Skip to main content

The free market unicorn is so pretty.  It is so nice to talk about and dream about.  We muse on our lives in its glorious presence.  Its radioactive glowing blood has magical powers that will save us from the dark forest.  It sounds great, and I guess it feels so good to cling to, but sorry, she doesn’t exist.

Some guy much smarter than me wrote this awhile back, musing on the building of the Barclay Center in downtown Brooklyn, as they dynamited underground endlessly:
 

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.
 

There is no free market, at least not in the way that Republicans claim it exists.  When did you ever hear this free market shit before, when Bush was president?  It wasn’t important back then?  Bush was such a fucking capitalist?  No, it’s nothing but a manufactured attack.  If you’re not a capitalist, you cannot really be an American, and thus, Obama is not really an American.

Even if somehow the great free market actually exists, and it solves all of our social and economic problems (and raises all ships….god I hate that expression), who in the hell understands its function and can tell us how long we have to wait?  Let’s say a market correction will actually solve all of our problems.  How long will it take?  Six months?  10 years?  50 years?

Management expert Ed Deming, (link) decades ago, proved that Government cooperation (along with valuing people, and a host of other management points) breeds success.  Even Adam Smith, the guy who you’d think would be the godfather of free market enforcement, said the following in The Wealth of Nations:

 

Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production; and the interest of the producer ought to be attended to, only so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the consumer.

What improves the circumstances of the greater part can never be regarded as an inconveniency to the whole.  No society can surely be flourishing and happy of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.

The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities.

 

Yes, Adam Smith; and he knew a little more about this subject than say, Rand Paul or Ted Cruz.

Walmart is a wonderful example of a free market gone amok.  Their ads are quite accurate:  they do indeed have the lowest prices around.  But somebody has to bear the weight of that floor, and it is most certainly their workers, both direct employees and their abused contract labor.

Walmart generally pays its employees a wage that necessitates their employees utilize government assistance.  I believe this is built into their business model:  they count on the government to, in effect, subsidize their wages paid to employees.  It’s almost like the local government is giving them a continuing tax break-type incentive to keep them in the area, as part of the vital tax base, and as a job provider.  Like a partnership built on a wink and a nod…and a round of golf.

I’m waiting for Walmart to lower their hourly wages to $2.25, and pretend their employees collect tips.  Why not try it?  Oh, the market won’t bear it??  That’s actually beneath people’s acceptable floor for wages?

This brings me to my final point.  Let us concede for a moment that the free market really does exist in this country.  Nobody understands it well enough to predict its function.  How do we know what type of cycles and sub-cycles actually exist within this great American free market?  Perhaps labor unions and government regulations are all part of the free market, a pendulum swing response to the quest for self that characterizes the job providers’ and business owners’ mentality and is positive and morally right in our capitalist society.

If the job creators and business owners are in a perpetual and morally right quest for self-enrichment, aren’t we all as humans in this same quest?  We own the means to provide our labor, and we look out for ourselves, banding together when necessary, for our own personal protection and advancement.  It’s only natural, especially when our opponent is by definition in a quest for his own riches and not at all looking out for us.
 

Yeah, we are all Americans.   The Kenyan included.

Certainly minorities and various classes of people were mistreated historically in this country.  This time around, though, even middle class white people are branded dogshit.  Wow.

GOP:  We see through your bullshit.   Stop fucking around.  We are all humans and equal to you.  Get over it and do your job!
 

 

Rand Paul still searching everywhere for the great American Free Market...and Barack Obama's birth certificate...

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    Buy Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand, and tear Ayn and the GOP new orifices. ALL ROYALTIES BETWEEN NOW AND MARCH 1, DONATED TO THIS SITE, DAILYKOS!! @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 07:14:28 AM PST

  •  question about Adam Smith quote (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nextstep

    I did not find an Adam Smith quote in conflict with right-winger views.

    Last paragraph supports paying taxes in proportion to their abilities, which is the same as flat tax. Tea Party thing, not progressive.

    Interpretation of the middle paragraph depends on your views on economics. Marxists might believe that the best way to increase prosperity of the greater part by inconveniencing the better-offs is by forced redistribution. Free-market person would say, that means, remove minimum wage, import tariffs and compulsory unionism and other form of corporate subsidies.

    First paragraph defends consumer sovereignity which is not in conflict with free-market / capitalism but may go against communitarian and anti-consumerism values of progressives.

    •  thanks for reading this... (0+ / 0-)

      ...I do interpret them differently.

      I see them as endorsing a taxation whereby one pays more, given one's ability to pay more.  I also see the other stuff as supportive of a strong middle class, and the value of the consumer, and thus the multiplier, to drive the economy.  

      These may not be incontravention with classic RW ideology, but I see them as vastly different from what we hear today coming from the GOP.  Today's GOP does indeed think we can prosper as a society, when the greater number of us are poor and miserable.

      Buy Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand, and tear Ayn and the GOP new orifices. ALL ROYALTIES BETWEEN NOW AND MARCH 1, DONATED TO THIS SITE, DAILYKOS!! @floydbluealdus1

      by Floyd Blue on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 07:50:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ivan, your interpretation is filtered (0+ / 0-)

      through your free market ideology.  Your view of the term 'proportional' in regards to taxation has to be highly distorted to come to mean the same as "flat tax", given that people making the lowest incomes have to spend all of their wages just to stay alive and healthy, whereas the richest have considerable disposable income available for recreation.  In fact, Smith writes "It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion." Furthermore, Adam Smith never advocates for a totally "free market" capitalism, not in what is quoted here, not in other parts of the same book, and not elsewhere.  He advocates well-regulated capitalism, so the owners or managers do not run over the consumers, as started to happen in his time (late 1700s).  Finally, nowhere except in theoretical texts is it possible for "free market", true laissez faire capitalism to exist. All markets are bound by the laws of their countries, especially property rights, and the economic system defined in that time and place.  (Translating "laissez faire", as Libertarians and GOP Tea Baggers interpret it, means "Screw you, I got mine."  Current corporate and individual income tax law heavily favors the richest 1%, which is a distortion of the free market, not an example of it.)

      •  thank you. That was an excellent explanation (0+ / 0-)

        it just galls me (my villain in Aldus Shrugged is named Gall, though not Galt) that people try to make us believe that a free market (laissez faire) could even exist.

        How can a market be free if a billionaire can come along and tilt it and set it - let alone create it?

        And as I said, even if these great mystical market forces actually do save us all...how long do we have to wait?

        Buy Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand, and tear Ayn and the GOP new orifices. ALL ROYALTIES BETWEEN NOW AND MARCH 1, DONATED TO THIS SITE, DAILYKOS!! @floydbluealdus1

        by Floyd Blue on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 04:55:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site