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The fine print is usually a clause for suspicion.
I was rather disheartened the other day to hear this little tidbit from the White House. The entire current economic cock up, and the much larger one brooding beneath the surface is simply the direct result of the Republican misappropriation of what the word 'free' in 'free market' means. The free market, and capitalism in general is dependent on a level playing field open to all parties; an environment free of price fixing, free of artificial scarcity, free of coercion and above all free of monopoly. The only way the free market can function is if it is managed by a set of enforced rules that maintain an equitable position for all participants. The removal of rules, boundaries, and fair play does create a stronger free market, it eradicates it and leaves in its stead economic anarchy. The rules of anarchy are very clear, the strong and wealthy prosper at the detriment of anyone and everyone else. Market deregulation does not help the economy, is it rather the antithesis of both capitalism and democracy.
Lets set up a micro economy for demonstration; Let's go to an elementary school playground where the kids have set up lemonade stands. In a free market economy any of the children are welcome to set up a lemonade stand. With multiple stands there is open competition, each stand needs to come up with a strategy for profitability. One stand may find a way to sell the cheapest lemonade and turn a profit from volume, another may use fresh lemons and make a larger profit on smaller volume, another may hire the cute girl to bring in customers. Market equilibrium is reached with a diversity of sellers allowing a wide range of options for consumers, and open competition ensures the best prices and quality across the board for everyone. Now let's deregulate and have Mrs. Smith slip away for a smoke; Billy the bully intimidates and strong arms the competing stands out of business. Billy brings in his friends to beat up anyone that uses the water fountain or vending machine, and creates a drink market monopoly. Now any kid who wants a drink needs to spend whatever price Billy wants, gets whatever Billy decides they get, and everyone suffers, except Billy. That is the same thing that happens in a macro scale.
It's not like this is subtle or easily missed...
"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."
-Pres. Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864.
We'll just have to see what happens with the radical power shifts that are coming in the next century.
One more thing!
How painfully short are American memories? Quick once over here; Banking deregulation that created the current economic melt down... George W. Bush. Removal of safety mechanisms that would make sure the market would not crash should a major cock up like this occur... George W. Bush. Person who castrated the oversight groups responsible for watching out for this sort of fraud... George W. Bush. Person who orchestrated the bank bailout package... George W. Bush. Person left to ether sign the damn check or get blamed for the complete collapse of the American economy? Barack Obama. Who's at fault here? Not to forget either that the staggering trillion dollars wasted on the bank bailout is still pannies on the four plus trillion (and counting) wasted on the utterly pointless and moronic invasion of Iraq. (And at least the banking bailout didn't murder a million people.) Let's just look back at Bush's presidency.
At least this won't keep up much longer, between Nixon, Reagan, and two Bushs' there's nothing left to steal!
posted by davethecat @ October 29th, 2010, 1:17 pm -
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