Taking on Libby (libertarian) bullshit: The Market Will Take Care of It

You know of those religious people who say “God will provide”, the Libby equivalent to that is “the market will take care of it”. While Libbies do not apply it to everything they do apply it to the economy, job markets, etc.

The market does not take care of things, it doesn’t even take care of it self much of the time. What is dose and doesn’t do depends on the many variables (supply, demand, how much money people have, how much people are wiling to spend, how many people there are, what people are buying. when and where they are buying “it”, and many, many more). These variables determine what the market does and what it does may or may not be good for the economy, the people, business, the country, etc. The market is is a human creation and humans actions are what determines the major variables.

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Comment by Jason Spicer on August 20, 2010 at 12:19am
LW, I agree that libertarians generally regard markets with religious faith. Markets are a powerful tool for setting prices and allocating resources within an economy. But that's all they are, and they frequently send bogus signals due to insufficient (or actively hidden) information. Powerful market players have no interest in certain information being freely available, so markets are almost never truly free because consumers almost never have as much information as producers. Free market fundamentalists like Milton Friedman and Ludwig von Mises actively discouraged empirical economic analyses, making their faith in the power of markets explicit and overarching. Free market fundamentalism is just as delusional as any other kind of religious fundamentalism.
Comment by Lone Wolf on August 19, 2010 at 11:55pm
Daniel: "it pools power to a minority,"
Thats true but that not only applies to the market, power has a tendency to pool in the hands of a few. We can minimize this through a democratic systems but it's still the nature of power.

John D: I didn't say anything about Justice nor am I a communist (and I resent being called one) in fact I can give many reasons why communism fails so miserably. My only point was: left to them selfs; markets and economies are not self correcting nor self sustaining.

Prog Rock Girl: Why didn't I think of those? They are excellent examples.
Comment by Prog Rock Girl on August 19, 2010 at 9:44am
Good article. The market is made up of humans and human activity. The writer gives examples of humans acting foolishly. I can think of quite a few--like so many people making large purchases on credit. Or people buying things they hope to sell as "collector's items", meanwhile the manufacturer creates more of these things due to demand, and the items are so commonplace that no one will buy them as collector's items. Or even the fact that companies wanted to save money by exporting jobs or replacing people with machines...and then with the resulting unemployment, no one can afford to buy their products.

John: communism? That's a huge conclusion to jump to. There's a lot of room between unbridled capitalism and communism. The writer is talking about regulation.
Comment by bobh on August 19, 2010 at 9:13am
The market increases standards of living in the long run but John Maynard keynes said that in the long run we are all dead. We need social reform and regulation now in our lifetime.
Comment by Daniel on August 17, 2010 at 10:58pm
The market is unable to handle long term issues, it pools power to a minority, has limited moral valuation and is exploitative. All that said it is still very effective motivator, the biggest solvable limitation of the market is to correct the pricing of goods by eliminating or adjusting for externalized cost factors.

Of course if you did that many powerful corporate welfare queens would simply collapse under their own weight but that is another story...



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