What Libertarians get wrong about a freely competitive market

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We know Libs don't understand market concentration, exploitation, and abuse, but they also don't really understand freely competitive markets with perfect information either.

They keep saying that 'the individual is king' - that he is supreme. They confuse individual exchange - which happens like on Craigslist or at a flea market and market behavior in general.

Anyone who has tried to buy something in a real market knows that the prices and quantities are pretty much set. Your action means nothing to the larger market. The more the market decisions are set at an appreciable distance to the consumer, the less the consumer feels like his opinion means anything. We all become cogs in a machine.

So what did cause - say - the organic revolution? How many times did a hippie in the sixties complain to Safeway to bring in organic produce? And how many times did Safeway say 'hell, it's unprofitable, we will go out of business'. It took probably decades for people accustomed to market forces to make small incremental changes towards organic foods in a few select places.

So we see here violations of Libertarian principles. First, the consumer is irrational for not wanting buy healthier food. The store owner is ignorant of the demand for organic foods. There is no market communication between the demanders of these foods and the supply. Years of habit and culture lock out the market for organic foods: individuals are meaningless. Also, somewhat less obviously, people cannot start their own stores (although many tried, of course, but the result was sort of disastrous).

The same with ingredient lists. Why didn't stores list the ingredients and expiration dates of their products? The answers are the same. People are irrational, store owners are ignorant, and the market does not communicate the desires of the consumers to the producers.

This is why the government requires stores to list their ingredients and put expiration dates on their products.

Similar stories can be said about many consumer and occupational safety regulations, about CAFE standards and the rest of it. In fact, if one had an open mind, it would be obvious.

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Dr. Econ
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Comments

So you are saying that people acting voluntary, through the market, can't affect change. But these same people acting violently, through the government, can somehow magically affect change.

If there is political support for X, then there must be market support for X. Because the basis of support is the people. The reason health food/organic didn't do well is because there wasn't enough people patronizing it. It is different now. Of course, I don't trust gov't organic standards. I would prefer higher standards set by private associations. You now have organic sections is major supermarkets. I still patronize my local health food store or local farmers.

Remember, giving the government the power to regulate, even for seemingly innocuous or obvious reasons, also gives them the power to regulate good things out of the market. Monopoly is bad. Are health claims allowed to be made on packages?

When you see "natural flavors" on a label, that may be MSG.

The FDA wants to regulate vitamins. What would your rationale be for opposing that?

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LysanderSpooner
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Yes, the definition the PasteEaters always use for "free market" is supposed to include a market of perfect information, with no coercion or fraud.

1- Anyone in sales knows, the buyer rarely has perfect information. Think that used car salesmen are completely honest about the cars they are selling? Or wonder why lenders are required to provide a truth- in - lending statement? If buyers acted on perfect information then Consumer Reports would be the most widely read periodical in the world, and all advertising would just dsiplay simple facts, figures and statistics about products. Be young, drink Pepsi? Celebrity endorsements?

2- Coercion exists all the time, there are some purchases, that one must buy. Healthcare, dental care, home repairs, etc, that are catastrophic to one's health or well being must be purchased.

3- Fraud is kind of the all that investment bankers have left. Mr Bogle of Vanguard Fund said that only 1% of what Wall Street does anymore concerns capital formation, the rest is fraud and reckless gambling.

The PasteEaters have all these grand theories, and rest them on a 18 foot high pile of horseshit definitions.

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Phaedrus76
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Sep. 14, 2010 8:21 pm
Quote LysanderSpooner: So you are saying that people acting voluntary, through the market, can't affect change. But these same people acting violently, through the government, can somehow magically affect change.

Yes. Requiring food manufactures to put ingriedients on their products is 'violence'.

But the answer is because these obvious things are done by people who are objectively removed from the situation, have degrees in nutrition, and their preferences in fact mean something because they are able to represent a large number of people through the government. People feel their actions are irrelvent. The government gives them a chance to feel relevent and have their voice heard to firms.

Quote LysanderSpooner:...The reason health food/organic didn't do well is because there wasn't enough people patronizing it. It is different now.

Not enough people? Then you agree, it is not the individual that is king. That is one of my major points.

But I will happily give you the obvious point that government can screw things up. But you have to give me that markets do to.

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Dr. Econ
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I was trying to argue a freely competitive market - with perfect information - even has problems.

We know libertarians don't believe in freely imperfect markets anyway.

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Dr. Econ
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I don't know of anyone who stated that the free(er) market system is perfect, only that it is superior to other alternatives.

You use the example of organic foods. Suppose back in the '70s the government passed a regulation that says grocers must carry an equal amount of organic fruits/vegetables. What do you think would happen?

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WorkerBee
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Apr. 28, 2012 12:22 pm

The free market made more sense before advertising and marketing took over the American system in the early 1900's. Advertisers have spent years researching how to influence buying behavior. Why do you think they exploit basic social fears like not smelling good enough, not being thin enough, not driving a good enough car, not eating the right food, not providing enough for your kids, etc. That's why grocery shelves are filled with items that have more cost from advertising and packaging than food ingredients. How is that an efficient free market?

DynoDon
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Jun. 29, 2012 10:24 am

With the internet people also have access to more information, leading to lower prices and more informed decisions.

What alternative to the free(er) market would you suggest Don?

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WorkerBee
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Apr. 28, 2012 12:22 pm

Internet-alot , alot more of the same. Seen any spam or banner ads. Every internet company is trying to figure out how to monetize it's users. Also internet info is not filtered-false and true are given the same weight. All the internet did was make price to be the prime factor in buying and killed local business. You will end up with mostly Amazon and/or WalMart.

DynoDon
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Jun. 29, 2012 10:24 am

Again, what alternative do you believe to be superior?

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WorkerBee
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Quote WorkerBee:...I don't know of anyone who stated that the free(er) market system is perfect, only that it is superior to other alternatives.

Seriously, all libertarians sound like that, because they want to guarentee paradise down the road.

It won't.

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Dr. Econ
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Quote WorkerBee:

With the internet people also have access to more information, leading to lower prices and more informed decisions.

What internet are you on? Seriously, the internet is also a great example of how free markets can spread misinformation, lies, propaganda, false reviews, and lunacy. The internet has also destroyed local businesses, local economies, and made prices cheaper by using slave or near slave labor.

It is prime example of the free market in action.

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Dr. Econ
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Not sure about Dynodon, but I am trying to explain the advantage of the world's current system of consumer and occupational protection.

I whish it would go a bit farther - I want to know if there is any genetically modified foods. I want to make realistic portions in the nutrion labels (1 bottle of coke is one serving). I want warning labels if there is too much salt or sugar so exhausted shoppers don't have to play the nutrtion label game with everything they buy. I want signs tellling people the working conditions of the people who made the food.

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Dr. Econ
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Quote WorkerBee:

Again, what alternative do you believe to be superior?

A regulated market, with criminal and civil penalties for law breakers, and that includes restrictions on players becoming monopolies or monopolistic.

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Phaedrus76
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Sep. 14, 2010 8:21 pm

Thank you all for laboring in the Libertarian vineyard under such hot ideology and its unremitting burn. It helps others understand why they get the creepy feeling everytime these libs introduce another nutty piece of analysis like the "3 overlay" theory. What a crock!

drc2
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Apr. 26, 2012 12:15 pm

Here’s the libertarian perfect “free market” in action:

Evidence is piling up that the lightly regulated vitamin or "dietary supplement" market is a wild west free-for-all full of hucksters, flim flamers and snake oil salesmen, which is bad enough as it is, but this evidence also points to a public health danger. Anybody read the September cover story from Consumer Reports?

And this story below, which contains the hilarious and pathetic claim of the supplement “entrepreueur” that he tested the safety of his products by having some poor bloke in China eat a whole bottle of them….Such a person would have "maybe some stomach problem, but not die," he told investigators…..ROFL…

Libertarians just don’t seem to believe that there is a whole world out there of ripoff artists that will exploit any unregulated market. They believe all “entrepreneurs” are honest, hard working, and have the customers best interest in mind. Of coure most are, but what protects us from the crooks? They are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO wrong.

Here’s your libertarian free market in action folks:

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-08-10/health/ct-met-supplements-drugs-20120810_1_dietary-supplements-steve-mister-american-herbal-products-association

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al3
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What the hell does a chinese trying to market a phony dietary product have to do with the free market or anything libertarian?

The pharmaceutical industry, through its subsidiary the FDA, has been trying to regulate the alternative medicine and vitiman industries out of business for years. They represent too much competition. Besides, how many people have died from bad pharmaceutical drugs that were on the "regulated market" and approved by the FDA? Have any big pharma execs been jailed for their scams? Has anybody at the FDA been held accountable for approving a dangerous drug?

The world is full of gullable dupes. There are many here that have bought the liberal progressive snake oil.

Brookesmith
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Aug. 3, 2012 7:00 pm
Quote Brookesmith:

What the hell does a chinese trying to market a phony dietary product have to do with the free market or anything libertarian?

Because we can actually read what al3 wrote, and nothing he described was due to the FDA or anything of the sort - it was 'free markets' pure and simple.

Besides, you guys have already admitted "the free market is not perfect". And, "I'm not against all regulation"

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Dr. Econ
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Quote Dr. Econ:
Quote Brookesmith:

What the hell does a chinese trying to market a phony dietary product have to do with the free market or anything libertarian?

Because we can actually read what al3 wrote, and nothing he described was due to the FDA or anything of the sort - it was 'free markets' pure and simple.

Besides, you guys have already admitted "the free market is not perfect". And, "I'm not against all regulation"

Aside from ignoring the rest of my post, the market (especially the pharma) is far from a free market. And my point is that regulation of a market does not always make it safe. HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE DIED AS A RESULT OF BAD DRUGS AS OPPOSED TO ALTERNATIVE MEDICINES AND NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS? Big pharma and FDA have been trying to regulate them out of existence. The Chinese guy probably stepped on the wrong toes.

Brookesmith
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Quote Brookesmith:
Quote Dr. Econ:
Quote Brookesmith:

What the hell does a chinese trying to market a phony dietary product have to do with the free market or anything libertarian?

Because we can actually read what al3 wrote, and nothing he described was due to the FDA or anything of the sort - it was 'free markets' pure and simple.

Besides, you guys have already admitted "the free market is not perfect". And, "I'm not against all regulation"

Aside from ignoring the rest of my post, the market (especially the pharma) is far from a free market. And my point is that regulation of a market does not always make it safe. HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE DIED AS A RESULT OF BAD DRUGS AS OPPOSED TO ALTERNATIVE MEDICINES AND NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS? Big pharma and FDA have been trying to regulate them out of existence. The Chinese guy probably stepped on the wrong toes.

Regulation doesn't eliminate fraud and abuse anymore than our laws eliminate crime. Do you suggest we do away with all of our laws because there are those who don't obey them anyway? Regulations are the same thing as laws. You have to have it. Period. Just like laws, they have to be fair and just with the safety and the rights of the general population the primary concern. You cannot have an unregulated and lawless country for obvious reasons. The Constitution isn't worth the paper it's written on if we allow greed and power to trump our individual and collective rights.

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Bush_Wacker, do you not think that "regulations" can be used to promote one indusrty over another unfairly? Do you not think that the ones who supposedly make the regulations are making them for the "safety and rights of the general population", or for the benefit of the biggest teams that constantly exchange players? Big pharma, like big chemical, owns the FDA. That is exactly what they use the FDA for, their greed and power to trump individual and, of course, precious "collective" rights. Then hide behind their proverbial coat tail when something goes amok, like people dying from an FDA "approved and regulated" drug or chemical. How many corporate executives or government officials have been convicted and imprisoned or even held accountable for their willful or negligent actions? They consider the cost of litigation that results from deaths and injuries from dangerous or faulty products is just considered part of doing business. Snake oil is being promoted in the name of responsible research and developement (all of course with government "regulation") and people are still dying.

And they want to use their control of the FDA to eliminate the competition from alternative natural medicines.

Brookesmith
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Aug. 3, 2012 7:00 pm

Did you miss the part where I said they had to be "fair and just"? There are going to be unfair regulatiions just like there are unfair laws. We the people should combat unfair regulations and unfair law. It's our duty as citizens. We don't however just scrap the whole idea because some of them ended up being unfair.

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You do realize that the "free market' is a myth, don't you? Our current market system came into being through regulation...and the disolving, violently, of reciprocal market systems. Sucn systems are now nearly beyond the scope of our even being able to think about them and how they functioned. Buried. They were "free" markets. Markets of equals.

Early libertarians were trying to restore that..."markets of equals". Having no clear grasp of how they functioned, they fell short.

Today's so-called "free market" was regulated from the beginning to assure winners/losers. Even the "free labor market" was brought into being through force and the disolution of freedoms..

Karl Polyani's work on the topic, "The Great Transformation", is a masterpiece. Libertarians would do well to comprehend it, otherwise they are like clanging cymbals. Much ado and a lot of noise about nothing.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

There is nothing "fair and just" about corporations and the FDA exchanging executives every few years and "regulation" is either skewed so that a bad product is approved or a good one not approved, due to its competitiveness, because of the collusion of corporations and the FDA, to eliminate competition and all for profits. Corporate influence is the problem. And when something goes wrong, nobody is held accountable.

Brookesmith
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Aug. 3, 2012 7:00 pm

Re-read the above. Our "free market" never has been a "free market". . Can't be. Only reciprocal markets were "free". and are nearly beyond the scope of our thinking. We've been imbedded in this one too long.

Do your homeowrk. Read Polyani. Then educate libertarians how to re-institute free markets if free markets are their main focus. Changing our system without changing our system is an impossibility. Libertarians don't see that's what they are doing..Can't have a free market system while maintaining the principle structures of a non-free market system..

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Markets will never be "free" as long as corporations maintain their influence and control over the rule makers (politicians in government). How to go about changing the system is the million dollar question when the ones that COULD change the system are the ones that CONTROL it . Greed is hard to overcome when those in power have no morals or ethics. Unless one can spell R-E-V-O-L-U-T-I-O-N, and what would result would be dubious at best.

Brookesmith
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Aug. 3, 2012 7:00 pm

I don't want markets to ever be "free" and anybody who does is a fool. I want markets to be "fair" not free. I mean that is the whole argument behind free markets anyways. The claim is that a free market will self govern itself into a fair market. It won't. It will take rules and regulations made up by all those involved and affected by the markets to make them fair. A so called free market will never lead to a fair market.

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Bush_Wacker
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Quote Brookesmith:

What the hell does a chinese trying to market a phony dietary product have to do with the free market or anything libertarian?

The pharmaceutical industry, through its subsidiary the FDA, has been trying to regulate the alternative medicine and vitiman industries out of business for years. They represent too much competition. Besides, how many people have died from bad pharmaceutical drugs that were on the "regulated market" and approved by the FDA? Have any big pharma execs been jailed for their scams? Has anybody at the FDA been held accountable for approving a dangerous drug?

The world is full of gullable dupes. There are many here that have bought the liberal progressive snake oil.

Most of the time I believe the drugs that kill people were passed by the FDA because they weren't actually in compliance with their regulations. They take the fines rather than comply. And as you note, the FDA is not immune to corporate influence. Bad implementation does not mean that the concept of regulation will not work. It means to doesn't work when it is done poorly.

ah2
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Dec. 13, 2010 10:00 pm
Quote Bush_Wacker:

I don't want markets to ever be "free" and anybody who does is a fool. I want markets to be "fair" not free. I mean that is the whole argument behind free markets anyways. The claim is that a free market will self govern itself into a fair market. It won't. It will take rules and regulations made up by all those involved and affected by the markets to make them fair. A so called free market will never lead to a fair market.

So when the "rules and regulations" in fact are made up by those that can profit more by making them unfair to their competitors and smaller less influencial players, what are you going to do about that? Or what if those "rules and regulations" makers are in the pockets of those that are supposed to be "ruled and regulated" and they are allowed to circumvent those fair "rules and regulations" ? Do you think that the patent "rules and regulations" on life saving drugs are "fair", when a giant pharmaceutical corporation can charge whatever ridiculous price it wants for that life saving drug that price prevents some people from being able to obtain it ? Is that fair? No But it's the "rules and regulations". Is it fair when the foxes get to guard the henhouse?

Brookesmith
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Quote ah2:

Most of the time I believe the drugs that kill people were passed by the FDA because they weren't actually in compliance with their regulations. They take the fines rather than comply. And as you note, the FDA is not immune to corporate influence. Bad implementation does not mean that the concept of regulation will not work. It means to doesn't work when it is done poorl

But is it fair? I don't know if it is bad implementation or selective enforcement . Either way it gives some UNFAIR advantages over others and most of the time the average consumer pays the price, either literally or with his life.

Brookesmith
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Quote Brookesmith:
Quote ah2:

Most of the time I believe the drugs that kill people were passed by the FDA because they weren't actually in compliance with their regulations. They take the fines rather than comply. And as you note, the FDA is not immune to corporate influence. Bad implementation does not mean that the concept of regulation will not work. It means to doesn't work when it is done poorl

But is it fair? I don't know if it is bad implementation or selective enforcement . Either way it gives some UNFAIR advantages over others and most of the time the average consumer pays the price, either literally or with his life.

If corporations are gaming the system with regulations in place, they are going to do the same thing without them there. Their incentive structure does not change. It simply makes it easier for them to do so.

Say you have a fishing net with a few holes in it and you are using it to scoop some fish out of a pond. Because of the holes, you only catch about 80% of the fish you would if the net were perfect. Is it logical for you to look at the net and say, "This POS doesn't work at all," and then toss it in the water? Of course not. If the regulations at least partially mitigate the type of behavior the corporations would engage in that endanger others then it is a fruitful use of resources and time.

I really find this constant line of thought from Libertarians perplexing. They accuse liberals of being utopianists while simultaneously demanding 100% perfect execution from government. When they don't see it, they demand the entire thing be flushed down the shit can. Anyone who has studied statistics can tell you that this is impossible. Even if regulatory agencies like the FDA were completely immune to corporate influence they still would not be 100% perfect. Neither is the market. If there is one thing you can count on 100% of the time is that NOTHING will be 100%. The question that needs to be asked is does the FDA give us better outcomes than if it didn't exist. This is something Libertarians will NEVER attempt to prove. They rely on dogmatic ideology rather than providing evidence of potential better outcomes. It's like you believe simply saying "the market will do better" actually makes it true. Who is the utopianist? lol...

ah2
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Dec. 13, 2010 10:00 pm
Quote Brookesmith:

What the hell does a chinese trying to market a phony dietary product have to do with the free market or anything libertarian?

The pharmaceutical industry, through its subsidiary the FDA, has been trying to regulate the alternative medicine and vitiman industries out of business for years.

Well, the dietary supplement and vitamin industry seems to be doing it to themselves, not big pharma or the FDA. Consumer Reports is pretty apolitical, trusted by consumers, and press like this can't help anyone's argument against the need for regulation.

So is CR an agent of the big pharma and the FDA?

Too bad the shysters ruin it for the majority of honest players in most industries, a consideration that libertarians just can't face.

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/05/dangerous-supplements/index.htm

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al3
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

If the FDA is claiming to be regulating on the public's behalf when actually those regulations benefit the ones that are supposedly being regulated, that is a hypocrite's form of regulation. Is a hypocrite's regulation really any better than no regulation? How can you distiguish betweena regulatory agency not being completely immune form corporate influence than one that is completely controlled by a corporation? Are we any better off with the FDA's "regulation" of Monsanto? Monsanto controls the FDA for its benefit.

Brookesmith
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Quote Phaedrus76:
Quote WorkerBee:

Again, what alternative do you believe to be superior?

A regulated market, with criminal and civil penalties for law breakers, and that includes restrictions on players becoming monopolies or monopolistic.

I agree, as would most libertarians. The devil is in the details of the laws though.

Some here seem to be of the opinion that libertarians are about anarchy.

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WorkerBee
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Apr. 28, 2012 12:22 pm
Quote polycarp2:

You do realize that the "free market' is a myth, don't you? Our current market system came into being through regulation...and the disolving, violently, of reciprocal market systems. Sucn systems are now nearly beyond the scope of our even being able to think about them and how they functioned. Buried. They were "free" markets. Markets of equals.

Early libertarians were trying to restore that..."markets of equals". Having no clear grasp of how they functioned, they fell short.

Today's so-called "free market" was regulated from the beginning to assure winners/losers. Even the "free labor market" was brought into being through force and the disolution of freedoms..

Karl Polyani's work on the topic, "The Great Transformation", is a masterpiece. Libertarians would do well to comprehend it, otherwise they are like clanging cymbals. Much ado and a lot of noise about nothing.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

Yes, that is why I used the term "Free(er)" instead of free, to avoid being sidetracked by this argument.

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WorkerBee
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Quote Brookesmith:

Markets will never be "free" as long as corporations maintain their influence and control over the rule makers (politicians in government). How to go about changing the system is the million dollar question when the ones that COULD change the system are the ones that CONTROL it . Greed is hard to overcome when those in power have no morals or ethics. Unless one can spell R-E-V-O-L-U-T-I-O-N, and what would result would be dubious at best.

Does a larger, more intrusive government make crony capitalism more or less likely?

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WorkerBee
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Apr. 28, 2012 12:22 pm

"Thank you, but arguing with the brainwashed is a useless waste of time."

From The Thesaurus of Useful Responses to Right Wing Question Whores

anonymous green
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Jan. 5, 2012 11:47 am
Quote Brookesmith:

If the FDA is claiming to be regulating on the public's behalf when actually those regulations benefit the ones that are supposedly being regulated, that is a hypocrite's form of regulation. Is a hypocrite's regulation really any better than no regulation? How can you distiguish betweena regulatory agency not being completely immune form corporate influence than one that is completely controlled by a corporation? Are we any better off with the FDA's "regulation" of Monsanto? Monsanto controls the FDA for its benefit.

I share your concern about the regulators and their capture. But I still believe overall it's better to have imperfect regulation and continuously work toward improvement vs. no regulation at all.

Getting rid of regulation to get rid of corporate/government cronyism, to me, is like of getting rid of cancer by killing the patient. That's the easy way. It's harder to eradicate the cancer and keep the patient alive. That's what we should endeavor to do.

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al3
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Probably more likely.

Brookesmith
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Aug. 3, 2012 7:00 pm

al3, It's not an imperfect system, it is a system that is NOT even coming close to being regulated for the benefit of the people. It is profitizing from the control and/or manipulation of that supposed regulatory agency, such as the FDA, by large politically powerful corporations. It is a hypocrtical system.

Brookesmith
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Quote al3:I share your concern about the regulators and their capture. But I still believe overall it's better to have imperfect regulation and continuously work toward improvement vs. no regulation at all.

Getting rid of regulation to get rid of corporate/government cronyism, to me, is like of getting rid of cancer by killing the patient. That's the easy way. It's harder to eradicate the cancer and keep the patient alive. That's what we should endeavor to do.

I do not think anyone here is arguing for no regulation anymore then you are arguing for regulating anything and everything, its just a matter of where the line is drawn.

Let me give an example;

A recent regulation (I believe it was in Obamacare?) that was passed required restaurants of a certain size to post nutritional guides of there meals. Of course this is pretty expensive to do if you are a small local chain but if you are Denny's with thousands of restaurants serving the same meals it is a small cost.

The unintended consequence of this is to protect big chains from competition by creating an economic hurdle that small chains must overcome. On its face it seems like a good idea, why not let consumers know what is in their meals? Let's be honest though, no one really reads those things and everyone has a pretty good idea on what is healthy and what is not. The intent is to encourage healthier eating habits but the result is protecting entrenched corporate interests.

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WorkerBee
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Apr. 28, 2012 12:22 pm

But until corporations are stripped of their limited liabilty and 14th amendment rights of equal protection, as if real persons, the elimination of control and influence of politicians is impossible. All regulation will be for the benefit of the regulated.

Brookesmith
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Quote Brookesmith:
Quote Dr. Econ:
Quote Brookesmith:

What the hell does a chinese trying to market a phony dietary product have to do with the free market or anything libertarian?

Because we can actually read what al3 wrote, and nothing he described was due to the FDA or anything of the sort - it was 'free markets' pure and simple.

Besides, you guys have already admitted "the free market is not perfect". And, "I'm not against all regulation"

Aside from ignoring the rest of my post, the market (especially the pharma) is far from a free market.

nothing he described was due to the FDA or anything of the sort - it was 'free markets' pure and simple. You are trying to confuse the fact that because there is regulation in drug business that this would have some effect on the example given. It does not.

Quote Brookesmith:..And my point is that regulation of a market does not always make it safe.

Yes. The market is not perfect. The government is not perfect. So stop being lazy and arguing by exaggeration.

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Dr. Econ
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Quote Brookesmith: Bush_Wacker, do you not think that "regulations" can be used to promote one indusrty over another unfairly?

The markets are not perfect. Government is not perfect.

Quote Brookesmith: ... Big pharma, like big chemical, owns the FDA.

That's just stupid. The FDA acts as a break on pharma. It says you must do levels of studies on new drugs being introduced. There are safety trials, then more substantial trials, then controlled experiments. It helps reduce the amount of death and destruction that otherwise would be caused.

No developed economy doesn't have something like this.

Quote Brookesmith: ..And they want to use their control of the FDA to eliminate the competition from alternative natural medicines.

That is something peculiar to the US. Most people want warnings and safety tests, and truth in advirtising, not elliminate all natural medicines.

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Dr. Econ
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Brookesmith:

If the FDA is claiming to be regulating on the public's behalf when actually those regulations benefit the ones that are supposedly being regulated, that is a hypocrite's form of regulation. Is a hypocrite's regulation really any better than no regulation?

If you can prove a drug is safe, and that it works, then your drug can be approved, whatever the source - alternative or not alternative.

The problem is that alternative companies can't prove that most of their stuff works on a consistent basis. Yes, it costs money to do trials. But what is the - if I may - the alternative?

Dr. Econ's picture
Dr. Econ
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

But you are confusing free markets with regulated markets that are controlled by and for the benefit of the regulated. You need to stop dismissing how the system is rigged. And in typical progressive mantra trust a government that does not have the best interest of the average as a priority. How is that being lazy and argumentative? You sound like my 7th grade civics teacher. Never got past that mentality?

Brookesmith
Joined:
Aug. 3, 2012 7:00 pm
Quote WorkerBee:
Quote al3:I share your concern about the regulators and their capture. But I still believe overall it's better to have imperfect regulation and continuously work toward improvement vs. no regulation at all.

Getting rid of regulation to get rid of corporate/government cronyism, to me, is like of getting rid of cancer by killing the patient. That's the easy way. It's harder to eradicate the cancer and keep the patient alive. That's what we should endeavor to do.

I do not think anyone here is arguing for no regulation anymore then you are arguing for regulating anything and everything, its just a matter of where the line is drawn.

Let me give an example;

A recent regulation (I believe it was in Obamacare?) that was passed required restaurants of a certain size to post nutritional guides of there meals. Of course this is pretty expensive to do if you are a small local chain but if you are Denny's with thousands of restaurants serving the same meals it is a small cost.

The unintended consequence of this is to protect big chains from competition by creating an economic hurdle that small chains must overcome. On its face it seems like a good idea, why not let consumers know what is in their meals? Let's be honest though, no one really reads those things and everyone has a pretty good idea on what is healthy and what is not. The intent is to encourage healthier eating habits but the result is protecting entrenched corporate interests.

I don't mind less regulation. I don't mind less government. It just has to be common sense, and protect consumers. My feelings are that most libertarians here don't want regulation at all.

Regarding the example, I understand that. Maybe that's not needed, I don't know, or the restaurant size cut-off needs to be rethought. But wouldn't restaurant food wholesale suppliers- who are probably larger with more resources - be on the ball and offer statistics on their foods as a competive customer service?

al3's picture
al3
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Brookesmith:

But you are confusing free markets with regulated markets that are controlled by and for the benefit of the regulated. You need to stop dismissing how the system is rigged. And in typical progressive mantra trust a government that does not have the best interest of the average as a priority. How is that being lazy and argumentative? You sound like my 7th grade civics teacher. Never got past that mentality?

"Here's an idea. Why not find a group of people that actually think they care about what you think you're saying?"

The Thesaurus of Useful Responses To Right Wing Manchurian Americans

anonymous green
Joined:
Jan. 5, 2012 11:47 am
Quote Brookesmith:

But you are confusing free markets with regulated markets that are controlled by and for the benefit of the regulated. You need to stop dismissing how the system is rigged. And in typical progressive mantra trust a government that does not have the best interest of the average as a priority. How is that being lazy and argumentative? You sound like my 7th grade civics teacher. Never got past that mentality?

So, conservatives pass laws that work to make sure that the rich and powerful benefit from the regulations, and Brokesmith's solution is to be even more conservative. Then, after the next batch of lackeys of the rich and powerful do the bidding of the rich and powerful again, then the we will be told "Jeb Bush is a real conservative..."

Phaedrus76's picture
Phaedrus76
Joined:
Sep. 14, 2010 8:21 pm
Quote WorkerBee:
Quote polycarp2:

You do realize that the "free market' is a myth, don't you? Our current market system came into being through regulation...and the disolving, violently, of reciprocal market systems. Sucn systems are now nearly beyond the scope of our even being able to think about them and how they functioned. Buried. They were "free" markets. Markets of equals.

Early libertarians were trying to restore that..."markets of equals". Having no clear grasp of how they functioned, they fell short.

Today's so-called "free market" was regulated from the beginning to assure winners/losers. Even the "free labor market" was brought into being through force and the disolution of freedoms..

Karl Polyani's work on the topic, "The Great Transformation", is a masterpiece. Libertarians would do well to comprehend it, otherwise they are like clanging cymbals. Much ado and a lot of noise about nothing.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

Yes, that is why I used the term "Free(er)" instead of free, to avoid being sidetracked by this argument.

isn't that a contradiction? When you are locked into a system, you are locked into a system. Not much different than a shackled man seeking more freedom within being shackled.

Today's market system has never been "free". It's been regulated since day one....centuries ago. It's the only way our non-free market system can function. it isn't now and never has been a free market system. It replaced the "free" reciprocal market system.

Read Polyani.

Under the reciprocal market system, India's GDP was greater than Great Britain. When the current market system was forced upon it, that quickly reversed. The players in the free reciprocal market system tend to stay small. In the regulated system, the big fish tend to gobble up the little fish. That's the intent....protestations to the contrary.

Read the many brand labels at the supermarket. What were once many independent brands are now produced by just a few big players. That's the intent...protestations to the contrary.

Same with land. The greater share of it is being concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. More small holdings...but with a shrinking percentage of the total land available.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease".

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Has that market ever been "regulated" for the benefit of the consumer? Has that market ever been "regulated" to promote a more competitive business environment ? Has the "regulation" ever be free of control and influence of the big players "regulating the regulators" to put the little player at a disadvantage? Has the "regulation" always prevented bad, harmful products from reaching the unsuspecting consumers?

Brookesmith
Joined:
Aug. 3, 2012 7:00 pm

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Why the Web of Life is Dying...

Could you survive with just half of your organs? Think about it. What if you had just half your brain, one kidney, half of your heart, one lung, half a liver and only half of your skin? It would be pretty hard to survive right? Sure, you could survive losing just one kidney or half of your liver, but at some point, losing pieces from all of your organs would be too much and you would die.

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