government act as little as possible and deny necessity--idiots. The "left" demands that government act as much as is necessary, but insist there must never be a maximum limit on that--also idiots.

        As you can see, this is a balancing act. You can have all kinds of abstract models of how to balance something on a ruler's edge, but actually doing it is entirely empirical.
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    Jun 2 2014: Sophie,
    Others may have said this better, but you have sort of mixed government and capitalism together....

    It's the old apple and oranges thing. You see, we are governed or supposed to be governed as a Constitutional Republic at the Federal level... we are 50 little states who have banded together to provide for the common defense and... well, it is all written down, in the constitution, etc.

    Now the free market and it's control you have addressed is another matter. Free Markets are inferred in a capitalistic system as the trade of goods and services. A farmer grows a large crop of wheat and trades some to a baker for some fresh bread. He may trade some wheat to a butcher for some meat and the butcher uses the wheat to trade the baker for some fresh bread. And it goes on.

    Now, it has happened that some of these exchanges in these markets have been fraudulent and some states have defined these frauds and extracted penalties. Other states have instituted laws that are supposed to prevent fraud to happen... sort of a preemptive prevention.
    So, several points.
    There is no requirement in the constitution that addresses the exchange of goods and services, at least that I could find. If this is true, then the Federal Government has no legal basis for making such laws or regulations that address such exchanges.
    There are local and state laws that do address these exchanges.... I can understand a law that addresses fraud or misappropriation in the exchange of goods and services.
    What I fault is preemptive laws that control or some way limit the exchange of goods and services as to prevent the fraud. If one would follow that concept, would we sentence a man to death because he might commit a capital murder.... well, in the practice of preventive law, we have laws to do just about everything except preventive executions.
    I hope you can separate these two concepts... government over there... and.... Capitalism (Free markets) right here
  • Jun 1 2014: This question seemed to be asking if government should exist, and to further point out a generally correct conclusion about what would happen if all governments in the world were dismantled and replaced by absolute laissez faire- meaning zero rules about what is bought and sold or why. If all rules were abolished (like many a forum post promotes) people would do things that are currently illegal (slavery is probably an easy example, but ignoring safety or highly discriminatory hiring practices could also result in the conclusion postulated). People would get together and not do business with groups that don't meet or exceed what the social standard is. That might leave slavery and other barbaric methods intact. However, these groups of people would effectively form a state- basically the products that the majority do not want would be unavailable to even those in the minority due to the cost of doing business.
    However, even a state consisting of a democracy that requires a supermajority to pass regulations cannot prevent black markets. There are markets for intoxicants and prostitutes/slaves in every country in the world. The easiest way to reduce the impact of non-human products is to legalize, study, educate, and treat. Prostitution can be dealt with in much the same fashion. Slavery must remain illegal as individuals must be allowed to proceed as they see fit (because a liberated individual is more likely to make good decisions for society due to self-interest).
  • May 31 2014: Sophie

    Perhaps it would be a good idea if the Constitution was inserted into this conversation. It is that document that, theoretically, tells the government what responsibility and what authority it has. For example the government has no responsibility to or for education or housing, healthcare or many of the other things that it is doing. The government then operates outside of the Constitution. And as it does so,it begins to control more and more of our lives and enters into all layers of society defining each in terms of a political correctness, which is no less a political mandate. This infusion of government control nullifies individual freedom and free enterprise, as we saw in Detroit, banks and mortgage companies and now health care, which alone is one fifth of the nations economy.The coal industry is being effectively shut down. Oil exploration on federal land has been shut down and the federal government is the largest land owner. The Keystone pipeline is being stonewalled by government and off shore drilling too, is being stonewalled, except to foreign countries.
    There has never been a totally free market in this country and most certainly there is not one now, so not to worry.
    You expressed concern over a runaway free market. I would be more concerned about a runaway government, as that brings up the question; who stops them? If you would point to the process of democracy for a check and balance, one should remember that Hitler was democratically elected and that democracy was not held in high regard by the men who wrote the Constitution.
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    May 29 2014: In a perfect world, a free market would be optimal. However, we don't live in a perfect world; we tend to be corrupt and greedy, especially on a collective scale. As the saying goes; "power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." The government needs to intervene in order to prevent or otherwise restrict monopolies, oligopolies, and other market structures that can unequivocally destroy our "house of cards" economy.

    The underlying problem is when the government heavily entrenches itself within the market. Most notably, when we have politicians who were previous CEOs and heavy-hitters of the business world, and/or have close ties with the business world, who are also tasked with regulating the market.
    • May 31 2014: Okay, if "absolute power corrupts absolutely", that would mean that a government controlling the market would be absolutely corrupt, too, even if it were NOT "entrenched". If it held itself "above" business practices and NOT A SINGLE MEMBER of government had any ties at all to a corporation, by virtue of power's corruptive influence, that government would be corrupt due to the level of power it exercised.