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Forum Post: What is a "free market"? This is for people who keep posting about "capitalism" ...

Posted 10 years ago on Dec. 8, 2011, 6:23 a.m. EST by 99time (92)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

What is a "free market"?

"Free Market" is a colloquial, feel-good term of propaganda with no generally understood definition.

The correct economic term is "REGULATED Free Market."

The word "FREE" in the term Regulated Free Market refers to the freedom of buyers and sellers to engage in fair competition. Without regulations and competition, people are not free to make intelligent economic decisions. The latter 20th century propagandists bypassed the word Regulated to create a false impression that 'business should be free to make a profit.' Wrong.

Contrast the term Capitalism. Capitalism, at its basic level, simply means that private entities and not governments own and control the means of production, distribution and capital. Capitalism says nothing about the distribution of wealth, and nothing about freedom or fairness.

The two terms are related. Capitalism is a component of a Regulated Free Market. Here is a formula:

Regulated Free Market = Capitalism + (Regulation or Competition)

Regulated Free Market is a theoretical ideal. In the real world, the objective is to tend toward it, not to achieve it, as with most any ideal. Situations arise which make it impossible for buyers and sellers to engage in fair competition, and especially buyers. There are many terms to describe these situations:

Horizontal Integration

Vertical Integration

Predatory Practices


Latent Defect


Undue Influence

Inadequate Information

Price Makers




Get the point? A "Free Market" MUST be Regulated or it is not free.



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[-] 2 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 10 years ago

i would add hedge funds as a purveyor of corrupted markets. their ability to leverage new industries out of existence makes them no better than trusts. But they can also be a good vehicles for innovation and efficiency when used to manage the supply chain.

[-] 1 points by anonymousoccupy (23) 10 years ago

too many monopolies....when a small group of corporations control every aspect of the market....well you get what we got now...huge divide between rich and poor, a non existent middle class, and every branch of government bought and paid for...in other words, FASCISM

[-] 1 points by aries (463) from Nutley, NJ 10 years ago

why are markets not free today?