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Forum Post: The Free Market - Join the Discussion

Posted 2 years ago on July 17, 2012, 10:59 a.m. EST by sophiaomni (289)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

A conservative colleague where I teach inspired an interesting debate between liberals/leftists and libertarians about the reality of a free market in the United States. If you're interested in this topic, feel free to weigh in on the issue (you can either post anonymously or log in using a Google account):

http://www.michaelsrusso.org/2012/07/debate-on-free-market.html

College students will be posting their own comments in the fall, but we thought it would be interesting for them first to read the comments of people who are passionately informed about the state of our economy and political system.

Thanks for taking the time to share your insights!

124 Comments

124 Comments


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[-] 4 points by silkysara (32) 2 years ago

I posted this comment on the blog, but I'll post it here as well for the benefit of those who don't have the energy to go to a different site:

"Thanks for sharing this on the OWS site. As someone who has been involved with OWS from the beginning, I guess that my thoughts on this subject will be somewhat predictable:

1) There is no free market in the United States. That's just an illusion created by those in charge to make us think that we have some control over our economic lives.

2) Until we have serious campaign finance reform, viable alternative political parties, public funding for elections, and a truly progressive tax system, multinational corporations will continue to control our economic and political future and the poor and middle classes in this country will continue to suffer.

3) None of this will happen unless people take to the streets the way they are in Europe, cause major social disruption, and demand change. That's why movements like OWS are so incredibly important. So tell your students to get involved."

[-] 2 points by ediblescape (235) 2 years ago

most economic teachers are thinking inside the market box for profits. We live in an information society. If we can make information free, everything else will be free. Wikipedia and Wikileaks let the information free without profit. OWS and other movements are leading to a no profit society- a Wiki society.

[-] 1 points by sophiaomni (289) 2 years ago

Thanks for posting your comments on the blog. So far there haven't been any true leftists who have posted, so your comments add an interesting perspective to the issue. And I think that you're basically correct in your assessment, by the way!

[-] 1 points by silkysara (32) 2 years ago

Is it only right-wingers who are not afraid to express themselves?

[-] 1 points by sophiaomni (289) 2 years ago

...

[-] 1 points by sophiaomni (289) 2 years ago

No, there are a few interesting lefties who posted on the blog as well. I'm very happy with the interesting mix of ideas so far.

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

The thing is, yes, we do have much too much regulation, but some regulation has enjoyed a good history ... like Glass Steagall, giving us 70 years of stability in our financial sector--far outperforming our pre-New Deal (much more laissez-faire) banking system. In the aggregate, sure, I could easily conceive that the ratio of bad regulation to good regulation is at least 10 to 1. In other words, for every good/relevant/productive [well designed] regulation we implement or restore, there'll be at least 10 bad regulations we could dispense of.

[-] 1 points by sophiaomni (289) 2 years ago

The problem is that libertarians would like to get rid of even the 1 regulation out of 10 that actually protects the average worker or the environment.

[-] 2 points by sophiaomni (289) 2 years ago

Many thanks for the really interesting comments on this topic. I was expecting to hear more from the libertarians and conservatives who troll this site. This topic really is their thing, after all.

Where are you?

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

Grateful for your very interesting 'forum-post' which gave rise to this thread. Thus by way of thanx and for your consideration :

  • "Five Reasons the Super-Rich Need Government More Than the Rest of Us - Wealthy individuals and corporations want us to believe they've made it on their own, without the help of government or the American people. Billionaire financier Sanford Weill blustered, "We didn't rely on somebody else to build what we built." He was echoing the words of his famous predecessor, the formidable financier J. P. Morgan, who spouted, "I owe the public nothing"!!", by Paul Buchheit : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31889.htm .

ad iudicium ...

[-] 2 points by sophiaomni (289) 2 years ago

That's the ultimate perversion of our economic system. The 1% think we owe THEM thanks! In a sane world they would be humble enough to acknowledge how interdependent they are with the rest of us.

But we are not living in a sane world, unfortunately!

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

To be honest, I'd argue less to our being "interdependent" with "THEM" and much more to the facts of 'THEIR' blatant, egregious and outrageous ... 'Predation and Parasitism' !!!

Thus, to follow the item above :

e tenebris, lux ...

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

It's a pointless discussion as the "free market" is and always was an illusion.

My belief is that until we accept that simple fact, we are doomed to repeat ourselves.

[-] -1 points by sophiaomni (289) 2 years ago

I agree that the idea of a free market "is" an illusion, but not that there never was something of a free market in the past or that there couldn't be in the future if economic and political conditions were changed.

[-] 3 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

It's not so much 'illusion' as it is 'modified'. Based on post industrialization, the realities of inherent greed, other anti-social behaviors and the reality that capital accumulates more capital.

If there ever was a free market, or more free market, maybe there was. Back in the 1800's. But it's not 1850. We aren't a simple agrarian society anymore. It's the 21st century post industrial global age. The simple rules back then aren't sufficient for today. Free Market Lovers just don't understand this for some reason.

Of course, if you're a Libertarian, Anarcho-capitalist, right wing neo-lib batshit crazy Ayn Randian - then you believe that a free market is somehow a cure to greed, anti-social behaviors and capital accumulation in the post industrial age. And some believe these things - unrestrained - are actually good things. It's really quite sick, twisted, patently absurd and stupid.

Even Adam Smith knew better, well before the industrial age. But the neo-libs have turned Adam Smith into a socialist/communist.

Adam Smith believed that government has a role in providing certain public goods for the benefit of society. Like schools, infrastructure, and social welfare. He supported progressive taxation and regulation. The very things that the Libs and neo-libs rail against.

"It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion." Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations.

''When the regulation, therefore, is in support of the workman, it is always just and equitable; but it is sometimes otherwise when in favour of the masters.''

A free market would result in tyranny by corporations. And it's the corporations, and other Free Market Pushers, that want people to hate on government. It's serves their purposes to weaken government. As they weaken government, their power grows.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

NO!

A "free market" is an impossibility as long as humans are involved.

It's a construct of man, therefore controlled by man and NEVER "free".

If you refuse to accept that fact, you are doomed to repeat yourself.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Control is the issue - Control, Responsibility, Accountability & Enforcement of the law/regulations.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

That's much closer to the truth.

A market will always be a form of tyranny that must be controlled for the good of all, not just it's creators and profiteers.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

All things business/industry/governmental must be regulated and enforced to assure the health of all.

The Guiding Principal for all things should be - HEALTH for ALL.

BTW - I do believe that that was what JC meant with the comment:

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (3944) 6 minutes ago

It should be more along the lines of -- 'free from market', free from bad things like tyranny, monopolies, deregulation, government collusion, too big to fail, etc.

↥twinkle ↧stinkle reply permalink

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

The closest thing to a Free Market that exists today is with the Internet. eBay, Craigs List, Auction sites, very little in the way of taxation or laws. A great deal of commerce is being conducted this way.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

But the internet is a virtual world and can not wreak physical damage on the environment, ala bp oil spill.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

The Internet is a marketplace filled with real buyers and sellers. The products that are sold on the Net are real and created by real companies that can manufacture them in accordance with environmental regulations or not.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

I think we are dealing with semantics. I think of it as a virtual marketplace where information (only) is exchanged to facilitate the buying and selling of products.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

Whether the marketplace is virtual or in a town square matters not. It is the consequences of the business conducted that decides whether physical damage occurs.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

When you receive the bill from Ebay at the end of the month for their services, that is when the damages are fully felt. They even charge for a percentage of the shipping cost. A $10 item with a $10 shipping cost is charged as if it were a $20 item.

Just another corporation that has become a predator instead of a business.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

As with any free market system you have the right to use another auction service. eBay is not the only game in town, it may be the biggest and best known, but not the only one..... and the others are far cheaper.

With the Internet, businesses are far more likely to be replaced quickly through customer dissatisfaction.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

I just knew you were going to say that. I would've too. But when you are caught between sharp corporate teeth, those words do not lessen the pain felt as you wriggle out from it's grasp.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

I hated saying it to be honest.... but with the Internet, the saying is far more true than with our local economy. Google isn't the only search engine, and if they start charging users, I'm out. Same applies to ebay, there are alternatives. It takes some work to find them. I find that if you are buying and selling specific items, there are forums geared to specific products where you can do free transactions.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Real products as well as imaginary products ( wallstreet smoke and mirrors ).

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

That unfortunately is true, whether in an unregulated market or a fairly highly regulated one.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

And there is another rub - wallstreet is supposed to be regulated - but the law as well as regulations have never really been enforced.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

Regulated to prevent enforcement, you might say?

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Or palms greased to look the other way - Yep - Regulated by the criminals.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

So we know why they say get rid of "burdensome regulations." The ones that only burden us, they are just fine.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Yes tie up the population so that the greedy bastards can run wild. Pretty much sums up today's state of affairs.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

They are selectively enforced. For me and you they are completely enforced. For the big guys, the regulators turn the other way for some things..... mostly large deals like derivatives which can inflict the most damage.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

So what we need is no one being above or outside of the law - and the law's guiding principal should be for the Health of ALL. IMO.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

Exactly.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Keep-on Keeping-on. {:-])

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

It can and does cause economic disaster though = Wallstreet

[-] 0 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Wallstreet disaster does not spill oil into the ocean, its a mental catastrophe.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

But has put millions out of work and made quite a few homeless.

Real life consequences/victims of electronic economic disaster.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Did the factories get blown up and the houses demolished. Did those people need to be out of work or homeless, or was this victimization process done to appease a mental standard of judgment?

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Let me amend my last comment - thousands and thousands of vacant properties ( made that way as a result of the meltdown ) are being destroyed - bulldozed and looted.

My error.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

I still say it is a mental catastrophe. The homes had not changed because of the meltdown, only the mental perception of their value changed.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Real Devastation and Destruction resulting all the same. This is not imaginary.

[-] 4 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

If you mean in the way it has been and continues to be treated ( blind eye ) - then I will agree - that the government has popped more then one mental fuse over this and the majority of the public has also gone out to lunch on the whole issue.

Something like that, it is a Socrate's cave allegory that reality is all about perception. If we perceive the economic meltdown as a physical event, how can we change our (blind eye) and understand that all notions of value and worth are a perception of mental judgment. Going back to the houses, in reality, nothing physically changed the houses to alter their value or worth (a house inspector judging the house on its physical attributes would have found no difference at all from before and after), but through our mental judgment of how money and the economy works, we perceived the houses to have lost value. The concept of money has so much power over our lives, it can cause us to lose touch with reality.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Money the concept of money and the practice of money - left the realm of reality shortly after it's creation/use began. Went way out into the twilight zone recently - that is for sure.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Excessive greed is not imaginary and has real consequences, but it is a mental catastrophe.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

If you mean in the way it has been and continues to be treated ( blind eye ) - then I will agree - that the government has popped more then one mental fuse over this and the majority of the public has also gone out to lunch on the whole issue.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

No nothing was physically destroyed ( unless you count individual livelihood/well being ), and yes the wrong approach was taken to address the situation from the beginning of the crisis and currently on-going.

The criminals were supported and rewarded and the victims have been kicked to the curb.

This is why people need to control their government.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

The wrong approach is a mild way to put it.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Indeed.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

It has reduced the wealth of Americans owning real estate by 40%. That's real money, not virtual.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Did the money disappear? Go up in smoke? Did the US government burn this cash and get rid of it?

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

The price they could sell their real estate for went down and is still down, but the owners are obligated to pay the original price of the transaction. Most of this value was exrtracted by the banks/mortgage companies via the bubble of fraud that they created.

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

In reality, it was not a reduction of money, but a transfer of money - legal thievery.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

The extraction was theft.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Wall Street - they don't pollute, they are clean criminals.

[-] 2 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

They certainly have been cleaning up, and cleaning us out, but they haven't come clean yet.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

But it is not necessarily a good market - and state taxes are finding their way into the E-market.

In many respects the E-environment is like the Wild Wild West - more then a little chaotic.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

I never implied good or bad.... mostly unregulated... as long as the ISP's are kept out of it. I think that it is a good experiment in market systems as we can track this one from birth.

The Free Market IS chaotic.

[-] 2 points by sophiaomni (289) 2 years ago

I actually agree with Geo about the Internet being something quite positive. Before the Internet came along I would never have been able to start my own business. There's definitely much more opportunity on the web today than there is on Main Street.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Did not intend to suggest that you considered it a good market or a bad market. I was just making an observation based on my opinion.

A free market would be chaotic by it's very nature of being free - still we do not have that - a free market.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

On the Internet? I think its closer to a Free Market than any other system on earth. All a person needs to become an entrepreneur is Internet access and a computer. The cost to enter the market is negligible and people around the world can participate with no central authority interfering.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Actually there are some internet commerce laws. Violators if pursued caught and prosecuted can get major league fucked up.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

True there are some... but nowhere near the laws and regulations governing business with brick and mortar. For the most part its the wild west.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

A new frontier being opened-up and settled.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

And it ain't pretty. And behind the flats and lighting, there are huge intellectual property fights being fought. Where? In those well-regulated courts. (Not like our well-regulated militias, which are neither well-regulated, nor militias).

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

I believe that is what corpoRATions would like to see come out of a Constitutional Convention - The Will of The Money.


[-] 1 points by brightonsage (2842) 4 minutes ago

Pretty effective in seeing the will of the money gets implemented, though.

Hmmm "the will of the money" that's so good it must be in the Constitution somewhere.

Free market, the will of the money. Hey money doesn't equal speech.

In the free market, "Money is justice."

↥twinkle ↧stinkle permalink

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

The courts are not all that pretty either.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

Pretty effective in seeing the will of the money gets implemented, though.

Hmmm "the will of the money" that's so good it must be in the Constitution somewhere.

Free market, the will of the money. Hey money doesn't equal speech.

In the free market, "Money is justice."

[-] 1 points by sophiaomni (289) 2 years ago

So, your alternative, I presume, is an economy that is totally state run? I guess that I'd like to see the distributivist model tried first. This would be a society in which ownership is distributed as widely as possible. It probably won't happen, but it is a beautiful ideal!

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

An alternative can't be formed until "free markets" are accepted as an illusion.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

It should be more along the lines of -- 'free from market', free from bad things like tyranny, monopolies, deregulation, government collusion, too big to fail, etc.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

All of that is impossible.

It's still an illusion. A market, once created can never be "free", ever.

All markets are a form of tyranny.

[-] 0 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

I'm not following you one bit - how are all markets a form of tyranny. What are you advocating instead of a market?

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

I'm sorry, it's me who is not following you.

In what way is a hunk of metal free? Or a bushel corn? Or a share of stock?

It's an illusion.

Their "market" prices and availability are a very real form of tyranny.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

Free in the sense of open source. Open source products are not 'free'. There is a real cost to everything people do.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Even open source, to a degree is controlled by related markets.

Down to the cost of an internet connection, and servers for distribution and communication.

[-] 2 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

Because there is a real cost to everything we do.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Exactly.

Which is why a market can never be considered "free".

"Freedom" in any market is a manufactured illusion, often designed to mask profiteering....

The answer, I believe lies in determining, accessing, defining and controlling profiteering.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

If you are saying a market is a form of tyranny when it benefits only creators and profiteers, and not all, I agree.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

What I'm saying is, without some form of effective, policing, control, all markets will be manipulated by profiteers.

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Okay, I see now. I agree with you all the way. Markets should be manipulated for the good of everybody. The market should serve the people, not the other way around.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

Perhaps we could understand how the free market got its name .. if we would look at ..what came before 'Free Market' ? was there a time when the seller was not able to freely set his price to what ever he wishedfor? To me , a free market simply means there are no limits to the amount of profits that can be gained.. when customers are scarce the markets will lower their profit gain .. when customers are plentiful .. markets will raise their profit gain .. having an item that is in strong demand , means profit gain can be set very very high .. simply put, when the customer has more money to spend , the markets will raise their profit gain.. the customer has a choice .. pay the high profits or go without. And if they decide to go with out the economy recesses ..and possible jobs will be lost .. in this the customer' shoots himself in the foot .. it could be his job that is lost.. but ultimately it is the markets that have their hand on the dial .. they are the ones setting the profits ..thus controlling the economies future.. Question: should the markets have such power over the economy as to create recession by their own greed for profit?

I see the future of the 'free markets' becoming regulated so that customers are not forced to either pay the high profits, or go without.. I see the profits being regulated to maintain an equilibrium amongst commerce and the economy.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

I posted a short comment from a Marxist-Leninist point of view. A free market no longer (if it ever did) exists in this country, because the government is owned lock, stock, and barrel by the capitalists.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

I don't mean to disagree but - that sounds more like a captive market.

Unless I misunderstood that quote and it says what I just commented.

Then - My Apologies for being dense.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

My point was not to define the current economic state, only to point out that it is in no way a free market, because the government, as a tool of the capitalists, controls almost all aspects of the market. The government and the ruling class will continue from crisis to crisis until something gives, and that most likely will be the tolerance and patience of American workers.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

I figured that was where you were going - my synapses just dropped the ball on my comprehension.

Yes this country and the world are heading to truly ugly and bloody days if things are not addressed/corrected.

[-] 2 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

Just as the capitalists have led us into self-destructive cycles before: the Great Depression, the current economic crisis, they will forge ahead again almost blind to the destructive effects to our society.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Bad/catastrophic/horrific History repeats if you do not learn from it and deny a recurrence from happening with the use of good works and denying/prohibiting the use of past bad behavior/practices.

And the best of History the glorious can repeat as well as long as you learn from the successes of history and look to repeat them.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

At times we feel like we're on luxury liner in the North Atlantic, and the year is 1912.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Good one - and we have struck the iceberg ( wallstreet ) and unfortunately instead of correcting and strengthening the concept of water tight compartments ( Glass-Stegal ) and keeping the design in place - instead the water tight compartments while found to be great and life saving - were removed just prior to striking the iceberg. OH and as a follow-up to removing the water tight compartments they were replaced by one fucking big bailing pump ( public money ) which continuously runs to keep us afloat. Problem is - the passengers ( many of them ) were tossed into the water with out a life boat - anyway.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

I'd laugh, except it hurts.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

I am dying inside as I contemplate what could be - and then have to live with the reality of what is happening instead.

It motivates me to continue reaching out to others to get them on board to support a better course of action.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

I'm wondering how free our markets really are, given the economic policy dictation of national security and the potential that some individuals making decisions in and for the markets may also be employed by the pentagon.

http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/executive-order/12333.html

http://blog.richardkentgates.com/2012/06/1981.html

[Deleted]

[-] 1 points by sophiaomni (289) 2 years ago

So, what's the solution, if I might ask?

[Deleted]

[Deleted]

[-] 1 points by sophiaomni (289) 2 years ago

Which Thomas are you referring to? I just interested.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

The closest thing to a Free Market that exists today is with the Internet. eBay, Craigs List, Auction sites, very little in the way of taxation or laws. A great deal of commerce is being conducted this way.

[-] 1 points by agkaiser (1314) from Fredericksburg, TX 2 years ago

Is the Market Free? If the market doesn't allow capitalists [the 1%] to play it can't be said to be free. It has allowed them and now they own it and it can't be said to be free. Is this really a paradox or is it a symptom of cultural schizophrenia? Is there a difference between that sort of mental illness and Orwell's “doublethink?” If not schizophrenic, are we at least paranoid and delusional to believe that free market capitalism is not an oxymoron?

For more on dysfunctional economy and culture see: How Does That Work? https://www.createspace.com/3852916

2PV = PV(1+i)**t t = log2/log(1+i) For the future value to be 10 times the present value, at 6% compounded daily, it takes 38 years, 138 days and 16 hours. From 1970 to 2010 the price of hamburger has gone from $0.39 per pound to at least $3.99: higher since then. A compact car was $2000 or less at the start of Nixon's second year. Today it's $30,000 for the same kind of compact. Wages have fallen way behind prices in the past forty years for at least ninety percent of us. In 1970 one income per family could afford the American dream of home, cars and kids in college. Today it takes at least two incomes to barely get by. Does anyone have another way to say that the profit of investors is the loss of everyone else? You can track concentration of wealth over the same period and see for yourself the dead end course we're on.

Derived from: How Does That Work? https://www.createspace.com/3852916

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Actually a $2000 car in 1972 now costs about $15000, except it lasts twice as long, is four times as reliable, can be had with 60 month 0% financing, has more safety features, gets twice the gas milage, and better styling.

All together cars today are a much better value than in 1972. On the other hand Gov services like public education have remained flat or declined. Why do you suspect this is so?

[-] 1 points by sophiaomni (289) 2 years ago

When has the market not allowed capitalists to play? I think that capitalists not only play, they create all the rules of the game as well!

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Constantly. The entire nation is being taken over multinationals that have bi partisan support.

Go try to start a business. Look at how many loopholes they make you jump through.

To be a contractor in Florida, you need about 4k to go through all the reg bullshit. And now they want to see at least 10k in your bank to cover "unforseen" expenses. Yup, they want access to your bank.

Tell me how someone is going to come over from a poor country and get this started? Tell me how a guy who wants to work on peoples homes and start his own business, is ever going to get to the point where he can afford that?

Its happening everywhere. This is not capitalism we are living in. This is fascism. Mulitnationals partnering with the gov and drowning out all other options.

Its freakin bullshit.

[-] 2 points by agkaiser (1314) from Fredericksburg, TX 2 years ago

Poor people trying to start businesses are not now nor ever have been capitalists. Capitalists use money made in the past to control and dominate the market today. Free Market Capitalism is an oxymoron.

For more on dysfunctional economy and culture see: How Does That Work? https://www.createspace.com/3852916

[-] 1 points by silkysara (32) 2 years ago

I was looking at your book on Amazon. Nice work! If you need help promoting it, let me know.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

If they are not capitalists (those who capitalize on opportunities) then what are they?

There is nothing that represents capitalism better than a person starting a business.

How long have you been in business for?

[-] 1 points by agkaiser (1314) from Fredericksburg, TX 2 years ago

Capital is substantial accrued wealth. To capitalize is to use accrued wealth to make money. A capitalist is a rentier who lives on accrued wealth, which implies a substantial amount of capital. Look it up!

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Capital comes in all forms, none of which needs to be "substantial accrued wealth"....

Then what would call someone who buys a package of t shirts and some spray paint and sells em for a profit?

I understand what you are saying, but unfortunately your view is one that is pushed through the media and not real life experience.

[-] 1 points by sophiaomni (289) 2 years ago

Ok, I understand what you mean now. When I heard the word "captalist" I was thinking about big business, but you meant the small, independent business owner. We're actually in total agreement then

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

Capitalism has been usurped and co-opted. 'Modern High-Finance Crapitalism' (ie 'Corporate Banksterism' / 'Hoover-Up Kaputalism' ) is a Busted Flush and any honest person in possession of the most rudimentary ethical compass can clearly see that.

Please do NOT confuse and conflate Socialism with 'State Capitalism' or 'Totalitarian Stalinism' (as is the wont of avowed and abject 'anti-socialists' <ahem>) and please do try to understand why very many 'Economists' and 'Social & Political Commentators' with many pertinent things to say about our Global 'Debtocracy' ( http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/debtocracy/ ) are again increasingly referring to Karl Marx ( http://www.marxists.org/ ) for analysis if not solutions.

Socialism is a Philosophy, World View, School of Thought & Morality and it is a very 'Broad Church' : from Social Democrats ; Fabians ; Christian Socialist (inspired by that Proto-Socialist, 'Jesus Christ'!) ; Dialectical Materialists ; Internationalists ; Libertarian Socialists ; Anarcho-Syndicalists and right up to Revolutionary Maoists advocating armed resistance and violent proletarian revolution.

Ignorant and prejudiced opinions are no place for anyone to objectively assess Socialism, so step back from The Corporate MSM (ABCNNBCBS / FUX SNEWzzz etc.) induced apoplexy and prejudices and look to make your own mind up. Thus, further to the two links above, I also append the following :

In conclusion, either we meekly accept The Usurpation & 'mutation under duress' of our Democracies into 'demoCRAZY deMOCKERYcy' & de facto Fascism ... or WE seek to reclaim our Dignity, Liberty, Prosperity and indeed Sanity, as The Only 'Class War' is the one that has been waged by a Parasitic 0.01% (The 1% of the 1%), using the 1% against The 99% Working Class because if we need to work to pay our bills, that IS quite self-evidently what we are, 'working class' - ipso facto !!!

Furthermore, please also see :

Finally, some words from Albert Einstein from over 60 years ago :

per ardua ad astra ...

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Very good - I especially liked your referencing Jesus as a socialist.

Wow wonder what kind of hell that statement would raise down southland USA?

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

'Christian Socialism' has a long and 'hollowed' tradition :

You wonder how "Jesus as a socialist" would go down 'way down yonder' and to be honest ... so do I !!!

Solidarity !!

pax et lux ..

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

I have always thought that it was very funny - hysterically funny - that people love to socialize - party - have group activities - the ice-cream social - the social event of the season - the debutantes ball - the cotillion etc etc etc and yet practically no one looks at the base of socialism and draws a connection.

Is that what is meant by hidden in plain sight? {:-])

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

To many the connection to which you allude, is really quite self-evident & for you (with an excellent live rendition link in my reply to 'rkg' below) :

fiat lux ...

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (22310) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Very very nice - feed the spirit so that dreams can live. Thanks for sharing. Lets keep it fluffy people. {:-])

[-] 2 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

Matthew 20:16 So the last will be first, and the first will be last.

musica

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

Nice & musically a tad more appropriately (tho' I did dig & bob my head to your 'old sckool' hip-hop tune too, lol) :

fiat pax ...

[-] 2 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

Interesting mix of spiritualism and artistic indi.

[-] 1 points by sophiaomni (289) 2 years ago

I think that you can make a very strong case based upon the gospel evidence that Jesus could best be described as a socialist. He certainly was no libertarian, that's fro damn sure!

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

Now ain't that The Truth (& The Life & The Way ?), lol !!! Thus for you, by way of thanx for this nice thread - with longer versions above, the wee short album version of :

veritas vos liberabit ...

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 2 years ago

Russo's argument is based on false premise; to begin, he fails to define his "Free Market"; to which definition does he here prescribe?

"Free Enterprise" is a label that I dropped on the Net some ten years ago, the result of the study of colonial economic growth; not to say that I was the first to coin the term, merely that I felt it a more accurate or apt reference to one's ability to freely seek entrepreneurship; there are many societies that do not permit this, some are economically totalitarian, others like the British have historically employed the political economy, a political mercantilism, which the British have traditionally labeled as "Free Market." Is this the free market to which Russo here refers, and if not, could he be more specific? All logic begins and rests with definition; let us begin with a definition of terms.

I love Free Enterprise but do not be mislead - an nondiscriminatory equality of access to entrepreneurship does not mean unlimited entrepreneurship, or that I am possessed of the Libertarian view - there is need of regulation; many consider, for example, thievery their preferred form of economic logic - I cannot condone a legitimized non-restriction here, likewise I would not legitimize through non-regulation the free marketing of black market items.

Russo rails against the corruption of the money mongers; he rails against the greed that allows many to take far more than their share, and I think this is an important distinction; it's not self-employment or unlimited access of entrepreneurship, and it's not the failure of regulation - it's the sense that the BIG have "cheated," usurped a nondiscriminatory equality, by creatively circumventing regulation or utilizing the political avenue to gain unfair advantage through the creation of more favorable conditions.

This allowed them, for example, to market the Sub-prime... and all of these investment vehicles, as recreated, exist even now. I think to some extent that politicians are generally limited in scope of knowledge; for that reason it becomes far easier to just physically attack the rich in frustration. But throwing stones, or even chucking bombs at them, will not be successful because economics is an apparatus that lives outside ourselves; it cannot be controlled. It was this very fact that gave birth to the American economy through the "illegal" import of wealth.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

WTF is "Free" about the 'Free Market' when someone somewhere is always paying the price for it ?!!!

Consider, 'Free Market' notions of 'Liberalised Trade' were first generated and eulogised under the (not so benign) aegis of The British Empire -- with all its 'Guns and Ammo' and Massive Captive Markets !!

Quick reminder for you : The British Empire continued way past 1776 and its effects live with us still !

multum in parvo ...

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 2 years ago

You're wasting words; you can't stop the evolutionary economic imperative.