"Just another pie-eyed liberal who wants the government to right all the wrongs, and make everything fair for everyone."
"You libs are so naive. You think the answer for every thing is more government. If we could just get the government out of the way of the free market it would be so much better."
"Competition in the market is just more efficient by virtue of competition."
Tea Partiers and other extreme conservatives call liberals "naive" for putting the purpose of helping others on the shoulders of government. To hear them it would be best for all concerned if most everything was left to the magic of the private sectors' market forces.
What does the free market, unfettered by regulation, produce? One only needs to look at the US in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Child labor, there's that. Increased poverty, and stagnant wages. Income disparity, More frequent boom bust cycles with deeper recessions.
Really? History? Anyone? Beuller? Beuller? 19th Century - unfettered capitalism. Ring a bell? How was it for people who worked for a living? We have, in the United States the greatest income disparity since the Great Depression. The financial sector has been deregulated time and again since the 1980s. For the Tea-Billies - deregulation means less government, and more "free market." So the money that greases the skids of the economy has been pretty much going where it wants to in it's chase for profit. You know, profit, the end all be all motivation that, according to the cult of conserva-libertarian-Ayn Rand objectivism will fix everything. Everything I say.
Who's really being naive here? If you think that, despite - you know - history, unfettered capital markets will address what a society need, you're being naive.
So what does history tell us unfettered free market forces yield? Historically business seeks the greatest market share it can get. Theory says a player captures market share by being better: better product, or more less expensive by being a more efficient producer. Market share rules, but unfettered, players in a market find it more effective to capture market share by leveraging it's comparative advantages to buy more. Rockefeller didn't only dominate the early petroleum industry by seeking to be the most efficient producer of kerosene, and later gasoline. He also did it by leveraging early leadership to own and control as much delivery as possible throughout the economy. JP Morgan's General Electric didn't only get in early, but it used frivolous legal maneuvers to choke out early players like Westinghouse whose pockets were not so deep. It's not about being the best in a market. Believing that as business dogma is naive. It's about being the quickest to be the biggest in a market, then dominating the competition with size, not necessarily out performing them. Conservatives say that's business, and it is. What it's not is capitalism, and it's not market forces creating optimal outcomes for the society that they are in. If there's not enough competition, then market forces can't work. Participants get bigger and bigger, and when threats of competition are neutralized - through acquisition, or elimination - players become rent seekers, and extract revenue while controlling costs.
How was it to be in labor in the 19th century, and early 20th century economies? Generally it sucked. Long hours, no overtime, shitty wages. Add to that the greater frequency of panics, recessions, and depressions.
It's been said that business is the worlds most competitive sport. Make no mistake, capitalism remains the most efficient economic system to base a society on, but it needs to be regulated. That is to say it needs regulations, not central planning. It needs the government to be an official and enforce the rules. Every competition needs rules, and referees, otherwise it's not really a competition.
If you really think that unfettered capitalism leads always to optimal results, you need to crack more than a few history books, because you're a doe-eyed child.