[PD] [OT] Re: expr alternative

Simon Wise simonzwise at gmail.com
Wed Oct 26 12:41:01 CEST 2011

On 26/10/11 12:26, Mathieu Bouchard wrote:
> Le 2011-10-26 à 10:32:00, Simon Wise a écrit :
>> Their corporate strategy regarding creating and maintaining a monopoly on as
>> many technologies as they can, and taking a percentage of every transaction
>> within those monopoly platforms is very sensible and reasonable way to
>> maximise profits if you have the resources and embrace free market principles.
> A monopoly is not a free market.
> Laissez-faire doesn't make a market free either.
> What do you mean by « free market » ???

<** off-topic warning - stop reading immediately if you are not interested **>

By "free market" in that context I am talking about the grab-bag of ideas that 
are promoted under that label by a very noisy and influential section of the 
press and economics commentators (especially but not only in the English 
speaking parts of the press) and are embraced as some kind of axiomatic "good 
thing" by many voters in this part of the world (Australia).

I mean the underlying assertions that the best way to manage the allocation of 
resources across society is allowing everything to be bought and sold for a 
dollar price, and that the best decisions for a society are made when responding 
to the so-called invisible hand of the market.

I mean the assertion that the profit motive and 'success' in this market is the 
only workable way to decide what activities should receive funding and resources 
in our society.

I mean the assertion that to ensure the best management of the facilities and 
services that we all rely on for a decent life these should be sold into private 
ownership and the management disciplined by this free market. And yes, this does 
often lead to monopolies, and yes - the profit motive (seen as pure and fair and 
not tainted by other inappropriate motivations by many free market advocates) 
combined with a minimally regulated market and the potential for a monopoly 
means that corporations big enough to do so will of course put a lot of effort 
into achieving such profitable monopolies within this market. Those, like Apple, 
that do achieve this position are then lauded as examples of the positive and 
profitable outcomes achievable by such market based policies.

Clearly from my tone above I do not believe that this "free market" is a fair or 
decent way to organise society, though it is probably a reasonable way to deal 
with the distribution of the kind of goods and services that are not basic 
things expected by everyone, and that can be readily bought and sold in a shop 
or such.


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