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"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.

Originally posted to Ranting in Cheeselandistan on Wed Oct 02, 2013 at 07:20 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yes like the health care in the US being driven by (8+ / 0-)

    the private sector and that has been a joy.  Health Care can not be contained in the private sector without huge regulation or am I missing something.  So many were uninsured by the private sector with dire death dealing results, but we can depend on the dims in the GOP, Tea Party, Koch Addicts to continue to support a listing ship and now they can go down with that sinking ship.  Neo-Confederate racists will not prevail in America and will meet the force of Lincoln and Obama and the American people.  This raucous swan song of the Republicans is merely the sqwacking of Crows who wait to pick at  the body politic of the Republicans.

  •  Well, there's another half truth for you. (11+ / 0-)

    People who are effectively lied to are often innocent or naive. The predatory instinct perceives that characteristic as an opportunity to take advantage.

    Imagine the wolf speaking to Little Red Riding Hood and telling her she's naive to expect the hunter to come to her rescue.

  •  I work at a Fortune 500 business (16+ / 0-)

    I often find conservative "experts" on business and economics to be LAUGHABLY ignorant of the most basic principles of how to run a business.

    Hint: it does not start with "fellate the CEO for his brilliance regardless of whether or not his stupid fuck ideas work"

  •  Unfettered capitalism (10+ / 0-)

    becomes cannibalism in short order.

  •  That's one big strawman you've got to play with. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thestructureguy

    Fettered literally means 'bound by chains'. Unfettered capitalism would thus seem to be the preferred state. I know of very few who advocate unregulated capitalism, up to and including Adam Smith.

    The ebb and flow of what constitutes adequate and desirable regulation on a Federal level is one reason we have political parties, because of the direct correlation between regulation and control. People of good faith can disagree about it.

    •  Oh please (20+ / 0-)

      The ideologues from the Tea Party worship Smith but don't have a clue what he wrote about. They've distorted Ronald Reagan's actions to fit their narrative. They conveniently forget that Ayn Rand used social safety net programs. And they sure as hell don't accept regulation. For dog's sake these are people who want to lift regulations on arsenic in drinking water. In their world POISON in your water shouldn't be regulated by the government. Sorry, but that's not something people of good faith can disagree about.

      Spite is the ranch dressing Republicans slather on their salad of racism

      by ontheleftcoast on Wed Oct 02, 2013 at 02:01:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Adam Smith: the Ultimate Red Herring (5+ / 0-)

        Isn't it obvious by now that "capitalists" have no interest in Smith's moral prescriptions - and NEVER have?

        The original non-academic audience for 'Wealth of Nations' were the younger sons of Britain's aristocracy, scions of families that had been de facto owners of the peasants who lived on their family estate for hundreds of years (in some cases, maybe a thousand years.

        THESE younger sons cared about making their own way, making something for themselves, and worrying about peasants - even "free" peasants - likely never occurred to them  THEY are the folks whose bright ideas included child labor, 12-hour shifts, inhuman working conditions, slavery, indentured servitude, among many others;  they were the Sugar Barons, the Rubber Barons, they are bastions of extreme aristocratic, anti-democratic, and social-darwinistic views and beliefs, motives and desired ends;  they are also the possessors of some of the largest old-money agglomerations in the world, and they own between them the controlling shares in many-if-not-most of the largest, most successful and most brazen corporations.  CEOs work for them, NOT the other way around.

        Killing people as a cost of doing business has been SOP for the ruling class for as long as it's been the ruling class.  The insane failing of the Tea-Party voters lies in the belief that these very wealthy, very powerful, very unrestrained families have any common cause with the labor pool it seeks t o commoditize and marginalize ever further.

        Naive and clueless?  You're on Louis Gohmert's fund-raising list (corporate rule 1:  never use your own money - 'capitalism' means 'I believe I can get others to pay for X').
         Because...FREEDOM?  No:  because magick:  they believe that their support of 'freedom' for extreme wealth, will cause extreme wealth to trickle down upon them.

        Adam Smith never imagined ANY of this....

        trying to stay alive 'til I reach 65!

        by chmood on Wed Oct 02, 2013 at 03:43:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Regarding child labor, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA

    I refer you to this comment by gjohnsit:
    http://www.dailykos.com/...
    (If you haven't read his diary yet, I strongly recommend it.)

  •  Humorously, WRT the ACA... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nebraskablue, ybruti, JerryNA, starduster

    ...the insurance exchanges are actually capitalist marketplaces in the best sense.  All products of a type (health insurance) are displayed in an open marketplace (exchange) with all information about what each product does and what it costs available to all potential consumers (policies).  It's not quite as simple as all that, but those are the basic principles of the exchanges.

    In short, anyone who calls the ACA socialism or socialized healthcare is thus demonstrating a lack of understanding of one of its most consumer-facing pieces.

    As far as the "but it's government telling private insurers how to run their business!" argument, see the diarist's original comments above.  And recall that people (including children) working 12+ hour days in spectacularly unsafe factory settings usually had no insurance whatsoever.  YAY UNREGULATED CAPITALISM.

  •  Football has just been completely ruined (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VTCC73, JerryNA, Calamity Jean, starduster

    Ever since they let those guys in the striped shirts on the field, the game just doesn't work any more. They keep stopping the game, throwing out plays , and even impose penalties.

    How can we find out who is the best team if busybodies keep insisting there are rules?

    To put it with a lot less snark, one of Kauffman's Rules, #25, points out that what looks like competition is often cooperation in disguise.

    Rules, regulations, laws, limits - they can provide the structure within which competition can enjoy a "level playing field", where there is a fair exchange of benefits in all directions, and players succeed or fail on their own merits. It's not something that happens automatically, by some "magic of the market" or The Invisible Hand. Football would be impossible without rules and people to enforce them.

    The current mess in Washington can be traced back to the Republicans reckless disdain for the rules, written and unwritten, that used to operate to prevent governing from turning into a scorched earth conflict.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Wed Oct 02, 2013 at 03:01:17 PM PDT

  •  Results of Unfettered Capitalism (5+ / 0-)

    The results of unfettered capitalism that are described above are a feature and not a bug in the view of the right wingers.  They want great income disparity (believing they will be the ones with the income).  They don't care about worker protections.  They believe the booms are to their benefit and others will mainly suffer in the busts.  The bottom line is that they only care about themselves.

  •  Free market...? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA, codairem

    As long as you will have collusion and allow disinformation, you will have NO free market!

    But also, as long as the authorities (police, etc.) will protect corporations from the public, you will get NO free market! The day corporations can be taken by a mob of angry consumers, you will see them behave...

    Quite ironic that corporations achieve paying little taxes, yet yet are better protected from the public than the public is from corporations, despite paying the bulk of the taxes!

  •  I would phrase it differently: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA, jan4insight
    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.
    I would say, "if you really think that unfettered capitalism leads always to optimal results, you are smoking crack."

    Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    by Youffraita on Wed Oct 02, 2013 at 04:56:18 PM PDT

  •  The free market fundamentalists... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    starduster, devis1, WearyIdealist

    Are immune to such historical examinations. You can't get through to them, because their devotion to the idea of free markets more resembles a cult than any kind of pragmatic or real life economic policy.

    Unfortunately, it's not just limited to teabaggers, which is why the middle-class has been getting so thoroughly hosed over the past 30 years.

  •  Hey, the robber barons (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    starduster, WearyIdealist

    Often just hired mercenaries to wipe out people who were standing in the way of a few dollars more. A lot of people say stupid shit like "this is the end of America" and so forth but these people either don't know history or somehow feel since they are living it, these times are much worse than any others have been. I don't know what shape the next uprising will take, whether it will be violent or peaceful, whether it will be immediate or gradual but one thing I do know is that change will come. Comfortable people don't start revolutions but it seems that the Republicans are determined to find out just how uncomfortable people have to be before they rise up. We'll see....

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Wed Oct 02, 2013 at 07:28:54 PM PDT

  •  It's a continuing balance between differing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WearyIdealist

    beliefs with an equilibrium never achieved.  Hopefully this grand experiment will continue within the bounds of the back and forth. A complete shift to either end will end this republic.  

    When you are dead, you don't know that you are dead. It is difficult only for the others. It is the same when you are stupid.

    by thestructureguy on Wed Oct 02, 2013 at 09:48:06 PM PDT

  •  All you have to do is look at Russia and China: (0+ / 0-)

    Nascent Capitalism.

    Somebody smarter'n me once wrote:

    "...Above the raucous din, for the first time ever, I could hear and feel tremendous booming.  They were either blasting with dynamite, or driving a giant steel pile, and the thunderous shaking was suddenly overwhelming.  There was no shutting out the existence of the demolition, the tearing up of roads used by millions, the destruction all the way down Atlantic Avenue anymore.  In a way it was like the subway vibrations we all feel in our neighborhoods, as the train-cars rocket through the bedrock.  You get used to that.  But this was far louder and far more intense.  The ground was shaking with every boom, and all I could think of as I looked straight ahead at the informal Tea Party gathering in my shop, was of vermin:  rats.  Thousands of rats, of all sizes; from mouse-like, to dog-sized, running, running - in all directions - set free from their concrete caves, from the sewers, from the subway tunnels.  Set free by the vibrations under the street, from the booming artificial thunder; set free by the blasts of progress.  Rats set free to run wild, to venture everywhere their curiosity takes them, to explore new territories, new markets, to infest and overwhelm; just as the booming progress has set free the hoards of new Capitalists in places like China and Russia, to run boundless and careless in search of new opportunities.  They cut corners and find these new markets everywhere:  contaminating babies’ milk with carcinogens to boost the protein levels; infesting drywall with lethal formaldehyde; laying radioactive waste to towns and villages for forever-and-a-half-life, in setting up their factories; killing and maiming untold generations, while tallying their precious profits in the billions.  A loaf of bread loaded with plaster of paris; a severed finger in a can of beans:  Ahh, the rugged frontier of new Capitalism.  We’d already been there and done that in this country generations ago..."

    Ayn sucks. Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer.

    by Floyd Blue on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 04:53:18 AM PDT

  •  It's like they never played Monopoly (0+ / 0-)

    Or something.

    Maybe that game should be required.



    Women create the entire labor force.
    ---------------------------------------------
    Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Fri Oct 04, 2013 at 05:07:52 PM PDT

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