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
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.
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:
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:
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
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?