Re: Free Markets Decentralized?

Yak Wax (
Mon, 6 Apr 1998 12:41:33 -0700 (PDT)

Anton Sherwood wrote:

> Well, it's more like control of all by
> the many, since the majority are usually
> not exempt from the rules they make (what
> would be the point?). We might suppose it
> redundant to *bind* the majority to that
> for which they voted, but they may be
> unwilling to do whatever it is unless
> *all* are constrained to do it (because of
> the free rider problem, for example).

But the majority are also in control of the minority who choose to
vote otherwise - in this case the majority can be seen as the centre.

> If I "vote" with my money to decree that
> cilantro is not food, even if I'm in a
> majority there are still a minority who
> buy and eat cilantro, and a minority of
> restaurants who use it. And though in fact
> I am evidently in a tiny minority, most
> restaurants will leave out the cilantro if
> I ask them to.

The majority is in control of what food is supplied, even if you don't
buy and eat it.

> > But what about your firms interaction
> > with individuals (i.e. customers)? Do
> > you consider that a centralist
> > relationship?
>Where's the center?

The firm would be the centre, even if it is 'controlled' by the
customers. (As I've said before, even the most totalitarian of
governments are 'controlled' by their people.)

> > Your customers control (vote by money)
> > the company which takes precedence over
> > the decisions of individual customers or
> > smaller groups of customers. It's a very
> > incomplete precedence. Individual customers
> > don't set their own prices, decide on which
> > products you make, etc.
> Well, not in my present firm, no; I assume all
> clients are offered essentially the same
> contract. But my previous employer sets
> different terms for each client (often giving
> them a choice), because their circumstances
> vary and they want different services. In each
> case, clients are free to shop around for a
> better deal, whether for a lower price or for
> services more fitting to their needs.

Perhaps because of a firm's size they can offer a more individual
deal. But I'm sure a smaller government doesn't have to generalise
quite so much as a larger government, yet they are both centralist

> Where's the center?

Again, the firm is the centre. Just because it has not been quite so
successful at forcing me to use its product (like a government) it is
not decentralised. And just because there are more firms than
governments, they are not decentralised. And just because firms are
smaller than governments, they are not decentralised.

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