Re: will the free market solve everything ?

Anton Sherwood (
Sat, 22 Feb 1997 10:00:55 -0800

Anton sherwood wrote:
by acting in the marketplace - by choosing what to buy -
you help decide what problems will be attacked.

From: "J. de Lyser" <>
What about problems where no market solution fits ?

What do you want, egg in your beer? (as my neighbor used to say)

Yes, you can contrive examples where markets perform less well than
an omniscient and benevolent planner. So? That doesn't change the
empirical fact that markets have done a better job than anything else
so far *in the real world* (where nobody is omniscient).

And still if a majority views something as a problem, and a minority
views it as a good thing, the free market will rule against it ?
A characteristic we oppose in the current forms of democracy.

Who's "we"?

Majorities have done all sorts of evil to minorities.
The will of the majority is not sacred.

It seems to me that a vote is only valid if all the voters value the
outcome equally strongly - in other words, assign equal weight to the
vote. That's very unlikely.

Except that in this case a minority with more money can decide
for a majority with fewer money...

What do you mean "decide for"?
My policy is never to spend money on zucchini, or tobacco, or books
in Bengali, or movies with Sylvester Stallone. If I were as rich
as Bill Gates, could I impose such policies on you? How?

[...] Its the school book example of how the ducth state is justified:
who else would build a dike to protect us from the sea ?

Maritime landowners?

It might work in the Roman way of bread and circusses, as a gift
from some ultra rich individual or company to placate the angry
mobs. But its hyper irrational to depend on chance.

When one rich man says no, maybe another will say yes.
When the state says no, not only have you not got what you asked for,
you haven't got your tax money either ;)

Think about it, what place do mentally disordered people have in an
anarcho capitalist society ? They can't provide for themselves, and
i don't believe in peoples altruism (at least not anymore).

Do you believe in planners' altruism?

Most people value something higher than profit,
im truly sorry for you if you don't.

I think your understanding of "profit" is too narrow. (Not your fault,
it's common.) The balance of profit or loss includes intangibles such
as enjoyment of the job. For example, Years ago, as an unemployed
engineer, I decided never to do military work. It could have made me
plenty of money, but at a cost of damage to my self-respect - to my soul -
which, in my computation, outweighed the money, for a net loss.

Anton Sherwood *\\* +1 415 267 0685 *\\*