Sunday, December 19, 2004

You go to market with the best economy you have.

During this time of Christmas, something nice to say about capitalism and conspicuous gratification

Saw a recent complaint against companies getting into blogging as a form of marketing or advertising. It would be the great undoing of the blogoshere seemed to be the thrust of the complaint. However, let us remember the lesson of the winning of the Cold War.

Free markets perform better than planned economies by what ever means you wish to measure. Free markets get goods to the market more efficiently than planned economies. More goods, greater varieties, at lower prices, free markets exploit opportunities in ways planned economies can not even imagine.

I can not claim ownership of this paraphrase; countries that strive for freedom achieve equality better than countries that strive for equality. (I heard it once on a show called “Firing Line” which was hosted by William F. Buckley. If you know the source, how about posting a comment, what say?) With this in mine, the claim that a planned economy does not exploit its workers and everyone is taken care of, fails in comparison to the average standard of living in countries with free markets, The poorest fair better than their counter parts in planned economies. And beside, the hope of any individual, no matter what his or her means, of obtaining a better life is one of the greatest drivers in free markets.

The consolidation of power that a centralized planned economy requires runs into that power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely formulation. While I Googled that to find its originator cited as the British historian Load Aston, there is no need to Gulag what it means. And there are only hints and horror stories of the environmental degradation that occurred in countries with planned economies. It seems free markets accounts for the externalities of pollution much better than planned economies when you would think it would be the other way around. Go figure.

I guess that's the thing about free economies. To turn loose of all controls and let the free market decide the best use of resources. Seems it would to lead to the exploitation of the non-protected, but history would seem to indicate otherwise. So the next time you hear someone bemoaning capitalism or conspicuous consumption, tell them “Wait one dude! It like way won the Cold War.”
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