Can any Ayn Rand conservative point to a country where a purely freemarket exists? Is it Hong Kong!?

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posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 01:28 AM
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Can anybody? Because I can't seem to find one. We hear talk from Republicans, Tea Partiers, Ayn Rand conservatives, talking about the joys and benefits of the free market. But have we seen a purely free and private market work successfully in modern society? First let's define what a Free Market is:



In simple terms, a free market is a summary term for an array of exchanges that take place in society. Each exchange is a voluntary agreement between two parties who trade in the form of goods and services. In reality, this is the extent to which a free market exists since there will always be government intervention in the form of taxes, price controls and restrictions that prevent new competitors from entering a market. Just like supply-side economics, free market is a term used to describe a political or ideological viewpoint on policy and is not a field within economics.


Read more: www.investopedia.com...

Is this what Ayn Rand conservatives were talking about? Are we on the same page here?

I thought I received an answer to my question from the Heritage Foundation of all places on where these Free-Market economies existed. What I found was a "top 10" list of the world's most economically free countries, as defined by the Heritage foundation.
www.heritage.org...

Hong Kong was ranked no.1 for it's Free-Market system by the Heritage, which I found somewhat perplexing. To start, Hong Kong has a well established universal Healthcare system, they merely provide the options for private healthcare:
www.huffingtonpost.com...


This system of government-operated hospitals, open to all citizens, costs the Hong Kong government about 3% of GDP. Three percent! Private hospitals, used mainly by the wealthy, and all other health care services bring Hong Kong's total health care spending to about 6% of GDP. Compare that to about 16% in the U.S. today, and rising.


Ironically Hong Kong had only recently passed it's first minimum wage law before this list by the heritage foundation was created. Hong Kong residents now earn a minimum of 28HK an hour:
www.bbc.co.uk...

Hong has recently updated it's laws regardining rights of employees, including those of employees seeking maternity leave, parental leave, discrimmination against job seekers on the basis of race, gender. Laws typically viewed as contrary to the concept of Free Market by Ayn Rand conservatives:
www.hg.org...

Other countries in the list of "the most free economies" from the heritage foundation include Singapore, not really known for it's laws for individual freedoms, Australia, with it's vast social programmes that it's citizens benefit from, and Canada.

One has to really question, given what conservative thinktanks like the Heritage Foundation, have come up with. Exactly what kind of "Free market" is being discussed here? In 2009, talk of a "public option" ignited a firestorm from fiscal conservatives claiming this caused a threat against private business. Is there something I'm missing here? So why are we refering to places like Hong Kong to describe what a Free market system looks like? Sounds to be like the concept of the Freemarket is forever changing from article to article, debate to debate. We don't exactly know what conservatives mean when they mention this term, yet we hear it mentioned alot. Maybe because the concept in it's purity is outside of reality?




posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 01:34 AM
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"Free Market" principle have been endowed with mythical properties that don't really function
as they are sold.

It is a scam that the elites use to justify their pillaging market places and the economy.

Unfortunately many Americans buy into it, in cases where it does not apply, essentials.

It is really just a fantasy designed to protect TPTB (the real PTB, not the mythical sense)
edit on 7-10-2012 by campanionator because: (no reason given)
edit on 7-10-2012 by campanionator because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 01:44 AM
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reply to post by Southern Guardian
 


It is impossible to have a truly free market in modern society. Without checks and balances it would quickly become one giant monopoly. Some government regulation is required in a capitalist system. Some social programs are also required simply to keep things going smoothly. 

Pure capitalism doesn't work but neither does pure socialism. Socialism almost always turns into totalitarianism.

Power corrupts...whether it's individual power or government power. 



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 01:50 AM
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Originally posted by seabag
Pure capitalism doesn't work but neither does pure socialism. Socialism almost always turns into totalitarianism.

Power corrupts...whether it's individual power or government power. 


It really depends what you define socialism as?

Is medicare a form of socialism? Is any public ownership by the government considered socialism? Do we define public education as another form of socialism? To me, socialism is an inevitable part of modern society, it's going to exist in one form or another. If by socialism, you're really describing communism, then you are correct in this statement, communism doesn't work. But then again I don't believe that communism and socialism are one in the same.



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 01:52 AM
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I am far from being capable of putting in an educated two cents on the subject- economics is not something I am well versed in. Because of that, I often have question such as this to ask, partly because I read the literal meanings for terms and wonder why they don't seem to be applied correctly in everyday life by the common layman.
I am starting to just think that ideologies are never manifested by us accurately in reality, that perhaps it isn't possible.

I'm even growing towards the thought that any of these types of ideologies are not desireable in their "pure" form- life is best lived moderately, with balance, and any extremes will lead to some sort of degenerescence. (wait...is that a word?). *shrug*

Just from my rather uneducated and naive mind comes the first thought on this- are the companies and factories in Hong Kong putting Hong Kong residents to work for them?

See, contrary to my own natal land, where ones career or work is supposed to be chosen and done for ones individual personal fulfilment, in the country I am in now, it is considered ones social "duty". It is what you do for your society- like the kid who has certain chores they must do at home, as part of that grouping, and in return, get certain essential survival needs met.

The people here don't mind that, they feel "part" of something bigger, and like they have the right to have a say in things as a result. They also all have their own sport or hobby on the side that they do for their own individual fulfilment. They pay into and get social security in return for their service to their country.

I guess what I am getting at is that- even Ayn Rand always made the assumption, in her scenarios, that both workers and employers would be part of the same society. Can you have a freemarket working as it should theoretically, when the employers (the "brains", the powerful, the entrepreneurs and engineers) are outsourcing?



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 01:57 AM
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Originally posted by seabag
reply to post by Southern Guardian
 


It is impossible to have a truly free market in modern society. Without checks and balances it would quickly become one giant monopoly. Some government regulation is required in a capitalist system. Some social programs are also required simply to keep things going smoothly. 

Pure capitalism doesn't work but neither does pure socialism. Socialism almost always turns into totalitarianism.

Power corrupts...whether it's individual power or government power. 


According to modern conservatives, any taxation is socialism - whether it be used to pave roads or save lives.

Doesn't matter anymore. The right has devolved in to shouting Marxism! Communism! Socialism! anytime they don't agree with something. They think the left wants too much control.

And yet they have the audacity to tell people who they can and can't marry



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 01:58 AM
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Originally posted by seabag
reply to post by Southern Guardian
 


It is impossible to have a truly free market in modern society. Without checks and balances it would quickly become one giant monopoly. Some government regulation is required in a capitalist system. Some social programs are also required simply to keep things going smoothly. 

Pure capitalism doesn't work but neither does pure socialism. Socialism almost always turns into totalitarianism.

Power corrupts...whether it's individual power or government power. 


Pure capitalism turns into totalitarian power too - like the royal families across the world who won centuries
worth of battle to declare supreme rule via, capital and resources.
edit on 7-10-2012 by campanionator because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 02:05 AM
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Originally posted by Bluesma

I guess what I am getting at is that- even Ayn Rand always made the assumption, in her scenarios, that both workers and employers would be part of the same society. Can you have a freemarket working as it should theoretically, when the employers (the "brains", the powerful, the entrepreneurs and engineers) are outsourcing?


Nice!

I think Ayn Rand made a few assumptions that are completely false.

Especially that the "producers" stop trying if they are not rewarded... If that were the case
there would be no such thing as fine art or music, because those people would have no
motivation to try in the first place.

First and foremost people are compelled by passion, not money.

I woud also say that she looked down on the majority of people and assigned altruistic
tendencies to the producers even though she frowned upon altruism.

This last point is the most egregious of her assumptions, hence why private industry
has raised gas prices 400% in 12 years and people blame the "government".
edit on 7-10-2012 by campanionator because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 02:06 AM
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Spent 8 yrs in Asia and if you walk down any side street market you will experience free market.

Buy and sell any food, article or service and the police are there as customers and the Govt. stays away because the people speak louder than Govt.

In the Western World, try it. The street will be overrun with officials quoting laws and spreading tickets faster than the police can shut it down.

We in the West don't have any idea what we are missing and how free the markets truly are in Asia.

Why do you think so many Westerners love their visits abroad? True entrepreneurial Freedom and the ability to make a living without 100 agencies either trying to shut you down out of interests of the Mega-Corps or the tax man trying to steal your pennies.

You can't even sell a damn hot dog on the streets in America or Canada without 3 Months of paperwork and bureaucracy and 1000's of dollars in permission slips...PERMISSION SLIPS.

Peace

edit on 7-10-2012 by jude11 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 02:14 AM
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Originally posted by jude11
Spent 8 yrs in Asia and if you walk down any side street market you will experience free market.

Buy and sell any food, article or service and the police are there as customers and the Govt. stays away because the people speak louder than Govt.



I agree, I think free market proponents should focus on small business and open market places...

But for SOME reason they focus on markets dominated by the elites... The same elites who are
crying FOR the free market...
edit on 7-10-2012 by campanionator because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 02:17 AM
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reply to post by Southern Guardian
 



Is medicare a form of socialism?


Sure....but conservatives aren't against Medicare. 


Is any public ownership by the government considered socialism?


Absolutely. Societies produce goods and services and sell them. That's the economy. I believe socialism is when the government owns the means of production of those goods and services and capitalism is when individuals own the means of production. 


Do we define public education as another form of socialism?


Is public education the role of a federal government? Where in the constitution did we grant the federal government that authority?


To me, socialism is an inevitable part of modern society, it's going to exist in one form or another.


I agree...I said you must have some socialism to keep things running smoothly. Conservatives simply don't want an overbearing federal government. Government should never own and control the means of production. 



If by socialism, you're really describing communism, then you are correct in this statement, communism doesn't work. But then again I don't believe that communism and socialism are one in the same.


But you see, throughout history socialism has quite often turned into communism. Power corrupts. Once you relinquish ownership to the government the government will crush the individual. This is why conservatives fear socialism. It's not that we don't want government or don't want any social programs, we simply want to maintain private enterprise and keep government out of production. 



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 02:20 AM
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reply to post by jude11
 


So to you, the only thing a free market society requires freedom of people to sell things anywhere on public property, with no limitations, and with no taxation? As I also understand, many of those countries don't have the financial will nor capacity to regulate those street sellers.



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 02:24 AM
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In simple terms, a free market is a summary term for an array of exchanges that take place in society. Each exchange is a voluntary agreement between two parties who trade in the form of goods and services. In reality, this is the extent to which a free market exists since there will always be government intervention in the form of taxes, price controls and restrictions that prevent new competitors from entering a market. Just like supply-side economics, free market is a term used to describe a political or ideological viewpoint on policy and is not a field within economics.


That isn't a terribly good definition of the free market.

The free market turns on the concept of consumer sovereignty. People choose to spend their money on whatever they want. This sends a signal to producers to produce more of that commodity. If people do not spend their money on a commodity, then producers will produce less.

Consumer choice is sovereign. Consumer choice drives what is produced in society.

The underlying assumption is Adam Smith's invisible hand (The Wealth of Nations, 1776) in which it is assumed that utility (roughly translated as satisfaction) is maximized in society as a whole when economic actors (consumers and producers) follow their own perceived best interest.

Producers are seeking to maximize profit and consumers are seeking to maximize their own utility.

It should be noted that while Adam Smith (the 'father' of economics) was a proponent of the free market, he also believed in the necessity of a strong legal system and regulation to protect people's rights.

Advocates of the free market do not believe in a free for all, dog eat dog system. They believe in a system where consumers drive choice in the economy (consumer sovereignty) by deciding what they want to spend their money on, and markets are regulated and rights are protected.

edit on 7-10-2012 by ollncasino because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 02:30 AM
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Originally posted by ollncasino
They believe in a system where consumers drive choice in the economy by deciding what they want to spend their money on.


Unfortunately these concepts did not foresee the near necessity of certain basics that have
perpetual demand. Gas, Water, Electricity and Healthcare... The choices we are given are
simply the distributor of the product, while the nature and demand of the product is universal.



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 02:35 AM
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Originally posted by seabag
Sure....but conservatives aren't against Medicare.


Yet they rally against socialism, and yet you admit medicare is a socialist programme, which goes back to my point.


Is public education the role of a federal government? Where in the constitution did we grant the federal government that authority?


Public education has been around in this country since the 17th century, prior to the establishment of the constitution, and the founders never objected or questioned the funding of such schools:
www.cityofboston.gov...

So, whether or not it is specifically mentioned in the constitution doesn't make it unconstitutional, it has held strong support in this country through the centuries. Do you propose the states take care of public education themselves? And what if some states refuse to? Do we just leave many of those kids without them?



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 02:38 AM
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Is there any country that we can point to that carries out the concepts of the freemarket effectively? Better yet, is there a well developed country that does not possess public healthcare or education? I just can't seem to find one, we can't seem to come up with real successful examples.



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 02:39 AM
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Originally posted by Southern Guardian
reply to post by jude11
 


So to you, the only thing a free market society requires freedom of people to sell things anywhere on public property, with no limitations, and with no taxation? As I also understand, many of those countries don't have the financial will nor capacity to regulate those street sellers.


They all have the capacity to regulate free market but choose to continue a culture that the West was built on but has destroyed.

They recognize that ALL people have a right to trade and sell without permission from those that dictate.

If we choose to sell a snack on the streets, why should we have to pay for permission?

Peace



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 02:43 AM
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Originally posted by Southern Guardian
Can anybody? Because I can't seem to find one.


I can think of three main keys that determine how 'free' a free market is.

(1) The proportion of the economic pie spent by governments. The lower that is, arguably the more consumer sovereignty (see my post above) exists and hence the freer the economy.

People are free to choose what they want to spend their money on, rather than the government taxing it and spending it for them

(2) The extent the government protects and encourages monopolies by its own laws.

An example of this would be preventing other competitors from entering a market on the grounds that a natural monopoly exists i.e. train routes being awarded to one company by the government on the assumption that one suppliers is cheaper than two competing suppliers.

It could be argued that natural monopolies rarely exist.

(3) How effectively the court system protects individual rights (of people and companies) and the government regulates markets to ensure competition.

For instance, preventing fraud, sharp practices and ensuring the safety of commodities and most importantly, ensuring free competition exists i.e. preventing cartels of producers from price fixing.

The mistake that is often made is that it is assumed that a free market means that the government doesn't become involved in the economy. While government taxation and spending is seen as a negative, government regulation of markets to ensure they are free and a strong legal system to protect rights are essential.

edit on 7-10-2012 by ollncasino because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 02:50 AM
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Originally posted by campanionator
Unfortunately these concepts did not foresee the near necessity of certain basics that have
perpetual demand. Gas, Water, Electricity and Healthcare... The choices we are given are
simply the distributor of the product, while the nature and demand of the product is universal.


I don't understand what you mean.

Gas, Water, Electricity and Healthcare are commodities like all others in that in a free market, producers enter the market in the anticipation of making a profit.

The problem arises when the state either creates or allows a monopoly to exist. That is not a free market. That is a monopoly and the state should regulate to prevent one producer gaining control of the market and exploiting consumers.

The government in a free market does have the role of regulating the market to prevent monopolies.


edit on 7-10-2012 by ollncasino because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 02:55 AM
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Originally posted by seabag

It is impossible to have a truly free market in modern society. Without checks and balances it would quickly become one giant monopoly. Some government regulation is required in a capitalist system.



I agree entirely with you. Adam Smith, the father of economics made it clear that a free market does indeed require 'checks and balances'.

The government must regulate markets to ensure free competition and the courts must protect individual rights.

Government regulation is an essential element of a free market.

That should however be seen as distinct from the government spending people's money for them after taking it off of them via taxation. That isn't a free market.





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