The free market doesn't mean "no rules"

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A good example of the free market providing rules is the Thom Hartmann forum. Thom sets the rules. If anyone breaks them, he or the moderator, can kick them off. It's his property. I don't have a right to post here. If I don't like this forum, I can create my own. Thom has the right to discriminate against anyone he wants. While we might object to arbritary discrimination, he has the right nonetheless.

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LysanderSpooner
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But yes and no.

Sure, you can say a free market is one in which there are rules regarding 'property'. And mostly, that is a tradition.

But, technically, saying you want a 'free market' really isn't specific about what laws are made or what laws are not made. Many people think that we have a 'free market' and South Korea has a planned or non-free market.

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Dr. Econ
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The "classic" definition of a free market is one where people are free to engage in commerce, without coercion and fraud.

What the paste eating libertarian utopiastic retards fail to understand is that in some markets there can be no free market. In healthcare, a father isn't free to choose to not have his child forgo a life saving procedure. In banking and finance, the best and brightest minds of the last 3 generations have joined in making piles of money, and few of them understood what the heck the collaterallized debt obligations were; fraud and misrepresentations were rampant, and therefore no free market can exist, so long as the seller has all the information, and the buyer is limited to what info the seller is willing to provide.

Buying something as basic, and commodified as electricity cannot be a free market in America, because for 99.9% of people, electricity is necessary to sustain their health, and food preperation. No one living in a major US city, in an apartment can elect to shut off the electric and opt to cook on small fire in the corner, and heat the home by burning wood or yak dung. We are coerced to buy electricity.

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when are you going to keep your commentment?

"Progressives: Read this passage and tell me you honestly disagree with it and I will NEVER post here again"

Recovering conservative2's picture
Recovering cons...
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"The "classic" definition of a free market is one where people are free to engage in commerce, without coercion and fraud.What the paste eating libertarian utopiastic retards fail to understand is that in some markets there can be no free market. In healthcare, a father isn't free to choose to not have his child forgo a life saving procedure."

Yes, libs hate human coercion, but not natural coercion, even when some harm from natural coercion can be so much worse than some harm from human coercion.

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Needs aren't rights. There are millions of people in world that don't get the level of health care that we in the US get. There aren't enough resources right now to provide such healthcare. It is a fact of life. It isn't coercion. Are you suggesting that doctors be forced to treat patients who can afford it? If so, who decides? What kind of health services should they be forced to provide? Do Americans doctors have to treat the whole world's population? What if they refuse? What is natural coercion? Do you mean that life is mostly unfair? Do you mean that human survival is a constant struggle?

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Quote Recovering conservative2:

when are you going to keep your commentment?

"Progressives: Read this passage and tell me you honestly disagree with it and I will NEVER post here again"

Pretty soon. I just wanted to give as many people as possible a chance to respond. So far, some have responded in good faith and some aren't.

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LysanderSpooner
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The responses that I have read are in good faith, They read your stuff and some pointed out that it was a waste of time " the most polite description" and said they don't agree honestly. The problem with the Free Market is that there are no limits on Human greed as opposed to the law of the jungle where animals only kill what they need at the time.

In a free market, there is always the pressure to get one more dime by hook or crook.

But from your comments, I knew you would not keep your word or you would come back under a new name.

Recovering conservative2's picture
Recovering cons...
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Quote Phaedrus76:

The "classic" definition of a free market is one where people are free to engage in commerce, without coercion and fraud.

What the paste eating libertarian utopiastic retards fail to understand is that in some markets there can be no free market. In healthcare, a father isn't free to choose to not have his child forgo a life saving procedure. In banking and finance, the best and brightest minds of the last 3 generations have joined in making piles of money, and few of them understood what the heck the collaterallized debt obligations were; fraud and misrepresentations were rampant, and therefore no free market can exist, so long as the seller has all the information, and the buyer is limited to what info the seller is willing to provide.

Buying something as basic, and commodified as electricity cannot be a free market in America, because for 99.9% of people, electricity is necessary to sustain their health, and food preperation. No one living in a major US city, in an apartment can elect to shut off the electric and opt to cook on small fire in the corner, and heat the home by burning wood or yak dung. We are coerced to buy electricity.

A free market doesn't mean free stuff! Or stuff that you need to survive. In America, food and housing are pretty much provided by the private sector. While not perfect, most of the population gets housed and fed. The Soviet Union was in charge of food production and distribution and there shelves were empty. Some parts of this country didn't have electricity until the 50's. And people didn't die. Life was hard and probably sucked but the human race didn't die off. You take all the great innovations, inventions and discoveries for granted. They are the result of free, or partially free, people accumulating capital, investing and increasing everyone's standard of living. No one is coerced to buy electricity, anymore than they are coerced to buy food, water or housing. You are abusing the English language. I think Orwell said something about that.

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Quote Dr. Econ:

But yes and no.

Sure, you can say a free market is one in which there are rules regarding 'property'. And mostly, that is a tradition.

But, technically, saying you want a 'free market' really isn't specific about what laws are made or what laws are not made. Many people think that we have a 'free market' and South Korea has a planned or non-free market.

All economies in the world are regulated and have been regulated, to varying degrees, by their respective governments. The countries where the government largely refrain or refrained from this became the wealthiest. Compare North Korea to South Korea, East Germany to West Germany, Communist China (a few decades ago) and Hong Kong.

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Quote LysanderSpooner:.

All economies in the world are regulated and have been regulated, to varying degrees, by their respective governments. The countries where the government largely refrain or refrained from this became the wealthiest. Compare North Korea to South Korea, East Germany to West Germany, Communist China (a few decades ago) and Hong Kong.

You need to go, Germany or formerly West Germany has always had more significant regulations than the US. They also maintain tarrifs, require workers to be on the board of directors, have cradel to grave health coverage. Thom often sites the successes of Germany as an arguement againist everything the Republicans are planning.

Recovering conservative2's picture
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Can you find any reasonable people, living like modern humans, in any place in America, that aren't regularly coerced into consuming gas or electricity?
I also note, you chose to ignore the systemic fraud that is the CDO market.

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Quote Dr. Econ: ...technically, saying you want a 'free market' really isn't specific about what laws are made or what laws are not made. Many people think that we have a 'free market' and South Korea has a planned or non-free market.
Quote LysanderSpooner: All economies in the world are regulated and have been regulated, to varying degrees, by their respective governments. The countries where the government largely refrain or refrained from this became the wealthiest. Compare North Korea to South Korea, East Germany to West Germany, Communist China (a few decades ago) and Hong Kong.

Your point is valid and entirely irrelevant. I was talking about the definition of 'Free Markets'. A claim about 'Free Markets' without also saying that a Free Market that - in your words - assumes only coercion illegal - is not technically sufficient. That is why Thom says 'Free Markets Don't Exist'. He is using the term "Free Market" as a near anarchy. Another person here said that a "Free Market" is one where there is anti-trust enforcement - and thought 'Free Market" was what economists now call "Perfect Competition". Other people think, as I now repeat, that "Free Markets" are what we have in the US today - which is really a mixed economy.

So what does that mean? It means we should no longer use the term, or use it only qualified by something. It is like all the other terms that no longer have meaning - Socialism, Communism, Facism, Capitalism.

But I think you have this confusion for very good reason. Most people are more or less correct to blame the usual evil things we think of that corporations do are in fact in a 'the free market'. Ripping people off, putting chemicals in the air and food they eat, denying health insurance claims, exploiting people by firing them after years of service, making them work long hours under perilous conditions, making shoddy and dangerous products - and the rest of it. Corporations and businesses have been doing these things for generations under a variety of different regulatory and government regimes. The government may corrupt the defense industry, but it wasn't government regulations that made Ford make an exploding gas tank. It was not huge Social Security transfers that made Romney offshore manufacturing jobs. And it wasn't government regulations that caused the skies over Los Angeles and Philadelphia to turn brown with toxicity during the summer.

Most people know that free markets have real costs - no matter how you distort the historical record. And they might be wrong about this instance or that, or that year or the next, or they may not know the difference between monopoly and oligopoly. But who cares? The point is sound - free markets have real deadly costs.

And to respond that communist dictatorships is not the answer is the worst sort of reply. It certainly does not do your namesake justice.

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