[PD] [OT] free market

Mathieu Bouchard matju at artengine.ca
Wed Oct 26 16:55:22 CEST 2011

Le 2011-10-26 à 18:41:00, Simon Wise a écrit :

> 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).

Ok, looking at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_market I can already see 
that there have been multiple different uses of that expression.

> 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,

Even buying votes, selling souls, and... «paying» attention, of course.

> and that the best decisions for a society are made when responding to 
> the so-called invisible hand of the market.

The invisible hand ? Sounds like that's the hand of one of the companies 
secretly plotting to become a monopoly. Surely not Santa Claus' hand.

> 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,

Has a cell phone become something too basic for that, or not yet ?

Anyway, I agree (for things not considered basic), but only after minimum 
wage law, employee protection laws, consumer protection laws, telecom 
laws, and the rest of the large corpus of relevant laws that a free market 
of any kind can't come up with. All the laws shape the market in various 
ways that aren't due to supply&demand nor contract law, and much of that 
is in the blind-spot of economic theory (let alone economic ideology).

| Mathieu BOUCHARD ----- téléphone : +1.514.383.3801 ----- Montréal, QC

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