Free markets: economic jihadism

Mark Twain said that a book considered a classic was one that “… people praise and don’t read.”

Similarly, “free markets” are things that people praise and studiously avoid. Clever use of the word “free” is part of it, making it sound like a noble ideal. But substitute the more correct “unregulated” or “unfettered” for “free,” and it gives you a better idea of what is really going on.

People hate free markets, and with good reason. They are destructive of life, business, and freedom itself. “Free” markets expose everyone to competition, a destructive force. Price competition drives companies out of business. Competition for market share drives price cutting, with the same result. There is security in free markets, but only to the degree one is insulated from competition. Freedom from competition is market power. But it is not a free market.

It is said that competition fosters innovation and invention, but in truth most of that goes on in the public sector, too often as military spending. In addition, some public universities still engage in research and development, and eschew patents on new ideas and inventions. Competition, on the other hand, demands that innovation be shrouded in secrecy. Competition is the anti-public good.

Here’s an interesting passage from Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope, written in the 1960’s:

Business hates competition. Such competition might appear in various forms: (a) prices; b) for raw materials; (c) for markets; (d) potential competition (creation of new enterprises in the same activity); (e) for labor. All these make planning difficult, and jeopardize profits. Businessmen prefer to get together with competitors so that they can cooperate to exploit consumers to the benefit of profits instead of competing with each other to the injury of profits.

Put much more succinctly by Dwayne Andreas of Archer Daniels Midlands, “… competitors … are our friends and the customer is our enemy,” and “free markets exist only in the speeches of politicians.”

That’s not malcontents in a big system, but rather spokesmen for the system itself. They are publicly saying what everyone knows privately, that competition is a destructive force, and not creatively so. We are fortunate to still have semblance of an anti-competitive system, with protection built in for poor, disabled. Labor unions are still legal. We have wage and hour and minimum wage laws.

We are missing the exercise of raw power of strong over weak in “free markets,” and so are mostly without slavery and sweatshops. Our corporations have to go abroad to avail themselves of those luxuries, and to be free to pollute as they can. By and large, the United States does not have free markets. I am thankful for that.

I am also grateful to Big Swede, my inspiration for this post. Thanks man. You’re the wind beneath my wings.

About Mark Tokarski

Just a man who likes to read, argue, and occasionally be surprised.
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2 Responses to Free markets: economic jihadism

  1. steve kelly says:

    Global oil is a good example of the “free markets” myth. How many times have we heard “supply and demand” rhetoric when prices spike. Stumbled onto this over at MoA earlier today. Enjoy.
    b

    I’ve been coming here since 2003, and nothing tickles me more than when you guys wander off into the desert with your pop star political ramblings about this or that figurehead or this or that Gang of 8 who are covertly planning this or that…

    Let’s start over. 2000, UN Oil-for-Food deal with Saddam supplies oil to EU for $15 a barrel. The US Big Oiligarchy is actually fine with this, because of the EPA low-sulfur fuel mandate with tax credits. Rather than actually invest in sulfur removal equipment, Big Oil elects instead to buy cheap sweet crude from Saudi, since America is a captive market for gasoline.

    Then Saudi Prince Bandar announces ‘Oil should be fair priced at $25 a barrel.” That’s code words to the elites to invest and go long. Ahh, and then Saddam has to open his big mouth and say he’ll grant an honorarium reward to any jihadists who dies for Islam. That was the tripwire, and only months later Cheney was hawking his Yellow Cake up and down the UNSC, and we were in Iraq, not to oust the ‘Bad Man’, that was for the TV cameras. We were in Iraq to destroy the oil production competition to Saudis.

    Forget Canada. They’re trapped. Their only outlet is the US. Forget Russia. At that time it was still in turmoil of billionaire oligarch consolidation. Iraq was Sauds main competitor, and Cheney took them out. Oil spiked to $147 a barrel, the greatest surge of any strategic commodity in the history of the Empire, and NOT ONE WORD of investigative journalism. None!

    With Iraq oil ‘shut in’, now MIC was free to DOUBLE in size, and GOV bloat as well, the fastest metastasis of federal central government in the history of the Empire, and yet again, NOT ONE WORD of investigative journalism. You are either with us, or you are dead.

    Fast forward past the R/E bubble collapse destroying American home equity and rotating 10,000,000s of fixed income seniors out of their paid-for retirement homes into G-d knows what warehouse, again, the greatest sloughing of an entire generation in Empire history.

    Now were in 2014, and Iraq announces just two weeks ago, huzzah!! Fear not for Ukraine, Iraq is now at 3.5 MGD oil production and expecting to go to 8 MGD by 2015. Not a day passed before Saud announced they are at 12 MGD, ‘but can go as high as 15MGD’. It’s all about OIL SUPPLY DESTRUCTION because global oil demand has FLATLINED.

    You would have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to see the Saudi connection to Mosul. ISIS is on their speed-dial, the way a chauffeur is on the intercom. ‘PAC MAN IS ON THE MOVE” and you better damn well have your chauffeur hat on and the motor warmed up. Same with ISIS. The House of Saud calls. ‘Take Mosul’. Do you think Kerry-Kohn cares? Obama bin Biden’s son is sitting on the Board of Ukraine’s National Oil Company. Oil is about to SPIKE HUGE!

    This is just typical oil cartel wars, like any banana republic in South America. The US will hector and wait until Baiji is seized before they act. Iraqi oil production will plunge from pre-2003 levels back to no threat to Saudi hegemony. The Sauds are financing a propaganda campaign in Western Canada among aboriginals to keep Canadian oil shut in. Iran is boxed in by heavy trading and financial sanctions, as is Russia.

    All four of Saudis oil competitors are now trapped. The next phase of the Oil Wars begins, and, huzzah, the House of Saud, (which had attacked the US on 9/11), is now back on top!
    Any ‘civil war’ or ‘competing factions’ analysis is just a bunch of HuffPost propaganda.

    Posted by: chip nikh | Jun 12, 2014 5:52:34 AM | 92

    Like

    • Not that we can stop it before, but after the fact is better than never knowing these things.

      Investigative journalism? I don’t cry about that, gave up any notion years ago. It cannot exist in an empire of lies.

      Like

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