Re[2]: Libertarian Economics

Guru George (
Fri, 19 Sep 1997 23:43:58 +0100

On Fri, 19 Sep 1997 23:48:02 -0700
Joao Pedro <> wrote:


>I'll be honest, I don't know what negative feedback is and I know
>nothing of basic economics but I always knew that "united we stand,
>divided we fall". If a corporation starts achieving a substantial
>advantage towards everyone else, as it grows, it will eventually become
>more efficient, more capable, will be able to have the most competitive
>prices and therefore, will achieve a monopoly status. Right? (I see that
>in Portugal every time, small shops complaining about big commercial
>centers and supermarkets)

"United we stand, divided we fall". Against what? Cheaper prices and
better goods?

Why do you think the small shops fail? Because people desert them and
go buy their stuff in the big shops, right? But why do they do that?
Are they all being hypnotised by somebody to go to big shops and desert
the little shops?

I think you will find no hypnotist, but the simple fact that people
desert the little shops and buy from the big shops because they want to.

And why do they want to? Many reasons: because it's cheaper, more
convenient, more variety, perhaps you can get all your shopping done in
one go.

But in fact, little shops *can* survive, for they do serve a purpose,
only we need less of the ones that merely try to duplicate what the big
shops do well, and offer instead more of what makes small shops useful -
being closer to where you live so you can just pop out and get something
you've forgotten, offer a more personalised service, which can be nice,
etc., etc.

Is all this supposed to be a problem, then?

All our interests are linked in society, Joao. There is no "us" and
"them". We are all one, and what benefits me *can* benefit you, it
doesn't *have* to be at your expense. In the long run, and in terms of
society as a whole, what benefits the corporations can benefit, and what
benefits you can benefit the corporations. (The trick is of course to
have the right social habits so that our activities are channeled in
co-operative ways, like the market, like other beneficial human social
institutitons - our loves, friendships, groupings, enterprises, clubs,
hobby groups, creative teams, etc., etc.)

You may say what about the expense of those who lose their jobs in the
small shops?

Yes, it isn't so good for them, and it can even be unpleasant. But while
few people wouldn't sympathise, on the other hand nobody owes them a
living, nobody was put on this earth to serve anybody else's interests,
and it is morally evil to force people to serve other peoples' interests.

All that has happened is that they did what they thought would be good
for them (running a shop, or offering their services to someone who runs
a shop), and they were wrong: as it turns out, nobody wants what they
are offering.

So, they will have to look around for something else to offer, somewhere
where their energies will be accepted by their fellow human beings.

The thing is, because the big shops are more efficient (more, or the
same, for less), that frees up resources to create *new* things, new
things for people to spend their extra freed-up money on, and so,
eventually, and in the long run, people do find new employment offering
those new things.

This adversarial view of yours is, I think, quite a wrong way to look at
things. It isn't helping you understand what's going on.

Guru George