Will the free market solve everything?

Steve Edwards (SAlanEd@concentric.net)
Mon, 24 Feb 1997 14:22:02 -0600

Those of you interested in free market solutions should really look at the
Feb. '97 issue of Atlantic Monthly in which the cover article is "The
Capitalist Threat" written by George Soros, one of the greatest, most
successful capitalists of all time.

He says, "Insofar as there is a dominant belief in our society today, it is
a belief in the magic of the marketplace. The doctrine of laissez-faire
capitalism hold that the common good is best served by the uninhitited
pursuit of self-interrest. Unless it is tempered by the recognition of a
common interest that ought to take preference over particular interests, our
present system--is liable to break down."

"By taking the conditions of supply and demand as given and declaring
government intervention the ultimate evel, laissez-faire ideology has
effectively banished income or wealth redistribution....The
laissez-faire-argument relies on the same tacit appeal to perfection as does
communism. It claims that if redistribution causes inefficiencies and
distortions, the problems can be solved by eliminating redistribution...But
perfection is unattainable. Wealth does accumulate in the hands of its
owners, and if there is no mechanism for redistribution, the inequities can
become intolerable."

The problem that I see with the market is that it is concerned only with
money. People don't buy things, money does. If you don't have money-- more
than half the people on the planet are outside the global economy--you get
no vote. You don't count. You are worse than a non-person, you are a
global liability. Any system which reduces people to non-entities needs fixing.

Steve Edwards