Carrie Lukas and the market

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Ms Lukas first claims that winners in the market provide the greatest goods and services for the lowest price, and that winners and losers simply represent the proper valuation process of products in the market. Thom responded that monopolies can either buy competitors outright or temporarily artifically lower prices to drive them out, and that this situation implies a force in the marketplace contrary to the so called "freedom" of the marketplace. Ms Lukas, in a surprising manner in my opinion, states that Wal-mart and the like have no such capital to manipulate the market in such a way. This is of course is in cataclysmic contradiction with reality. The ability and execution of conglomerates buying the competion is simply a fact. A different, and more practical argument, is that conglomerates are simply merging with smaller outfits and incorporating them into the big tent of multi-national corporatism. I think this argument has the biggest democratic harmonizing glow to it

. Another might be that value assement is a cold calculator and ultimate arbiter of value as it relates to goods and services. In other words, smaller buisness with its ability to produce goods at a reduced price, would be compensated comensurately when bought by the conglomerate. As in they are trading in their potential profits in the marketplace for a lump sum payment. In this sense no one is being robbed of opportunity. Also the implication here is that market forces are at work since conglomerates will be forced to keep prices at a level where not too many smaller compettiors to be bought off.

One obvious respons to this is the question of degree. It seems a given that a more egalitarian economy could contain large buisnesses or affiliated economic institutions without necessarily effecting the market place in a non-democratic fashion. But Ms Lukas, and those who argue with her, will never consider degree. There can never be too much wealth concentration. The idiocy of the belief shows the obvious lack of ability to look at the situation objectively.

The question of course is how to get people to see through the argument. One would think that the fact that we have people earning fortunes who are adding nothing of value would be a signifcant indicator that our system is broken. But for some this argument gets lost in the freedom cloud of get what's yours My only other suggestion is to develop an analytical technique that allows people a sense of the actual work required to make things. For example building a car has an approximate sum total of the work hours required to extract the raw materials into a car. Yes there are ambiguities in the equation regarding the existing infrastructure and how it is calculated, but the fact remains we can create basic parameters on how long it takes to make and do stuff. I guess the basic idea is how much of our stuff could we make if we were unencumbered from restraint, and compare that to where we find ourselves.

mattnapa's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm


I can't get past this woman's voice. Whenever she is on Thom's program, I hit the mute button.

So I suppose I never listen to her message, however seeing it written it seems to be the same old conservative argument. Nothing new. No solutions. So what is her point? I guess unless I actually listen to her, I will never know...

Is she still living in Austria? I always think those experiences are so wasted on right wing cons.

meljomur's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
The question of course is how to get people to see through the argument. One would think that the fact that we have people earning fortunes who are adding nothing of value would be a signifcant indicator that our system is broken.

Lukas is an ideologue, a true believer. The fact is that as markets mature, they bring the wealthy less return on investment, and so they turn to speculation, which is precisely what deregulation was intended to do, to allow speculation. We have moved from a manufacturing nation to one based on financialization, which produces wealth for a few but little for all others as the stagnation of wages since the 1960s indicates. Business decisions are based more on stock price than meeting customer needs. This free market has not only warped why business does what it does, to affect stock price, but also brought us to the brink of economic collapse as people do not act in their self interest, as her ideology requires, we act to further our desires, and greed is not good.

Also, humans being social animals, use politics to further their interests and so the wealthy have positioned themselves as the power behind our government as they have appropriated it through providing jobs to politicians and the their staff and funding campaigns. Therefore, there are no free markets as all are affected by the political power appropriated by market players. This political power also allows business to ignore its obligations to other citizens, as in allowing companies to destroy the environment that is everyone's and everything's property to increase profits. It also allows them to use the free market on the global stage to shop for labor as American workers are constrained to live here, yet forces us to provide tax benefits to lose jobs to lower wage labor pools. Etc.

I have no time for her nonsense. The facts stand against applying her accepted ideology any longer as our operational paradigm.

jeffbiss's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Republicans Failing Their Corporate Sponsors Could Be a Miracle For Democracy

Now, you don't hear it very much in the corporate media, but the budget bill that the Republicans passed through the House and Senate and Donald Trump signed that set the table for this tax legislation - this tax scam that is being worked out between Republicans in the House, Republicans in the Senate and the billionaires who own them all - includes a trillion dollar cut to Medicaid and

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