Saturday, September 21, 2013

Free Markets, Liberty, and Culture

In a strictly economic sense the free market is about competition and maximum choice. It is important to understand that a market cannot fail. The markets job is simply to distribute production, the market is the interaction between human beings when they buy and sell goods and services. Markets just bring buyers and sellers together. If there is one buyer and one seller, that is still a market as the act of buying and selling took place. The market can either be free or controlled. As long as there is production the market will exist, to talk of market failure is to show ignorance of the market and what it is. One can talk of failure of production and reduced goods and services available in the market, but the market itself is a neutral concept, it can never fail, as long as there is exchange of goods and services, the market has done its job.

A free market concept merely says that anybody can participate in the buying and selling of goods and services. The free market says anybody capable can produce goods and provide services. This is opposite to a market that is under total government control where only the government can provide goods and services. The free market again is very different from a situation where the government decides who in their private capacity can produce goods and bring them to market, this is not free market, once you hear there are legally only so many banks, so many phone companies, so many insurance companies, that is not the free market, the government has decided who can produce and provide services. But remember, a market still exists, be the market free, partially controlled as in fascism or totally controlled as in communism. Once you hear of bailouts and subsidies, rest assured that market is not free, the players, the suppliers of goods and services have already been decided by the government. A free market says that the suppliers of goods and services are left to their own devices, if you are inefficient then you lose, the government will not come and bail you out or give you a subsidy, nobody gets special treatment.

Sports is an excellent example of the free market, there are set rules and the individual or team plays. The authorities do not handicap one team or individual in favor of another, that would be rightly called cheating. No one capable is refused a shot if they believe they can make it, one can go to the gym right now and try out their luck in any of the martial arts competitions, tennis or golf for example, as they win they would move up the rankings, authorities do not make rules to handicap anybody, the winner is clear. How does this apply to life outside sports?

When Mike Tyson lost his fortune no government came in and said Mike you were a great champ here is your money back, people would have cried foul, not fair, it is his fault, and rightly so. When a banker loses his money should he not be forced to get another job, he is no good as a banker, he has no aptitude for it, others have better aptitude, but he is bailed out. All over the world government protect monopolies, in Canada, Europe, Africa, Asia the telecommunications sector is protected creating false billionaires who never worked for their money but relied on the government to protect them from competition. They owe the government everything right down to the underwear they wear. Government protects them because they fear those better than them would do a better job if they are allowed.

The government does not subsidize for example the Dallas cowboys or any other Football team, nor does British government subsidize Arsenal or any other soccer team, that would be considered abhorrent and unfair to the others. These are businesses, private businesses, the same logic and principles should hold up for other businesses. What makes one private corporation so special that they can be subsidized by the government and call themselves talented and others lazy whilst they reside in mansions bought for by tax payers.

The free market is a simple concept, nothing evil, it guarantees an individual’s right to be allowed to bring goods and services to market that other individuals have brought to the market. If they are allowed to bring certain goods and services to the market, if you have the resources and business acumen, then you as an individual can do the same?

This brings about the legal aspect of a system of free markets and liberty. The basic legal requirement for a free market system is that everybody is equal before the law. How is that evil? If A can do it so can B. If A can own property, even if A is the government, then B can own property. No individual, no institution, no organization has greater rights than B. If A can take certain action with his property so can B because they are equal under the law, they have the same protection and rights from the law. Equality before the law is a massive concept.

If A can own property so can B. If A can take a certain action so can B. If A can have an opinion so can B and if A has right to tell others his opinion so does B because they are equal under the law, Equality before the law guarantees free speech.  If A can believe in a supernatural being of his choosing so can B believe in a supernatural being of his choosing or none. If A can own arms, equality before the law must guarantee that B can also take the same action. How then is this concept evil, because you cannot have free markets without equality before the law, how then is an idea that says you are free to take action you desire to make a living evil. Anybody who says this evil is the one who is evil as they want to control people and give certain people advantages over others, they want to create serfs, they are the absolute evil, they are the selfish who say their self interests are best served when most of society is handicapped and they have clicks that are more equal before the law than everybody else.

The market is about human interaction. For a seller there must be a buyer, there must be interaction. To provide a service you must be providing that service for another human being. You get to choose the human being you want the service from, you want the goods from. There can be no market for anything without human interaction, it does not make sense.

The free market ensures maturity. A mature mind accepts change, that there is a possibility somebody else can do it better. This is a cultural attitude. A free market is for human beings, by bringing your goods or services to the market you accept you are dealing with other human beings. By accepting that you are dealing with human beings and that money is just that money, a tool of exchange, but to serve its purpose it must have the ability to store value, it is just money, it is human action that gives that money value, not faith, goods and services. When money accepts money is just money, they accept goods and services can come from anybody no matter the religion, the culture, the race, the sex, money will purchase the good or service the owner wants, and will allow anybody else to purchase their good or service.

The free market ensures a culture of positive human action, as all are equal human beings will see that they do not have to join fraternities, political parties, or donate to political parties to get legislation that is beneficial to them, because they can take any action that any other member or members of society can take. Those who advocate any other system advocate inequality before the law, by this they are spreading the culture that some humans are superior to other humans, and their pseudo scientists will keep claiming they have found the intelligence gene in their people and therefore must rule everybody else and laws must be bent for them to get bailouts. Well, if they are so intelligent why do they fear a free market, a culture that accepts all are human beings, a culture that will accept knowledge from any human being, if it is correct it is correct. Only a free market mentality can do that, allow humans to accept other humans.

The free market promotes the idea that one must look after their own self interests, without harming anybody else. Anything less than a free market promotes a culture of selfishness, everything for me, subsidies for me, bailouts for me, government contracts for me, the rest deserve nothing, I don’t even have to be good, I just need the connection who will bend laws towards my favor, that is selfishness. They will use my services or else, and I shall get rich because I have made donations to the right people. Who cares if others are more talented than me. But the media I advertise in will say I am talented or else. The media I advertise in will only show scientists of my people as great, a truly selfish, fearful, thieving, con artist of a human.Yes to them the Free market, equality before the law is their greatest threat.

Accepting all are human beings means people will interact freely with each other not stratified by race, religion, sex, or wealth, but what you have to offer. Free market promotes a superior culture, how can accepting we are all human beings be evil? The most confusing thing is when a descendant of slaves or descendant of apartheid, colonialism  calls the free market evil, what a fool, he/ she thinks equality before the law is evil. Well back to slavery the opposite of free markets and equality before the law.

Bhekuzulu Khumalo
Twitter @bhekukhumalo

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Bhekuzulu Khumalo

I write about knowledge economics, information, liberty, and freedom