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Forum Post: Free markets == Pro Choice == Democracy for the People

Posted 3 years ago on Dec. 7, 2011, 1:51 p.m. EST by theaveng (602)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

A "free" market is the purest form of democracy. It allows the People to "vote" with their dollars to support (or not support) the companies they like (or dislike). Almost once a month I get a call from Comcast asking if I'd like to sign-up for television and every time I say, "Spend almost 1000 a year for a company that sucks? Hell no." (click). That is true power... the power to say no. It's democracy in action.

Opposition to a free market is what corporations want (they desire monopoly). A monopoly takes away choice. Opposition to a free market is opposition to Power for the People and the liberty to choose which companies they want to support.

.

Disclaimer - I support free trade inside the U.S. Not with other countries like Socialist China that treat workers like cattle. Goods from factories that break the law (such as making people work 100 hours of overtime when the legal limit is 36/month) should be blocked from entering the USA.

37 Comments

37 Comments


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[-] 9 points by nucleus (3291) 3 years ago

"Free market" is an economic concept. "Democracy" is a political concept.

Free markets result in monopolies as those companies that are successful use their wealth and power to eliminate competition. Why? Because competition reduces profit.

Government is supposed to "level the playing field" with regulation to prevent monopolies, which is why there is a so many anti-trust acts and laws.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 3 years ago

But the advantage of a Free Market is that power is in the hands of the People (where it belongs).

When Comcast or some other company calls me & begs me to buy their product I can simply say, "Fuck off" and not give them a single penny.

You cannot do that with the government which takes your money with the threat of jail time if you do not comply. I hate corporations, but at least Comcast and the rest don't have the power to swipe money from my paycheck, send cops to bust down my front door, or jail me.

.

[+] -4 points by theaveng (602) 3 years ago

Free markets result in monopolies

False. Any company that reaches monopoly status and starts abusing its customers (like charging high prices) will not keep that monopoly for long. Other companies will rise-up and undercut the monopoly with lower prices, thus ending the monopoly market. E(xample: Netscape/Mozilla, Apple, Google, Linux, and others ended the Microsoft web browser monopoly.

For that reason (competition from new upstarts), there has never been a case where a company held a monopoly for more than 20 years. There is no reason for government to interfere, because the free market is self-correcting. Just like you don't need government to interfere with the revolution of the earth around the sun... it happens naturally.

This belief that you "need" government to control everything, otherwise it won't work, is ridiculous.

[-] 8 points by anonwolf (279) from West Peoria, IL 3 years ago

The myth here is that monopolies don't perpetuate naturally. The closest we ever came to a libertarian ideal was the Gilded Age, when monopolies were rampant. Why did Teddy bust trusts? Did government form them? What evidence do you have that consumers will reward non-monopoly competition to a level that undercuts monopolistic advantage? Hint: there is none. Monopolies are the natural consequence of laissez faire.

They do tend to use corrupt government to perpetuate themselves (but in the absence of government/regulation would not need to - they would have no hindrance). They key is not less government but accountable government.

[-] 5 points by losthumanity (58) 3 years ago

Thank you. This guy is really starting to piss me off.

[+] -5 points by theaveng (602) 3 years ago

Ya know... I hate corporations just as much as you do. I just don't think turning over control to the government is the answer (because I hate congress too - bunch of lying scoudrels).

[+] -5 points by theaveng (602) 3 years ago

monopolies were rampant.

And none of them lasted. They were undercut but new competitors that rose-up. (If you think I'm wrong, then cite some examples. Prove your case with FACTS not opinions. (And no Standard Oil is not an example... they had competition from new upstarts in Texas and elsewhere.) No monopoly ohas ever lasted more than 20 years.

[-] 5 points by anonwolf (279) from West Peoria, IL 3 years ago

Oh please. It is common knowledge that economic consolidation into a few major trusts and holding companies was a primary feature of the Gilded Age. Rockefeller, Carnegie, Vanderbilt, et al, owned most of America. They were stable and it took antitrust legislation by congress to reverse the trend.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_antitrust_law#History_of_anti-trust

[+] -4 points by theaveng (602) 3 years ago

Common knowledge also thinks there was a budget surplus in 1999. Common knowledge is frequently wrong. All of the "trustbusting" that Teddy Roosevelt performed was completely un-necessary. Most of those monopolies were already losing market share to new upstart competitors. (As I said, the case against Standard Oil was pointless.)

[-] 5 points by anonwolf (279) from West Peoria, IL 3 years ago

More baseless right-wing talking points.

http://articles.cnn.com/1999-01-06/politics/budget.surplus.02_1_budget-surplus-fiscal-discipline-tax-cuts?_s=PM:ALLPOLITICS

http://www.factcheck.org/2008/02/the-budget-and-deficit-under-clinton/

Referring to hypotheticals about Standard Oil put forth by ideologues like Posner, Bork, Friedman and Sowell does not a fact make.

[+] -5 points by theaveng (602) 3 years ago

Actually I learned it from a Ph.D. economics professor in college. ("Standard Oil had already lost its monopoly, so there was no need for the government to act.")

According to the Treasury's website (which is nonpartisan like the CBO), the debt has increased every year since Eisenhower. The reason the debt increased? There was an annual deficit in the budget. In 1999 was the smallest debt increase of 0.03 trillion, but it was still an increase in the debt. (Hence no surplus that year.)

FY1996 09/30/1996 $5.22 trillion
FY1997 09/30/1997 $5.41 trillion
FY1998 09/30/1998 $5.52 trillion
FY1999 09/30/1999 $5.65 trillion
FY2000 09/29/2000 $5.68 trillion
FY2001 09/28/2001 $5.80 trillion

[-] 4 points by anonwolf (279) from West Peoria, IL 3 years ago

Congrats on having an Austrian ideologue as a professor. I see many of your/his talking points being pushed on mises.org.

  • By 1890, Standard Oil controlled 88% of the refined oil flows in the United States.

  • In 1904, Standard controlled 91% of production and 85% of final sales.

  • The federal Commissioner of Corporations studied Standard's operations from the period of 1904 to 1906 and concluded that "beyond question... the dominant position of the Standard Oil Company in the refining industry was due to unfair practices—to abuse of the control of pipe-lines, to railroad discriminations, and to unfair methods of competition in the sale of the refined petroleum products"

When exactly did they lose their monopoly? I see the Mises position that it was down to 70% (still a monopoly) by 1906 when the suit was filed - couldn't have anything to do with their practices being investigated by the Feds, could it?

Link for the Treasury data? You know mine comes from Treasury and CBO right? I'm not fully up on all the balance of payments operations, but unless I see a quote from Treasury that directly refutes their report here that lays out a surplus, you're just spinning: http://fms.treas.gov/fr/99frusg.html

[-] 2 points by Demian (497) from San Francisco, CA 3 years ago

This jackass has never been to college. If he had ever written a research paper in his life he wouldn't be using the heritage foundation as an unbiased source to prove his points. He's totally full of shit. A couple of weeks ago I was debating healthcare with him and he posted a bunch of links from right wing sites to back up his argument. Aside from the three links pulled from right wing sites one of the links was to a forum and the others were actually links to sites that were arguing for nationalized health insurance or critisizing the American health care system. Apparently he just took a bunch of links and threw them up at random without reading them. Then he goes on and on about his scientific training he's full of shit.

[-] 2 points by anonwolf (279) from West Peoria, IL 3 years ago

Thanks for your vigilance.

[-] -2 points by theaveng (602) 3 years ago

I don't waste my time writing papers.

I do REAL work designing airplane engines and the control systems related to them. In other words I'm a productive part of society.

.

[-] 2 points by Demian (497) from San Francisco, CA 3 years ago

If you have never written a research paper then you have never been to college and you don't have three science degrees. You might have three certificates to be an airplane mechanic but thats a big difference from what you are representing yourself as on here.

[-] -2 points by theaveng (602) 3 years ago

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np

it was down to 70% (still a monopoly) by 1906

You clearly don't know what the word "monopoly" means. That means other companies exist to which customers can turn too when they need oil.

You also overlooked the the Supreme Court said just because a company is a monopoly, does not necessarily mean they are a bad company. They said a company might be in a monopoly position but still act fairly towards customers & not need to be broken up.

[-] 1 points by Demian (497) from San Francisco, CA 3 years ago

You've never been to college and if you have I would want my tuition money back if I were you.

[-] 6 points by nucleus (3291) 3 years ago

Do you just make this stuff up or does somebody spoon feed t to you?

Monopolies use their power to under-price competition, driving them out of business; they make proprietary marketing agreements with vendors to prevent competitors from selling their products in the same places; they buy up smaller competing companies to eliminate them; they have their politicians pass legislation that benefits them over competitors; they use political influence to secure government contracts; etc.

As to your examples:

The "success" of other browsers is largely due to United States v. Microsoft, in which the government prosecuted Microsoft under the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. Despite this MS still has the largest share of the browser market.

And forget browsers, to this day M$ has an 87% share of the OS market, and the only reason Apple still exists is because MS invested in it.

[+] -5 points by theaveng (602) 3 years ago

Monopolies use their power to under-price competition, driving them out of business;

Please name an example.

Also if a monopoly lowers the price, how is that a bad thing? The consumers benefit when prices are lowered, and a monopoly is only "bad" when the monopoly is price-raping the consumer. If a monopoly doesn't pricerape, then it's not evil thing.

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The "success" of other browsers is largely due to United States v. Microsoft

Not true. The ~90% share held by Internet Explorer in 1999 would have been broken even without action by the government, because of people dumping IE6 and trying Opera, Firefox, Safari, and Chromium. The government case was not needed (and in fact did nothing except reward AOL with some cash).

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M$ has an 87% share of the OS market

FALSE. Microsoft's share has been eroded by competition. As I said - no monopoly lasts more than 20 years (the free market self corrects those aberrations). Microsoft's OS share is currently at 70%, with the next popular OS being Linux, followed by Unix, followed by Apple.

[-] 2 points by nucleus (3291) 3 years ago

Monopolies use their power to under-price competition, driving them out of business

Although claims have been made that Standard Oil secretly secured preferential rates from regional rail roads, such a scheme never came into effect, and a more plausible explanation for the rise of Standard Oil was its ability to continuously lower its costs and thereby the cost to the consumer. The resulting competitiveness of Standard Oil compelled the competition to sell out or face bankruptcy, until Standard controlled most of the refining capacity of the U.S.

Once competition has been eliminated, the monopoly controls the market and sets the price.

The "success" of other browsers is largely due to United States v. Microsoft

IE market share increased until 2004 the same year United States v. Microsoft was settled. was accepted in 2002 and approved in 2004.)

M$ has an 87% share of the OS market

As measured by User agent information supplied to web servers by web browsers: 33% Win7, 14.7% Vista, 38.4% XP, total share 87.1%

You are now 0 for 3. You may interpret this however you like.

[-] -1 points by theaveng (602) 3 years ago

As measured by User agent information supplied to web servers by web browsers

Do you think users are the only ones with OSes??? The most dominant usage for an operating system is not the desktop but the Servers "behind the scenes" that make everything work. When you average both desktops and server OSes together, you find that Microsoft's share is only 70% (and rapidly dropping). The remaining 30% is mostly Linux OS.

And if you look at the share of the MONEY, Microsoft's dominance is even lower. It's only 55% while Linux/unix companies have the remaining 40% (with 5% for Apple).

Damn those inconvenient truths.

I disproved your false claim that MS= monopoly.

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[-] 2 points by nucleus (3291) 3 years ago

All AFTER the anti-trust suits against M$ in the US and Europe.

[-] -1 points by theaveng (602) 3 years ago

Once competition has been eliminated, the monopoly controls the market and sets the price.

Yes.

And now here's the REST of the story. After Standard had control of the market NEW companies rose-up in Texas and Oklahoma, and those companies undercut Standard with lower prices. As someone else pointed out, by 1910 Standard was no longer a monopoly (they only had ~60% share).

There was no need for the government to act because the Free market was already correcting the problem through its own natural processes. That goes back to my original point - Whenever a monopoly arises, it never lasts longer than 20 years. In fact most times it doesn't even last 10 or 5 years. We live in a highly competitive environment where monopolies, through natural selection, lose their dominance to smaller more-nimble companies.

Another example: Kmart. They used to be the number one retailer with 90% of the discount marketplace. Are they now? Nope. The market killed Kmart's monopoly when new companies displaced them.

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[-] 2 points by nucleus (3291) 3 years ago

Your knowledge of history is non-existent.

"After Standard had control of the market NEW companies rose-up in Texas and Oklahoma, and those companies undercut Standard with lower prices."

Those companies didn't "rise up", they were created by the Supreme Court decision to dissolve Standard Oil (under the Sherman Antitrust Act) and split into 34 independent companies.

[-] -2 points by technoviking (484) 3 years ago

wow how in the world is nucleus getting so many upvotes and theaveng getting so many downvotes.

"logic and reason is so last year", or what?

[-] 3 points by nucleus (3291) 3 years ago

"logic and reason is so last year", or what?

"Free market" is an economic concept. "Democracy" is a political concept.

Look it up. It has nothing to do with logic, reason or your belief system. It is simply a fact.

[-] -2 points by theaveng (602) 3 years ago

Obviously.

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[-] -1 points by jjuussttmmee (607) 3 years ago

gov destroyed the free market a million different ways. laws.

[-] 8 points by anonwolf (279) from West Peoria, IL 3 years ago

Here's grandpa Koch arguing against regulation and government interference in defense of monopoly: http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/279-82/8374-koch-family-empire-building

The ongoing effort to re-brand laissez-faire as populist and benefitting the 99% is a direct outgrowth of his sort of propaganda that has been continued through the generations by today's Kochs and their contemporaries. Laissez-faire benefits the 1%. It always has. It is the Robber Barons' favorite thing, just as the Gilded Age was their favorite time. A century of working class struggle against laissez-faire and now we're supposed to sweep it back in for them.

[+] -4 points by theaveng (602) 3 years ago

That article reminds me of the crap Glenn Dick... ooops I mean Beck writes. Long and boring and ultimately providing no point (or proof or evidence).

I don't understand people who argue the government should TELL me what I can or cannot buy. "You WILL buy a prius or other hybrid, or else be fined one thousand per year." For those who claim that would never happen, it already has with the insurance mandate. Why would I want to live in that kind of society???

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[-] 0 points by kingscrossection (1203) 3 years ago

If people can vote with their money then the can just stop working at the place that requires 100 hours of overtime.

[-] -1 points by owsleader2011 (304) 3 years ago

Freedom != OWS Consensus != Liberty

[-] -3 points by theaveng (602) 3 years ago

I can't believe how many of you who replied are ANTI free market, and what to replace it with some kind fo governmentmarket where we have to rely on the Congress to supply uswith all our needs as if we are children and the governemnt is the Daddy.

You fools.. You are VOLUNTARILY walking into a feudal society where the Congress is your "LORD" of the manor and you are mere serfs.

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[-] 4 points by BlueRose (1437) 3 years ago

We are trying to get out of a Corporatocracy. You suffer too, you just see the gilt on your bars.

[-] -2 points by theaveng (602) 3 years ago

But the advantage of a Free Market is that power is in the hands of the People (where it belongs). When Comcast or some other company calls me & begs me to buy their product I can simply say, "Fuck off" and not give them a single penny.

You cannot do that with the government which takes your money with the threat of jailtime if you do not comply. I hate corporations, but at least Comcast and the rest don't have the power to swipe money from my paycheck, send cops to bust down my front door, or jail me.

.