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think4yourself

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Is a free-market economy perfect?
« on: September 30, 2009, 08:09:50 PM »

If we were without government or any other means of coercive interference in the market, what would we have?

We would have far more prosperity, development and progress.

But would it be perfect?

Another way to ask this question is: Are all the problems/deficiencies in the current un-free economy due solely to government/coercive intervention?
« Last Edit: October 03, 2009, 04:30:11 PM by think4yourself »
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Libertarianssuck

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Re: Is a free-economy perfect?
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2009, 08:14:34 PM »

No nothing is perfect. Obviously things would be far better without government/coercive intervention but it's not gonna be all raindows and candy canes.
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think4yourself

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Re: Is a free-economy perfect?
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2009, 10:13:13 PM »

The reason I ask is because if I ever offer alternative ideas I get lectured on how the free market is the ultimate economic system.
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Peppermint Pig

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Re: Is a free-economy perfect?
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2009, 03:27:54 AM »

Success validates ideas. The prerequisite for validating any idea is for one to have the opportunity to test the idea/theory. Therefore the free market (describing an aspect of liberty concerned with the maximum ability to engage in voluntary commerce), is the ultimate means of solving economic problems (aren't all problems economic in nature anyways? Even questions of an existential nature depend upon man's limited capacity to informatively describe their experiences. Rationalization/Reasoning is the economization of logical thought).

Life is not perfect, nor can any solution be absolutely perfect, (only objectivists deal in absolutes, heh ), but we're discussing the notion that man as a volitional being is capable of governing itself and producing solutions that mitigate harm and indiscriminate destruction.

Was that a sufficient answer?
« Last Edit: October 01, 2009, 03:32:08 AM by Peppermint Pig »
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Diogenes The Cynic

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Re: Is a free-economy perfect?
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2009, 05:06:17 AM »

You're asking if something can be perfect. In your life, how many things have you seen that are without flaw?
A free market happens to be the best type. That is all.
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Re: Is a free-economy perfect?
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2009, 07:56:33 AM »

If we were without government or any other means of coercive interference in the market, what would we have?

We would have far more prosperity, development and progress.

But would it be perfect?

Another way to ask this question is: Are all the problems/deficiencies in the current un-free economy due solely to government/coercive intervention?


Yes, the problem of government force is due solely to government force. Getting along with others on a voluntary basis, without utilizing force is perfect.

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think4yourself

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Re: Is a free-economy perfect?
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2009, 11:01:46 AM »

I should have been more specific. I wasn't referring to markets in general (ie. the voluntary exchange of anything between individuals), but free market capitalism (markets of exchange on a monetary basis).

I agree that nothing is perfect. But I get the impression that some people hold free market capitalism high and mighty on some kind of pedestal of perfection, flawless, and impervious to criticism. I'm speaking specifically of capitalism, not freedom generally.

I think there will still be the ability of people/businesses/corporations to acquire power and be nearly as adverse and coercive as they were with government, but without it. That's why I believe that it's imperfect (but is still the best economy for the immediate future).

 
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John Shaw

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Re: Is a free-economy perfect?
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2009, 11:07:17 AM »

It's not a matter of how efficient a style of market is, although I'd argue that a totally unregulated market works "Best".

It's whether or not the market requires immoral behavior to function.

A free market does not. Every other economic structure does.

If an economic system requires the initiation of force to function, it is immoral and should not be supported if possible.



An economy doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to be not evil.
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Re: Is a free-economy perfect?
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2009, 07:39:18 PM »

I should have been more specific. I wasn't referring to markets in general (ie. the voluntary exchange of anything between individuals), but free market capitalism (markets of exchange on a monetary basis).

I agree that nothing is perfect. But I get the impression that some people hold free market capitalism high and mighty on some kind of pedestal of perfection, flawless, and impervious to criticism. I'm speaking specifically of capitalism, not freedom generally.

I think there will still be the ability of people/businesses/corporations to acquire power and be nearly as adverse and coercive as they were with government, but without it. That's why I believe that it's imperfect (but is still the best economy for the immediate future).

 

The reason that the ideas are held in such high regard is because the principles behind liberty and prosperity remain constant throughout time and circumstance, and serve as an ideal or compass. They form the basis of individualism by recognizing the source of value.

Liberty is not common, however. Vigilance toward liberty is a constant requirement to obtain more freedom.

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Re: Is a free-economy perfect?
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2009, 07:52:08 PM »

Honestly, I've often wondered the same thing, or rather I've wondered if the same degree of "prosperity" would exist should a free-market have existed historically. Much of the "progress" made during the industrial revolution was in fact a response to government intervention-either by liability limitation, or direct "internal improvements" in the case of the US. Not to mention the huge expenditure of government resources upon military innovation......

I believe in a free-market because it is moral, because I think that the means must justify the end, not vice-versa. Often I think many "free-market" types, such as Randians, lose track of that. Don't stop questioning things, no matter what you do.

Vigilance implies the use of force to create "liberty", which is not freedom at all.

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fatcat

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Re: Is a free-economy perfect?
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2009, 08:26:18 PM »

If we were without government or any other means of coercive interference in the market, what would we have?

We would have far more prosperity, development and progress.

But would it be perfect?

Another way to ask this question is: Are all the problems/deficiencies in the current un-free economy due solely to government/coercive intervention?


Yes, the problem of government force is due solely to government force. Getting along with others on a voluntary basis, without utilizing force is perfect.

Assumes the only users of force are government.

Unless you're talking about the perfect form of government, i.e. non, and even then its clumsy terminology because it inserts the idea that there are no negative points involved.

Talk to statists about no government being perfect and they're going to think you're delusional because of those utopian associations.

Anarcho Capitalism might be the philosophical ideal, but there will still be random crimes, and likely unforeseen consequences
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BobRobertson

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Re: Is a free-economy perfect?
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2009, 11:03:48 AM »

Much of the "progress" made during the industrial revolution was in fact a response to government intervention-either by liability limitation, or direct "internal improvements" in the case of the US.

What you're forgetting is that the expenditures on "internal improvements" caused multiple states to reach the brink of bankruptcy, requiring bailouts and scrapping of many of those same "improvements" at terrible losses.

The rhetoric of merchantilism sounds good, but on net it's always less efficient in terms of cost/benefit than supposedly "wasteful" competition.

I can suggest "How Capitalism Saved America" or perhaps a search on Mises.org for "internal improvements". I assure you, you're not alone in this confusion.

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Not to mention the huge expenditure of government resources upon military innovation......

Expenditures, yes, but with what benefits? "Spending" is not a measure of economic health, or booms would never have busts. That's why Keynesian economists are left scratching their heads when their predictions of "a new permanent high" end up with yet another, inevitable, bust. Just like now.

Lives lost, bombs dropped, buildings, resources, materials all destroyed, military "expenditure" is the Broken Window Fallacy writ HUGE. There is no net gain, only loss because once it's done it requires vast resources be spent cleaning up just to get back to where we started. The vast majority of toxic waste "Superfund" sites are military-industrial.

Quote
I believe in a free-market because it is moral, because I think that the means must justify the end, not vice-versa. Often I think many "free-market" types, such as Randians, lose track of that. Don't stop questioning things, no matter what you do.

Here I'll agree with you completely. Unless we can question our own assumptions, we will be defeated by the simple act of someone else doing it.

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Vigilance implies the use of force to create "liberty", which is not freedom at all.

Ah! Now we have a point of discussion: The difference between coercion and response.

The reason why the Non-Aggression Principle is worded as it is is because of that distinction.

Simple "force" is like gravity. It just "is". Trying to argue for or against "force" is futile and leads to apparent contradictions, because "force" is not and never has  been at issue.

It is the initiation of force that is addressed specifically by the Non-Aggression Principle and is the root of Libertarian and Anarchist philosophy.

For example, it is wrong to shoot your neighbor's dog. It is perfectly reasonable to shoot your neighbor's dog if the dog has run onto your property and is attacking your daughter.

It is wrong to shoot someone walking past your house. It is perfectly acceptable to shoot someone who is clearly the aggressor and is trying to violently harm someone who is walking past your house.

In each situation, the same use of "force" is either bad or good depending solely upon whether it is in response to someone else creating the situation first. The initiation of force is what is wrong. The use of coercion on someone else, against their will, not "force" by itself.

Another example: Pollution. I dump toxic waste in my back yard, and there is nothing you can do about it. The instant it leaks into your property, blows over the fence, whatever, I have trespassed upon you and am prosecutable for it. However, since I have not initiated violence, violence is not a suitable response. Filing a suit in court for adjudication is a suitable response. Pollution is not a violent initiation of force, even though it is trespassing.

That's why shooting someone's 5 year old for picking your flowers is unacceptable, because it is a social standard (in any place I'd like to live) that a violent response to non-violence is anti-social.



Anarcho Capitalism might be the philosophical ideal, but there will still be random crimes, and likely unforeseen consequences

There will, of course, be anti-social people who act stupidly. But if history is any indication, the petty results of private crime pales to insignificance compared to the depredations of government.

Removing the institution with the legitimate monopoly on the initiation of force also means that there is no ability for a crime to be ignored on the basis that the criminal was acting in their "official" capacity as a government agent. Cop runs a stop-sign and kills 4 people, sorry, it's not murder. Oh, yes it is, because there is no immunity from being a government agent any more!

Private cop enters your house looking for a fugitive, knocks over a lamp, they are liable for that damage. Not so the clumsy police officers who rip your house to shreds, shoot your dog and leave you tied up on the floor for hour after hour only to discover later they had the wrong house.

Ask the person wrongly convicted of a government crime, who spends years in jail and when the conviction is overturned is released without even a "sorry", their life ruined and no one can be held "responsible".

See the difference?
« Last Edit: October 02, 2009, 11:32:41 AM by BobRobertson »
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Zhwazi

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Re: Is a free-economy perfect?
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2009, 11:24:06 AM »

Describe "perfect" as used in this context. "Unimprovably good"? Yes. "Without flaw"? No. Something else? Ask.
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think4yourself

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Re: Is a free-economy perfect?
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2009, 11:54:46 AM »

Describe "perfect" as used in this context. "Unimprovably good"? Yes. "Without flaw"? No. Something else? Ask.

'Perfect' isn't the best word. Replace with 'infallible'.

Obviously it is not infallible or perfect. However it is the most moral system of exchange. I ask the question because some folks seem to consider it 'perfect', and I disagree with that. Because I believe that in a free market there will still be the ability for some people to acquire the means to have excessive differential advantage against others trying to enter any particular market. The consequence being that new inventions and ideas will be suppressed (by the market leader's advantage) in order for the status quo of that particular market to retain its advantage for the sake of extended profits. (ie. Withholding the true state of technology in order to sell minor upgrades over a long period of time.)

Albeit, in a free market this advantage wouldn't hold nearly as long as it does with a coercive monopoly. Some say that they deserve to reap the profits. I question the ethics of that matter.
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Re: Is a free-economy perfect?
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2009, 12:59:58 PM »

Okay, it's not perfect. Now, please list all of the examples of socialist economies that ARE perfect.
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