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Unchecked Free Market Problems

Unrestricted free market

Gary A writes article on the investing opinion site SeekingAlpha.com claiming that while limited government sounds good, it’s not a reasonable policy if the goal is market stability:

I support the free market but unlike them I don’t trust the free market. I don’t think that having just capitalists in charge of the free market can possibly keep it free very long. Capitalists cannot police themselves. Every game has rules. Try playing baseball without umpires. Try playing tennis without line judges. There are even rules when racing at the Indianapolis 500.

I agree with him, to an extent:

I agree that having capitalists in charge of capitalism can and has caused many a problem. Having Marxists in charge of a market causes even more.

The issue is that there is no suitable force acting upon the individuals that make up a government capable of restraining their choices actions.

And the more levels of government that are constructed to check and balance any system of man only lead to more levels of waste and corruption as they, in turn, fall to the very same forces.

The brilliance of the original American system was that it pitted this thirst for power against itself by building three branches of government with competing but not overlapping responsibilities.

This system worked well enough, for in that inherent tension there was stability left for those under it.

As the government’s greatest enemy was itself, instead of the people, the people were free to go about their ways.

As the government power alignment adjusted, mainly beginning with Lincoln’s power consolidation in the Civil war the forces of government were aligned and now could seek to take power, not from each other, but from the populace.

So is it a perfect system? No. Is it better than the alternatives? It depends on how you define better. I would say it is, with better being that state where there is least government intrusion into my affairs and then only so much as is necessary to prevent me from infringing unjustly on another’s affairs.

Of course, then you get into what is just and unjust.

The whole problem is that unless you accept a sovereign moral force who/which defines morality for us unsovereign beings, there is really no way to define right except through might.

Those in power get to define morality apart from that sovereign moral entity. And without an acceptance of a sovereign moral entity there is no legitimate basis for a universal and effective set of ethics to guide the behaviors of individuals, groups, corporations, societies, or nations.

Yes, I believe it all boils down to whether or not you subscribe to the idea there is a higher power who will judge you for your actions and your intentions and the results.